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CIA’s latest test for budding spies asks them to tell the time using just visual clues

What time is it in this photo? CIA’s latest test for budding spies asks them to tell the time using just visual clues

  • CIA released a picture depicting a wintry scene asking people to tell the time
  • The illustration contains all the elements of the perfect winter snapshot
  • Most respondents played along, but some asked whether there wasn’t more important things the intelligence agency could be doing 
  • Last month the CIA did something similar with users finding even differences in a spooky Halloween scene

In the run-up to winter, the CIA has tweeted a wintry scene and asked eagle-eyed followers to see if they can tell what time it is in a photo.

‘Put your analysis skills to the test. What time is it in the photo?’ the spy agency tweeted together with a picture of a seasonal photo that depicted icy roads, snowy school buses and fir tree lined hillsides covered with the white stuff. 

Twitter users then took it upon themselves to solve the timely puzzle with plenty of people putting forward their theories as to whether it is 3pm, 11am or 7am. 

The CIA released a picture depicting a wintry scene asking people to tell the time

‘Easy, look at the light poles turned on which means it’s 7 am. Am I hired?’ asked RamJam.

‘It’s also winter and the sun sets down before 4 PM in many areas,’ agreed Ovidiu Maciuc. 

‘I’m guessing that it’s 7:00AM based off of the lighting, and the busses aren’t covered in snow, so they must’ve moved recently,’ suggested Bakkon Super using clear logic.

‘It’s 3:04pm and those buses outside the school are about fill up,’ said Arctic Fox.

Some people used logic to solve the puzzle of what time the picture was taken

Some people used logic to solve the puzzle of what time the picture was taken

Other's attempted to guess the correct answer by using true survival skills:the angle of the sun

Other’s attempted to guess the correct answer by using true survival skills:the angle of the sun

Some used visual clues to detect the time of day including whether the street lights were on

Some used visual clues to detect the time of day including whether the street lights were on

One user thought that sign of school busses meant that it was mid-afternoon on a winter's day

One user thought that sign of school busses meant that it was mid-afternoon on a winter’s day

One person joked that they were working for the Russian spy agency and wished to become a double agent

One person joked that they were working for the Russian spy agency and wished to become a double agent

Another potential spy ruled themselves out by virtue of their background check

Another potential spy ruled themselves out by virtue of their background check

‘7AM. The lights are on because they are still in the shadows and have not gone off for the day,’ argued Larry Anglin.

Josiah Daves gave an even more considered response: ‘School buses with tracks = morning or afternoon cars parked at resort with snow covered/zero tracks = morning ski lift/slope inactive = morning 7 am.’

Italo agreed tweeting, ‘7am. transport for skyers are empty, street lights on (probably from the night before), school buses arriving?. Snow in cars parked.’

‘I think 7am, the long shadows of a rising sun in the east and the parked cars, implying many are still in bed. Am I hired?’ asked Alexander Clare. 

But several also failed to get into the spirit of the season with one person asking: ‘This the CIA that help capture Bin Ladin?’ wrote one.

‘Guys: time to stop playing games and focus on national security, seriously,’ added another. 

Most respondents played along, but some asked whether there wasn't more important things the intelligence agency could be doing

Most respondents played along, but some asked whether there wasn’t more important things the intelligence agency could be doing

The agency revealed the correct answer to be 7am with the majority guessing correctly

The agency revealed the correct answer to be 7am with the majority guessing correctly

Later the agency revealed the correct answer to be 7am.

‘Most of you guessed correctly. Seems like you all have an eye for this. You should check out our careers page. #DiscovertheCIA,’ the tweet read.

The CIA has a dedicated page aimed at attracting youngsters to look further at the agency with several more spot the difference puzzles. 

The #TriviaTuesday buzz also took place last month when the spy agency tweeted a two spooky Halloween scenes with graveyards and pumpkins to bats and broomsticks that asked user to ‘spot the difference.

The fun trivia also took place in September with a different scene when Twitter users found 12 differences between a pair of images despite the CIA saying there were 11 to find.

The CIA responded the following day: ‘If you found more than 11 differences, you practiced good tradecraft. Always look for opportunities to learn more.’ 

Last month the CIA released a spooky Halloween scene asking people to spot the difference

Last month the CIA released a spooky Halloween scene asking people to spot the difference

In September, another 'spot the difference' puzzle saw people identifying more than the orinigal solution suggested of 11 differences

In September, another ‘spot the difference’ puzzle saw people identifying more than the orinigal solution suggested of 11 differences

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