Can You Tell What Time It Is From The Image? CIA Quiz For Kids Puzzles The Internet

Forget the pandemic and all the other [gestures broadly in the direction of everything going on], it's puzzle time. 

The CIA launched a puzzle on Twitter that seems to have people a little vexed. The basic puzzle is that they show you an image of a city and you have to deduce what time it is based on what you see.

Take your time, don't worry about the fact that the puzzle is meant for children, just try to get there in your own time, we're not here to judge.


People made all sorts of suggestions of how you can get to the answer, mainly by saying "zoom, enhance, zoom, enhance" until you see the time on somebody's wristwatch, just like they do in the movies. 

"7:32pm on August 3rd," one person wrote. "I can tell by the wrist watch on the man's wrist in the 3rd floor apartment. His name is Frank, he likes needlepoint but his friends don't know that and he once won a bet on who could burp loudest in 5th grade."

Others correctly deduced that you're supposed to work out the time of day from the length of the shadows as well as other clues from the amount of traffic on the roads.

"Later afternoon/early evening," one user hazarded a guess. "The solar panels on the right are situated for maximum sun exposure. Shadows on the buildings indicate the sun is on its way down."

"7:00 am Long Shadows extra bright," another tried. "Early morning auto traffic but no people on the sidewalks yet so people driving to work. Low clouds have not been burned off from the heat of the day."

The image is part of a game on their website that narrows it down further. If you said early evening, you nailed it, as the CIA say it represents 6pm. Should you get that right, you will be asked to deduce whether the day is a weekday, a holiday, or a game day, and what season the image was taken. You should also be able to tell whether the city should expect rain, a celebration, an eclipse, or danger the following day.

A follow-up quiz showed a different scene, which again left grown adults struggling to get the answer (mainly by overthinking it).


The answer is 7am, which you can figure out from the shadows being cast from the east and the streetlights remaining on from the night. Should you have guessed correctly, they invite you to check out their careers pages, though we'd suggest maybe there'll be some more difficult tasks along the way than those they set for a 12-year-old.


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