I'm in a time-loop. I wake up in Paris, under the Eiffel Tower, at 13:00, July 2, 2016. And then I have 10 hours to do whatever I want. But after 10 hours, at 23:00, it turns to be 13:00 again and I find myself under the Eiffel Tower again (and only I remember everything that happened, no one else is aware of this time loop) (kind of like the movie Groundhog Day).

Somehow, I know that the only way to escape this time loop and return to normal life is if I make it to Times Square in New York, sometime during my 10 hour period.

A flight from Paris to New York is 8 hours 20 minutes long. Say it takes 30 minutes to get from the Eiffel tower to the airport in Paris, and 30 minutes to get from the airport in New York to Times Square.

So, to free myself from the endless loop, I need to arrive at the airport, "talk" or "push" my way in to a plane (since I don't have enough time to buy a ticket and go through normal security etc..), and then in New York I need to do the same so I can get on time to Times Square.

But, I can try this an infinite number of times.

Do you think I will ever make it? Or will I stay stuck forever?

  • $\begingroup$ you are asking a yes or no question, so if there is any chance, then the answer is yes. you should edit your question. $\endgroup$
    – Keltari
    Commented Jul 2, 2016 at 19:42

4 Answers 4


I have to question, why you would go to such extreme efforts to escape the blessings that a time-loop provides. As you are now, you are literally immortal and invulnerable with all the freedoms that come with those attributes.

You get infinite do-overs! Bill used a few thousand iterations to win one girl's heart. With a few million iterations, you can persue and win the affections of every eligible mate within a 10 hour radius of Paris, which is arguably the best place in the world to fall in love.

You can go anywhere, do anything and experience everything and you get to keep the memories without having to keep the costs. Want to learn to paint like a master all the masters, buy some art supplies and visit the Louvre a few million times.

Nothing is beyond your reach and you have forever to figure out all that is possible.

But if you are still determined to give this goldmine away...

What you need to do is work you way into the favor of someone who owns a private jet. Private Jets can jump the Atlantic in 7-8 hours and can land at Westchester County Airport which is an hour's drive from Times Square.

So that leaves you 2-3 hours to convince a french millionaire that is time to visit NYC. That shouldn't take more than a couple thousand iterations to work out.

Start by finding the right millionaire who owns the right plane. Then follow him around for a few 10 hour iterations till you know how he plans to spend his entire day. At a moment when he is vulnerable, bump into him and start a conversation. For several iterations after that, rework the conversation till you are an expert on every aspect of his life.

"Hey Mr. Antoine, I'm Brian, your Grandson Delmon's, college roommate. He suggested I contact you if I was ever in Paris. He wanted me to tell you how grateful he was for..."

..then babble on with prorietary knowledge that only a real roommate would know.

This may not be your end game. There may not be a scenario where the millionaire would lend the jet and pilot to a friend of his grandson. But it is an excellent starting place for a long con, and you have infinite tries to make it work.

Roughly a thousand iterations later, you skip the Millionaire entirely, arriving at the Jet's airfield with a forged letter for the pilot, ordering him to take you to NYC. When he attempts to call to verify these orders, the electronic cellphone jammer in your pocket blocks that call. It might take a few iterations to figure out how to convince pilot to do his part despite the absence of confirmation, but soon enough, you will be airborne.

And from there, the race is on!

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Why bother with HPN? You can land at Teterboro or even LGA. For that matter, you can use your infinite do-overs to learn how to fly the plane and then just steal it. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 3, 2016 at 5:28
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ However, note that you are only immune to the consequences of what you do as long as you are in the time loop. As soon as you manage to leave the time loop, you'll get to feel the consequences of anything you did in the last iteration. So if you do a crime in order to get to New York, you may trade being stuck in a time loop for being stuck in a prison. I certainly would prefer the time loop. $\endgroup$
    – celtschk
    Commented Jul 3, 2016 at 7:24
  • $\begingroup$ So additional iterations w++ $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 4, 2016 at 17:02
  • $\begingroup$ w++ equals my cat stepping on the keyboard. Sorry. So additional iterations should be invested in managing to do all this without leaving any clues to your real identity. Burn your ID and put on gloves during the first few minutes of the last iteration, then perform the whole con without ever exposing who you are. Once you get through Time Square, go back to being you and leave the Millionaire, the pilot and the customs officials with with a mystery, but no clues. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 4, 2016 at 17:08

I'd say you'll make it, much like the protagonist in groundhog day, being able to know the consequences of any possible action of yours and not having to fear any negative outcomes you'd eventually be able to find a path that takes you through, the only real hurdle here is boarding the plane and therea are many ways to do that. (You could steal someone's identity, know exactly when the guards will be looking away/where they will not search, pretend to be the newly hired hostess ecc.).

The only way I could imagine is if the deck is stacked against you, only if you were thrust in a situation that is built on purpose in such a way that you cannot reach Times Square would you really be unable to get there. (For example if that particular flight has been canceled and there is no other flight that can bring you there on time).

This is assuming that you remember everything even if you die. If, when you die, the memory of that particular cycle is lost you'd end up repeating a single cycle forever, dying partway through.

  • $\begingroup$ Well, if the guy can't remember what he did then he'll probably do the same thing over and over again, making the whole time-loop pointless. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 3, 2016 at 16:26
  • $\begingroup$ That's what I said. Every day they would repeat the exact same actions, die, forget about the previous 10 hours and repeat it all again. $\endgroup$
    – Annonymus
    Commented Jul 3, 2016 at 16:46

Yes. You're assuming commercial flight times.

You'll easily beat the 10 hours if you take a private jet (since you get infinite do-overs you'll find a way to bypass the border control delay, there is no airport security delay) and skydive onto your target.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I'm not sure if 10 hours would be enough to secure the right to both fly a private jet over Times Square and skydive down to it. It would probably be more practical to jet to the nearest airport and take a cab. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 2, 2016 at 23:16
  • $\begingroup$ You don't need the rights to fly over it. Jump from fairly high altitude with a sport parachute and you can glide far enough. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 4, 2016 at 2:08

A valiant attempt to achieve this with a commercial flight will look something like this. You'll need a mobile phone with data, passport and credit cards or cash (EUR and USD) on you at 13:00, just to make the attempt.

At 13:00 you go immediately to the Air France web site, and book a ticket on AF006, which is scheduled to depart CDG at 14:05. Then you check in online for it. You must complete these before 13:05, because check in closes an hour before departure. (You probably won't be able to do this in five minutes unless you already have a login with Air France and have booked flights with them before, so that they have your details already.)

You then find a taxi and pay the driver to get you to CDG Terminal 2 as fast as he can possibly go. If he drives normally, you ought to arrive around 13:30, but hopefully you will gain several minutes from a very aggressive taxi driver.

Along the way, you empty your pockets of anything metal you might be carrying and don't need, so that you can speed through airport security later.

Boarding closes 20 minutes before scheduled departure, so you need to move through the airport and get to Terminal 2E fast. Walk through security and passport control, and then check the departures board to find your gate.

You picked the right taxi driver today. As you are looking at the departures board you hear the final boarding call. You run to the gate and are the next-to-last person to board.

Unfortunately there's some kind of problem, and the plane doesn't push back right away. 14:05 comes and goes and it's still sitting on the ground. There's an announcement of a "short delay" but no actual explanation. You look out the window and the weather seems fine. It's only been mostly cloudy with a moderate breeze all day and it's only mostly cloudy now. Even though you know you can do it again if necessary, you're just as impatient to take off as everyone else is.

Finally, some 40 minutes late, the plane pushes back, taxis to the runway and takes off. A few people start applauding and then quickly stop. Nobody ever explains exactly what delayed the flight.

You think about what lies at the end of the flight. It's scheduled to arrive at 4:20 pm, which only leaves you 40 minutes to get through immigration and find a way to Times Square. But with the plane having left 40 minutes late, you're pretty certain you won't make it at the end.

You're in luck though. The plane caught some good weather over the Atlantic and made up all the time it lost. You arrive at the gate at exactly 4:20 pm, the scheduled time. Since you don't have any luggage, not even a carry-on, you get up and squeeze past as many people as you can, heading toward the exit.

Even so, you don't get ahead of everyone, and by the time you get to the end of the jetway, you can see that Terminal 1 is a complete zoo. There must be 500 people here! Your passport lets you use the automated passport control kiosks, but there are still what seems like dozens of people in front of you. You finally get to a kiosk, fumble your passport into the reader, and punch a bunch of "No" declarations into the screen. Finally you run past the baggage claim and make it to customs, where there's another seemingly endless queue.

While waiting your turn to speak to a customs officer, you suddenly find yourself back under the Eiffel Tower. To get to Times Square, you needed another 37 minutes that you just didn't have.

On this do-over, you don't even bother to leave Paris. You spend the day on the Champ de Mars and begin to think about where you can shave off minutes or even seconds on your next attempt. Maybe there's some way to figure out what delayed the plane, and get it to leave on time on a future do-over. Perhaps there's a way to get through immigration faster? Probably not, with those huge crowds. Can you sneak past them somehow? And if you do, will they spot you? What happens if you get to Times Square on time, but with 50 cops in pursuit?

Obviously this is going to take a while to figure out. Fortunately, you seem to have plenty of time to do it with...

Note: This post incorporated Air France policies, actual historical flight data for AF006 and actual weather conditions in Paris for 2 July 2016. Also consulted was CBP immigration wait time data for JFK Terminal 1 (which unfortunately can't be hyperlinked).


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .