For those who may or may not have seen Magic Crystal Ball of Quasi-Astrological Mystique, here is the solution:

**MATH!!! YES!!!**

Math is your powerful friend! It can do all sorts of tricks for you. It can show you your jerks and your integrals! It can also make your toast. It can roll over and … oops. Well, it is also a fun puzzle-making tool.

In this case, we get the classic magical technique known as *diversion*. The rest is simple math. To make these, you find predictable patterns in numbers and cloud them up with a bit of panache. Flash files make great toys for Internet magic.

First, we find the pattern used. The math problem is the sort you normally find. First, the person has to think of a number at random, but usually following a strict rule. Here, the rule is a two-digit number. Then, you do strange math sums and such with the individual digits, etc. Let us examine what happens with this one. Let’s do it by tens.

10 gets you 9 (1 + 0 = 1; 10 – 1 = 9). 11 gets you 9 (1 + 1 = 2; 11 – 2 = 9). ALL of the teens get you 9!

ALL of the 20s gets you 18, ALL of the 30s gets you 27. See the pattern? 9,18,27,36, etc. They are multiples of 9!

Now, look at the pattern list. Look at all those powers of nine. They are in fact the same. Then how does the symbol change every time, you ask. Simple, *diversion*! As you watch the magic symbol appear, the list vanishes. This attracts your eyes away. The reset button is also away under the ball. You don’t notice that the list refreshes on the next play as a *completely different list*! Note: your powers of 9 are all different. Keep playing it, and you will see 9’s symbol popping up every time!

Math is cool! GO MATHNET!

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