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Exactly how many minutes is it before six o'clock if 50 minutes ago it was four times as many minutes past three o'clock?

 [Ref: ZTIO]

26 minutes.

There are 180 minutes between 3:00 and 6:00. We can ignore the "50 minutes ago" for a little while and share the remaining 130 minutes in the ratio 4:1, which is 104:26. Which means the 3 hours between 3:00 and 6:00 are made of up 104 minutes + 50 minutes + 26 minutes. So it's now 26 minutes to 6.

Which means it is now 5:34. 50 minutes ago it was 4:44 - which is 104 minutes past 3:00. QED.

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