Dividing Time

Oct 01, 2011

RAY: Draw a clock face on a piece of paper. Using Arabic numerals put the appropriate numbers at 12, 1, 2, 3 and so on.

Now, somewhere on the clock face, draft two lines. In doing so, you're going to divide the clock face into segments, which contain numbers.

TOM: Do the lines have to go from one edge of the clock face to another?

RAY: Yes. So, when you draw the lines, you will wind up with either three or four segments of clock face. If the lines intersect someplace, you will wind up with four sections. If they don't intersect, you will wind up with three sections.

The question is: Where do you draw the lines so that the sum of the numbers in each section is equal?


RAY: Well, as a matter of fact, you draw the lines so that you start at a point between the 10 and the 11, and you connect that to a point between the two and the three. That's line at number one.

Now you take a point between the eight and nine and a point between the four and five and connect those two dots, and you will wind up with a section that's eight, seven, six, five, which I believe adds up to 26. And ten, nine, four, three which also adds up to 26. So you'll wind up with three sections, each of which is 26.

TOM: Is this the only solution to this problem?

RAY: Absolutely. I have researched the bejeezus out of this puzzler. The problem that I think most people will run into is they would think the lines would have to intersect. But in fact, by not intersecting, they're making three sections. You come up with the only solution I believe. So who's our winner?

TOM: The winner is Suzanne Howley from Framingham, Massachusetts.

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