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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:

0250093967

8443494808

6045601958

2458271378

0917971908

8875228878

7858507458

7553393357

2222004121

8028075104

3119621889

8045446485

3179983367

3188992139

8120081128

4279449729

8011611601

7145214424

2535868315

3089419031

6196618768

5693615066

1391318321

5355515531

6969668968

2145524015

1217228716

5689565024

9699142808

9394101299

8474522668

6178575166

8468488848

4981918498

9394119949

9699894696

9999787994

3288638627

1150031065

2665551486

6448253084

1852883921

3897581684

2478588466

7341188694

7180500810

5305955553

2958485885

1201777717

7901141100

7201490662

8280589573

1908417580

3206541122

6742645662

9272692977

6412414114

1012111002

6742142695

1212431955

1246600039

6816610140

1442817662

7258847187

2839347656

7071537155

7980837267

0367730276

5561516655

8313330287

5444747157

7132632167

9177562517

2087906609

8091106593

0604096602

5552996502

7994942697

5355363253

0161106106

2615442519

6997333995

3576337533

4118343448

3803733388

4906368053

4555379875

3456347542

3877328604

6016315399

8233222288

8638888888

2515455465

5695395555

8233363610

8631835816

2135308170

5639216816

2695830459

2027813381

7035914901

9763463976

9173015376

2053353225

7796395376

1111111981

3833383309

8882424288

0350895444

0732891844

8172325602

4291895422

6169191604

3223929322

1144113441

9558995895

8429442684

6874666427

3602933020

5797779779

6303533635

5376505288

5676310593

6473720592

6892506162

5677722042

## The puzzle

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

0321120257

0925702457

0961638077

2626760790

2364333666

8621716611

0516251601

5971171217

2205150501

6896666583

9390990399

6637464337

2020332098

6640492493

7381490587

9150564598

7190094498

7826660385

9026536811

3676031699

7056160732

9229583440

9221191114

7621572665

9539093339

3056550555

9316223239

1066166168

5993395329

0820062078

3613916913

5985496333

9793162975

0850366338

4727265919

4542636368

4806556660

8856222620

8709474877

3156935599

8106983503

3859416172

8856292564

8856453056

0859475208

7672624607

3985913985

6066602465

5996995016

5031813807

4415004009

4350304406

5473915685

8661923016

2168847707

5599175594

6890777387

1183474679

4474117604

2391111379

5954544359

7297928797

5888474588

2841182224

9691296292

8941316148

9644799499

9641368035

8641717545

0141794790

9144172678

9941980670

4880407916

9626547426

7755208526

0899617576

7766776626

4448848478

7774517456

5187887525

0990206912

6968668996

9923392318

8666661236

3555115935

3703812336

6478915216

2773492795

2724296936

1526828316

3296831348

6619706095

2086583045

7886493290

9919996319

1166816048

4212131220

3332903295

8724282447

2170896655

8877638253

6937628793

8805893512

5905339550

6666296612

7666663793

7555328355

8575378653

6084548406

9797577777

1829519451

6555959669

9707504612

2595022535

6195589267

6005504194

4829972048

8261916668

5318194714

3704656668

4941616714

1187119618

7774770774

1741713470

6666644660

7494996743

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