Telling Time

The Puzzler

RAY: Here's the answer. Obviously the wristwatch was unaffected by the power outage so it must show the correct time which is 6:50. Now while both the analog and digital clocks were affected by the outage, they were affected differently.

TOM: They certainly were.

RAY: The analog clock simply stopped for the duration of the outage and resumed when the power came back on, so the difference between the wristwatch and the clock in the kitchen is 20 minutes. So the power was out for 20 minutes. That's the easy part.

TOM: Yeah.

RAY: Here's the tough part. Most digital clocks recycle to midnight after an outage. And that's what his did, the fact that his digital clock time is later than the wristwatch must mean the digital clock was advanced as a result of the outage. So the outage must have occurred before midnight. It occurred at 11:05.

TOM: How do we know that?

RAY: Well, because at 11:25 when the power came back on 20 minutes later, it got advanced 35 minutes right to midnight. Who's our winner?

TOM: The winner is Bonnie Lyons-Salkind from Great Neck, New York. And for having her answer selected at random from among all the correct answers that we got Bonnie's going to get a $26 gift certificate to the Shameless Commerce Division at, from which Bonnie can pick up a Mother's Day present for her mother if she wants.

RAY: Congratulations, Bonnie!

[ Car Talk Puzzler ]

Support for Car Talk is provided by:

Donate Your Car,
Support Your NPR Station

...and get a tax break!

Get Started

Find a Mechanic

Promo tile

Rocket Fuel