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:

6222622666
1680190216
8138118813
7784884778
8778778729
7841298716
0704374379
1848680779
1040682773
1011998778
5200052045
7440070451
0301031073
6542414295
4141775149
8578670495
4837215265
8922570043
5469112141
2259175449
4778741447
2668686267
1133343311
9409419704
1535536581
5932439247
6018041474
5287386384
9662346717
7357046347
3582448825
1123313523
3336626338
7717613768
7773737727
2429417725
5182913583
1246013723
3666218567
5832627723
7211212718
7446748776
8918919868
9593565996
3333738373
9050639976
0831619376
1286018896
6930968316
2181512348
9493306439
4249224992
1290191324
4974479044
1113111387
8639499497
7306314484
6087776984
0296679084
2603119030
2756972217
8466946884
1099199109
1290420191
0172555515
8076526165
2356465604
8072534795
8169998183
1770943346
3072780661
2294223511
4308323561
6702763669
1498273587
1191770111
6396993669
8188188161
8959982509
2787723387
7175602194
1145418022
2875524796
3094688137
5774568917
1895551555
2784428778
7181881481
5475657457
3094994349
6473663477
3233308339
0600505600
9966226699
1550550115
4287453479
2807855397
5770800619
1589300177
2222862197
0327127336
4967067007
3191711911
8042244442
2852992928
4391968848
4952190896
8181916371
0157191659
4141761500
0927654333
1171354303
4301492633
7162156733
6825494607
7974397437
5737755737
6536252663
6151114353
0400054004
6360441010
7559893849
3954392615
7285892132
0906651845
1381511815
3351995135
4366643669
2282222812
4505053840
2146662461
3080603838
5349849395
1441110411
5207755727
1489122170
3207651160
5449693551
1649679915
5181639555

The puzzle

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

2456725590
1456189238
4416851485
0347190910
7417526649
0056550000
4857115151
1640700646
2422822246
7416111171
9087294373
2212294697
6999994079
1245808706
6674690079
9327972393
9899994797
0022200702
0777078078
7494694679
4255816349
6385907329
3689231137
5253807126
0938235839
7190917909
6596956369
6015005146
3734737838
0709009927
1545251426
7058945906
8333030606
0590871506
0166255503
0005550537
3343535403
7068535786
3000670603
6699641966
5479557535
1055252525
7574337544
2049390024
7070170717
1475569148
1049571111
1059384120
5064586689
7575367074
9808708897
3003019320
6563603635
0067760627
2616330629
1120819627
7433100627
3258908327
1572103397
2849369632
3356685048
1451871961
3697699605
4456624908
4355300654
4658354868
3971663199
9396663633
9855898856
1476411477
5582114301
8682880001
1541978066
9097050888
8612164036
5962959929
9541889945
1617177171
8612225882
0082000080
7733779633
5500656057
4669444968
4803443638
9790771890
2473274693
4137849669
2793346933
7879356633
4094749893
7275770789
3326209388
1355281877
3993229800
1247760304
9195113599
9277777777
1923619936
3999299299
7346777663
0801085847
0674633260
1573325890
3781785766
5032032490
3380933890
7475585476
0220222260
3804948933
8877784787
4613336366
0341777111
4933294233
2743834474
7472179747
2773160313
1641728902
4332106642
0771329591
4673112059
5061525451
5462774782
8336722015
3916240906
8463782979
5434933755
3066566665
7961212299
8463688668
5512757225
5991993591
9339333993
7770767057
4452446594
3333933191
8919893597
6786943154
8344892991
5748163953
3092793993

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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