Fancy Arithmancy

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 many possibilities.

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 impatiently.

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:

Professor Spellbinder's Fancy Arithmancy from James Gerrish on Vimeo.


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