Math Magic - Ayaan Chettiar

Math Magic Multiverse

Math Magic Multiverse

Haven’t all of us encountered times of boredom where we simply trudge around the house, wishing for something to do. Well, for those of you who relate to these “boring” moments as I do, this is the perfect article for you, an all-time hack into ensuring boredom never comes close. Math Magic.

I can hear the groans among you at the mention of Mathematics. Sure, some of you may have grown up thinking that Math is just some boring old numbers strung together in calculations, but what if I told you that Math is not just calculation, but also creativity?

Don’t believe me, read further down this article and explore my novel ideas to putting an end to boredom. You don’t have anything to do anyway! Try out a few of my games to show off or enjoy yourselves, and introduce yourself to… Math Magic!

Probability Game

All of you would be familiar with the term probability; the number of times an event is likely to occur. But more than merely studying about it, you can use probability to your advantage to test your luck, with a few simple materials as given below:

1.Take a chart paper and cut out a large circle. You may use the base of a bottle, or plate to do so. Using a scale, locate and mark the center of the circle. Ensure that the center is visible to you clearly.

2.Using a sketch pen or pen, as per your convenience, draw 8 equal parts of the circle. Stick some cardboard underneath the circle for longevity and to ensure your model does not get torn.

3.Using different and easy to distinguish colors and paint the different parts of the circle. Wait for some time until it dries.

4.Insert a nail through the marked center, followed by inserting a handy fidget spinner. In the absence of a fidget spinner, you can use any spinning object. Cut out an arrow from cardboard and tape it to the fidget spinner.

5.Now, do the finishing touches and border the circumference of the circle. You can write anything you want on the parts; a riddle, for example. One of the parts can be a JACKPOT, so the really lucky players who hit it win a reward you can decide. Try out your Lucky Spin today!

Magic Box

Sure, you might have come across the term Magic Square, wherein the numbers in each row, column and sometimes even diagonals add up to a particular number. Magic Box is my own ring to both Magic Square and other fun, box-related tricks about Math. Playing with numbers remains one of my favorite concepts. (More groans.) If you beg to differ, try out some of these tricks and games to play with your friends and loved ones today:

The Nine-Dotted Line Puzzle

A one-trick pony, but this one is sure to get the gears in your brain working. Draw nine dots at equal distance from one another, three in each column and row. Keep a pencil handy and then take a go at this tricky puzzle. The rules are:

You must draw four STRAIGHT LINES that cover each and every one of the dots. Your line has to begin from the spot where your last line ended.

Once you begin, you realize it is by no means a simple puzzle. If you still can’t crack it, refer to the bottom of the article for the solution to this mind-blowing puzzle, then share it with other people close by.

Tic-Tac-Toe Mathematics

Who hasn’t heard about Tic-Tac-Toe? It’s fun to play, stimulates the brain and offers an easy way to escape boredom? But when confined to only Xs and Os, you eventually run out of novel combinations, leaving way to an endless series of ties. With Tic-Tac-Toe Mathematics, your woes will be no more! Rules below:

Draw a large conventional tic-tac-toe board and numbers from 1-9, both included, on squares cut out. The player who begins first puts a number in the center square, other than FIVE. Do not put FIVE in the center square because it guarantees victory for the player who goes first.

For example, you put 7 in the center square. Now, the next player has to put another number in any square of his choice. For example, he puts a 5 next to 7. Now, the first player plays again and can win by putting a 3 on the other side, a line of 5, 7 and 3 adds up to make 15. Player 2 could have avoided this by putting a 9, because 9+7 equals 16, which is higher than 15. If he had done so, the game would have continued.

With seemingly infinite possibilities, you can play this easy Tic-Tac-Toe Game with your friends (guaranteed boredom escape!) See which one of you can be more cunning, alert and math-worthy!

Sudoku, the Magic Square and Others

Now, we come to the more well-known ideas. Sudoku can be played either with 16 squares, or even 81, depending on who you’re playing against and where so. You can set up your own Sudoku board through creativity, or if you want to try out a more difficult one, can refer to a wide range of Sudoku applications for the same. Though I recommend the first one.

Playing Sudoku is stimulating and gets your logical mind working immediately. For those of you who don’t know how to play it, refer to the rules below (16-square):

Out of the 16 squares, a few numbers will already be present. You can make your own Sudoku board of 4 by 4, and if you encounter any problems, you can refer online to know more about how to draw it. The rule is that you will have 4 numbers of each from 1-4 at your discretion and you have to put them accordingly on the board, ensuring there is only 1 of each number in every row, column and every mini-square of 4 you can make from the total of 16. For any doubts, refer online. Put your friends and loved ones to the test to see if they can crack your Sudoku!

The Magic Square is another version of Sudoku with the twist that different numbers have to be arranged in 9 squares so that every row and column contain numbers adding up to a particular sum. Almost exactly like the Tic-Tac-Toe Mathematics Game described above!

For inspiration on how to construct a Magic Square from 1-9, you can refer online to elementary and basic tricks. The real gold lies in spending time before the Square, devising your own methods and solutions to cracking the coveted Magic Square. You can even use your solutions as reference to the Tic-Tac-Toe Mathematics Game; the more combinations you know, the better!

Of course, these are only a few magic box ideas and there are many more you can try out today! Some Magic Box games even come in packages. Ever heard of the Math Magic version of Scrabble where you can create your own equations from the numbers and signs at your disposal. Math Magic acts as an even more vigilant version of Scrabble, because making equations requires great tenacity and alertness. Note that the above are only suggestions, and I recommend you to EXPLORE and find new Math Magic ideas to enjoy!

Logical Reasoning Games

Logical Reasoning remains the foundation for Mathematics, making use of your logical mind to find solutions to problems even Arithmetic diehards get stumped at! To put your own Logical Reasoning to the test, you can use the below ideas to explore and enjoy, my motto with the Math Magic Multiverse!


The amount of matchstick games on the Internet is almost infinite, from making geometrical shapes by moving a few, to correcting equations with a single touch. The ideas online are endless and can be referred to with ease, but for those of you who want more than the conventional, read the below idea that encourages you to explore:

Take 3 matchsticks together and arrange them in a way that they look like a triangle. Now, ask your friend to move 1 matchstick to make a square, without breaking any of them. 9 out of 10 chances he’ll give up! Do you want to know the answer or take a go at it yourself? If you still can’t find it, refer to the bottom of this article for answers!


There’s a fancy term for the logical reasoning being described here, but I like to call it Coins. In this game, you can put a spin on the matchsticks idea by taking some coins and asking your friend to make a completely different formation by moving one or two. As before, you can read the below innovative idea:

Take 6 coins and arrange them in a manner that includes 3 coins at the top, 2 coins under it, and finally a single coin at the bottom. Lo and behold a triangle! But what if you were told to turn this triangle the other way around by just moving two coins. You might find this at once, or it might take you more time. Either way, you can refer to the bottom of the article for answers if you can’t crack it!

Squares and Cubes

No, we haven’t arrived at a sub-section of the Magic Box Games listed above, but the truth is that squares and cubes, the former in particular, offer a large display of mind-boggling tricks and hacks that can certainly get you scratching your head; you can even try to prove it wrong by putting it to the test! Given below are some of my favorite square root tricks given below (not the 2D shapes but rather squares of numbers!)

1.Finding the Square of Any Number with Units Digit 5

This one was a personal favorite of mine. Your teacher could ask you the square of 25, 35 and 55 back-to-back and you could shout back the answers in seconds, so long as you know the basic tables! Even three-digit squares can be hacked in this manner:

Take 25 as an example. We multiply the tens digit, 2 by the number after it, 3 and receive the product 6. Now, put the 25 at the back and you get 625, the square of 25 which you can verify as well. 3 and 4 multiplied make 12, so the square of 35 is 1225! And if one wants to find the square of 125, then 12 and 13 make 156; 15625 is the square of 125!

Pythagorean Triplets

Pythagoras’ Theorem may still be the most conspicuous formula in your mind, what with its hypotenuse derivation and property for right-angled triangles. But finding any three numbers that can work involves a lot of squaring and takes much time. Through this math hack, for any given number m more than 1, (2m), (m2-1) and (m2+1) makes a Pythagorean Triplet. Example below:

Take m to be 7. 2m is equal to 14, m2 is equal to 72, which is 49, and 49-1 and 49+1 are 48 and 50 respectively. Indeed, 14, 48 and 50 is a Pythagorean Triplet. If you don’t believe me, do the math. And find out more handy Pythagorean Triplets to keep in mind! Even if you forget, this small formula can save the day!

And for those of you who don’t know about it, a Pythagorean Triplet is a group of three natural numbers (a, b and c), where a2+b2 is equal to c2. For example, 3, 4 and 5. 32=9 + 42+16, which adds up to 25, the square of 5.

Patterns in Squares, Triangular Numbers

Are you familiar with the given series: 1=1, 1+2=3, 1+2+3=6, 1+2+3+4=10, and so on and so forth! These numbers are known as triangular numbers because you can arrange them into triangles! Try it out and see the 3-lined polygons on display! But you don’t have to do brute calculation to find triangular numbers, rather use the formula below for an infinite supply:

The nth term of the series of triangular numbers is given by n(n+1)/2. For example: Term number 6 would be 6(6+1)/2, which ends up as 21. Now add the first 6 natural numbers and verify the solution. Does it come the same? Now, try it out with different values of n and watch as it hits the right mark each and every time!

The aforementioned are only a few of the fun square-related tricks you can try out today! But we still haven’t arrived at the most resourceful source of endless Math Magic: The Internet!

Explore the Net and Enjoy!

You can use all the tricks and games above and enjoy, but if in the mood for some new ones, the Internet offers you infinite fun, from new Probability Models to IQ Tests and Riddles, novel matchstick combinations and Magic Box Tricks, exploring squares, coins and logical reasoning puzzles! You can download Sudoku or some other application, get inspiration and above all, explore and enjoy!

But don’t think that Math Magic is only for times of boredom. On the contrary, inculcating the magic of Mathematics into daily life can not only boost your performance but also ensure you have lots of fun. Asking questions and exploring new ideas is of utmost importance. You can take a go at the Fibonacci Series, learn the famous Pi Song to boast about knowing the value of 3.14 to the hundredth decimal, play with numbers and geometry and do so much more…

The Math Magic Multiverse is called so for a reason. It offers not just a plethora, but endless numbers of games, tricks, hacks, puzzles and innovation to EXPLORE and ENJOY! The multiverse awaits! You need to take only a single step!


Here are the solutions to some of the puzzles given above:

In the Nine-Dotted Line Puzzle, you can first extend your line over the third dot in the first column, then make a right-angled triangle, only bigger than the dots. After all, it never specified that you couldn’t take it a little bit further! The last line will involve you eating up the centre and top-right corner dots, covering each and every one of them with 4 lines only!

The trick to the Matchsticks was in the details! You didn’t have to make a 2D Square but rather a square of a number! For those of you who read the Squares and Cubes Section carefully, it might have been a covert hint. By moving one matchstick, you can make a 4, i.e. the square of 2. Did any of you crack it?

The Coins Example was simple yet tricky. You have to move the two side coins in the top row to the bottom one, making 3 coins at the bottom, 2 above that, and finally a single coin at the top. Your triangle has been turned around by moving a mere 2 coins!

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