Cool brainteasers. I solved #1 in a different manner than the "expected" solution.
The best part about that was it taught me a new python technique; my original method spanned 18 lines of code or so, with loops and if/elses.
When I rewrote it to take advantage of the suggested function(s), it became a 3 liner.
Looking forward to solving more problems! But first, space zombies.