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I'm hesitant to bring this up, since someone might point out why it's trivial, but the question http://mathoverflow.net/questions/118225/how-to-show-a-certain-determinant-is-non-zero-closed was closed yesterday, with a comment by a high rep user that this site is not for homework. (Edit: Since the user removed his comment, I have now edited this post to remove his name.) How sure are we that this is homework? It might very well be I'm missing some obvious proof, but for some reason it doesn't seem that easy to me. (Meanwhile the question was asked and answered at mathstackexchange.com, but it doesn't seem to me the answer is completely correct; I am unable to comment there, but I left a comment on this under the MO question.)
I cast a last vote to reopen a few minutes ago. Thanks for your attention, guys.
While I was struggling with and googling for this problem last night, I learned about the concept of alternant matrix, of which this is a special case. It feels like the result should be well-known, and that methods other than Noam Elkies' clever solution ought to be available.
Edit: Huh, and now a vote to close again. Voter, please explain.
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