Melbourne University Mathematics and Statistics Society

Solution for 5.2 Time's Wheel (Answer = DARKFRIEND)

The key is to notice that the given letter increases by 12 every hour (rounding back from Z to A). This means that any given time, as long as the minute is a multiple of 5, can encode a letter.

In this case, each Wheel of Time book from 1-12 encodes a time by using its first word as the hour hand and the second word as the minute hand. Here is a full table:

#Book TitleFirst positionSecond positionTimeLetter
1the EYE of the WORLD111011:50A
2the GREAT HUNT272:35T
3the DRAGON REBORN12512:25H
4the SHADOW RISING989:40A
5the FIRES of HEAVEN323:10A
6LORD of CHAOS121112:55N
7a CROWN of SWORDS484:40S
8the PATH of DAGGERS10310:15H
9WINTER'S HEART767:30A
10CROSSROADS of TWILIGHT12112:05D
11KNIFE of DREAMS545:20A
12the GATHERING STORM696:45R

This clues ATHA'AN SHADAR for the final answer DARKFRIEND.

Author's Notes:
This is one of my all time favourite book series and the two (major) word titles made for a great puzzle concept. Combining this with the series title 'the Wheel of Time' led to the concept of each book title providing an analog time. The thematic solution clued by atha'an shadar worked so well that I didn't include the final two books in the series but I hope that didn't detract from the puzzle.