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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:

8434556303

2356681483

9554501159

6538788181

9507777050

6354663345

9336666673

4498544844

2150855121

0210772170

6048766867

9051495915

6366113166

0218760463

6158248537

0299231465

6250730104

6961496244

8317600043

1956115670

2364729859

8352361477

6952999799

2313323313

8514288118

1676666676

2267166662

2005413865

2607294054

5691249464

2697761940

5907779572

2901299020

8691262699

0617220020

2065888008

6699798657

3311113305

7702770172

7142554732

5508473357

0161170459

0639013405

7922598172

8780028657

3362033333

9802558222

7381078903

2209992009

3382989477

9222023235

6862563388

3101057159

7302016943

3900606070

8891181881

2354929543

3025530553

3900501257

3050194150

2021976429

3880148807

3301152329

1118178135

2882582581

2556669520

8714978918

9077278581

6986268121

2183182120

4799578548

5370079575

0834392686

6724835806

4434819077

8483387511

7794119729

4425854442

8683133886

0769360670

4834384333

7717647617

8388073086

9595595905

1212151102

9349477706

9324841125

7117393782

9972847206

8172953913

1007136787

6040037356

6382329329

2877637716

9993337989

5096949026

2472848723

7533339857

7423124317

2611149473

3899103558

2229891351

7609181403

7614177726

3299522529

2205820225

1639111399

2822444848

5125691571

3187259711

9391418545

8470493542

2505755270

5551159551

2144491442

4773463740

1611118511

4994494619

8017278721

3787567853

9999916992

2237297891

0339204891

8924974921

6922416295

9641666619

## The puzzle

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

4044545038

0060000898

5004502457

5709572905

1687672808

7916500807

5893907938

3507842996

5401560897

7192599911

3966866368

9503303337

8658111816

1961504554

4551587582

3591314123

8902310101

7663344188

0113824556

0813722406

4261912959

2474293952

4111114454

0566222506

3446343316

1966316939

5932491452

4943114369

2252913925

6547454474

0227990227

7685658874

5472084314

8822118267

4892354365

6599914379

9307999073

5388888355

2137447182

9327377392

7832899853

5036147163

4365777382

0615197062

2280687825

7816476978

0350005550

7575975595

4205555444

7320964890

4272099671

7256916890

7310593047

7508754417

6522584641

8892295404

5862702876

7892965876

5526959925

7802555280

6894008068

8184771184

7662339766

5760261628

1436383648

3380314758

5041614628

8461116846

6325663625

1517811856

1191811988

4368384631

4755753547

1021006211

7488944879

5065550556

8701853857

0291540812

8030109842

2166153247

3956254212

9497669754

5330303943

2932622639

1191131539

5277433963

1462369169

6491262664

1899563759

7762223749

2282722999

4551706869

4283803304

9232727863

4252152252

4921619241

9231129322

9530707795

2983555319

2218192792

2377041392

8472686701

2450096802

6898996892

3310331301

7467246712

2223499242

0338383300

2008220888

3363346933

5763576156

7733778343

4755470853

5204328837

3170156933

0198776887

5259140156

6323916793

7437389767

1138439503

1217215708

3811115383

8928339288

7689989507

5000516501

7797784797

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