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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:

6016359617

6740698067

0710693953

3622325237

3410334303

0656950696

9142090192

6762666766

1025250820

1595940884

0523954503

0391956552

5275948709

7258995959

5779657766

7591874188

1645959445

0353707377

8118355928

0307150829

5228257309

5986257105

8522955209

2765757326

5095050910

6991560195

8655557826

7730421653

4098427720

2087076746

2097140228

5798171178

2007300702

4715050027

7290277022

9586445555

1688491810

4779991402

4148491012

5092697461

9119191819

8506684460

1921991201

2291297812

5272276522

2882252828

9406939060

2668878268

7727772627

1079872260

2928478935

4302596668

1708432027

2233656035

9130169759

0230900178

6107695625

9331890699

3823335258

0999999790

4667960179

5996555699

2745449725

9435594145

3757278532

5515553521

5451510245

0509078545

2342259241

8893150236

8508254212

3214399146

2935696595

5957455555

2399797379

1223917322

2397782972

5937732299

5227779667

1529970513

2937446106

5095990595

0050590075

9999999999

9960916809

0531430979

1044190045

1695130901

0384290999

8247190345

3145544513

8619996508

0448494085

6361137163

9254033518

4372496133

5104197105

2892224108

0012163503

0205575230

2266525622

8852787528

9576597356

1211495632

3213327878

6577027330

6887727622

7742992856

9792214279

2901290122

3343304736

7311991537

8626619236

9620591577

4806811146

0078119179

4932494520

3838838663

8339539353

9446096404

3733773363

3469038663

4626039363

9022916653

2016578361

8842138364

## The puzzle

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

3334333324

7111878191

5832638266

5876755867

1243258127

3528471167

9408538467

0514858881

7839351864

5654257203

7283620703

4895777713

6411075288

0277970796

5979995705

0405350413

7272277218

1511555181

4724951455

1079357715

2096581495

6711057828

4562552446

6862866892

1781887118

5889158158

5555251225

1724546646

0511049356

4519516898

5783585996

5724552542

1561016161

2589295202

0684486488

4113211113

2669126627

8275785288

0340044043

8925995929

8223963558

8365743613

8679953405

2660737317

8941798738

2422595724

8211213822

5430586405

8558558058

5322255858

0393418728

7173791725

8917616874

5749668475

4945051510

9179115580

9334863596

2812071484

1333111593

5700171510

8886865484

6663623316

0008061500

5007991403

5126344588

6369143180

4399851505

9191779108

4466994486

1490041805

0970093507

5505555450

4892644225

0915004683

2810023903

3996708941

3412333441

5805008080

0700666670

7691772617

4916649466

5324941991

9494962575

2554993199

9791569863

5396939496

2524225422

9779070779

8985555855

8431113133

8202311782

0517860697

4962859442

3255291882

5241717492

1111651681

1999991896

4771111747

5659369345

3944314934

8878272288

2716756716

0710117508

9267274536

9804357708

9363116988

8527097433

0673516088

9332832922

3030430330

5028685550

6139555366

6138767067

6339905072

6362483090

6062842651

6028865589

4827032144

4430054597

7620098474

0531905978

7871557277

4537053500

5490009000

0921321220

4083903930

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