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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricks & Effects » » Review Request for Sudoku: The Ultimate Mental Workout (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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cfrye
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Portland, Oregon, USA
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Hi all,

I saw this ad on Alakazam's UK site ( http://www.alakazam.co.uk/acatalog/Hot_List_1.html ) and wondered whether anyone has purchased and used this effect. If so, I'd love to hear a review as to whether it's worth the asking price.

Curt

***

Sudoku: The Ultimate Mental Workout

A spectator selects a random Sudoku puzzle and copies it onto a large blank grid so that everyone can see the puzzle. The magician studies the grid for a few seconds and then turns his back to the puzzle. The magician then begins to instantly call out numbers to the spectator and the entire Sudoku puzzle is completed 'blind' by the magician.

As an extra challenge, the spectator can even be instruction to lie and mis-write the puzzle on the grid at the beginning of the routine - not only will the magician be able to tell which digits are incorrect - but also what they should be!!!


Remember:


The spectator genuinely has a free choice of any Sudoku puzzle and every puzzle can clearly be seen to be completely different.

The magician instantly calls out 'correct' answers to the puzzle. No 'fishing' or 'outs' required.

No mathematics or memory skill required to perform the trick. The secret is completely self-working leaving the magician completely focused on presentation.

Packs small and plays big - A complete 10 minute stage routine with drama, suspense, intrigue and what appears to be great skill, that fits in your pocket. 6 x 9 inch paperback book. Full colour cover, 140 pages, 98 puzzles

"Justin has cleverly combined the impossibility and suspense of the Knight's Tour with the drama of forming a Magic Square. He's wrapped that up in a modern presentation that taps into a recent craze and created a masterpiece of mental dexterity... this is great!"

Marc Paul


Price: £79.99
Sean Macfarlane
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I would like to hear about it too!
ac-magic
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I saw this, and being a mentalist myself thought wowsers! this effect I'm sure could really astonish them however I don't work as a magician professionally and am wondering how much longer sudoku will last in the UK... I don't really wanna spend £80 for Sudoku to just die out. I personally think that this is just as passing phase, however I would like to hear a review all the same.


Cheers
Ali
A Smile, mind reading, funny escape artist wanna-be
Steve Hook
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While waiting for a review, there have been multiple excellent discussions about sudoku vs. mentalism here at TMC:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......forum=99


This is a good one with great ideas from Chuck Hickok plus Doug Dyment's important observation:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......forum=15


And another Sudoku thread:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......forum=82
Like Bonnie Raitt said, "I miss Little Feat more than I miss being 8 years old." Thanks for the concerts + recordings, Lowell, Richie, and Paul!
The Great Smartini
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As a grade 8 math teacher this sounds great...anyone have any idea if this is being sold locally as in North America...thanks!
walking_liberty
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That sounds great. I like the game and a few people I know play it as well. It would be fun to do an effect using it. Can't wait to hear more about it.
The Paranormalist
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Hi

I don't know if any one else has done a review of this on another thread, but I received Sudoku: The Ultimate Mental Workout from Alakazam a couple of days ago and although I have not had a chance to perform it yet, the effect is exactly as it is described, no memory and no mathematics, it really is as they say 'a no brainer.'
The instructions are written on an A4 piece of paper, in saying that it would have been nice if it came with a DVD, showing it demonstrated to a live audience. That's just my opinion.

Before I bought it I got in touch with Marc Paul, he was the only one that gave it a review before it came on the market, and to be fair he did let me into the method and it's not something you could make yourself at home. As he knows Justin M. Monehen I also asked him about the cost, he told me how expensive it was to produce in small quantity. I can believe it.

The book is very well made, with 240 pages. The nearest description I can give, it is like doing a cross between the MOABT and 'The Knight's Tour, and being brought up to date with Sudoku.

Again as to the cost, any routine or effect is worth the money if it is put it to proper use and not just buried in a cupboard. I also feel the cost being what it is will keep it out of the hands of the merely curious as it should be performed with the highest presentation and respect it deserves. In the right hands it could be a reputation maker.

Franklin
cfrye
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Thanks for the detailed and thoughtful review, Franklin. That's exactly the sort of information I was looking for.

I went ahead and purchased the effect. Packages usually take 1-2 weeks to arrive from England, but I'll be sure to post a review after I've had a chance to work with it.


Curt
Piers
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I also bought it this week.

Haven't had enough time to look at it in detail but ...

Is it clever ? yes!
Is it obvious ? no!
Does it look like a genuine winner ? yes, with a good presentation.

I cannot imagine that anyone will be disappointed by this.

Low hype, high return.

Piers.
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The Great Smartini
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This is sounding better and better...any north american sources?
cfrye
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I checked the Alakazam US site but came up empty. It only cost 8GBP (about $15) for international postage, so I went ahead and ordered it.
psi-magi
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Good info on here so just ordered it. Can't tell you how much a sudoku trick will impress people - the description sounds unbelievable. Wanted to do a magic square routine for ages but really like the sound of this being a 'no-brainer' - the perfect trick for me! When it arrives will report back.

Update: it arrived this morning so can't claim to be an expert with it yet, but I have demonstrated the tricks once already and it got exactly the reaction I was after! This is my first review on here so forgive me if it makes no sense, these are just my thoughts.

On opening the package I obviously just igonered the sheet of instructions and studied the actual book. I can honestly say it is a perfect sudoku book and I did not find the secret. The design looks exactly like any other sudoku or puzzle book so just as a prop I am well happy with it.

A quick look at the instructions and I kicked myself as the secret is so simple and clever that it made me laugh. Well done Justin for such a good idea. The fake book does do all the work and the decription is exactly as it says although I was worried that I would not be able to pull off the presentation required to really sell this effect. Well as my new sudoku book was sitting on my desk at work, a colleague started chatting about it and I could not resist grabbing a piece of paper, drawing a blank grid on it at diving into the routine.

I did not complete the entire puzzle as I didn't have to, as I began dictating numbers to my colleague he freaked. A small crowd quickly gathered and I finished the trick about halfway through the numbers by correctly identifying my colleague's mistake.

I was at first very worried that the working may be obvioius but from the reactions and comments I have already received with my impromptu, under rehearsed demonstration, I am confident that the audience perceive this effect as a demonstration of skill and not a trick at all. As I type this I am watching my colleague trying to finish off the half puzzle I completed in seconds. I am a very happy punter.
Make mine a double.
Justin M. Monehen
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Wow - very nice comments - thank you. Thanks for your support - it was a bit if a worry producing the effect for the pro market and hoping people liked it - so far so good.
Just to answer a few of the comments on here and try to remain as impartial as possible.
1. yep it will be available hopefully in the US soon - I'm not sure exactly when but am currently talking to a US distributer.
2. The Paranormalist mentioned a DVD of a performance. To be honest I did not think it would be necessary as I always thought the routine was quite logical.
3. So Marc Paul's been telling the secret - naughty boy! hehe
4. Thanks Piers - your right about the presentation - for this effect it is crucial.
5. Finally. loved the last review about leaving the half finished puzzle with the spectator - don't forget to mention that the book contains easy, moderate and difficult puzzles as spectators always go for the difficult ones which makes it more impressive.

Also, sorry to the few guys who emailed about the extra downloads for the trick. It is unbelievably busy at the moment - but will have them uploaded soon - will put a note on here when done.
Once again - thanks for all your support
cheers,
Justin
cfrye
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My copy arrived in yesterday's mail. I'm very happy with my purchase. The book itself appears to be quite durable and is attractively produced. The cover, which you can see in the Alakazam ad, is particularly well done.

As mentioned by other reviewers, the method is simple but, because of the way the book is organized it's exceedingly unlikely a spectator would pick up on anything they shouldn't.

Well done.

Curt
Justin M. Monehen
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Glad you like it, Curt - any problems or comments feel free to PM me.
Also just to let everyone know I have finally started uploading additional bits onto the website.
Blank sudoku grids and an additional 'solution' can be found at http://www.dizzylizzy.co.uk/sudoku
While you are there - if you have any comments or reviews it would be lovely to hear them (just log in and add a review - or simply email me).
All the best,
JMM
gh256
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Wow sounds great, I am putting this on my list of things to buy. Do you think it would work with kids to ?

Glenn
cfrye
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That depends on how advanced they are. I haven't worked with kids and don't know how they progress with regard to logic problems, but I would guess that teenagers would understand what you're doing. For pre-teens and younger, I'm not sure they would have the background required to appreciate how hard it is to solve the puzzle by hand, let alone in your head.

Anyone who has worked with kids and has a better idea of what they can or can't do at what age, please feel free to correct me.

Curt
Justin M. Monehen
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I have to say that doing this effect for kids is not something I originally thought about, but it just so happens that today I was in Ottakers (a big UK book shop chain) and was shocked to find an entire shelf devoted to children's sudoku books!?!!? Weird!
Justin M. Monehen
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Hi there,
Just to let you know that Murphy's Magic Supplies Inc. should now (or any day now) have stock of Sudoku: The Ultimate Mental Workout. They are a US distributer and not a magic shop - but this should mean that the effect will soon be available in 'all good magic shops' in the US.
Also - thanks to cfrye for pointing out a few terms in the instructions that needed updating for the US. I have ensured that the US instructions are (very slightly) updated and also posted these updated instructions on the Dizzy Lizzy Website for download etc.)
All the best,
JMM
Kjellstrom
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Sweden, Scandinavia, Europe
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Im looking for some comments from people with real life experiences/performances with the Sudoku Book. Do the spectator enjoy this kind of mental workout?
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