Not seeing the forest for the trees.

So a question on our first homework was something like:

What is the answer? (Hint: The answer should be the following:

I then spend the next couple of hours trying to decode the data via hexdump, xxd, looking for what google has on the various 16 bit pieces [4cc7 9ff6, etc etc]... looking for repeating patterns etc. Of course the answer is a lot simpler.. if I just didn't think about it.