Ok, like, OMG!, this is totally true.

I was looking through an old Notepad++ file I had and saw the following statements, verbatim, as I found them:

hours max cats = {1,0} 14 or {_,8} 11
minTen max cat = {0} 10
minOne max cat = {8} 11
        MAX CATS EVER: 35 {10:08}
0 10    6   10
1 4     2   3
2 7     5   8
3 7     5   7
4 7     4   5
5 7     5   8
6 9     6   8
7 5     3   4
8 11    7   10
9 9     6   8

I immediately knew what they were for, but it took me awhile to reverse engineer what everything meant; how it all worked.

I said to myself, "Self! this might be a puzzle for my colleagues at PSE!"

I replied, "Probably not much of one, but what the hell?"

Can you tell me to any degree of specificality what this does?

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    $\begingroup$ (note to self: I have too much time on my hands) $\endgroup$
    – Chowzen
    Commented Feb 26, 2020 at 0:49
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    $\begingroup$ +1 from me simply because I run into these kinds of things all the time going through old files but never thought of making a puzzle out of them. $\endgroup$
    – COTO
    Commented Feb 26, 2020 at 1:25

2 Answers 2


This may be a sketch for this puzzle:

Improbable Inequalities

Well to be fair, they are not similar. But the concept is the same:

They want to decide which type of segment-display to use for maybe a clock.

This is probably the puzzle OP wanted to post:

I'm currently working as a designer for a huge segment-display clock. I really like cats, and I noticed that they are attracted to the neon lights from the clock. (Hey, they are warm enough so the cats will sleep above them!)

Let's assume that the number of cats is proportional to the number of segments of the clock which are on. For example, if we are using seven-segment-display, the number $3$ will attract $5$ cats as $3$ is written with $5$ segments.

There are $3$ types of segment-display: seven-segment-display, sixteen-segment-display, and extended seven-segment-display where each vertical segment is twice longer. If I can choose any type for each digit of the clock I'm working on, at what time there will be the maximum number of attracted cats, assuming it shows in $12$ hours format?

And the solution will be:

At 10:08, as it will attract $35$ cats using the extended seven-segment-display for all digits.

Completing Enzo's answer:

The header is the solution for the puzzle, OP wants to find the maximum number of cats for each the hours and minutes independently, where specifically there are $2$ cases for hours: either $\geq 10$ or $< 10$.

The table below tells the digit, the cat attracted to extended seven-segment-display, seven-segment-display, and sixteen-segment-display respectively.

Post note:

The extended seven-segment-display is actually not official. I probably missed other types of segment display to match with the numbers, but couldn't find one. ><

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    $\begingroup$ I actually made it. rot13(Rirel zvahgr, haarpprffnel pngf jnyx bss gur obggbz bs gur fperra, naq arj pngf rzretr sebz gur "png ubhfr.") $\endgroup$
    – Chowzen
    Commented Feb 26, 2020 at 10:42
  • $\begingroup$ @Chowzen I must admit, I'm a bit disappointed that the answer requires esoteric knowledge of another puzzle. But I suppose it couldn't be helped given the circumstances of how the puzzle was created. And I also suppose somebody running a search for "cat clock" on puzzling.SE on a lark and turning up the decoder ring isn't unthinkable. I did, of course, waste a good 20 minutes wracking my brain trying to find some significance to "cats" as an abbreviation, acronym, or computer programming term. >____< $\endgroup$
    – COTO
    Commented Feb 26, 2020 at 18:15
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    $\begingroup$ @COTO I don't believe that knowledge of the other puzzle was necessary. $\endgroup$
    – Chowzen
    Commented Feb 26, 2020 at 23:17
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    $\begingroup$ @COTO that part is fully my interpretation, of course it may be possibly wrong so I wrote "probably" there.. the answers are not related to the previous puzzle at all - except that I noticed they shared the same theme of segment display. I could write this answer without mentioning or have any preknowledge of previous question tbf. But yeah this is just my thought. $\endgroup$
    – athin
    Commented Feb 27, 2020 at 1:44
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    $\begingroup$ Maybe I have an advantage tho since I'm a cat person, mew~ :3 $\endgroup$
    – athin
    Commented Feb 27, 2020 at 3:20

Partial answer:

It's something related to a digital clock.

Analysing the header:

The first line sets the hours of the clock. The two values in brackets separated by commas are the digits in the hour field, so {1, 0} represents 10 o'clock.

The second and the third line set the minutes of the clock. The values in brackets are the digits in the minute field, so {0} in the second line and {8} in the third line represents 8 minutes.

These three lines combined, therefore, represents 10:08 (the value in brackets on the fourth line).
The meaning of the value on the right is still unknown, but when added together they generate the value of the fourth line, after the phrase MAX CATS EVER. Since the number on the right of {1, 0} is $14$, on the right of {0} is $10$ and on the right of {8} is $11$, the sum of these numbers is $14 + 10 + 11 = 35$.

Analysing the body:

The first column are values ranging from 0 to 9, so they represent a digit. The third column represents the number of segments needed to represent the digit of the first column on a 7-segment display, like in this image. The second and the fourth column are still unknown to me.

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    $\begingroup$ The oracle asks: "Thou devines the essence. How dost thou devine the numerical specifics?" (I never played DND, but I would have liked it.) $\endgroup$
    – Chowzen
    Commented Feb 26, 2020 at 1:36
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    $\begingroup$ It may be worth noting that the numbers in the min (minute) equations are the 1st and 2nd entries for two rows in the table, and these two rows have the highest values in the second column. Hence the = probably isn't "setting" a value but is instead recording the 1st/2nd column data from the two columns with a _max_imum second column value. $\endgroup$
    – COTO
    Commented Feb 26, 2020 at 1:50
  • $\begingroup$ I think it's different digital representations. I know there are ones that are different from the 7 segment display. 14 and 15 for example. It might be figuring out the time with the most bits switched on across different displays b $\endgroup$
    – Dr Xorile
    Commented Feb 26, 2020 at 5:29
  • $\begingroup$ The third column seems close to 16-seg instead of 7-seg, but some of the numbers (e.g. 10 instead of 8 for 0) don't quite line up $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 26, 2020 at 9:40

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