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# 2012-11-17: Puzzle - First to solve wins

For years I've had an idea in my head about a way to hide some information in a bunch of numbers. I actually got around to coding an implementation and figured I'd run a competition. The first person who figures out what the famous landmark is described by the second set of numbers below and posts the correct answer in the comments wins $100.

## The hint

Here's a hint. The following numbers are a reference to the Eiffel tower:

3121084779

3975080054

2208099854

3978764138

7179777771

5812778115

2228022222

0921098919

3204880203

2514166610

1949956320

0878586634

6571656233

0045150154

7833837683

3690086390

3677756736

4056264210

7404000407

5214411555

3958959395

0493554105

0293920894

7294476947

0263901825

7254416506

4258566703

2652069559

6657378961

1377348138

8684365708

4366333336

8682088080

6658066150

8924394434

1677474671

3003305939

4404060420

2444242527

1118111313

0547411559

4203162939

0686641339

9381047516

1260671520

4825588244

9567262957

2090622691

1779393971

4725569437

1999190032

2090362654

1865648022

7597602253

3030407435

9001490104

6733676360

3939979325

6288070365

0838179365

9808479430

3161177365

6012790374

5569524142

6046798901

0968960587

0060966939

2307575323

6476776476

0560770565

5966997959

8049800888

1495392824

5495329622

5764382472

5895183575

1865718558

4786373764

9464144116

5890395845

5493144333

2366436342

4348233444

4823844084

4977114717

5365505007

4326599067

5424497210

4425885142

2328440732

7622426677

6412314312

5086284500

5146999461

5612984244

7741319052

2146411388

7181799860

7426723459

0444474002

6242243826

2433348723

6441991149

2604691048

7406743899

7220545898

3602372009

5935074103

1279533622

8314653022

0761633023

0466053392

6683333618

2223323622

1333113393

8058553085

6162635226

6760606696

2137921312

3749119449

5575335757

2777388157

3511930996

3517638579

5560158944

6579123507

## The puzzle

Given the above hint, what famous landmark do the numbers below refer to?

0442891783

5226733749

3766695749

7802032736

7722777726

8333833789

4448842843

8893385539

6020990772

7551936994

9990489222

1847913219

5849567228

5079577955

1977477991

7096976677

0851885558

9547477770

6060087792

5664525492

7663209458

6065542885

4533553555

6150050156

7665267672

8062282652

5607507700

2365965253

1211712117

1325815132

6538755515

1228941638

4231707762

1331822236

1308865884

9305712650

5454727534

8588717885

0560950590

1113331849

1331410466

3778827890

2574955586

4790657835

4083820883

1282982472

4645488794

1282108244

4688923192

4741977741

5675276652

8271271229

8982892829

1888118881

4547621797

4864620647

4217419716

0127414747

6111919616

8844747848

4444744787

2837020743

4094904797

7256435255

7636244680

0644700177

7244722891

7656757667

7545254575

2031441131

0984609908

9206702932

1911108119

4446974926

7153795713

3381318310

0929074713

3885498716

8547478318

3195818309

4445134118

3428830143

8969834043

5931134426

0991610102

4429994442

0035000303

3391309139

4111414433

1033331023

0367118627

4323745040

4080780121

0227705619

2213717332

5187457117

0274006207

6360880300

4927192212

6829296562

7962492997

6976447767

6846998666

7876900277

6966164080

6829222155

6849438880

6646953834

5554761574

1705198595

3504068150

5705763663

2755352578

2524121124

1306226332

5492050400

7256775256

0233414374

0503023105

0823949925

3807962941

1593531511

8853448454

3507077004

5223959353

0187687006

Post the answer as a comment below. ~~The first person to answer correctly with an acceptable explanation to how the answer was reached (rather than just a guess) wins $100, so make sure to use your correct e-mail address so I can contact you.~~

**Note #1:** People have noted that the numbers change whenever the page is reloaded. That's as expected. This puzzle is *not* an *encryption* as much as it is an *obfuscation*. That the numbers change is not important, as only the pattern in them will lead to the answer, which is of course constant.

**Note #2:** There was a bug in my post for a short while, which made the hint and puzzle basically the resolve to the same answer. This is fixed now. If you saved a copy the numbers before, just grab a fresh set.

## Solved!

The second landmark was discovered by Batuhan Bozkurt, congratulations! The challenge has not yet been met entirely, though so I've decided to set a new challenge with the same method. ~~The same $100 prize applies~~.

Redditor Bearasaurus has solved the final challenge too! For hints, check the followup post.

## Comments

Big Ben

I'm afraid Big Ben is not it. But be sure to include some explanation as to how the answer was reached, so I know it isn't just a random guess.

I "solved" your puzzle, but I assume not in the way you wanted.

After giving it quite some hours, I failed to find any specific pattern (with a reasonable kolmogorov complexity) that would lead me to an answer. But in Reddit, you mentioned that you would be interested in statistical approaches that would lead to an answer (which I assume you are interested for increasing the security of the obfuscation?) so I exploited the fact that your website gives fresh batch of numbers at each reload so I grabbed about 1000 sets (with intervals in between, hopefully not causing trouble to your website, it handled the requests like a champ) and got to cracking.

Now your HTML formatting implies 10x10 blocks of data for each set. So that was a starting point when I first began looking at the problem. The grid is 70 x 20 so that implies 14 secret codes, 7 for each row.

I looked for what was common for each 10x10 block in each of the samples I gathered from your site. I found out that for each 10x10 block some digits occasionally never appears; for example in block 0x 0y, not all digits have to appear but one always appears at least once.

Once I looked at the remaining digits (that are common in all blocks at a particular coordinate), for the "hint", I was faced by these digits:

0485130

0021739

These are the coordinates in the form of degrees-minutes-seconds (dddmmss as you gave away generously in Reddit) of Eiffel Tower.

Once I ran the same process for the puzzle, the result was:

0295845

0310804

Which is the coordinates for the Great Pyramid of Giza.

Maybe this is disappointing, I don't know. If the website hadn't provided fresh batch of numbers, this method would not work. I assume, to strengthen the obfuscation, you could make sure one digit always appears at least once; but as long as the distribution isn't random, I suppose the answer could be extracted.

I've tried many approaches before this; I'm pretty confident that the pattern is not based on neighborhood relationships (as the answer can appear on edges, though wrapping around could be employed but still with it I failed to detect any patterns). I think it doesn't have anything (or much) to do with arithmetic on the digits (like summing / subtracting them). I tried various row/column patterns and couldn't come up with anything.

I also analyzed the 10x10 blocks containing the answer digits only once (so if the answer is 0 for that block, 0 appears only once in that block). But saw no obvious pattern at all. So this beats me in that regard.

If I am eligible for the prize for my answer, I would kindly ask you to donate it to the Doctors Without Borders foundation. If you are uncomfortable about it for some reason, you can choose to donate it somewhere else you see fit.

Thanks for the challenge, and although my curiosity has been partly satisfied, I'm still waiting for the answer that will allow me to solve this using a pen and paper using a single set of numbers.

Batuhan, the answer is indeed correct. The Great Pyramid of Giza is the one I was looking for. The method you used is indeed not the one I was hoping for, as you haven't actually figured out the way the coordinates are encoded into the sets of numbers.

Still, I'm not one to dictate how the problem should be solved. I will make a donation to Doctors Without Borders for $100 in your name and post proof that I have done so.

Since I would very much like for somebody to solve the method, I'm including this static problem for a second attempt, and another $100. Being in a comment, the following set obviously does not change and encodes a third landmark.

2626513077384364666346599932245309032974209496921885110948315551555613

6549028370497764766953274173448611231555969009312435020244378244262894

9308377132331493394457637801172312372974892873367485438142538547446457

5987478672136633636156339295109196283474021313920015080695500005010510

9318473400638833698356337893287640679475088481921818727043921551931599

5758758671181690400516397336912974972974211231362065019596695870416497

1701226107698865022553554534544375771374969996927993180831110067651597

3203310324331357320447629709425333533533932743923435767555759732852649

0008077080336367751344339394399228589625005440340517458583553308156594

7467243472134765226056779555595344734475199118911888022882025906466417

0332300493776667648725560571112261196221231229957486429403779342535143

1366338577707417047142278890548676887286598087756091175002210326130060

5863902088494574497542911473583959753975898054668946115111760583633056

3673921092972792959782223331128568968982838265801286279605628360969080

5301986352763553665223261861393193111359891776463941295493449120391390

0463999640662807648743557375531417213379281451584481179187119326988940

4352555243298062697573961379660934698929891289118894828988929160129317

1871110111741174649945428445570098658283038728302510575750510526949009

3326333663020967498782260828822839081251556075505536114445618120357157

5602990599311067698721073220721651596922796029092045295295550390501233

The challenge now is to find the answer and a step by step description of how to extract the correct digits from it.

## Post a comment