CIA Posts Puzzle On Twitter, Invites People Who Solve It To Apply For A Job

Have you ever thought you have what it takes to become a spy? Well you can now find out thanks to a puzzle the Central Intelligence Agency posted on Twitter. The tricky brainteaser shows a wintery scene with a caption that reads, "Put your analysis skills to the test. What time is it in the photo?" They give three options: 3 p.m., 11 a.m. and 7 a.m.

At first glance, the pic just seems to be of a quiet ski resort with nearby homes and snow-covered roads, but looking closer, you might be able to figure out some clues to solve the puzzle.

Most people who wagered a guess didn't think it was 11 a.m., likely because the shadows would be shorter if that were the time.

A third of the responses were for 3 p.m., with explanations like, "The snow on the road has been worn down by a days traffic and there are no [snow plows] out. Empty school buses are pulling in and lining up to take kids home. Sun is now in the West - houses are East facing," and "The clock tower in the photo says it 3:00 p.m."

However, more than half the people who tried the puzzle felt it was 7 a.m. for various reasons. One wrote, "The cars in the parking lot have snow on hoods. Long shadows. Nobody’s skiing yet. Only 1 car on the road. No pedestrians," while another noted, "I would say it's 7 a.m. because the streets have not been plowed yet, and seeing evergreen trees I bet they have snowplows and ample snow removal tools ready. I believe that if it was any other time of day the roads would be clearer since it is not currently snowing." Others commented on how the buses are likely dropping students off at the school.

It turns out, they were right. In a follow-up tweet, the CIA confirmed that 7 a.m. is the correct answer and invited anyone who guessed correctly to apply for a job at the agency.

It's not the first time a spy agency has done some recruiting via social media. A few years ago, the Australian Secret Intelligence Service put out a pretty challenging interactive test people could take online. Learn more about that and find out how to take it here.

Photo: Getty Images