(*) Caveat: It must be a small challenge involving a relatively simple task. I don't have a lot of time to waste on this.
Nice caveat. Let me rephrase that another way for you: it is difficult to implement complicated functionality in C. Indeed, this is one reason to use higher level languages. You can achieve more in less time.
Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes. -- Henry David Thoreau