The qualification round was easier than I expected. It's probably just meant to filter out the curious. I was able to do both problems in about 30 minutes, and qualified to the next phase.
... seems to be making the rounds on the internet. Two different people sent me the link. It's cute, but there's nothing magical about it, really - perhaps if some people look at it as a simple Perl script they'll realize that it's just a way to rasterize the big number, and the bitmap could be anything.