Dividing Time

Aug 15, 2005

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, draw 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 sums of the numbers in each section are equal?
RAY: Draw the lines so that you start at a point between the 10 and the 11; you connect that to a point between the two and the three.

TOM: That adds up to 26.

RAY: There you go. Now you take a point between the eight and nine and a point between the four and five and connect those two dots. You will wind up with a section that's eight, seven, six, five, which adds up to 26.

And ten, nine, four and three 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.

The problem that I think most people will run into is they would think the lines would have to intersect.

So who's our winner?

TOM: The winner is Suzanne Howley from Framingham, Massachusetts. For having her answer selected at random from the snow shovel full of correct answers that we got, Suzanne will get a 26-dollar gift certificate to the Shameless Commerce Division at our lousy web site, Cartalk.com.

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