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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:

3331411343

9981551599

0690390390

6069399760

0631326288

6341804062

3999837145

3380527451

0630466851

1054415041

3666630660

3477347573

3063333663

0851017643

1440627570

0393885077

7394913640

3266444261

8148552187

1048264944

5168161864

5168589910

1048511111

3143224342

4160541681

5048544550

5528182821

6134886471

0734695861

6621292970

6734985274

2738933832

9667861966

9731237929

6691696166

7124994942

3208211744

3209585707

0540327396

9207545288

3247332443

9537057537

0309703030

6700270060

0258505804

1352336094

7592394470

1079353165

7302368557

6391118191

1052331521

9312323392

1076766606

7507373773

0177173614

0681880116

1982912893

1981191558

0783291156

7443770198

1324781516

1061556193

0447916478

5553612714

6738279015

9709464210

1540217014

2725597265

0044004609

6070616010

7977789716

4274272014

1492703244

4114595734

8892540524

1899728086

4112991111

1898588311

1894198948

8402708227

4899789947

6218452468

9321135574

9804155020

7304633170

0323133120

7845564574

1000165010

1255451424

5652252162

4603039398

9495839098

1517327021

4063239097

5825115058

8393931398

3543113451

0002929021

3329229337

4219316055

4165606005

7348207010

8454416962

6195116915

1662665612

2077027058

8414114469

0600006004

0329293210

0190521015

6755118567

9853558963

4575251280

9831621767

1353913267

7128198017

7583993565

1737979703

7788878689

2222333227

5777759773

7906058683

1115878287

9380118279

3701778983

4243368777

## The puzzle

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

0648999997

5693698998

1190601214

1192895738

7777199741

9789775897

3185891938

4493191934

0388808318

5340473504

1218218222

1724147216

1755155721

6111675716

3153517286

9782558916

3750613226

2229183526

7966360067

8637337107

5012737059

7667437469

7003737061

0201992100

7407797057

4993334639

0444920449

7959935597

4750998282

3952841609

4752982498

1860916011

5352358533

4959339343

3795835575

4432828483

3973997373

0142440121

8248323245

1019790190

0229960458

8149711433

8149314907

8179693052

0239901978

7641315244

6548989960

6648495448

8504383572

3004333343

6693666393

8518288838

7949049970

6541999645

8516181515

8252055702

9947194794

3998939993

1117144726

8116928799

3212952248

6552185517

1156973499

6631646113

4428462484

4434778436

1396138961

8285671436

4101405480

9269438381

9597208310

7056662310

3377156736

3605473235

3347096811

3325981855

3325111523

3577070037

7678777677

7343733733

6005900035

8338836889

3284832844

1237667162

4977774970

3819077849

1814809189

0162206170

5447006199

1074604168

9289074720

4725407240

2269033178

4758308420

9765393953

4258445448

9279007729

2759479427

8483244231

3348483314

3939997932

0602206462

1454738547

3513296532

9510809214

2768596264

5187747217

8158706300

3177973719

2134233211

8535683165

7515997171

8135924389

2111291061

8135222343

3234647262

7234939664

1118108811

6616998916

2881286287

9996336899

2807638917

4029386811

9292008819

5227288910

1374917816

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