Originally published on March 21, 2010


I’m not normally OCD about anything. Truth be told, I’m pretty much a complete slob free spirit in most regards. However, the time my alarm clock is set to go off is of critical importance. If it’s wrong, the entire day is shot.

Here’s how it works (complete chart below);

  1. the final digit must match the first digit; 1:21, 2:42, etc.
  2. rule #1 exception (optimal): the digits may be an ascending or descending sequence; 1:23, 6:54, etc.
  3. the optimal middle digit is the same as the first and last digit; 1:11, 2:22, etc.
  4. in the case of even numbers, the middle digit can be either a multiple of or divisible by the first/last digit: 2:42, 6:36, etc.
  5. rule #4 exception: 1 can’t be used because everything is a multiple of/divisible by 1
  6. rule #5 exception: does not apply to the 1 o’clock hour
  7. in the case of odd numbers, the middle digit can be the next highest or next lowest odd number; 3:53, 7:57, etc.
  8. the middle digit can also be a zero, but this is not optimal; 1:01, 2:02, etc.
  9. in the case of double digit hours, the minutes must be either the same as the hour or reversed; 10:10, 12:21, etc

There are only 9 rules, because 9 is a magic number (9X3=27 -> 2+7=9 / 9X6=54 -> 5+4=9 / etc.)