Figured out the hodgepodge of clock chimes in the area of the cathedral on 5 de Mayo in La Paz, BCS, Mexico.

There are two clocks facing each other: the one in the cathedral itself, which I'll call CC (cathedral clock) for the purpose of this blog post), and the museum clock, MC. Third and fourth clocks to the east and west, which I hear but don't see, will be henceforth referred to as EC and WC.

CC and MC both have quarter-hour "ding-dong" chimes, which on the hour sound 4 times preceding the "dings" specifying the hour. If EC and/or WC has the same, I can't hear it.

CC runs about an hour and 7 minutes fast, so you hear it sound 0900 at 7:53.

EC runs just slightly slower than CC, sounding 0900 at 7:56.

MC runs about 6 minutes slow, so you hear it sound 0800 at 8:06.

WC runs about 10 minutes slow. Before you hear it sound 0800 at 8:10, CC has already issued its single "ding-dong" for 9:15.

So, with this bit of arcane knowledge, for as long as nobody fixes the clocks, you can know the true time in the area of the cathedral without your own timekeeping device. Alternatively, if you have been blindfolded and kidnapped and brought to this area, you can know where you are (or where your captors want you to think you are... remember The Prisoner episode "The Chimes of Big Ben").

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last updated 2023-01-18 11:10:18. served from tektonic.jcomeau.com