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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:

2564158336

8186885899

8055300740

8065180226

7064974777

2155665555

5805888805

2066167212

8583558588

1680808885

3120434141

2627222727

2362336222

4340307815

1347313680

5689842814

4322289312

1120807848

0792077990

2611326312

0447074740

9352550555

9753386604

2017568130

9857364827

9653067506

0642455453

6697767667

1807017081

4008909094

2523733507

4003949359

6207760257

6697928694

4888164467

6803921477

0888884088

9229996029

8111167810

5052157251

6216297259

2040406040

8207067040

1194885289

6167054089

5920313775

1184393261

5240243217

6008273377

9992999267

7671113711

4377743477

5555115365

1122772271

0686866890

5229259824

7718414875

4474578458

1155819805

2826158829

4400896820

2089176800

6065916455

6810800222

0489869052

2856302021

4181052201

5259559022

0070070800

3222222022

5440253204

6661002651

5650530655

7414441473

4849871854

9449333449

8278271656

6698100444

3570801819

9139771859

0908130646

3848292048

8444808451

1655515576

3332737322

3538432521

1246501541

1490231046

4718101558

2485215436

2931396132

6699943916

0223289123

4944592549

0541699533

4203029142

1220624636

4761296615

9427489113

2486116209

4987916203

1514016593

0114436029

5951115509

1919117559

3213330223

2146126614

8006086094

2295243233

8667033432

1709043632

3500494865

3812333682

5395393495

3668414863

2722847282

3513221535

4923583653

2859506290

2909533522

4962569270

0109991099

0453151033

2722272222

4802544050

4969290969

## The puzzle

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

9939367193

3769663936

0083080381

5599955990

7880654403

7000360196

9054460106

9047467153

6886210186

0640600606

3941899649

3194242292

1105110051

3649904553

9164107279

3345823121

1960983122

1369872428

4920505894

0377591311

5566242680

9467584821

9525559595

0450540545

5676566685

4363636434

2407227704

9172979190

2806668092

2641634612

9733394673

2457254612

0385062017

6638198692

9635667172

6435569110

7039603609

2547848222

7797379797

2754573727

2757346159

7774568060

2934836998

7757326130

2034375292

6763966997

2838133281

7553575577

8247174249

6767125832

2243990072

7233801764

6193500348

8757135004

0146868978

4095768959

1881668974

2923459358

4349936984

1855058071

7773668377

0881849808

6059665950

9722065068

1861784275

9762594590

6722742969

6742774627

8768060787

1821081111

9262462922

9861661194

4077920063

9967623219

2076697333

0079385702

8017377783

4509649449

8076997807

2965363399

0926508266

6606016103

0000000200

8118841885

3252552266

3515212206

6230190385

1914297215

6084747855

4533516361

0737907339

8153558172

0791097190

9999939699

2135037169

2057139675

8529139872

5100188892

8325738130

2085563450

5950056740

7779366428

1046852329

3963376339

7233332798

3414443441

6766668476

0576056620

8618153997

0242415497

9230832487

1494439487

5999959996

8446035480

3887713877

4148441481

3434445430

6611610466

7007047507

4446646648

0574551490

3193217547

0521640292

5741749468

2368694697

2466847607

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