True story: My wife bought a bunch of party favors for a family gathering. These were rolled up gift wrapping containing some cheap present. She opened on and found a party game labeled “The Mystery Calculator”. She gave it to me.

This is what it is: A small folded cardboard mini-booklet of 6 cards of 4×8 arrays of numbers, ranging from 1 to 63.

Page 1:

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Page 6:

Here are the rules to the game.

Show the 6 cards to a friend. Ask him or her secretly pick any number from any card. Tell them to look through the 6 cards and find those cards that the number they selected also appears, and give those cards to you. You add the numbers in the upper left-hand corner of these cards. This sum will be the number your friend selected.

I haven’t proven this works but my guess is that this is based on the mathematics of the Hamming code of length 6 (see this previous post and this one).

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