The Official Magic Sphere Appreciation Page

The Official Magic Sphere Appreciation Page

by Cliff Pickover, Reality Carnival

This figure shows a sphere containing the consecutive numbers 1 through 26 arranged in nine circles. Each number is used just once. Each circle has eight numbers, and their magic sum is 108. Can you fill in the missing numbers (in the red circles)?

I discuss the long history and majesty of magic spheres in my book The Zen of Magic Squares, Circles, and Stars.

Let's see how well your friends can do on this puzzle. If you are a teacher, how many of your students can solve this puzzle? What methods did they use? Is it possible to work in teams to solve this, or do people usually work alone?

How does the speed with which a person solves this depend on a person's age, gender, occupation, emotional state, IQ, caffeine level, and culture?

If you like puzzles like these, see my mathematical puzzle books.

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