In article <4uom0l$>, Peter Suzman ( writes:

In article <>, (Dylan O'Donnell) wrote:
> (Peter Suzman) wrote:
>>In article <>,
>> (Daniel P. B. Smith) wrote:
>>>Anyway it does look as if Nepal may be the only country with a 
>>>-of-minutes offset, and the Almanac does say it is a constitutional 
>>>monarchy, so I think Watson is in Nepal and Holmes is asking him to
>>>give his regards to King Birenda Bir Bikram Shah Dev.  But I still don't
>>>have a glimmer of an idea how to figure out where Holmes is.
>>Here is the Time Zone info. A careful examination and some deduction should 
>>reveal the location of Holmes as well as Watson.
>>>   CIST-12:45CID   Chatham Is. Standard Time, Chatham Is. Daylight
>>>                   Time
>>>                   New Zealand (Chatham Is.)
>>>   UCT-5:45        Universal Coordinated Time -5:45
>>>                   Nepal
>Ah, there you go then. _Assuming_ the puzzle is set in the present day (NZ
>is a monarchy, but presently has a Queen, so we can rule out state visits),
>Watson is in Nepal, and Holmes has also just heard the hour strike in the
>Chatham Islands.
>Moral: define your authority for time zone definitions before you start :-)


Just to clarify the reasoning: there is no time zone with a unique offset, but the 45 min offset has just two locations (Nepal and Chatham Islands). The only way that Holmes can know in which one of these two Watson is located, is if Holmes is himself in the other location (remember that it is an international call, so Holmes knows that Watson is not calling from the same country where Holmes is).

The clue about the king enables the reader to determine that Watson is in Nepal and Holmes in the Chatham Islands rather than vice versa. My first draft of this puzzle had Holmes wondering whether Watson would be able to make a good hot cup of tea at all, but I abandoned this when I realized that a good part of Nepal is actually at a fairly low altitude.

Incidentally I first thought of the puzzle upon looking at a 1995 edition of the Rand McNally Atlas, which showed Nepal and Guyana as the two countries with a 45 min. offset. On further research, I found that Guyana now has a standard time zone, but I don't know when they switched. I then discovered the Chatham Island location, which on a close inspection of the Rand McNally map appeared correctly as a very small green dot along with Nepal and Guyana. The Chatham Islands would actually be on the other side of the International Date Line from New Zealand if they hadn't put a kink in the line, so I guess they couldn't just put it in the next hourly time zone. What excuse Nepal has, I have no idea.

Peter Suzman

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