Can a 'how many minutes' question be solved using algebra?

I am reading a book of sample IQ test questions. One example of which, is the typical 'how many minutes' question.

I can answer the question the long way, but I would be very interested to know if such questions can be solved more elegantly using algebra. I also hope this might provide a chance for brushing up my maths skills!

Allow me to provide an example:

**Example question:**

**'How many minutes is it before 12 noon, if 48 minutes ago it was twice as many minutes past 9am?'**

Answer:

44 minutes'.

- 12 noon less 44 minutes = 11:16am

- 11:16am less 48 minutes = 10:28am

- 0900am plus 88 minutes (44 x 2) = 10:28 am

**My question: **Could this question be solved using a neat algebraic method?

What do you think? Any advice would be much appreciated! Thank you :)