Sometime after I released April's Not So Magic Square, Meir Yedid released a magic square grid printed on a dry erase surface for use with the Matrix force. Meir included additional reference material and further extensions of the Matrix principle by Max Maven and others. This included how to force additional numbers. Meir's product is beautifully made and it can be used for any Magic Square type of routine. I heartily recommend it. One of Max's squares is very easy to construct and execute. For example, for forcing the number 42 instead of 34: Set up the 16 square grid as shown below. Begin by placing the numerals 3-4-5-6 on the top horizontal row, in any order that you wish. To complete the grid, simply add 4 to each number vertically. The resulting square will force the number 42.

Also, to simplify the arithmetic involved in the construction of a basic Magic Square, simply subtract 20 from the spectator's number. For example, say the spectator's number is 42. Simply subtract 20 in your mind (42-20=22) and place the number 22 in square "A." Add "1" to 22 and enter 23 in square B. Add "1" to 23 and enter 24 in square C. Now, here's the other difference. In what I earmarked square "D" you place a number obtained by subtracting "1" from the first number, the number in square "A" and place 21 in the final square "D."

Incidentally, an easy way to memorize the setup of the basic Magic Square is to note the following about the placement of the numbers. For example the fact that the 5 and 4, the

1 and 8, the 3 and 6 and the 7 and 2, all total 9. In the vertical 5 and 4 and the 7 and 2, the higher numeral is on top. In the vertical 1 and 8 and the 3 and 6, the lower number is on top. If you add the 3 and 6, the resulting 9 goes to the right of the 6. And finally, the placement of the 10, 11 and 12. This leaves the four blank spaces for the A, B, C and D numerals. All it takes is about 30 minutes of drawing the square repeatedly, using the "nines" to help remind you where everything goes. I joke about not being able to remember anything due to my age, but in truth, I never use a prompter in performing the Magic Square.

The second grid adds up to 34 every which way but Sunday.

NOTE: For those of you who do the Magic Square in your programs, there has always been a problem in the number selection process. For example, since the performer is going to subtract 20 from the spectator's number to ascertain the first of four key numbers used in the creation of the magic square, how do you keep a spectator or spectators from

The "42" Force Grid

The "42" Magic Square choosing a two digit number 20 and under? Obviously, since the largest number in the remaining twelve squares is 12, you also wouldn't want the target number to be 97. After subtracting 20, your four key squares would then contain the numbers 77, 78, 79 and 76. This would make the four numbers stand out like they were lit up in neon. Here's how I solved the problem. Not 100%, but enough to take some of the heat off the four key numbers.

I explain that I'm going to see how many people in the audience are on the same wavelength as I am by concentrating on a couple of numbers and attempting to mentally transmit those numbers to the entire audience. I tell the audience that when I clap my hands I'm going to think of a two digit number under 50. Both digits will be odd and different from one another. I clap my hands and pretend to transmit the number. I then ask them to keep that number in mind. Next, I tell the audience when I again clap my hands, I'm going to attempt to transmit mentally a two digit number over 50, but under 99. After I clap my hands, I note that everyone should now be thinking of two numbers. I ask for a show of hands from everyone who thought of either 37 or 68...or both. Naturally, just about everyone in the room will now have their hand up. I then ask everyone to keep their hand up. I now ask that everyone who got both correctly to hold up their other hand. "Wow" I exclaim, "you guys are awesome!" Simultaneously I point to one spectator who has two hands in the air. I invite this spectator to join me on stage for a more difficult experiment.

I ask the volunteer on stage to think of a two digit number somewhere in between the other two. Any number between 37 and 68. He is then to write that secret number on the back of an opaque card, while my back is turned. To cut to the chase, using one of my peek wallets, I later learn this number right in front of the entire audience. How i do that is not important. what is important here is the fact this spectator is logically limited to thinking of a number over 37 and under 68. Best case scenario, after subtracting 20 from the spectator's mentally selected number, the four key numbers will be 18, 19, 20 and 17 (38-20=18). Worse case, they'll be 47, 48, 49 and 46 (67-20=47). In any case it's an acceptable range that won't lead to four extremely noticeable key numbers. I usually end up with a number in the 40's or 50's before subtracting 20.

I'm not taking credit for the ancient psychological forces. What I am taking credit for is the subtlety of using the numbers between 37 and 68 for the final selection to keep the four key numbers from being too distracting from the other twelve numbers that range from 1 through 12.

Hope this helps you. It works for me.

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Today I'm going to teach you a fundamental Mentalism technique known as 'cold reading'. Cold reading is a technique employed by mentalists and charlatans and by charlatan I refer to psychics, mediums, fortune tellers or anyone that claims false abilities that is used to give the illusion that the person has some form of super natural power.

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