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Quicksort can be made to go quadratic by constructing input on the fly in response to the sequence of items compared. The technique is illustrated by a specific adversary for the standard C qsort function. The general method works against any implementation of quicksort-even a randomizing one-that satisfies certain very mild and realistic assumptions. When using quicksort one often feels a nagging tension: suppose it goes quadratic? Tactics to avoid embarrassing results in some low-entropydoi:10.1002/(sici)1097-024x(19990410)29:4<341::aid-spe237>3.3.co;2-i fatcat:okub6ggflneftbg4gpxcx6otai