I'm just trying to figure out who's clock should be running when one or more players has a legitimate question/concern.
Say there is anywhere from a small to large number of cards in play and both players are unsure what any-given-cards stats are. Which players clock is running while they figure this out? (Maybe even both players...dunno?)
'In theory' I'd say nobody's clock (or both players clocks) should be running. If its decided that somebodies clock has to be running all the time, and no more than one clock can be running at a given time, then Player A should view the board while their clock ticks, and Player B has to move away from the game area (somehow handled so they can't think about the game state while Player A is doing so -> something very difficult to do) and then they switch who can look at the board state when the clock switches back.
In the meantime some third party would have to also view the game state, and then, once both players think they know what's going on, the third party would have to confer with each of them individually, and if one person has an incorrect understanding, then their clock runs while the third party explains to them what's happening?
It's Player A's turn, and player A asks player B how many cards are in their hand, discard pile, and in play, how long does player B have to respond? 5 seconds, 10 seconds? 20? While this is happening, is time ticking away from player A's clock?
These, plus countless other questions, need answered before anyone should want to use some type of clock system as a potential method for determining a winner.
Trying to prove that someone was abusing a time rule would be extremely difficult to do. Numerous legitimate questions exist about the game state and there are several valid reason for their having asked any one of them (this holds true across a multitude of game states and questions that could be asked).