I have the following dictionary:

```
'{0: 0, 1: 11, 2: 26, 3: 43, 4: 14, 5: 29, 6: 34, 7: 49, 8: 49, 9: 108, 10: 124, 11: 108, 12: 361, 13: 290, 14: 2118, 15: 5408, 16: 43473, 17: 109462, 18: 111490, 19: 244675, 20: 115878, 21: 6960}'
```

And for this dictionary I want write a function that returns the **three** key-value pairs that have the highest values (So in this case key 18, 19, 20).

I came up with the following:

```
cachedict = nr_of_objects_per_century() #Dictionary mentioned above
def top_3_centuries():
max_nr_works_list = sorted(cachedict.values())
top_3_values = []
for i in range(len(max_nr_works_list)-3, len(max_nr_works_list)):
top_3_values.append(max_nr_works_list[i])
print(top_3_values)
```

This gives me a list of the max-values I want to lookup. But how do I proceed from here? Is there a way to do this without a reverse-lookup (Which is slow for dictionaries, right?) I have the feeling that I can do this task much more efficiently/pythonic.

## Answer

`heapq.nlargest`

You can avoid a full sort here by using a heap queue:

```
from heapq import nlargest
from operator import itemgetter
dct = {0: 0, 1: 11, 2: 26, 3: 43, 4: 14, 5: 29, 6: 34, 7: 49, 8: 49,
9: 108, 10: 124, 11: 108, 12: 361, 13: 290, 14: 2118, 15: 5408,
16: 43473, 17: 109462, 18: 111490, 19: 244675, 20: 115878, 21: 6960}
res = nlargest(3, dct.items(), key=itemgetter(1))
print(res)
# [(19, 244675), (20, 115878), (18, 111490)]
```