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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:

3096043094

7112209699

7020215471

7620747802

1522772322

7696009997

1966269622

6000660606

7114001017

2211181221

1755636715

0800009280

3121991713

9949090110

6589930113

1343380188

8634231213

8029130710

7739773739

7772462478

1021282162

0077537050

4332015479

8859235178

5822311072

0762882468

6955387459

8316101350

2397578603

9844568851

2316143872

2846333458

8314551415

8337113833

5284141125

6495885449

1526755428

2825246112

5195743415

3826968134

1863938111

3826783623

2196211942

4545155514

6517070700

4511103374

3764379954

5741352340

3769308328

9560996665

4164946119

5271331212

3743117374

6579974795

4970171467

4560789683

5760927420

0971104843

3780990700

4578778844

0761107611

6828288268

4969196693

9038998950

1105575140

2444515244

1149919114

1115475950

2142699940

7435999614

3108379696

4687315656

6741624162

1341319453

4443443408

1701317310

8315819330

8085587063

9812089203

8611483430

4277117430

9295273978

7195771482

1999322890

4595720461

9595599558

1104711704

8557557555

4999299222

3295333323

4514613201

6442382827

1340511867

1323031264

0100771820

3674634667

6313163061

8286882244

7227117207

6880000587

4391111349

5005405419

7170110467

0998010487

9258830447

0036601399

9392405417

7026900479

2828928986

9992229999

5677867857

1989794791

6581497187

6297269951

2190499887

0529898956

8630529727

7849224272

1258758112

0904660906

0403930329

0968726546

8804424295

1908685886

1808711734

0948443529

## The puzzle

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

2368463420

9696696568

5404151450

6666331646

7722496640

0259233920

7370581470

2493661556

1443189446

9279222279

0242324232

9689898396

2812717282

9289326434

1272257228

0519420037

0249406017

9209217346

6966771196

9400606194

3777784073

3876993268

2106098128

7418196296

3798976198

7778274168

6895807223

7270101711

1159661165

6481555186

4839192393

4831565688

8971071505

6931153104

4279166664

7030545044

8043540324

9473139339

4098309384

7590997579

6182184473

9042514479

9098353363

9140172400

6193891582

4734591671

7107303951

6675796160

4019675821

1007171061

8225205825

7377993370

6617186171

0777577953

5418717447

7591555515

2687872872

3418515857

2487560907

3417759357

3917625095

5588724061

2658532427

6342233440

0510804432

4269916201

1432635870

0001116800

6111164441

5807505578

2244838242

0902903090

6397979977

2746527372

5197891971

0682110212

0398742951

7382513300

0147177726

8192968839

8197578810

2685722882

0544900045

9382779272

1215315811

1562985294

1382971965

1644074742

0662731334

9244151164

1429645619

8479709421

4479595054

8245780834

1345773117

7429674362

8895798878

4243044403

9471217197

3747212548

9583702525

8883249625

3083099745

1666919671

8494840848

5853368335

7112112755

9444994529

0886737100

4938212823

5103335461

2165237765

2221112565

7440447401

0772227783

0075235720

1818515891

6262351933

2562339856

2412304223

9222302020

0542756400

6766866686

9222322229

4772877472

2401660124

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