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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:

9907399330

7254957274

5700277750

3375377357

3973324780

3704307855

7744932038

9307991633

7777300624

2778474882

1379931319

3847487384

5010151001

3417923317

2048426196

2870939465

5779486792

0410444454

2622132611

9083863180

0335301533

1153515933

6222215784

9355911134

2558103560

8596613383

5868035583

5747560774

6455300813

0891240671

3847411631

8938998834

7722147512

5006440866

1616611671

7007300753

7124706052

2764773313

7102868977

7564563671

7860777606

0992602000

7902121161

2597522575

2124821288

8160904118

4453354435

3342832284

1980515050

8180327205

3061873509

1980972575

6160926427

8382315157

0066003463

1902119128

4479449947

9696913699

0923613549

2501383576

9469403143

9859613143

6464589598

1627110723

1010107592

8860915755

8930981989

7011371713

0267961077

8030101103

1920111012

9835454493

1860418690

4636464679

4861468170

6821612162

1110718670

7773118177

6767767107

4204244402

6639222369

0950777700

9978797797

8399198091

0250775552

0999703008

9180728245

8978111089

0950294263

8309710289

7088282770

0778678877

2685442268

7108178111

2688100107

7088548031

2788282975

7008496874

2788212816

6679937576

6818936185

9668330278

9869121744

0251155511

6828886888

9763599695

5679559956

4619996189

2179528533

9432665435

2391526839

3391565210

3539553359

9373597739

2441824014

7192662192

2735626722

9808359516

8366369343

2628784903

7923059740

5111551719

3338384330

0891089019

6964769743

3096064906

## The puzzle

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

2662422466

9592555125

6549999969

5477117747

5547127046

5542948122

6477591853

2471105071

2449409845

0078102078

7878977777

6974966649

1516916695

6918104486

6878164651

7574938073

6828272622

1816454050

8819269326

9766269428

6960369865

3612479903

7466776746

7067676702

6993389363

6596869468

2222221925

2244495482

3335853238

6703727043

9998993897

8731493447

9886253843

5678257860

5958997030

2833755437

1803787574

1302454484

9602228987

7677786870

7813733177

1702017082

0379444909

1672421712

1897271221

1367556313

2202672620

4449609946

1378713987

5656479326

3914756118

5329940947

1332749116

9769543123

1825884421

6717581088

9762582639

3897078830

8300778030

4498884909

3001771031

8888881828

2023622680

0085649828

1930090845

1045290998

9185456828

2791791790

7271210927

6466846148

5885590875

5202250022

5871160821

4378111542

5897734535

5898348718

7091797077

1383333301

4824884828

2678776282

5888188888

4421126141

2569678612

2127603686

1109784342

1588111185

9129217992

2267062627

4421644444

1301711377

9092911920

7777949777

2011034901

3937731973

1005234720

0928869800

7420839973

6679789923

4006084975

5567772030

1864388770

8594447208

3697307097

2597338795

7394473399

8768776688

5677176676

3866338663

3544445349

0140149100

2622322632

1818515598

6014812145

5155125092

2105840562

8551519398

2577542140

4428343464

0151551111

4884848844

1435911495

5120960175

4421893533

4154803083

5054890891

5535383347

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