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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:

5581334518

2602606260

0769479074

3972977979

5958963805

5678439831

5611350445

5679330443

1602310080

0464034690

3233803728

3500990995

3699373269

2857894999

4382549895

5691943625

6401430799

1220193925

0244702222

0271100010

6988448746

2166336312

0161109125

0101418699

0284255880

2986405447

0261467432

4026326606

0845308450

7939111973

7531973765

7939525044

7034305991

7036533343

7049518222

6044588550

8963969349

9044191014

5977898756

4340330443

6109211729

0927630148

0574269759

1069901454

7627618344

7522162379

9356063151

9525945389

5722320788

6356332666

5527997972

7325121555

9663133616

9722666662

6021040120

8197951288

1677723525

1090905565

1021111111

8110588150

6197966179

6077777068

8627969889

9690490946

1179971962

8008768807

5268756785

5584850942

7918294104

4066058905

6083704196

3683308144

1992559991

2533025030

9207390969

4063996069

9104321614

1103984115

2962097170

0903002660

4974319207

1223122172

4556665564

8898488888

1904310191

4623787810

4583122701

1986533423

8293746618

1623420464

4988833488

1019019509

0380983039

7933999873

6639439233

2183423888

4184733579

0611914503

8785689288

5126662556

5612512515

7366996879

8779177787

5312126524

8471698971

8646538706

5752574468

5371981591

0861310188

3476749366

3329033332

6143536456

3342343711

3167553590

6446343933

3169576238

3829753749

6598905020

0997138949

6857939709

1455388377

6995959696

4267373722

8456118854

9888666889

1590700096

## The puzzle

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

1588640074

4585401455

1319078758

5588163533

9840790707

1462114612

4398448393

4585053545

5119911595

2720272200

4045845444

2598198922

7167917377

2798144367

2147491289

2720856044

2525122813

2590317085

4443994413

4445454444

5757515756

6716118476

2395254176

8738695444

3848868446

2907194676

1573594446

0455050540

6631631663

9212091420

6305350503

9995230428

5181331300

1408851400

5613630563

2162531260

4953397933

7975337379

9334233933

2578555552

9531365152

2675291479

9305302098

8303268844

1974362291

3246116431

5773656577

1617331113

9156956562

2747348197

3607253988

3606517534

5603386800

9653650919

9292222419

3734733747

6661613663

7752778520

4501052620

2205276797

1153478463

6994058683

7084173587

4890990415

2996996922

4343334403

3141318437

2702290362

4070594495

7065414463

4078716402

1130036332

2541465390

9336045322

1510745347

1655459340

7517559197

4003545350

8555865458

0620260742

3378448389

1711266196

5572257127

9185941181

9019833181

7577757021

6616661296

3449943193

6717067140

9038330187

5011717511

3421113233

2036661223

1917917997

3716169950

5041130151

2996680817

2936922046

2441728289

4584885648

7464636714

9957598543

8020758027

6248858529

1057545649

5893136047

2908925638

3814595639

5592301990

1555542872

5315213432

7713304986

1505515555

1093319933

5865258526

5755355753

7318131780

3818794457

3328981402

2416312352

2418700154

7326173136

5168955669

3015330013

2438634866

8918776187

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