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Last night saw the live final of TV Talent Show Britain’s Got Talent. The evening’s second most popular act “X” was a masked magician, presumably named “X” in homage to his love of the algebraic symbol used to represent the unknown. Viewers of a mathematical persuasion will have noticed that runner-up “X”‘s big magic trick of the evening used not sleight of hand, but rather sleight of mathematics. The voting general public were impressed enough to make X the evening’s runner-up, losing out only to octogenarian singer Colin Thackeray.

Here’s a photo of the act in progress:

The mathemagician can now demonstrate “mind-control” as follows:

Start at any circle

Move left or right to the nearest square.

Move up or down to the nearest circle.

Move diagonally to the nearest square.

Move left or right to the nearest circle.

Are you now on HOPE? Yes, I thought so!

I’ll not spoil your fun – see if you can work out for yourself how this trick works!

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