How to tackle time limit exceeded error in leetcode

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I’ve wrote my code for Longest Common Prefix in LeetCode, but it was returned “Time Limit Exceeded”.

There is no specific error message, so I have no idea how to fix my code to pass test cases.

class Solution:
    def longestCommonPrefix(self, strs: List[str]) -> str:

        #find the number of shortest characters
        shortest_num = 0
        nums = [0] * len(strs)
        for i in range(len(strs)):
            nums[i] = len(strs[i])
            shortest_num = min(nums)

        l1 = strs[0]
        l2 = strs[1]
        l3 = strs[2]


        for j in range(shortest_num):
            tmp = ""
            while l1[j] == l2[j] and l2[j] == l3[j]:
                tmp += l1[j]
            candidate.append(tmp)

        print(max(candidate))

Error Message

Time Limit Exceeded

Solution

It is faster to always use list comprehensions.
For example to get the list of string lengths use the following

lens = [len(x) for x in strs]
min_len = min(lens)

Source: StackOverflow.com

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