- June 2016
- February 2016
- November 2015
- January 2015
- August 2014
- July 2014
- May 2014
- March 2014
- February 2014
- January 2014
- November 2013
- August 2013
- June 2013
- May 2013
- April 2013
- March 2013
- February 2013
- December 2012
- November 2012
- September 2012
- June 2012
- April 2012
- March 2012
- February 2012
- January 2012
- December 2011
- November 2011
- September 2011
- July 2011
- June 2011
- May 2011
- March 2011
- January 2011
- October 2010
- June 2010
- May 2010
- April 2010
- March 2010
- February 2010
- January 2010
- December 2009
- September 2009
- July 2009
- June 2009
- May 2009
- March 2009
- September 2008
- April 2008
- December 2007
- June 2007
- June 2005
- September 2004
- May 2002
- October 2001
- August 2001

# 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:

2192089359

2994790660

6136221348

2117961175

8192312925

6187081078

2996026696

2814928949

6835252863

7661139504

1866908459

5002358224

5761564565

2061333201

1669119961

7752572255

5716996257

1702511575

1391911691

1128998981

6251021522

5643111635

6643123420

5111949843

1221166570

1351665862

5151264089

1491869184

9740404347

2913705608

1339059348

9399393345

0100059108

9319519537

0846604684

3183565131

7227676272

4912846149

3814931944

7993177997

4292986654

4993858461

3227694628

7826121257

4297183809

1850402067

0999656303

7326666097

3490656379

5057552507

5005536509

3033306463

9555056097

3849994373

4000631886

1520677881

0557671842

6709298843

1818991883

8334831380

8186168841

2977707592

7487872848

0821582937

4073835883

0291914707

1053922410

9806777899

1751957151

0873555008

4021818250

7259875585

3522513205

1111179191

5320032045

8111178471

5526413202

2393232075

0990772395

2244510272

2703922045

1117807818

2899129381

7722626097

7411771924

7311676887

9902172858

5109362011

1289872017

4152469338

8447497448

3900395308

5282683632

5585515848

0840095632

5801615338

8174125642

5823797848

1299326338

0207220725

1111119271

9559959445

8811778918

4729259311

0496629328

5770270775

2470381473

8731451513

9562565532

3513551311

5777577755

7837778003

0357077088

5047558703

3757877212

4510351532

7667468353

4553949435

4852555425

1279827892

3213772833

1213787697

4213904396

4593933990

4853143024

4529865065

## The puzzle

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

5586446151

0290070092

3141664311

6992559246

1318458146

1872876311

0709930396

4068854041

6549009842

6467566744

9733193779

8049888049

2497332234

2407549297

9403353186

2407356369

9765249346

6766853462

9903028093

8518559812

2749772973

6533359631

1063812793

3792629073

0796299913

5949118033

4100759831

4565787565

7552112140

2398717800

7504168366

4508114510

7960667694

7334734377

8392777829

2557677657

6881881386

8048848189

4355554435

5280558502

7621491507

5989698506

6843058596

3228058506

3628358485

1512111011

6037867766

3763333633

0631530013

1067980193

6731107112

3634824574

3733597470

3567608436

6379030270

6261739502

3358330085

6105239886

7272339270

0808330808

3639039006

7555545375

5660656582

9622662923

9302933092

5435535555

0773137077

9472900503

5304957363

0334917919

9625923569

9605802060

2067606746

0288810082

8155815288

7751918579

1283255028

4820016789

4128410229

8134356749

3259910016

4099358793

7128906737

6104016493

4173058475

1149910694

1085518105

5355656945

7771515777

1343808413

4374334447

9915774597

1602666020

6687118618

1985103027

4907330300

6205111408

6902324703

1367130708

4800005284

9247696274

2000700007

4466554634

4945850157

8427390637

4174605054

1800906274

8952408074

1649519445

2363263222

0338680003

8424118842

2449568754

0339240300

0434460675

1634442170

2341269803

3239641926

6203243985

1056157981

3124234706

0666333606

5955151986

9674404766

1747747721

0050027005

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