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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:

5790557980

5151051301

1411841182

2494154912

9602251981

0083157154

3871351311

6919551982

6067441184

8262298226

3434003346

3292934992

1272175122

7780630142

0095373422

4727875226

6734630290

4562734449

5845648544

1377477177

1307771774

2226772222

5324764709

1304797609

1245770491

2845705480

6206730398

0455808524

1010100691

9512272259

1911911339

9371472239

2654804229

1299500321

0567172521

9525610554

8661022211

8804427157

0911493637

4515343126

8964339982

0511000550

6312442443

2405544244

4850888050

6158423310

4698542332

0661687573

5168760219

5660336066

8559758355

3291622663

0363466343

4168544184

3789716271

8620132130

8608771805

3648762829

8020777070

9606206293

8689988896

3748989779

8609909098

5616013510

4451445144

8180228028

4995119919

4656182780

4185488347

8276480709

4910605285

4480694157

2302507112

4283171364

6620358114

0278658143

5554558084

1171941119

7776767124

9797379363

8408404948

9956661957

6393693689

2872879825

3551554155

8219693189

3753052657

4075672989

8163751922

2603876127

2901076277

9901051392

9112897278

9102102803

0952115090

9112011211

2903803923

5981291615

9301009091

3939937959

6002707068

1939181391

7749556947

1909656757

8933887939

8710707990

2373757760

2657819061

8988999086

0140418403

4383850834

5158573615

7453893407

4263928487

3003718803

1131598436

4727679806

3243429498

0492915438

4434010491

9299210497

9944910499

4442172441

4707462457

9962820698

2290379230

## The puzzle

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

4079934214

4005578913

0298718265

4634494113

1314134201

8119918959

2224292214

4404848935

1130110163

8832888838

7962777927

4577754774

4562959927

7563947200

4163741644

4062837412

4562651556

4112946315

4811011514

0327200222

4257325234

3761316337

3367388492

4227228326

5321049621

4365395116

0861492926

8852984015

3136618558

4836320200

8860361257

9158775875

4562656245

3176973133

3860360350

8638783788

9158585515

7714970717

3720237332

9180111881

3784980325

3520170705

9184577544

9820278595

9554224179

2938111827

5951499555

5265555652

5638753768

5971727906

5661158149

0071431154

5937638867

2658718892

7567451503

4005533446

4450770256

4058543543

1067970807

4895758775

4448548455

4503340004

7450004005

6651666175

3296638926

2721912902

4833338400

6132438922

7029630020

5985718102

5176160100

1471638102

4103971054

5398653654

9296270564

4791672209

6262557269

0080070504

4516421654

5020252050

7959913579

3268593992

8636586639

3949236926

1678747268

8246776776

3938233389

3167216141

1628222828

8979557879

0854733658

8830937556

8842119656

3347239156

1533513815

9556698556

9994339514

1703307153

6697117618

0081666475

9448289395

2850786200

1365436880

0643336400

2228282223

0683863280

5875738875

3592514395

0003002350

0440110494

7074080704

6526356325

3396450384

9636502455

3080681330

5862081324

9018500650

4332091011

6432096304

4699191471

5544676661

5707776074

0940095604

2764457426

2696981629

3166128361

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