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Oct 21
2009

Derren Brown's Magic Square Revealed

Posted by: aramaic

Tagged in: Tutorial , Mentalism , Math Magic , General

aramaic

The Effect:
A spectator gives you a random number and you're instantly able to create a magic square of numbers in which all rows, columns, diagonals and corners total his chosen number.

The Secrets:
This looks absolutely mind blowing when performed well but is technically easy to achieve.

The diagram below shows the basic framework for the square:


The numbers shown in the above square will always be present, whatever random number is chosen. You need to memorize the order and positions of those numbers. The grey squares A to D are where you will add additional numbers to complete the magic square.

If like me you have a terrible memory, write the basic framework of the magic square using very light pencil in the corner of your notepad or flip chart. It will be visible to you but not to your audience.

To begin, ask for a random number between 25 and 100. Let's say your spectator chooses the number 37.

Subtract 21 from the number given (in this example, we get 16) and put it in position A. Then add 1 to this number and put in position B. Add 1 again for the number in position C and finally 1 again for the number at D.

In our example, we finish up with the magic square shown below:


Look at the resulting square and you'll see that all rows and columns total 37 - the spectators chosen number. Also, both diagonals total 37. The numbers at each corner also total 37. And the four 2 by 2 squares at top left, top right, bottom left and bottom right also total 37 (e.g. 8, 11, 16 and 2; 17, 1, 7 and 12 etc.)!

Actually, there's more! Choose any 3 sided square and the numbers at each corner also total 37 (e.g. 8, 17, 3 and 9)!

Although this may seem like a simple concept, Derren Brown used a magic square effect as the encore for his 2004 UK tour and got a standing ovation!

 

Video Tutorial:

 


Comments (6)

Magic square puzzles
0
I have developed a puzzle based on the magic square concepts. It is an 8×8 magic square and it free.

It could be played by visiting the http://www.magicsquarepuzzles.com
Mahesh , March 20, 2011
it's awesome
0
I was sooo impressed by this,, just tried it on my family,, they just did'nt know what just happened,, hope for some more of this....
scotty , September 03, 2010
...
0
wow that's awesome
top20lists.com , August 06, 2010
doesn't always work!
0
doesn't work with the number 31 as you will have to use the number 11 twice! in the same column!
alf678656 , July 31, 2010
http://www.ellusionist.com
0
This one is good but I sure do hate math, even when I do have a cheat sheet on my notepad smilies/wink.gif
Ellusionist Magic Man , March 03, 2010
wow
0
thats so good
mt , January 30, 2010

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