# Estimating Time

Here is a descending sequence of seven puzzles sorted from large to small. If you work on one a day, you should finish within a week. So let’s say two weeks to be safe.

The sequence is also ascending in a different but related manner, but that is less important.

It will help to solve in order as puzzles may use information from prior puzzles.

The answer to the overall puzzle labeled ‘Metapuzzle’ is a relevant word.

• for the colorblind, in places where the color is important, markers have been added
• knowledge required is minimal/easily looked up

1. Puzzle

The red arrows indicate that we should reorder and rotate the contents of the squares as indicated by the new orientations. The black arrows indicate that we should transform to Roman numerals. This gives the following result:

The answer to this puzzle is SUNDAE

1. Puzzle

Here, we might notice that there are twelve columns and in the first six, the position of the coloured squares would seem to match the lengths of the corresponding months if we take the A row to be 28 (we are considering year 2022 as indicated by the squares from the first puzzle so February is 28 days).

Now, if we take the nth letter for each month, where n is indicated by the number above each column, we can write those letters in the D column. Furthermore, we should only take the letters of those months which have 31 days. Then, with the help of the indicated positions for the N, we can figure out that the answer should be MUNDANE

1. Puzzle

The first puzzle had the year 2022 in it and the second concerned months, so this puzzle should be about weeks. Indeed, if we consider the first half of year 2022 as indicated by the figures, the week which starts with the 26th and ends with 2nd is week 26. The other weeks can be figured out similarly

so A1Z26 gives the answer TODAY.

1. Puzzle

If we follow the pattern, this puzzle should be about weekdays. First, we should notice that the example puzzle concerns the title "Or Maybe Not" and its letter frequencies. The first grid is in the order of appearance and the second one is alphabetized.

The string of letters that we should use for the other two grids to do the same is
"Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday"
(The last grid is missing one yellow square for R)

Thus, we get the answer WHIMSY.

1. Puzzle

So, this puzzle should be about hours and, indeed, we can once again notice that the grid gives the letter frequencies of the title in alphabetical order and we should insert those letters into the clock in the alphabetical order.

Then, the hands indicate that we should consider the clock hands. By doing that, the given times give the following clocks

These are the letters T, R, I, H and E so the answer should be THIR?TIER. This is of course THIRSTIER.

1. Puzzle

The first five clues are anagrammed but can be easily reordered to give the clues
Tiny, Slow Dance, Limited, Handbook and Fertilizer.

Now, what makes solving this easier is that the letters in the green positions of the grid stay the same for each row and since this puzzle should be about minutes, they are of course MINUTE. With that in mind, it is also easier to figure out that UL means we should only take the uppercase letters, so that the final two clues are THIN and XC. The solutions are then

By taking the letters in the indicated positions, we find the answer FARADAY.

1. Puzzle

The Note tells us that
{A & B} means that we should take the shared letters of A & B.
$$\sum(A)$$ indicates that we should sum up the A1Z26 values.

With these in mind and using the knowledge from the previous puzzles, we can solve
a=$$\sum$$(FARADAY)=56
b=NOT
c=HARTER
d=30
e=86400

So our final answer should be given by
NOT 86400; RATHER 38018 (6,3).

86400 is the number of seconds in a day. On the other hand, 38018 should be approximately the number of seconds in a day on Saturn. The answer is then SATURN DAY.

Metapuzzle

First of all, as we have noted, the puzzles were in descending order from largest to smallest timescale. However, if we look at the answers,
SUNDAE, MUNDANE, TODAY, WHIMSY, THIRSTIER, FARADAY, SATURN DAY
we can notice that they quite close resemble the days of the week in ascending order. However, as indicated in the instructions, this is really less important for the puzzle and is just more flavour.

For the actual metapuzzle, we should again use the things that we have learned before. The instructions tell us that for each puzzle we should take the shared letters between the answer and the uppercase letters of the title and finally anagram those. So we have

{SUNDAE & UL(Cold Start)} = {SUNDAE & CS} = S

{MUNDANE & UL(Extended Tedium)} = {MUNDANE & ET} = E

{TODAY & UL(Current Affair)} = {TODAY & CA} = A

{WHIMSY & UL(Or Maybe Not)} = {WHIMSY & OMN} = M

{THIRSTIER & UL(Break... Out of Energy)} = {THIRSTIER & BOE} = E

{FARADAY & UL(Riding in the Wake of Geniuses)} = {FARADAY & RWG} = R

{SATURN DAY & UL(Finally, a Heavenly Finish Unfolds)} = {SATURN DAY & FHFU} = U

The correct anagram is then of course
MEASURE

• Great solve! Good spot on the 'R'; fixed.
– Amoz
Commented Jan 2, 2022 at 5:14