- April 2017
- 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:

2415725145

4744774447

7574354045

2692772692

4569701760

4574719543

7676775037

2672948553

2694790431

5654755161

6680854557

8944902140

1484454137

1670111167

1915517945

0515054130

0510002551

1519751957

1639907861

1101992460

1037995500

1677902544

3171531751

1654315434

1039909991

6307974906

1839989131

1166818654

8192999281

5161544651

4985359423

2086814621

0913799884

4199498844

4338559853

4759284487

0343443744

7745277775

3560838353

6898198818

5348165555

0848823417

7300498731

5743615131

6340255119

3511416551

4836925870

3814315370

9280815050

7115115071

3373306373

0650055600

3263424362

6717817852

5565625464

2777070025

5156511156

5052590658

7519216155

9310820152

3349821416

0050845556

5744596452

9549885879

4445645655

8670860006

1277313227

8574306284

3470862905

8549377173

1274632780

8270860693

8666336386

5512551551

3079679603

2232130212

2666145667

3267370618

3237930941

3212328924

2662580122

9422090024

7465222372

5626726622

5299775997

5625767676

0465777221

6425096949

6625084627

7425720008

1641441931

9919621689

8458500845

6696116914

5598211983

4145451615

0956826913

0098926683

4131616943

8243267680

8663529672

4087234990

2067745102

4282774287

2060622060

6067887056

8643743844

7188272821

5416799431

1624279372

1413215970

5416588743

1436334443

5225152281

5313251335

4314881433

1634546344

0431651934

2947250221

1620911708

1734451464

5333550733

9999990394

2921292921

8877171468

9302212904

## The puzzle

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

1794949494

3287998839

8885333838

2730730274

2787909457

8234488800

8287981648

2187791380

9280767861

4706622633

9706151793

4806396123

8106127940

8106110100

4764646467

9706363000

2476444494

8351051151

5716933739

5959192366

9883939251

9952108390

9815118111

5313533355

5787875788

4899984497

4952995429

6906086900

7212282175

0533332503

7066971296

8438632575

4576332190

3659972893

6555372891

8620073183

5333994335

5822662285

0881118408

8554559158

5472292248

6627842488

2595812488

7368612855

5452559348

1694618305

4954857189

6968962986

0718818905

5909737905

6116111716

6162062106

5644848624

9962262389

4512857492

0833454495

9327456216

4437054218

5056959467

2166666212

4556454456

8596664895

4808840288

2309959678

6808055723

9044829690

9088031610

5969959690

1712621726

7157173813

8778449778

8446838684

0380406687

0073453638

0870405119

0088344641

6875998675

4688488464

8089288098

0411303111

0370108037

6740802368

9194716081

0111923895

9188612785

0990994089

0000000801

9172972399

1881113168

7885222785

5448322188

5428990351

2446773028

6448906443

2263332622

2446444443

0424340244

5428784527

6940999609

0582653886

8429756434

2159511476

7765814496

6636916639

7817121778

5137551577

3993223494

4864994186

4661002418

9834243332

4068153032

7431326481

0064330440

7866286126

0491441044

4338033384

9681718618

2979192119

3797170913

3562111111

6468338646

2692124991

2668120277

6999264282

6592415029

3569188078

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