Very useful comments.
There is sometimes a period in which you are studying something and you truly can't tell whether you are just missing the big picture or if what you are working for is in fact a poorly designed, incomprehensible and incoherent mess.
Usually there is an ah-ha moment where you realize what the original designer was thinking, so you keep trying to wrap your brain around it, approaching it from different angles, all with the assumption that the designers choices were part of a rational, well though plan.
What would even be more helpful is if the creator(s) of the format would have dotted their code with comments such as
//This is an ugly hack, but I've been working 24 hours straight surviving on energy drinks