# Applying Rest and Most to sublists of list

I have a list of lists

proof = List[{-1, 2, 3, -1}, {-1, 2, 4, -1}, {-1, 7, 9, -1}, {-1, 7, 2, -1},
{-1, 3, 9, -1}, {-1, 7, 9, -1}, {-1, 5, 9, -1}];


I would like to obtain the same list discarding the first and last entry of each sublist (those marked with -1.

Rest[Most[proof[]]]


works for one of the lists, but when I tried

Rest[Most[proof[[All]]]]


it doesn't work and the output is the same as

Rest[Most[proof]]


(it discards the two external sublists).

I could use

proof = Rest[Reap[Do[Sow[Rest[Most[proof[[k]] ]]], {k,1,7}]]]


Rest is used to discard a NULL result and this returns a triple nested list. Is there an easier/elegant way of doing this?

• Rest[Most[#]& /@ proof or equivalently Map[Rest[Most[#]&,proof] – andre314 Jul 8 '17 at 13:47
• There is also Drop[proof, None, {1, -1, 3}] – Coolwater Jul 8 '17 at 14:19
• proof.SparseArray[Band[{2, 1}] -> 1, {4, 2}]. See here – user1066 Jul 10 '17 at 21:23

proof[[All, 2;;-2]] (* Shortest and most likely to be the fastest *)
Rest /@ Most /@ proof
Rest @* Most /@ proof (* thanks: Bob Hanlon *)
Composition[Rest, Most] /@ proof
Cases[proof, {_, x___, _} :> {x}]
Replace[proof, {_, a___, _} :> {a}, 1] (* thanks: eldo *)
ReplacePart[proof, {{_, 1}, {_,-1}}:> Nothing]
Extract[proof, {All, 2 ;; -2}] (* version 10+ only *)
MapAt[Nothing, proof, {{All, {1,-1}}}] (* version 10+ only *)
Drop[RotateLeft /@ proof, None, -2]


all give

{{2, 3}, {2, 4}, {7, 9}, {7, 2}, {3, 9}, {7, 9}, {5, 9}}

And, for fun, so does

#[[2 ;; -2]] & @ proof • The last can be written more compactly as Rest@*Most /@ proof – Bob Hanlon Jul 8 '17 at 14:10
• Thank you @Bob. Still in version 9 here. I will add your suggestion. – kglr Jul 8 '17 at 14:22
• For completeness: Replace[proof, {_, a___, _} :> {a}, 2] – eldo Jul 9 '17 at 10:29
• While it is fun to find as many ways as possible to do a certain thing, it might also be helpful to the OP to note which method should be considered the optimal for large data. For OP's problem, it doesn't really matter, of course, but I would like to chip in that proof[[All, 2 ;; -2]] should be considered preferable for general arrays of data. – Sjoerd Smit Jul 9 '17 at 15:39
• @eldo Don't you mean Replace[. . ., 1]? – Mr.Wizard Jul 10 '17 at 0:27

For your special list (- + + ... + -)

Pick[#, Sign @ #, 1]& @ proof


{{2, 3}, {2, 4}, {7, 9}, {7, 2}, {3, 9}, {7, 9}, {5, 9}}

• As the OP,I would like to obtain the same list discarding the first and last entry of each sublist. It is not a good solution.But anyway,it is a witty usage of Sign. – yode Jul 9 '17 at 5:37
SequenceCases[proof, {{_, x__, _}} :> {x}];
(* {{2, 3}, {2, 4}, {7, 9}, {7, 2}, {3, 9}, {7, 9}, {5, 9}} *)

ReplaceList[proof, {___, {_, a__, _}, ___} :> {a}] (* one of the many ways *)
(* {{2, 3}, {2, 4}, {7, 9}, {7, 2}, {3, 9}, {7, 9}, {5, 9}} *)

proof /. {_, x__Integer, _} :> {x}
(* {{2, 3}, {2, 4}, {7, 9}, {7, 2}, {3, 9}, {7, 9}, {5, 9}} *)

(* since only first and last entries are -1, you can do*)
DeleteCases[proof, -1, 2]
or
DeleteCases[proof, Except[Integer, -1], 2]
(* {{2, 3}, {2, 4}, {7, 9}, {7, 2}, {3, 9}, {7, 9}, {5, 9}} *)