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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:

0586898168

4604094058

5166190972

8447654032

9993993094

5559555958

5972994172

4334202432

0119990163

2319774721

2464274394

1844070698

7607079794

9127774291

6466692664

1212419724

1989991999

8888388398

2229868362

1161618615

6918331896

9609393602

2423031662

9626138392

5283291605

8345468407

0308611595

6219865968

4769060976

7211411127

9217171112

7769129072

9819645260

7211158768

9217574838

6269142396

5496244926

4637262262

3952139533

1928550558

1642564311

4653291334

3926119103

1456254549

1426150592

1955282935

9677278948

7665281138

0685984683

7717337777

5955955999

9989398363

1654151145

0675266665

5252407452

4370770523

3552558237

0283338820

1137851207

4646900222

0628558426

7631458428

7528371527

8984800571

1405573577

0224003472

3335230431

1325135931

3995935392

7600560571

8778348377

7747403477

4149735252

0846985573

0075233583

1777633455

3434533504

4447445473

5382383552

1472245272

7575525775

1336435414

7350461044

7890792281

8356386827

3530773337

7350372333

1756775175

7499000794

8339449383

9300800800

4310606434

7735575525

6577777777

4370762767

7760965412

7736662738

7380765292

6186565863

4858679753

4873490703

3170099474

4938294867

5895795875

4808494854

0116000161

8938099803

7007770707

3229737213

8656645618

5414491455

9588979658

2243495458

5958791658

8073721418

8642041218

1035079653

4118367533

1133379286

9536389246

1219742833

1836778783

9138393129

1513315111

4455115511

7209373797

## The puzzle

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

2124444424

0659755055

7489668949

5361331336

2251321367

7169310721

7459248657

5164212362

5319721042

4604004216

1008581510

8055503845

0131313802

0858451212

9644903815

3921308805

1222553217

5049404212

4093674043

4975505060

2557400315

4693650049

9900558940

0060300330

9000449069

6443463643

5171075015

4206721268

4906972631

6106635155

5957944894

1207717018

6201901961

9940240942

4756644574

5996665659

8278556718

5300243118

2632303141

2182053954

3301353058

2429909824

7277747723

4555545141

0051551910

1466752527

8413287452

2326489996

2616304849

3327333073

2613123126

7021101217

8466786466

1311431114

5880921548

3947578524

7081940694

1942906091

1826511862

7282979992

6001990100

5987459285

5040000050

6767666787

2147294712

4099228990

5598794875

1808676475

0008360710

3888166985

5235474775

0410994290

5949750285

7359929728

9316027028

8824259885

1212118823

5550550025

4592529845

4557527758

5880805288

5755240379

5005762820

5805923323

5754780923

1905790917

0109702070

5029702979

5705955077

7854258852

6420004863

7883041001

6164051111

7163129500

6864114416

3427073307

7263737353

9160000690

6526956565

2808442084

7167077727

8627328287

3426332632

8826305188

7827411856

8138304560

5166372482

7426379201

3908761808

5231741778

5048786980

0933700164

0732173073

3901103301

0230770720

5943739942

4708044048

7924734319

1894848135

4245417481

6805726071

6844999499

1492845819

4908444844

0115751715

7236423262

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