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Sorry, but I have to interject. All the answers were not wrong, they were correct but the original question appears in retrospect to have been wrong. Welcome to the world of scope creep. The original question had a sort of elegance that made it easy meat.
So how exactly will this bit below be differentiated from the normal delete candidate onset offset patterns?
| This will be gone, too |
| but should stay |
I can't see anything that would make it anything other than potentially dead meat at the moment.
With all suggested solutions in this thread, "normal text 2" would not look like we would like to - we would cut not the longest match, but also not the shortest between any two ----- and _______.
Could you have more than one occurrence of --- something ___ in the same file?
Where it's the second block (the shortest) which is supposed to be removed.