Today I thought of a simple riddle involving time.

Name me a place where time is divided,
Where you can double or half it,
Or hold it completely still,
But never stop moving forward.

Name me a place where you can do all that.


It's not a clock, and it's not a math sheet with clocks on it.


3 Answers 3


Probably not correct, but here's the first thing that came to mind:

A piece of music

...time is divided

A piece of music is divided into measures based on the time signature

...double or half it...

Could refer to tempo (increasing or decreasing the speed) or the length of different notes (whole notes, half notes, quarter notes, etc), or even changing time signatures

...hold it completely still...

Could refer to rests, where nothing is played so the music "stops", or a fermata, where the note is held for an indeterminately long time outside the time signature

...but never stop moving forward.

The piece of music is always moving forward to the conclusion, no matter what you do to tempo or time signature during the piece.

  • $\begingroup$ This is the answer I was thinking of! Except that the second proof is much simpler than that - look up "double time" and "half time" to find out why. ;) $\endgroup$
    – Zibbobz
    Jun 3, 2015 at 15:03
  • $\begingroup$ But what about da capo? Aren't you going back then, instead of forward? $\endgroup$
    – BMWurm
    Jun 3, 2015 at 15:04
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ On the sheet of music, perhaps, but in terms of the actual performance of the piece, it's always moving forward to the end. :) $\endgroup$ Jun 3, 2015 at 15:05
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @BMWurm But you never stop moving forward - I thought about saying you can jump back, but never stop moving forward, but thought that might make it too confusing. $\endgroup$
    – Zibbobz
    Jun 3, 2015 at 15:06

A possible answer:

A central processor unit (CPU)

where you can double or half it, or hold it completely still, but never stop moving forward

You can overclock and under clock the frequency of clock cycles on a processor to make it double, or half its current speed. When the processor is off it is halted completely.

but never stop moving forward:

In the use of 'forward' as progress, processors are always being researched for ways to be improved.

  • $\begingroup$ Not always you can make it double $\endgroup$
    – leoll2
    Jun 3, 2015 at 15:00
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @leoll2 You can try....it might just melt though ;P $\endgroup$
    – Mark N
    Jun 3, 2015 at 15:00
  • $\begingroup$ You also split the meaning in your third proof - that place is entirely different from the place where your original answer is. But I DO like the creativity. $\endgroup$
    – Zibbobz
    Jun 3, 2015 at 15:01
  • $\begingroup$ @Zibbobz I was originally going to reference forward movement in time, but the current answer seemed more appropriate. $\endgroup$
    – Mark N
    Jun 3, 2015 at 15:02

My answer is

A videogame

Name me a place where time is divided,

The time in a videogame is usually made of "ticks".

where you can double or half it

You can speed up or slow down the speed of the game.

or hold it completely still


but never stop moving forward.

In most videogames you cannot travel back in time.

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ Prince of Persia: Sands of Time would like to have a word with you. $\endgroup$
    – Zibbobz
    Jun 3, 2015 at 15:07
  • $\begingroup$ As would Animal Crossing, though that's not technically supposed to be part of the game... $\endgroup$
    – Bailey M
    Jun 3, 2015 at 15:15
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @BaileyM Mr. Resetti would like to have too many words with you. $\endgroup$
    – Zibbobz
    Jun 3, 2015 at 15:30

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