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

Posted at 2012-11-17 02:35:21 by SHD

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:

1652000612
1503443304
1023401040
0116110116
7035134715
0532164226
7072450978
1515149175
1133431985
1016446412
7583737779
6148888681
1454311553
7884575455
5487177471
5183382392
1584533825
1587846942
5484190657
7783330174
9895050895
1155171858
2029290207
1027220478
5118515518
2365811808
1775221257
8800170845
0755791878
9682690498
1951559191
7079400699
3274992979
0296720922
8856757588
3051907861
3176552518
3074504987
0076749831
8079434526
1125412616
7419962498
1615498417
6507724398
3122290666
3939394396
0606000466
6788668778
2818418418
1121122611
9435277248
5480701841
8663907141
2739463109
6643271805
1677776171
7465447945
8869906809
2885383825
2882841208
3481444814
0971110160
8409330344
1631443441
4151775411
4131141805
3409164155
8679370803
3231499302
3651414998
5262066552
7873667777
8692287929
4872112878
7093330333
7892101196
7862640282
7272149633
5272689291
7693760914
6787588526
6722257024
6427518415
1022150364
4701722117
1001511115
7727447677
4262722242
5422642424
6580186085
2069898246
8222002281
7792727769
0055850862
8177575871
6269857269
6270125792
7295820872
0171770782
1515772261
9197549309
4902511809
4999217755
3998955731
3998941537
5494994444
9168559968
3957258995
9900290990
4099509500
8201821121
5077444704
7395859913
8857117885
0639595339
7099545520
8657846137
0279429178
8031733177
8835865523
3358387450
3948325359
0388928880
7538900397
3580924250
0357337373
0548885888
0938330030
3590990399
9284942594
3838168133
2322532522
3931459143
4262727240
1444334120
8260634520
3198954100
0798737540
7621027130
9107132143

The puzzle

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

3613566081
5725262662
1370496067
0061258681
2080894692
9644394783
0727562057
1810890681
6666806864
8121898192
2911057958
7803082008
5641187055
1602873958
7254474959
5077777805
5207752057
0000090928
0478974059
6822882168
1335597172
9092423487
2953042407
3062046472
1613897807
9998795873
3332023102
7477167718
7804007487
5574446457
0333030431
0177111927
0229049022
5257207502
0000593057
6202891502
5439143437
5276619925
1617137007
7170641007
2961354732
4477898426
4388628728
6349228423
1418094422
5565552226
9229991722
8868888483
5364364735
2352520435
9979669676
5125212655
9287252799
1187227819
3833314831
9127652676
4497012735
9844954814
1305362671
7233317679
1594955914
0768330766
1448147441
0909696909
1440514014
1704907820
1460035913
1494967843
1794620304
0444940569
2160702176
9994774699
2482172981
6566579665
9649956794
6119476996
5877106169
6722572665
8001932674
6599576679
6907890070
7479449747
0654333665
4350141445
8622772270
8650301421
0600894234
0459404444
4904478207
6951834233
8303226174
3691231354
1698786294
1763379114
1093783899
7660777177
5023832885
3561222223
1608606680
8791318773
6673331693
4974949576
2813823180
0202909286
7476577465
3798879263
9304926476
8548541673
5443129176
7683209685
2666526665
7485674565
1219221221
0128101001
1992912115
7915525073
1479544468
0485147371
0129902092
1222945266
2642276422
5161313536
8664840468
8782342583
5544552054
3942652582
1376142433
9388853424
5062052489
5050152063
1173661333
6520224260
6953353353
9048840494
3733553533
6973361121
6743247831
9143251646
3793564999
3053297413

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.

Tags:

Comments

Big Ben

Posted at 2012-11-19 09:55:28 by Colin Edward

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.

Posted at 2012-11-19 13:48:31 by Steven Don

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.

Posted at 2012-11-19 16:36:10 by Batuhan Bozkurt

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.

Posted at 2012-11-19 17:10:02 by Steven Don

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