### The Magic of 42

As so many enlightened people know, the answer to the universal question is 42. This was provided for us by the wise prophet Douglas Adams in the Hitchhikers Guide, but few realize how often 42 shows up. We already demonstrated its presence in quantum chromodynamics in a previous post, today we will prove it is present in basic mathematics and human psychology as well.

- Take a piece of paper, and draw a 4x4 grid of squares, for a total of 16 squares.
- In honor of the three lead figures in the story, write a three in the upper left square
- Now going left-to-right, write the rest of the integers (4,5,6)
- Start on the left of the next row, and continue with 7,8,9,10
- Do this for each row until you end up with a grid of:

7 8 9 10

11 12 13 14

15 16 17 18

- Pick any number at random, and circle it. Now cross out all other numbers in the same row and same column
- Repeat for a second number not crossed out, and cross out all the other numbers in the same row or column
- When you have picked a fourth number and all others are crossed out, add up the circled numbers