||Douglas decided to reassemble the watch in the privacy of the shed at the bottom of the garden. The shed was very dilapidated, with a tin roof that was rusted through in several places, and many gaps in the walls where the old railway sleepers had rotted through or slipped out of position. Douglas liked the shed for this, though, as it gave it some character, and in daylight it meant he could get a good view of the beach below the garden, a view which became more interesting as the weather improved!
Since the Time Piece fiasco, Douglas had kept the watch parts together in a small white plastic box, under a brick in the corner of the shed. Here, it was out of sight of the neighbour Mr. Muggle (who seems to have a fascination with anything Douglas works on in the shed). Douglas retrieved the container and laid out the parts on the work bench.
Eventually the watch was pieced back together, and Douglas even managed to get the second hand in place on his own, with no further mishaps. He wound up the spring and the watch ticked merrily straight away. But this time Douglas knew better than to celebrate prematurely: he would keep quiet and not announce success until the timepiece had been fully tested for accuracy. The final reassembly had taken all evening, however, and it was exactly midnight when he came indoors and synchronised the timepiece with his reliable Swiss watch.
Douglas rushed back from work the next day, remembering that he’d left the home-made timepiece running. Eager to check that the watch was keeping time correctly, he picked it up and compared it with his Swiss watch.
He was pleased to see that the hands of his masterpiece were still turning, but disappointed when he checked the time it was showing. It was clear to him that it had been losing five minutes every hour, as it was now showing EF:GH even though the correct time was AB:CD.
Douglas had built an adjustment mechanism into the watch, but not enough to make up the difference. Frustrated, he sat heavily down in his armchair, frowning. Then he suddenly got to his feet and paid a quick visit to the tool shed, took the watch into the garden, and spent the next few seconds adjusting the mechanism again, this time using a large hammer.
When Douglas explained to Erin why he’d destroyed the watch, he mentioned that he’d realized that five minutes per hour was beyond the maximum possible adjustment of three minutes per hour, so the watch would have to be totally redesigned and rebuilt. He’d decided that he was not cut out to be a watchmaker!
Being a mathematician, Erin was puzzled by his calculation: “You have a devil of a temper, Douglas! Now close your mouth and listen. If it had been losing five minutes an hour it should have been showing IJ:KL. It was actually only losing one minute per hour.”.
Douglas frowned again. Erin continued: “So, for instance, at 4.p.m it would have been 16 hours after midnight, so the watch would have been showing 15:44 – 16 minutes slow. You could have easily corrected the watch – but I think wrecking it has done you a favour as perhaps now you will have time for some Geocaching!”.
If AB:CD is the time obtained from Time Piece, what are EF:GH and IJ:KL (both to the nearest minute, all times in 24-hour format)?
The cache is at N 54°IJ.L28 W 004°GH.24H
The container is a very small box, with a Geocaching Microcache keyring, an ACU Benevolent Fund TT 2004 badge and a fluorescent eraser. Please re-hide very carefully, as Mr. Muggles has sharp eyesight!