The time is 8:59 or ...

enter image description here

Where is the large cook promotion?


Partial answers are welcome. A complete answer will use/explain all of the above.


1 Answer 1


This magic square has a lot of solutions (maybe someone with better programming skills than me could even calculate how many). However...

If the time is 8:59, then it could also be said to be 1 to 9...

So we'll be using the digits 1 through 9 exactly once each to fill in the square, which then does in fact have a unique solution:

enter image description here

This can be found by realising 7 and 5 can only go in the right hand column, and deducing the remaining combinations from there


If we take the first 9 letters of the alphabet, and arrange them in the order of the numbers in the grid (297385614), we find the large cook promotion is a...


Which also fits the 3,4,2 enumeration at the end!

  • 8
    $\begingroup$ Very nice, enjoyed the wordplay in this one! $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 9 at 1:13
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ +1 I am impressed with how quickly you solved this. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 9 at 2:33
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    $\begingroup$ @WillOctagonGibson funnily enough it clicked as I thought ‘ooh, using x to y time as a clue would be a good idea for a puzzle…. Oh wait’ :P and got lucky with the final step as it was my first guess, nice puzzle! $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 9 at 8:40
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    $\begingroup$ What is the meaning of the “3,4,2”? $\endgroup$
    – Didier L
    Commented Apr 11 at 1:05
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @WillOctagonGibson good idea and done so $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 11 at 10:41

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