A MAGAZINE OF INNOVATION EDITED BY
WILLIAM P. MIESEL
P R E C U R S O R
X I I I
This is PRECURSOR XIII and is published in September 1986. The editorial offices are at 2215 Myrtle Street, Erie, Pennsylvania 16502. PRECURSOR will be published at least three times a year, and it will be sold for $5.00 (U.S.) per issue, or three issues for $13.00 (U.S.). Outside the United States and Canada, it will be sent Airmail for $6.00 (U.S.) per issue, or three issues for $16.00 (U.S.). This issue starts out with "Replacer" by Phil Goldstein and "Bounce Back" by William P. Miesel. Both of these effects were inspired by a card problem that appeared in Interlocutor, $ 17. Both methods of this effect revolve around a Force Deck which is different in each case. I would like to see a method that uses a straight deck, but the most natural avenue to solving the problem seems to be a False Cut, and I don't feel that this would be exactly cricket. At the FFFF Convention last Spring, Eric Dockery performed a number of effects in which the cards were controlled by means of the "Tilt". The "One-Hand Tilt" that he was using was extremely deceptive because the selected card could be seen going into the center of the deck, yet once the deck was squared up, it was in the normal "Tilt" position, second from the top. His version of the "Tilt" is offered here. Tom Craven's "Bicycle Aces" appeared in PRECURSOR VIII, and a number of subscribers mentioned the Lot Numbers on the face of the Ace of Spades, including Michael DeMarco, Jeff Busby, and others. Tom Craven worked out a mental trick that makes use of these Lot Numbers, and he sent me three versions. Since these versions were almost all the same, I took the liberty of combining some of the better points of each into one method which appears here as "Lots of Lots". While on the subject of the "Bicycle Aces", I have been hearing that this is an old idea. If this is so, can anyone give me the facts on it along with a reference as to where the information can be found. I personally doubt if it goes back beyond the early Sixties, because that is about when the back of the Rider Back Decks was redone. Before that time, the Rider Back cards were oneway. I would assume that when this flaw was retouched, all other known flaws would have been corrected also. I still have a couple of the old Rider Back decks with the one-way backs in my possession, but at the moment they have been misplaced. This past Spring at MAWNY, Bob King performed "Four Card Monte" for me. As I was watching it, I couldn't figure out why Bob was doing "Sidewalk Shuffle" in the same way that everybody else does it, for me. It wasn't until he finished and left the only four cards that he used lying on the table that I realized that he had used three perfectly normal Aces of Spades and one blank-faced card. He really took me down the garden path, and I loved it!
Warren Stephens's "Fifty Percent Interest" is a great barehanded production of a half dollar, but be sure to show the hands empty at the beginning. If you aren't going to show the hands empty, then you might just as well palm a regular half dollar and produce i t from the b i l l and not go to a l l of the trouble making up the gimmick. If the audience even suspects a palm, the whole point of the method is lost. Nick Trost's "Wild Card With a Kicker" is probably the simplest "Wild Card" routine that has ever been invented, but i t goes one step further with a totally surprising kicker at the end if i t . I recently received five effcts from Michael DeMarco that all revolve around the use of a card case. He called this series "Casework". I picked out "Compass Rose" to kick off this series. This is the type of trick that everyone is going to have to try out and then develop their own handling. The easiest approach for me was to put the deck into the case facing the opposite direction as the one described by Michael. Now, I hold the card case by the flap in the right hand and then rest the first two fingers of the left hand on the front of the deck with the ring finger and the l i t t l e finger curled over the magnet. The right hand gradually lowers the deck, and as a r e s u l t , the ring finger pushed up the magnets causing the card to rise.
MOE And H i s Miracles With Cards by William P. Miesel This new book by William P. Miesel, with further contributions by Jeff Busby, Conrad G. Bush, Frank Lane, Sid Lorraine. P, Howard Lyons, Jay Marshall, and Frank Thompson, has finally been published by Jeff Busby after many unforeseen delays. We discussed "The Moe Book" in the l a s t PRECURSOR, and t h a t discussion was based on talking to William and on Jeff Busby's promotional material. I think that Rick Johnsson really summed up the book in his "Hocus in Focus" column in the September 1986 issue of The Linking Ring. And Rick was prophetic in stating that Jeff would s e l l out the limited edition. Indeed, the f i r s t edition has been sold out! ... And a Second Edition has been printed! Well, if there are any disappointed collectors out there in PRECURSOR LAND, you should excuse the expression, William s t i l l has some copies of the First Edition, which is the First Printing of MOE AMD HIS MIRACLES WITH CARDS. You can order a copy by w r i t i n g to William at his address on the previous page. The price is $15.00 (U.S.), and please include an extra dollar for postage. That's a special for PRECURSOR subscribers, thanks to William. Ed Eckl
REPLACES In Interlocutor # 17 (undated, but published in the late 1970's), Karl Fulves presents several unsolved card problems. The first of the series in that issue reads: "Spectator names a number between one and ten. Say he names 'four.' He notes the card fourth from the top of the deck. We'll assume the card is the Five of Hearts. "The deck is cut, and the cut completed. He looks at the card fourth from the top and it is the Five of Hearts. You should strive for an approach where the trick can be repeated." I recently hit upon an extremely simple solution. It will hardly satisfy the purists, but it is quite functional. The idea is to use a "Reverse Svengali Deck"; i.e., every other card is a force card - say, the Five of Hearts - but unlike a standard Svengali Deck, the indifferent cards are trimmed short. Start with an indifferent card on the face of the deck. Hold the deck face up, grasped from above. The pack is ribbon spread face up on the table, but the cards are actually "sprung" from the hand, so that they land in pairs. Thus, only indifferent cards will show during this initial display. Having established the deck as being normal (!), the spread is scooped up, and the deck is turned face down. Give the deck a complete cut, pointing out that each time the deck is cut, the position of any given card is altered. Execute the cut, gripping the pack from the narrow edges. Thus, an indifferent card will now be at the top of the deck. Spread the deck face down on the table, from left to right. This time, a genuine spread is performed so that the back of every card is in view. Ask the spectator to name a number from one to ten. If the number named is even, direct the spectator to count along the spread from the right end; i.e., the top of the deck, extracting and noting the card at the named position. This selection will be one of the force duplicates. If the named number is odd, the spectator is told to count along the spread from the left end; i.e., the bottom of the deck, extracting and noting the card at the named position. Again, you have forced one of the duplicates. The noted card is replaced from whence it came. Scoop up the deck, and invite the spectator to give it a complete cut. Position the deck on the table in such a way that the spectator will cut by gripping the narrow edges of the deck. No matter where the spectator cuts, the parity of the deck will be maintained. Therefore, as per the effect description above, the spectator can count to the chosen location again, to find the same card in that position. And yes, it is repeatable. Phil Goldstein