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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:

9599227868

9383883873

0531053872

5932833873

6663331966

4333343073

0777723778

3733337808

8228682462

6996779896

5577887735

2040420413

7718137718

5882037738

9020627713

6855070818

4943673795

2518829718

3331888331

1676861777

3608606363

8020558202

3931546897

6650678709

8306697101

3675677379

3306676207

5320630420

9361531473

9626605565

9320588220

4326554242

5356565565

9221619626

9318610833

1560006010

8866881668

2215212252

0988500959

6976559669

8985561196

1878911319

1964576890

1818551869

1964267386

5742490319

0722926750

5722613355

5423504648

5772557475

0149441444

7683868883

9728929272

5482945952

5152547581

6649968949

8898808689

7714715774

5718212984

5313648501

6722665589

8360985241

6371618787

1685320482

9756612030

9689578721

6755364633

1189318913

9724929722

9855298587

6935663663

0679579907

0772718711

1904023925

2207429231

4186253605

5177713735

2650652706

0996229629

9918108911

7322373225

3147943946

9090119677

0110914622

3117187069

9140911904

6517777717

7005077747

3110633130

9692191991

9576321411

2904506783

4604532159

2876547117

4614515641

2976529725

3302020302

9086566990

9804387333

1542921219

4402500142

7150371350

7377977797

4457548258

4153470733

1270583693

7202676485

7252989669

9897722319

3738302319

3303962818

3379277111

7239377319

8008002808

8251185211

7799791799

8218122188

9487107491

9968591525

3756283016

9939567843

9951195111

5288258215

9776876779

3639553333

9367569993

## The puzzle

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

0409214805

1113117502

3082880305

6012494905

9822990823

7278783707

3333494232

6911916945

0107017503

9072392399

4670606607

3475275343

2490994009

3470923175

4272783579

2440972288

3272743150

9672616242

3319593943

3594007493

9022192647

5864253199

2969992169

1848554387

6994497496

9309908923

3434383743

4220024200

9111129117

9944299242

2995535931

1072033187

1474995906

4285125982

5613338942

6866529247

2338015219

1093345581

5801809247

0206614448

7271313273

4542442541

4483409478

1484814589

4665645667

4687664782

0775074700

8863667839

0550550008

9522477037

3046307709

8009964002

8709364882

6304937487

3897564188

6014896503

1050500672

1891509374

7910170011

3177517737

3791917313

1014811801

6852868554

7965223920

3955164550

0629512869

7546181843

7227572228

3669163636

9982222922

0246944420

8535253553

2117217922

8084008839

7566769547

6265336542

1862897922

1058861942

0978306532

5183477949

7604199537

6858468354

6474447464

6776757476

6241134961

6560638370

4373964460

3116017161

5978908966

9256338174

9220820994

1232122321

1592444411

6360555666

2533160405

9836465030

6232416057

1370550502

1562571984

1005704105

8862282622

8777077777

1381331131

8086383755

1002030999

0775213700

3877368414

1372258082

4160654472

7731359034

3976937424

7714039322

1135319310

3444339434

7531351437

0004117024

2270774502

9247859554

0149620421

9140612069

9340107696

5170951570

3142913691

6743667434

9347838998

6229169622

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