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Profile of itsmagic

I've been going insane trying to remember this one "magic square" trick. Basically, someone writes down their lucky number between 50 and 100.

On a 4x4 grid, I believe, you proceed to write down some numbers. Afterwards, you ask the helper to choose a number on each row, however once a number is chosen, you draw a line horizontally and vertically from that chosen number so that any other numbers on the horizontal or vertical of that chosen number are "deleted." You continue this procedure until there are only 4 or 5 chosen numbers circled, depending if it's a 4x4 or 5x5 grid. When they add up their circled numbers from the grid, the total equals their original "lucky" number!

I performed this once and it helped me get a gig, however, since then, I have forgotten the mechanics of this trick. Could someone please help. Please PM me if you prefer. Thanks a million.
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Profile of TomasB
To save on typing I'll give you the method to create a 2x2 Matrix Force and you'll see how you can extend it. Chose any numbers A,B,C and D which sum up to your force number. Imagine A and B written above each column in a 2x2 matrix and imagine C and D written beside the rows of the 2x2 matrix.


At position X in the matrix you simply write the sum of the two numbers indication this position. C indicates the row and A indicates the column so you write A+C in position X. Likewise you write B+C in position Y and so on.

I'm a great fan of this principle and I especially like it when it is further hidden. See Larry Becker's book for some very nice ideas.

dr chutney
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Profile of dr chutney
Tomas, thanks for highlighting that method. Using ideas from Larry Becker and Lee Earle I've printed cards to do a Price Is Right routine involving gift items. I did this for a 50th birthday. On each list though I kept the difference between each category value the same. Using the principle you outline I think you can be a lot more flexible, and thus further disguise the method. I also liked Max Maven's handling in his Rainbow Matrix.
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middle earth
1076 Posts

Profile of itsmagic
Thomas, thanks for your idea. Unfortunately, I'm not that mathematically talented. Problem is when someone calls out a number, how do I know what digits to write into the matrix quickly using a simple formula so that once the numbers get circled, it will add up to their "lucky" number.

If I create the matrix ahead of time, there is no free choice of "lucky" number for the spectator to choose. This effect actually allows the spectator to first think of a number, then on the empty matrix, you start filling in digits using a simple mental formula.

This is really bugging me to no end. I can't seem to remember that darn formula to filling in the matrix. Please share your wisdom with me.
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