- 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:

5143133527

3855793543

7301347323

5833233524

7099977190

0402003248

7767220574

9929993923

3337731327

9221115092

1932421942

6882464828

3444353486

2749415886

7344454472

8519853948

7694553088

4359964986

0037887300

6655906985

0270330733

5355550732

6343030944

6845953932

3226400330

1901500240

3589180703

5134313520

1942533582

5012123804

6334030404

2212713287

3034433804

4244440422

3111229511

4400053004

0957995053

8919899181

2693396636

6639336666

6953366823

4707881877

2603768759

8797324682

2699289361

2479124969

7264719184

2566525540

7547107245

2486114144

7748748477

1474177414

5569555955

2287444775

2288013655

2498562165

3290037657

6490523029

1468518415

3280586583

2210002110

6698888866

9445494945

8914978495

4141441191

2000002021

5139193145

1564838911

7894801025

8203322093

2777001915

1018392093

4259355253

5516066116

9534738793

2176112226

5137168177

5517307558

2237720687

2957030938

9176780669

7362289791

2556450391

1087559386

6038854396

3564557360

0679970996

6999909096

8899884398

0890089081

3326773323

7497994494

9542727554

0392535600

9627569656

3692597923

9527447147

9422746869

0396982376

8868379114

6084471387

8032034847

0784587376

4894598454

8780600880

0032424207

9768171767

6849346446

9185070951

1239625635

9897144930

6775479035

6697717265

6665565653

7007070700

3344144931

3050309035

4224741047

2942945747

7573826037

4518475637

3347312437

4040045047

1377071037

6646426046

5345445644

## The puzzle

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

6886682866

5551558151

2232202823

6477914789

3282214759

0741762781

1674904689

6772702626

1257882861

8312172642

5795481392

8155335035

7955361989

4335353533

5519455115

5197571777

7955175973

8472428284

2273505829

2225498785

2876041490

9276500277

2063996982

3515455155

9046004099

5275622227

6223523333

2973889723

2766888666

4037660094

4190519990

2978521177

4590220264

2530646919

4577224770

6536446859

6835986036

7885313088

3122313725

9922944233

6382998392

3133833323

5116313631

9925399923

0881919801

6437541313

6637602674

4647906300

4667908961

6287979225

4163464444

7737877387

0467575057

6647266246

2213904877

1344864502

2344836906

7374963076

2249194942

1323003080

2914949949

7870888800

5549195495

7711611171

4537574554

2463144441

3604134669

7107568925

3117463470

2494146520

4587617610

4403537579

4475171958

2735160173

0796350413

2781103346

4796111941

2485822585

0774377763

8830558888

2791317732

4741836455

8399538362

0575172566

3882638570

5020532580

3060372036

8223888322

6626636462

7854778575

6395904202

4996021003

3868807626

0758963911

0918999010

3765999593

8665996559

4558050544

6896866619

2483503227

9116629103

2506522822

2428560201

9451595941

9518495159

3183838833

2163666313

9626777167

3715122148

4255526948

3415173099

0845146228

3297932939

4845544585

0665606656

6750255250

9217111621

6981438056

4910788443

2079895051

0215098170

1581535186

5958098550

2488082046

0599145491

9970790770

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