Can somebody explain to your simple correspondent how on earth this works?

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D. Bell is an emeritus blogger.

## 15 thoughts on “Please, Help Me”

1. I don’t know the math behind it, but I think whenever you add a two digit number together and minus that from the original number you get a multiple of 9. If you look at the numbers and codes next to the crystal ball you’ll notice all multiples of 9 have the same symbol.

2. This isn’t too difficult, actually. No matter what number you start with, you will end up with 0, 9, 18, 27, 36, 45, 54, 63, 72, or 81. If you look carefully at the chart you will see that they all have the same symbol. So of course when you click the crystal ball, that’s the symbol that comes up.

3. And note that the symbols keep changing each time you play. This feature is designed to fool you into not realizing that, in a sense, you really are seeing the “same symbol” each time … or in other words, the symbol in the crystal ball is changing, but it always tracks the symbol along side 9, 18, 27, 36 etc. on the right of the screen.

4. That’s a good trick. I will have to show that to my wife.

5. Lots of fun. I just sent the page out to my family. Should keep em entertained for hours.

6. Let the digits be m and n.

10m + n – (m+n) = 9m

Like gomez said, always a multiple of 9….

7. This has been around for a few years. #2, 3, 4, & 9 give the correct answer.

However, it doesn’t always work: I sent it to fellow co-workers and an admin asst reported that it failed more than half the time. The fatal flaw turned out to be its dependence upon accurate calculations every time by the user… so screen with whom you share this!

8. I’ve played this before and every time the correct symbol kept coming up. I was amazed. Thanks for explaining it!!

9. This has been linked to in the comments of this very website in the past.

Those who have answered correctly should be ashamed of yourselves. The answer you give people who don’t figure it out is that it is reading your mind. Let them think that as long as possible.

10. I showed my wife and she was amazed the first two times, but the third time she figured it out. I could have told her after the first two times when she asked “How?” but then she wouldn’t have figured it out.

Let people think a bit, (but don’t drive them crazy).

11. Must be something along the multiples of 9 principle. I found that if I just randomly picked a symbol off the list without actually going through the math problem, the crystal ball was wrong.

12. Must be something along the multiples of 9 principle. I found that if I just randomly picked a symbol off the list without actually going through the math problem, the crystal ball was wrong. My world is shattered.