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Create the magic trick [1] the Intelligent Match Sticks


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#1 bonanova

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 12:51 AM

I'm starting a genre of puzzles that describes an effect for a magician to present, then asks how would you create the effect. The best answers are the simplest ones. Hidden cameras, tiny mirrors, wireless microphones, one hundred accomplices, quantum transport, infinitely short yellow lines :-) and the like, would not be considered simple methods.

Here's the first puzzle, one described more than 50 years ago by Martin Gardner, which I'm calling the Intelligent Match Sticks.

The effect:

You place three fair dice on a table, in full view of the audience. With your back turned to the table you have a volunteer roll the dice and stack them, three high, in any order and any orientation. You briefly turn and hand him a coin, and have him place it on top of the stack, so that now all the horizontal die faces are obscured.


With your back again turned, the volunteer picks up the dice and adds the numbers from the two touching faces of the top and middle dice. He adds to that sum the numbers from the two touching faces of the middle and bottom dice. Finally he increases the sum by the number on the bottom face of the bottom die. He writes that final sum on a sheet of paper which he folds and puts into his pocket. You then ask him to roll the dice and tell you the total of the three top faces. All this is done out of your sight.

You then turn to the volunteer and hand him some match sticks from your pocket. The number of match sticks equals the number written on the paper.


How is the magician able to hand the volunteer the correct number of match sticks?
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The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution.
- Bertrand Russell

#2 EventHorizon

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 02:01 AM

Spoiler for What's up with the coin?

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#3 Aziraphael

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 12:22 PM

Surely this is a simple misdirection?

Spoiler for It's all in the numbers...

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#4 EventHorizon

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 03:45 AM

Surely this is a simple misdirection?

Spoiler for It's all in the numbers...

Spoiler for Ahh... I needed to read more closely

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#5 Morningstar

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 02:45 PM

Now, if each die has a different number of infinitely short yellow lines... :)
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The cake is a lie.




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