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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:

5538781287

6880090422

9821060850

0538788377

5540110155

3938633392

6381116113

0333773373

7826022820

6633136561

6962646295

5521515472

4777774877

4831476499

3049946849

5914278595

9717218772

7663145569

0844048848

7379793793

4412664112

7162333156

0162363173

5174649942

0144730283

6142765380

4134728528

5769251697

5857456757

3142603727

5415453127

1111553181

7114441677

7348283127

8768858697

0575700757

8248571676

1655553379

7128553432

7668583266

1425552124

9169559999

7398093978

5258282882

8636380636

5944774549

7681171186

5455656045

0393173159

9961074149

7600051156

8834373059

3761521089

2226681855

8709728994

8678728258

8002816964

1666818754

9991518594

1994701794

5959908958

0121620261

9629698968

7184509327

6057192355

7416077725

5624677025

1377391327

7573777753

3133332325

0770507052

4418859184

3468664334

1727117171

6591065161

3511931913

3091180422

1091790834

3598070843

3418147696

3718143985

9041994318

1770770715

5505555020

7737377723

7241455325

2465970720

9716994310

3242130318

4683554718

0553853655

8347337748

3934544334

5425955959

3945348720

3537492867

3354425933

5133580182

3354518001

2556103376

0592997518

4643524147

0685741454

6084555582

4945114991

0516717151

0699969909

2652466222

5881954221

4343484081

2802602181

3051057271

4629954129

0261100261

1747882471

1158257281

1588505781

5354775745

9857755797

4004744444

6094994496

6857907300

9107918412

4174795333

4854924724

1107983987

## The puzzle

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

1405155511

2168666616

9198799879

3040330333

2435106352

0135561007

9030648520

0145785453

9968326197

8663352497

6233118665

2130629964

3533181495

9260396963

0593115115

6563756576

3175111511

2630664323

1107349314

7607226175

5107282627

1004325576

1608551165

7867267777

2152055115

5064164501

2267369633

8857875873

5256969529

6257764576

1090151930

6606659239

4362891579

8526810575

4335069815

3250259939

4261910776

2986276553

3159223765

0723696866

0880990842

1083003153

6666065706

6165511566

6222526575

6564746666

9570907757

4636833666

3811999119

9516762472

4636999534

3814910103

9531918970

6818969344

4484848478

2422525425

8189787797

7637737776

4682721438

1488185683

8128557697

7689766984

3689708153

1563880242

5472421665

9462414668

9639702865

9439794337

9662596692

5573830355

3468488844

3262426222

5088339508

9819861998

5463506395

6999119246

6074616305

4621031848

9378209790

1964909506

5584136998

6464646420

6062256022

2326765272

3733739947

8342656292

8895563922

0192863012

3038363477

1885545492

1581062854

4830184814

7506977652

6650672671

0118178610

5550252452

9223661392

7858885271

5847437854

4414742105

1851745836

8850940835

7602013135

6115335136

2066366035

6111116111

8838842838

0346643603

6424777224

4788348818

1001301103

7792992292

1721302770

6724315864

2221421402

7028301819

6798347499

6142626266

1909919018

6976696679

6387333773

6305301356

6372886404

6085654594

6382927117

6945681165

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