About the Author

Chris Shiflett

Hi, I’m Chris: entrepreneur, community leader, husband, and father. I live and work in Boulder, CO.

Christmas Conundrum

I like puzzles. Several years ago, I made a puzzle of my own. At the time, the PHP community was much smaller, but this particular post got a lot of attention. Zend offered a prize to the first person who could solve it, and for a few days, it managed to stump the entire PHP community. In the end, it was none other than Ben Ramsey who solved it.


Inspired by that original puzzle and my memories of Midnight Madness, I cobbled together a new puzzle last night. Another digital clock? Yes, but knowing how to solve the first one won't help you with this. :-)

I'll post a hint tomorrow, so if you want the satisfaction of solving it without a hint, you've only got a day. Good luck!

Thanks to WonderProxy (a fantastic way to test your GeoIP apps or to see where's it up), there's a $100 gift certificate (Amazon, iTunes, or other Internet-friendly gift certificate of your choice) up for grabs for the first person to solve the puzzle. Thanks, Paul!

About this post

Christmas Conundrum was posted on Wed, 22 Dec 2010. If you liked it, follow me on Twitter or share:


1.Sudheer Satyanarayana said:

What's the description of the problem?

Wed, 22 Dec 2010 at 18:02:07 GMT Link

2.Silvano Girardi Jr said:

So you like it easy, right Sudheer? :)

Wed, 22 Dec 2010 at 18:08:02 GMT Link

3.Chris Shiflett said:

Congrats to Christer Edvartsen, who was the first to email me the correct answer.

So that everyone can enjoy the challenge, please do not post the answer until after Christmas. I'll still be posting a hint tomorrow. :-)

Wed, 22 Dec 2010 at 20:05:25 GMT Link

4.Jestep said:

Did you ever post the answer to the previous contest. I missed it, but haven't been able to find the answer for it.

Wed, 22 Dec 2010 at 21:54:39 GMT Link

5.Christer Edvartsen said:

Hurray for me! \o/

Thu, 23 Dec 2010 at 04:11:23 GMT Link

6.Shekhar said:

Oh Chris,

you said I m right, but a bit late, correct?

Fri, 24 Dec 2010 at 06:05:15 GMT Link

7.Chris Shiflett said:

Jestep, I never posted the solution to the old puzzle, but if you treat each time as a pair coordinates that you can plot, I think you'll figure it out. I don't actually remember the solution myself.

Shekhar, Christer was the first to solve the puzzle, if that's what you're asking. In your email, you said you think you know the answer. You never told me what you thought it was. :-)

Fri, 24 Dec 2010 at 18:33:23 GMT Link

Hello! What’s your name?

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