The performer displays a 16 square grid filled with numbers, mounted on a sheet of Fomcor. He explains to the audience that four numbers will be randomly selected and to preclude any possibility of prearrangement or collusion between himself and any of the participants, a process of elimination will be used.

A spectator is invited to call out any one of the numbers on the board. For example, the number 11, which the performer circles. The performer then crosses out the remaining numbers horizontally and vertically in line with the number 11 to ensure a totally random selection. Explaining that this randomly leaves the numbers 4, 8, 16, 2, 6,14, 1, 5 and 13...a second spectator is asked to select one of these numbers. For example, he selects the number 8, which the performer circles. As before, the performer crosses out the remaining numbers, horizontally and vertically in line with the 8. This leaves the numbers 2,14, 1 and 3. A third spectator chooses one of these, say the 2. The performer circles the number 2 and crosses out the remaining numbers horizontally and vertically in line with the 2. This leaves one number, 13, which the performer circles. Now, the circled numbers, 2, 8, 11 and 13 are added together and the total, 34, is written in the circle above the grid. The spectators have randomly selected four numbers out of 16 which total 34.

The performer turns the board over and there is another 16-square grid filled with numbers. Numbers the performer explains came to him earlier in the day for no explainable reason. He writes the number 34 in the empty circle over the grid and proceeds to entertainingly show that every horizontal, vertical and diagonal row adds up to 34. Every four squares add up to 34. And finally, the four corner numbers add up to 34. Applause.

The "Not-So-Magic-Square" has struck. The revelation at the climax is made as dramatically as in the original Magic Square description. But, there's no work involved. Just great presentation. No peeks! No subtraction! No wallets! No memory!

Both Magic Square effects have been around for many years. Frankly I don't remember who created either one. I do remember Max Maven's outstanding variation that utilized different color markers. I believe it was called Technicolor Matrix. The idea of using one to set up the other, I believe is mine. But, regardless, if it's new to you...I'm happy.

The First Grid forces the number 34. In this example, 8+11+2+13=34

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