Quaker Time – A Friendly Logic Puzzle


Plaintown Friends is a small monthly meeting that has spent several recent business meetings laboring over a concern about late arrivals to worship. The meeting struggled for unity. “Late arrivals disrupt the Silence.” “Tardiness is disrespectful to those who are already gathered.” “We should lock the doors after worship has begun.” “It’s all I can do to get my kids out the door in the morning. If we must be prompt, we can’t attend.”

Eventually, all Friends agreed that everyone’s worship experience was enhanced when all arrived, settled, and centered by the appointed hour of 10:00 AM. All agreed to strive for that and also for compassion and acceptance for those who still arrived late for whatever reason.


One recent First Day, twelve Friends attended worship at Plaintown Meeting. They sat in twelve chairs, which had been arranged in a circle and were labeled “A” through “L” (as in the illustration). One Friend arrived every
3 minutes, from 9:33 to 10:06. All twelve Friends centered down easily, and afterwards, all commented that the meeting had felt truly gathered.

From the details listed below, determine the time that each person arrived and which seat each person sat in. Also determine who the meeting’s four founding members are.

  • Circle of twelve chairs, labled "A" through "L".jpgNo Friend’s name starts with an initial letter that matches the letter on that Friend’s chair. No two neighboring people have names that start with alphabetically consecutive initials.
  • The Friends in chairs A, C, G, and K are the meeting’s only founding members; they arrived at 9:33, 9:57, 10:00, and 10:06, in some order.
  • Lucretia, who is not a founder, is sitting exactly 6 seats to the left of Kenya (who didn’t arrive last).
  • Barclay (who is in chair H) arrived at a time ending in an odd number.
  • Elias arrived 3 minutes after one of the founding members.
  • George arrived at 9:48.
  • Darby, Elias, George, and Jessamyn are the people in chairs A, D, G, and J, in some order.
  • Isaac (who is sitting exactly 6 seats to the left of  Francisco) arrived 3 minutes after Francisco and 3 minutes before Darby.
  • Jessamyn is not sitting immediately to Cady’s right.
  • Margaret (who is not sitting in chair L) arrived 3 minutes before Hannah and exactly 6 minutes after Cady. Margaret (who is sitting exactly 6 seats to the left of Hannah) is also sitting immediately next to one of the founders.


  • Read through the story and all of the clues before starting. All the needed information is provided. Every so often, read through all the clues again.
  • Use scraps of paper to make notes. It might be helpful to make a list of the Friends’ names and a list of arrival times.
  • Work on the puzzle with a friend or family member.
  • If you get stuck or find inconsistencies in your answers, take a break to clear your mind. Come back later and start over again.

Remember: This is meant to be fun, not a chore!  ~~~

Confianza del Señor is a member of Amigas del Señor Monastery in Honduras, which shares in a Covenant of Caring with Multnomah Monthly Meeting in Portland, OR (NPYM).

Del Señor AK.pdf

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