A Riddle and a Magic Lesson

Here’s a nice little riddle (of unknown source, sorry) that was recently sent around among friends and family, and it kept us busy and entertained for a while. It’s not really hard to solve when you pay attention and remember some math basics from school.

Why don’t you give it a try before you read on:



<<>>> Wait before you scroll further! <<>>>


So, what number did you get? (Hint: It is >40!)

This is not just about some basic math. Obviously, there’s a deeper lesson to be learned here. Especially when you managed, like me, to proudly spot one trap, but missed another one completely.

Selective perception, that’s what this thing is about. It’s a fascinating phenomenon and one that is being exploited in magic, too, like change blindness and other related shortcomings of the way we humans perceive, process, and store information (or don’t).

Just like with this famous attention test video, it’s hard to realise and to accept what you have probably missed once it has been pointed out to you afterwards. Because it seems so super-obvious and impossible to miss—but only once you KNOW it.

All too often, we look but we don’t see. Let’s take this in as a fun, but important lesson, both inside and outside of magic!



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