Problem 273//Beat the clock

Larry Laggard is frequently, if not always, late for everything. This morning, after sleeping through his alarm, Larry awakes to the sound of his telephone ringing. When he picks it up, the voice on the other end says, “This is Mr. B. Ontime of Tick Tock Watches. Congratulations! You have won one of our $5,000 gold watches. All you have to do to claim your prize is be at our store after 4 p.m., but before the time when the minute hand completely hides the hour hand. One second late, and you lose.”

Larry is thrilled. He has never won a prize before, and people are always telling him he needs a watch. Larry plans on sitting down to figure out exactly when he needs to be at the store to claim his prize, but by the time he showers, gets dressed, eats lunch, and returns his overdue library books, he has to leave. On the way, he gets stuck in a traffic jam caused by construction.

He finally gets to Tick Tock Watches at 4:15 p.m. What time does Larry need to walk through the door to win his watch? Give your answer to the nearest second.

This month’s problem was submitted by Ron Arreola of Chicago.

Solution to problem 272, Scratch match, September 2003:

Winners Circle

Fun problem 271: Sound training August 2003
Total entries: 95
Number correct: 63 (66%)
Winner: Scott Cserep
Scott’s prize: Designs on Space by Richard Wagner.
Designs on Space: Blueprints for 21st Century Space Exploration (by Richard Wagner, with illustrations by Howard Cook) is the introduction to the soon-to-be-implemented, cutting-edge machinery that will get us there: a new generation of space probes and rockets that will hurl us into the next Space Age. The book takes a look at new launch vehicles intended to open space to paying passengers, plans for the human exploration of Mars, and the ongoing, ever-intriguing search for life beyond Earth. ( Simon & Schuster).

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Fun With Fundamentals: Problem 272