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# Clock Calculator Bulb Puzzle

This is one of many puzzles which went viral during this Corona Pandemic. As more and more people are staying indoor, these puzzles are proving a good way to entertain and give some exercise to brain. Solving brainteasers are fun way to keep yourself engaged in boring time.

We published a hard and tricky brainteaser Basket of eggs Puzzle which got good response. Now, here is another math brainteaser to keep you busy.

## Clock Calculator Bulb Puzzle

Hint: Take close look of clocks and bulbs. Their values are not same.

Once you have the answer then scroll down to compare the answer.

These puzzles are pretty easy however, still people come up with different answer. Reason behind different answer is that, we always overlook small-small details.

If you liked this puzzle and then I am sure you will like Cookie Banana Clock Puzzle as well. This puzzle got more than 10K responses on our Facebook Page Puzzles, Brain Teasers and Fun

### Clock Calculator Bulb Puzzle Answer

Explanation:

First equation has 3 clocks, first 2 clocks are clocking at 9 and next one is at 3. So first equation is 9 + 9 + 3 = 21 => 1 clock with time as 9 = 9 and 1 clock with time as 3 = 3

Second equation has 3 calculators which each having number as 1234 , some of these number is 1 + 2+ 3+ 4 = 10

Which makes second equation as 10 + 10 + 10 = 30 => 1 calculator with number 1234 = 10

Third equation has 3 bulbs, each with 5 lights so equation is

15 + 15 – 15 = 15 => 1 bulb with 5 lights = 15

Now, we have last equation which has

1 clock with time 9 + 1 calculator with numbers as 1224 X 3 bulbs with each with 4 lights

This makes our equation(remember to first multiple then addition):

9 + 9 X (3 x 12) = 9 + 9 X 36 = 9 + 324 = 333

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## By Kumar

Hi All, I am Ramesh Kumar, author of this blog. I am an IT engineer. I love puzzles and riddles so I decided to publish the same for others like me. If you like puzzles then do subscribe to my email listing. You can also follow me through the website Facebook page . If you like to contact me then use the contact page form, I will reply to your emails ASAP. Thanks

## 20 replies on “Clock Calculator Bulb Puzzle”

Banakubasays:

For the clock-bulb puzzle…

Ok this is why this was interesting and expected some to go and look it up… yes order of operations are bodmas or bedmas pretty basic math…

Question is whether to add all the bulbs on last line when they are equations themselves so a looked up solution would be 333…

I know some might say 333 but thatâ€™s if u add the all bulbs but each bulb is a bracketed equation on its own and bracketed equation between them are always multiplied unless there is a operation symbol which this not have.

Each bulb on line 4 is X=yz=y*z=3*4

So all the bulbs are
XXX=X*X*X
=(3*4)(3*4)(3*4)
=12*12*12
=1728

Last line 9+9*1728
=15,561

Full equation on last line is:
9+9*(3*4)(3*4)(3*4)=
9+9*(3*4)^3=
9+9*12^3=
9+9*1728=
9+15,552=
15,561

Each bulb in last equation does not have an operation symbol and each is an equation also so
Each bulb is (3*4)(3*4)(3*4)
=(3*4)^3 this is pretty basic and tells you everything.

Just like bulb is y and the rays z so you get
(y*z)(y*z)(y*z)=
(y*z)^3=
(yz)^3= samething for total bulbs.

333 is incorrect as the above equation proves it.

JJsays:

I agree with all the numbers placed on all the symbols. However the last group of three light bulbs shows one on top of two equal to a half. It does not show any other mathematical signs that the bulbs should be added together. Therefore the bottom line reads 9+9 =18 x 1/2 = 9

Kumarsays:

Hi JJ, though there is no sign that it should be added or multiplied however, when we say 1 bulb is equal to x, then 3 bulbs should be equal to 3x only. It cannot be x*x*x . In my solution, I showed equation as x+x+x which is same as 3x.

Thanks

Allen Wsays:

But it’s written as
bulb
bulb bulb.

bulb
bulb is “bulb to the bulbth power”. Which I then multiplied by the final “bulb”, since multiplication is the only operation that can be expressed without a symbol or superscript.

Kumarsays:

When we she something, we count them not multiply them. If we see 1 bulb then we will say there is one bulb. Similarly, when we see bulb bulb and bulb, we will say there are 3 bulbs. It should be just counting as we normally do instead of adding operator in-between.

Kumarsays:

Hi Banakuba,

When we see 3 bulbs, we should interpret is simply as 3 bulbs instead of adding any operator in between. I added + just to show that, there are 3 bulbs.

It is simple image where first we calculate, how much is value of 1 bulb and when we see 3 bulbs, we simply say if 1 bulb is equal to x then 3 bulbs should be equal to 3x not x*x*x .

Thanks

leesays:

dennissays:

1 bulb =0 + 3Ã—5 ticks =15 or
1 bulb=10 +5 ticks =15 or
1 bulb= 5 + 2Ã—5 ticks = 15

these solutions all work and come to different answers.

Joesays:

I actually did something different with the calculators. Instead of adding up each number on the calculator screen, I made the value of each calculator the whole number on the screen – 1224. So each of the three calculators in the second row have a value of 10 because 1234 – 1224 = 10 and therefore 10 + 10 + 10 = 30. Therefore the bottom calculator has a value of 1224 – 1224 = 0 so that equation becomes 9 + 0 X (36 or whatever else people come up with because it doesn’t matter because it’s multiplied by zero) are so in my world the final answer is 9. ðŸ™‚

Mike Newsays:

I did this too, same answer!

Paul.says:

The answer is 153. The three small light bulbs donâ€™t have the same threads. Two have one thread and the other two threads. The large ones have 3 threads thus 3 x 5 rays =15 each. The smaller ones are two have 1 x 4 rays. Thus 4 each. The other has two threads x 4 rays. Thus 8. So they add up to 16. X 9. Plus 9 is 153. Look at a clear picture of the puzzle and you will see the clearly differentlt shaded bulb threads.

So, what I’m seeing is, there really is no definitive answer because the rules are unstable per each person’s interpretation. That makes it a bad puzzle, as there are numerous ” correct” answers.

Calsays:

I think the answer to this puzzle could also be 9.
The calculator equals 10 at 1234. Sure the numbers add up to 10 but we already know that they are 10 bc they are identical.p wind e3 of them add up to thirty. It could be ABCD on the screen.

In the last row the number is 1224 which is 10 less. If the calculator is 10 then 10 less is 0… 0x36 is zero…plus 9 is Nine.

Ambiguities

As several have said, alternative solutions are possibleÂ while adhering strictly to images and logic. Â ThisÂ is why clear, creative thinkersÂ may fareÂ poorly on conventional tests.Â

I. Â  Bulbs

A. Â Bulb value
Sanjeev K YadavÂ and Paul make interesting observations regarding the number of screw threads on the light bulbs. Â While the image above appears to show identical screw-threads, some blur this, and there is at least one in circulation which seems to showÂ the final two bulbs with four threads. That would indeed open a new path. Â
The threads could resolve the bulb ambiguity pointed out by Kevin Redinger, Thomas Dowling, Nic Mcilwee,Â Andy Peacock, and dennis: Value of bulb = screw-turns x rays.

But there are other ambiguities:

B: Â Final image could indicateÂ multiplication (adjacent symbols) rather than addition (asÂ Banakuba suggests): Â 9 + 9 (12 x 12 x 12)Â = 15,561 Â

C: Â It could indicate division (1/2) rather than addition, asÂ Adrian AlbrightÂ andÂ JJÂ suggest.Â
9Â + 9(12/24) = 13.5Â

D: Â Or it could be bulb^blubÂ x bulb, asÂ Allen WilkinsÂ suggests.Â 9 + 9(12^12 x 12) = 80,244,904,034,313Â

II. Clocks

E. The clocks show divisions of 8:
Line 1: Â (6/8)x + (6/8)x + = (2/8)x = 21x = 12This results in no change! Â the first clock = (6/8)12 = 9; Â the second (2/8)12 = 3. Â

III. Â Calculators
F: Â Treat calculators as each displaying one 4-digit number, rather than four 1-digit numbers. Â Joe and Cal suggest one approach to this, but the following may involve less interpretation: Â  Â

These could refer to divisions on a finer scale: Â
Line 2: Â 1,234 of these fine divisions amount to 1/3 of 30 = 10So there are 123.4 divisions per unit. Â
Line 4: Â 1,224 of these = 9.918962722852512 9 Â + Â 9.918962722852512 Â X Â 36 Â = Â 366.082658022690438Â

G: Â  Same as C but:
The calculators have less than 10 keys, including function keys. Â If they have 7 digits, they may be in base 7: Â Â
Line 2: Â 1,234 in base 7 = 466 in base 10In base 10, 466 fine divisions comprise 1/3 of 30 = 10So there are 46.6 Â divisions per unit.
Line 4: Â 1,224 in base 7 is 459 in base 10. Â 459 fine divisions = 9.8497854077253229 Â + Â 9.849785407725322 Â X Â 36 Â = Â 363.592274678111588 Â

H: Â Same as D but treat all of Line 2 (including sum “30”) as base 7

Line 2: Â 1,234 in base 7 = 466 in base 10 In base 7: Â 1,234 fine divisions comprise 1/3 of 30 = 10
Translating to base 10: Â 466 fine divisions comprise 1/3 of 21 = 7 Â So there are 66.571428571428… divisions per unit

Line 4: Â 1,224 in base 7 is 459 in base 10 Â 459 fine divisions Â / 66.571428571428… divisions per unit = 6.894849785408 Â in base 10 9 Â + Â 6.894849785408 Â  X Â 36 Â = Â 257.214592274688

Can anyone tell us the origin of this puzzle?

Reposting submission of 100 minutes ago, with clarified formatting and an additional reading of final image.

Ambiguities

As several have said, alternative solutions are possibleÂ while adhering strictly to images and logic. Â ThisÂ is why clear, creative thinkersÂ may fareÂ poorly on conventional tests.Â

I. Â  Bulbs

A. Â Bulb valueÂ

Sanjeev K YadavÂ and Paul make interesting observations regarding the number of screw threads on the light bulbs. Â While the image above appears to show identical screw-threads, some blur this, and there is at least one in circulation which seems to showÂ the final two bulbs with four threads. That would indeed open a new path. Â

The threads could resolve the bulb ambiguity pointed out by Kevin Redinger, Thomas Dowling, Nic Mcilwee,Â Andy Peacock, and dennis: Value of bulb = screw-turns x rays.

But there are other ambiguities:

B: Â Final image could indicate multiplication (adjacent symbols) rather than addition (as Banakuba suggests): Â
9 + 9 (12 x 12 x 12) = 15,561 Â

C: Â It could indicate division rather than addition, asÂ Adrian AlbrightÂ andÂ JJÂ suggest:Â 9Â + 9 (12/24) = 13.5Â

D. Â It could indicate both multiplication and division: Â 9 + 9 [ (12 x 12 Â / 24 ] = 63

E: Â Or it could be bulb^blubÂ x bulb, asÂ Allen WilkinsÂ suggests:Â  9 + 9 (12^12 x 12) = 80,244,904,034,313Â

II. Clocks

F. The clocks show divisions of 8:
Line 1: Â (6/8)x + (6/8)x + = (2/8)x = 21 s
x = 12
This results in no change! Â
The first clock = (6/8)12 = 9; Â the second (2/8)12 = 3.Â

III. Â Calculators

G: Â Treat calculators as each displaying one 4-digit number, rather than four 1-digit numbers. Â
Joe and Cal suggest one approach to this, but the following may involve less interpretation: Â  Â

These could refer to divisions on a finer scale: Â

Line 2: Â 1,234 of these fine divisions amount to 1/3 of 30 = 10
So there are 123.4 divisions per unit. Â

Line 4: Â 1,224 of these = 9.918962722852512
9 Â + Â 9.918962722852512 Â x Â 36 Â = Â 366.082658022690438Â

H: Â  Same as G but:
The calculators have less than 10 keys, including function keys. Â If they have 7 digits, they may be in base 7: Â Â

Line 2: Â 1,234 in base 7 = 466 in base 10
In base 10, 466 fine divisions comprise 1/3 of 30 = 10
So there are 46.6 Â divisions per unit.

Line 4: Â 1,224 in base 7 is 459 in base 10. Â
459 fine divisions / 46.6 Â divisions per unit = 9.8497854077253229
9.8497854077253229 Â + Â 9.849785407725322 Â X Â 36 Â = Â 363.592274678111588 Â

I: Â Same as D but treat all of Line 2 (including sum “30”) as base 7

Line 2: Â 1,234 in base 7 = 466 in base 10
In base 7: Â 1,234 fine divisions comprise 1/3 of 30 = 10
Translating to base 10: Â 466 fine divisions comprise 1/3 of 21 = 7 Â
So there are 66.571428571428… divisions per unit

Line 4: Â 1,224 in base 7 is 459 in base 10 Â
459 fine divisions Â / 66.571428571428… divisions per unit = 6.894849785408 Â in base 10
9 Â + Â 6.894849785408 Â  X Â 36 Â = Â 257.214592274688

Kaisays:

1234 = 10 thus 1224=9
Wrong. 1234=10 is NOT 1+2+3+4 = 10
Thereâ€™s no indication that itâ€™s +â€™s.
1x2x3+4 also = 10, but 1x2x2+4 = 8
The only consistent way to look at the calculator number is as a single whole unit, thus (10/1234)*1224=9.92

Bulbs in formula are two (4 rays with 4 lines of thread) and one (4 rays with 3 lines of thread).
5 rays with 3 lines of thread = 15
If we thus take the *assumption* from that, that itâ€™s rays x threads, then two of the bottom bulbs are 16 and one is 12 = 44

Thus, with all the above *assumptions* the answer is roughly 445.48.

Regardless of all that, the answer definitely is NOT 333. Who makes this crap?!

DENNY Msays:

Yeah, as I stated before, this is a poorly conceived puzzle as there is obviously no ONE CORRECT answer but can actually have NUMEROUS CORRECT answers, so BOO on this puzzle, ban it from the internet. haha

Schnee Kugelsays:

I believe that the calculation of 333, circulating on the Internet for this puzzle is logically incorrect. Fake News! For a start, how is one supposed to know that each beam on the light bulbs has a value of 3, unless one is a clairvoyant?
In mathematics the beams would be counted as symbols, like the 4 numbers in the calculator are counted as symbols, and symbols are always added up in mathematics.
Calculator: 1+2+3+4+5 = 15 / or 1+2+2+4 = 9
Bulb with 5 beams: 1+2+3+4+5 = 15
Bulb with 4 beams: 1+2+3+4 = 10
Logical brain works like this: 9 (clock) + 9 (calculator) x 30 (bulbs)
Therefore, applying BODMAS and a logical brain the mathematical formula should be as follows:
9×30 = 270 + 9 = total 279
But, perhaps this puzzle is a chimera, to keep us sheeple occupied during this Corona Plandemic?
What do you think, folks?

Sharon Barrysays:

I think you are correct in saying it has been put out there to keep us occupied, and that it has. I believe there is more than one correct answer depending on how each individual interprets the light bulb especially. And I agree with the suggestion of having to be a clairvoyant to work out the bulb has a value of 3 . Once you are told that, sure you can apply it. I would love to know who came up with the original