by Professor Spellbinder
The wizard or witch who claims to have studied Arithmancy
will often be expected to be able to calculate faster than the
fastest computer made by Muggles. To demonstrate your skill in
Arithmancy, consider the following "test."
You display four strips of thin wood. Upon each strip is
inscribed a column of numbers on both front and back. Make sure
your observers note that the numbers are different on each side
of the strips. Show how the strips of wood fit into a wooden
stand and how they can be mixed up and arranged in any order.
Allow any watcher to mix the four strips and arrange them on
the stand as shown in the diagram. The watcher can use the front
or back column of numbers on any strip, so obviously there are
In this manner, the watcher has arrived at four numbers
running horizontally, each with four digits. In the diagram, the
four-digit number in the top row, reading across, would be 9,148.
The number in the next row would be 1,537. The other numbers
would be 5,481, 4,767, and 2,824.
The Arithmancer hands the watcher a calculator, but for
himself/herself only uses a pad and pencil. The Arithmancer
starts the watcher adding up the columns of numbers on the
calculator, then casually begins his/her own calculations on the
pad, finishing long before the watcher and tapping his/her foot
No matter how fast the watcher is with a calculator, the
Arithmancer is faster.
When the watcher announces the total, the Arithmancer turns
the pad around and shows that he/she got the same total and
obviously got it faster.
In 2013, Wiz Kid Qua-Fiki demonstrated Fancy
Arithmancy on video:
Spellbinder's Fancy Arithmancy from James Gerrish on Vimeo.
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