Categories: Numbers Magic Article Summary X If you want to amaze your friend with a simple mind trick, first, tell them that you’re going to ask them to do some simple math and you’ll read their mind the whole time. In certain sports, a magic number is a number used to indicate how close a front-running team is to clinching a division title and/or a playoff spot. Math is magic, according to a new YouTube video depicting the Kruskal count.; Brain teasers and magic tricks help bring math to relatable real life even for the mathphobic.; The Kruskal count is a. Any of the numbers, 2, 8, 20, 28, 50, 82, or 126, that represent the number of neutrons or protons in strongly bound and exceptionally stable atomic nuclei. Sports The number of wins by a leading team and losses by its closest competitor required in order for the leading team to capture a championship or secure a playoff spot. The term magic number or magic constant refers to the anti-pattern of using numbers directly in source code. This has been referred to as breaking one of the oldest rules of programming, dating back to the COBOL, FORTRAN and PL/1 manuals of the 1960s.

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After our 3 frequently asked questions about math puzzles episode last week, math fan Cynthia wrote to tell me about one of her favorite puzzles. As luck would have it, Cynthia's puzzle is based upon one of the same ideas that—as we'll soon find out—makes our as-yet-unexplained third-and-final puzzle from last time tick.

What's the tie-in between the two? As we'll see, they're both based upon some pretty amazing properties of the mysterious and sometimes seemingly magical number 9. How does it all work? And what makes the number 9 so 'magical?' Those are exactly the questions we'll be answering over the next few weeks!

**A Mathemagical Trick**

Before we get to those amazing properties of the number 9, I want to start by telling you about the mathemagical trick that math fan Cynthia sent me. This is definitely one that you'll want to play along with. Here's how it goes:

- Start by thinking of a number, any number.
- Now, multiply that number by 9.
- If the result is a multi-digit number, add its digits together to come up with a new number.
- If that new number is still a multi-digit number, add its digits together to come up with yet another new number. Continue doing this until you end up with a 1-digit number.
- Once you have a 1-digit number, subtract 5 from it.
- Now, using the standard numbering of the English alphabet (where 1 is A, 2 is B, and so on), find the letter corresponding to your number.
- Next, think of a European country that begins with that letter.
- Then take the last letter of that country and think of an animal that begins with that letter.
- Finally, take the last letter of that animal and think of a color that begins with that letter.

Okay, now—oh, wait a minute—you do know that there aren't any orange kangaroos in Denmark, right?

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