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I need your help! Look at this:

One, two, one o'clock, three o'clock rock
Eight, six, three o'clock, two o'clock rock
Nine, seven, one o'clock, seven o'clock rock
We're gonna rock around the clock tonight

There's no way I can possibly rock to my maximum potential with a clock that's so obviously broken... What is causing the hours on my clock to be so messed up?


Hint 1:

There are 24 hours in a day...

Hint 2:

...and my clock is only a twelve hour clock.

Hint 3:

As much as I like music, the issue here is with my clock.

Bonus: Here's what my clock deserves right now...

One, two, two o'clock, nine o'clock rock
Eight, nine, twelve o'clock, one o'clock rock
Eight, nine, three o'clock, two o'clock rock
We're gonna rock around the clock tonight

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40
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Kudos to Alconja for creating a puzzle that's so easy and yet has lasted so long unsolved! I dare anyone to disagree that this is easy - especially given the hints - after reading the solution below.


The hours of the day are usually referred to by a number between $1$ and $12$, even though in fact there are 24 hours in a day. This gives a small ambiguity: "three o'clock" can mean either $3$ or $15$ on a 24-hour clock. (In maths speak, we're considering the 24 hours in their residue classes modulo 12.) Converting these numbers to letters (A=1, B=2, etc.), we can get any letter from A to X from an hour of the day. For instance, "three o'clock" means either C or O.

One, two, one o'clock, three o'clock rock
Eight, six, three o'clock, two o'clock rock
Nine, seven, one o'clock, seven o'clock rock
We're gonna rock around the clock tonight

All the "rocking" stuff is just flavour text. Extract the numbers and convert them to letters to get the following, where the $n$th column contains the 2 possibilities for the $n$th number in the song:

A B A C H F C B I G A G
M N M O T R O N U S M S

So the answer is

ANACHRONISMS.

For the bonus question, we have:

A B B I H I L A H I C B
M N N U T U X M T U O N

and so the clock deserves

ANNIHILATION.

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  • 4
    $\begingroup$ I've converted them to letters numerous times, changed the values to 24 hour clocks and started calculating with them and such, but never thought of doing both :/ well found! $\endgroup$ – PirateSoul Jun 4 '15 at 9:12
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    $\begingroup$ "anachronism [uh-nak-ruh-niz-uh m] noun 1. something or someone that is not in its correct historical or chronological time." ...ahh, that explains it! Well done, rand. :) $\endgroup$ – Alconja Jun 4 '15 at 9:52

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