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Puzzle Solution

When you print off this puzzle, you can make Mister J disappear! Then you can make him reappear! But do you know HOW you are doing it? Can you solve the mystery??

Since March 2009, Mr. J has been giving out his wacky, way-out ‘Magic Puzzle’ as a baffling bonus to lucky birthday kids!

So since you’re here, Magic Friend, you must be wondering the solution for Mr. J’s Magic Puzzle? (Just a wild guess…)

Your answer is only one TOP SECRET PASSWORD away!



So, which Mr. J disappears?

“Mr. J’s Magic Puzzle” looks easily solvable, though it can soon drive you crazy when you realize you can put your finger on any character, and he stays put even when the pieces are rearranged. So who actually vanishes? Some people try putting a penny on each of the 15 Mr. J’s, and then keep the pennies there when the pieces are switched, making 14 Mr. J’s. But does that strategy help? Do the pennies hold the answer? Not really. Why? What is the answer??

The best answer to the question: “Which Mr. J disappears?” would be:

“NONE of them disappear, but ALL of them do!”


“Mr. J’s Magic Puzzle” is a modern variation of an odd little game first used centuries ago by gypsies and street magicians (utilizing drawings of stick people, wizards or witches), the principle of which surfaced again in the 1960’s as a puzzle called ‘The Vanishing Leprechaun’. This idea fascinated me as a child, though it also drove me absolutely batty not being able to figure it out! Though it was an addictively fun little challenge to show to friends. So, creating this puzzle for you to enjoy after all these years has been a dream fulfilled.

The premise with ‘Mr. J’s Magic Puzzle’ is the same as those earlier versions: by transposing the top two parts of the picture, the total amount of pictured characters changes by one.

You may have noticed, however, that the 15 Mr. J characters are just slightly shorter than their counterparts in the arrangement showing only 14 Mr. J’s. You could compare this to a room with 14 tall people in it, or that same room with 15 slightly shorter people in it. There are of course more people when the room has 15, and if those people are all each fairly short, you still have the same amount of ‘person-ness’ in your room as you would with 14 taller people in that same room. It’s the same total mass of people, just a different distribution of that mass.

A similar effect is at play here. You have likely noticed that the two combinations of bodies yield slightly different looking characters. Some naturally appear just a wee bit shorter, stockier or a little squished when there are 15 Mr. J’s. The peculiarity of the drawings allows them to be lined up in such a way that either set up works, though the height of EACH character changes just slightly. The “extra” Mr. J character gives up a little part of himself to everyone, so they all can be a little taller when the pieces switch.

“So which Mr. J disappears?”- technically, a little bit of ALL of them!

Hope you have fun with “Mr. J’s Magic Puzzle!” Naturally, if you show your friends, remember- the secret solution is YOURS…you don’t have to explain the answer to them- ever!

Let ’em beg you for it…and see if it drives ’em crazy! (Like it did me years ago!)

Happy Magic Mischief,
– Mr. J