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Extreme Magic Square
by Christopher Bolter

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Extreme Magic Square by Christopher Bolter

The mentalist walks on stage holding 2 foam poster boards (or dry erase boards) with a grid of 16 squares on them. Two easels reside on stage. He places one board on top of each easel and walks towards the audience. Claiming to posses the power of impossible lighting fast calculations he boldly challenges the audience to think of a two digit number. In which he will not only display amazing mathematical and memory skill, but he'll also read their minds!

He hands out a piece of card stock to two volunteers from the audience and has them secretly write down their thought of 2 digit numbers. They do so and keep the boards hidden from view.

Back on stage the mentalist removes two markers from his pockets and asks his assistants to picture their numbers strongly in their heads. They do so and he begins to write down numbers across the two boards. Moving back and forth filling in a few squares on one board and few on the other. After about 20 seconds or so both boards are completely filled in with random numbers.

For the first time the audience member's who thought of the numbers are asked to say out loud which ones they chose. Say for example the first person chose 37. The mentalist walks over to the 1st board and begins to add up all the numbers in the first column, they all total 37, and so do all of the other vertical columns. Not only that, they add up horizontally, diagonally and the four corners! For a fun kicker he totals any four square that touch on the board. They also equal 37.

As you may have guessed, the second person's number is given. Say, 58 for example, and of course all of the same combinations are totaled displaying both numbers accurately broken up simultaneously across two boards. An impossible feat given the fact the performer never knew what numbers were chosen!

Finally, the mentalist comes forward and says "See, I told you I would read your minds and show you incredible math skill. Impossible even! But how about we take it one step further? Shall we? Well I'm going to anyways!

Let's take your number 37 and you're number 58. If we added them both together they would total um...95 correct?"

Everyone agrees.

"Well look at this."

The mentalist walks to the boards and turns them both around. On the back of the first board is a giant number 9 and on the second board a number 5. He knew all along the numbers chosen would total 95 when added together!

1st edition 2011, 10 pages.
word count: 3299 which is equivalent to 13 standard pages of text