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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:

0255352035

0075445077

9651515951

0675171770

9251183296

2655580623

0631329022

9674300783

0634462675

1426077394

7376423503

2474095297

1336129755

7023535370

1476144777

2406424264

1310030033

5434444484

9802908589

9285022808

8747074774

9850393850

9115900584

9787328678

9817992719

9204329890

0810953167

8346285642

5258252018

1111191111

6659579256

8361475117

9036155147

6520662117

5183251616

5873029218

1531180098

7234467126

2536021762

8264762710

7616171667

2704727602

7061171660

1234243231

8535008500

4213111412

5660586450

1202110032

8353535348

0493455352

7690116312

9318486442

4823980449

4795335342

2789481093

5353448596

2702412799

5700382420

9380339330

2706440264

4703230874

2204542052

5752275255

7066657519

1819920314

7831101504

7039160783

7353115565

5319115131

8889688888

1060919161

7636776667

0012434984

5035090785

8515911525

6818430523

3388338185

0266260526

7170270724

4494344903

7877711187

4298799793

1083711177

3341888311

7033777777

3091728448

4338795797

1033385452

3393827942

1346728558

8065566424

7602059090

2481868068

7150053699

6999559568

3444323474

0033305030

6668667629

6464626499

2633048647

2355010167

9976046631

1321418163

3641316341

1231424121

7606646087

6328628663

8070770806

2241534484

8403833482

3065234380

2481097982

9200932090

8592963952

8785597584

2824844482

2332234283

0454445204

4544772454

2370723707

8517571588

3637273287

6978275504

2833673208

9306073474

0583763153

## The puzzle

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

8584844086

0038170364

8184436700

8081722667

0368778030

0021100101

8189899899

3584432844

7118018110

4448494841

0038000683

5557352733

2436113648

2870690743

2749000643

8668792688

8329212843

2925697843

4939615817

5101939696

9695129526

2275238827

3998313897

6858858628

6999599586

3336335163

2559859811

2181406622

2800669183

3869335746

4801166632

3133133313

2281929218

1767337567

6800400000

4109609660

4711844778

3927192772

0537953529

5068118080

5917903463

8908231885

5017166814

5531242029

5727973670

7477667774

3583838883

8752973878

7180998979

3483107033

7557684775

7720664138

8772676589

3585865675

7798798017

1177475421

3090090300

1181991681

0257475001

2369695817

9077949611

5352973321

0588399327

4537457359

3178417443

2002525552

2292999299

3202566644

3538181420

3178523611

2232995818

3207087051

3402010135

5421626668

3821876479

9062616165

4478776468

7592112175

6662220669

0077476430

9766968379

1005010000

6606060066

0937111149

8576156586

0575165610

7695143416

8696101238

0506385938

0175384181

2008002348

4383141318

1414646914

0010390903

8756490358

4518902600

8706092008

3328340954

7254199358

5978488404

0284042428

4205554545

8497774477

5487525192

5904768318

4278655887

4211043425

5917158388

2299755475

3517560217

8909307265

2226258477

5502555270

4660409467

0151220715

4869768497

0076227051

4053978854

1920467449

7493478257

0895273444

4779977449

4786878644

9935323859

7535277235

7145767554

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