It's no surprise that Larry Wall himself indeed won the Obfuscated C Contest twice shortly before perl existed: once in 1986, the other in 1987.

I was looking at the entries awhile ago. The 1986 one doesn't compile with gcc 2.95.2, and it makes me dizzy to try and understand, let alone fix. The 1987 one was even more obfuscated: a Roman numeral conversion filter.