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A MAGAZINE OF INNOVATION WILLIAM P. MIESEL

PUBLISHED BY

unikorn magik


P R E C U R S O R

X X V I

This is PRECURSOR XXVI and is published in February, 1990. The e d i t o r i a l 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 $16.00 (U.S.) for three issues. Outside the United States and Canada, three issues will be sent Airmail for $19.00 (U.S.). Thank you, Jim Patton, for "The Magic Castle Card Transposition". This is Jim's commercial methos that he performs at the bar of the Magic Castle. One of the cards is clearly visible up to the instant that the transposition takes place. The effect is very c l e a r , and i t is impossible not to r e a l i z e that a transposition has taken place. Eric Dockery's "Cased Fingertip Control" really impressed me, because if I want to use a "Peek Control", I have to use the fingertip technique. I handle cards left-handed, so as a result if I am holding the deck in the right hand for the standard "Peek", the spectator sees a blank corner. Back in the S i x t i e s , I worked out a couple of nice ideas on "Fingertip Control" which I have been, more or l e s s , keeping to myself since they are b a s i c a l l y for a lefty. These ideas on "Fingertip Control" by Eric Dockery are excellent, and they are well worth studying and using where applicable. An all-time favorite of many performers is Al Leech's "Case Card" from The Hew Phoenix, #335. Actually, an e a r l i e r version appeared in Rufus Steele's LAST WORD ON CARDS. In The Hew Phoenix #339 is another version called "Case Card Again" by Jose Diaz, Vynn Boyar, and Ed Mario which is very similar to "Card In Case" by Nick Trost in NICK'S TABLE TRIX. These methods all appeared about the same time. "Case Card Ala Fingertip Control" is based on this last version of "Case Card". In most "Cups and Balls" routines, the cups are loaded with the large loads by removing the load from the rear pocket, holding it in the hand, and then placing the cup into that hand, introducing the load into the cup. This is OK — once. Warren Stephens gives us another method of loading that can be used to vary the handling and make a routine that is much more deceptive. "The Impressionist" by Norm Houghton is a somewhat unusual presentation of the "Henry Christ Force" that Norm can get a lot out of when he performs it in his dry, "tongue-in-cheek" manner. "Gambler's Touch" by Bob King is a very interesting handling of the "Gilbreath Principle". Nick Trost's "Dr. Rhine Outdone!" (1964) is one of the f i r s t handlings of of the "Gilbreath" where the colors of the cards in one row keyed the colors of the cards in the other row. Bob King has carried this principle a step further by also separating the s u i t s so that the suit of a card in one group keys the s u i t of the card in the other group. J u s t i n Branch has also


done some work in regards to suits and the "Gilbreath" in CARDS IN CONFIDENCE. "The Penney Paradox" by Nick Trost is an i n t e r e s t i n g gambling hustle which really favors the hustler. I f i r s t ran into it in Pallbearer's Review and then went back to S c i e n t i f i c American, Vol. 231, #4, October 1974, where it appeared in Martin Gardner's "Mathematical Games". Martin Gardner credited it to Walter Penney, thus the t i t l e of t h i s version, who presented it as a problem in the Journal of Recreational Mathematics for October 1969. He used coins, as did Martin Gardner, but I think the idea of using playing cards is far superior. If you are really interested in t h i s , head down to the library and make a copy of Martin's original column because there are some very interesting charts in there equating the odds. There is also a four-coin v a r i a t i o n which almost doubles the odds in your favor, but it has a drawback of taking longer to come up with the necessary winning combinations. Mel Stover's "Yenta Outfiddled" was one of the more popular effects that has appeared in PRECURSOR. The f i r s t phase is based on effects by Al Leech, and Karl Fulves is the basis for Nick Trost's "Technicolor Miracle". "Will The Cards Match?" was developed from the second phase. As it originally appeared, the effect was definitely anticlimactic. Dave Drake has provided a climax, and while editing his his method, I had a few thoughts of my own which appear here as a second method. Bob King also has a very fine routine using this principle called "Rematch". When you order his lecture notes, you can also get this for an extra $7.00. "The Cardician's Dream Perfected" by Al Thatcher has a long history that s t a r t ed with Bob Hummer's "Mind Reader's Dream" in 1952. This was greatly improved by P. H. Lyons in Ibidem #16 in 1959. In 1953, "Cardician's Dream" by Ed Mario appeared in THE CARDICIAN. This is a very brief h i s t o r y , because there have been so many other "Dreams" along the way, but I don't think any of them could be any simpler than this one. A couple of reviwes of things I like complete this issue which I feel is a very strong one. There are any number of things here that should the brain c e l l s perculating, and some day we will finally come up with that perfect trick. I just received a brand new magazine, Modus Pocus, and I love the premise that i t is based on. The intent of the magazine is to focus on one problem per issue and then to pose the problem for the next issue. The problem for the f i r s t issue is called "The Three Of Clubs". This idea is found in GREATER MAGIC on page 327. There are five methods from Ed Mario and three more from Martin Allen, the editor and publisher. The problem for the second issue is "The Emergency Card", a t r i c k in the new Randy Wakeman book. The only drawback that I foresee is that once an issue is out, methods are going to prompt further work, so there has to be room for "Old Business". Modus Pocus is going to come out more or less on an i r r e g u l a r b a s i s , and


previous p u r c h a s e r s w i l l be n o t i f i e d when a new i s s u e comes o u t . The f i r s t issue s e l l s $4.00 in the U.S. and $5.00 to i n t e r n a t i o n a l a d d r e s s e s . Write to Allen Martin, 1943 Hobbiton Road, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70810. William P. Miesel

I AM A PROCRASTIHATOR

I really don't know how I get anything done the way I procrastinate. About the same time I was starting out with PRECURSOR, I heard that Steve Beam had a new magazine called Trapdoor. Now, I had met Steve at a couple of early Greenville Close-Up Conventions a few years before t h i s , and I like him and most of his ideas. I must get Trapdoor! Every year when Sid Lorraine would publish the addresses of all the magazines, I would set " i t " aside and say, "The f i r s t t h i n g l ' l l do is subscribe to Trapdoor." A couple of months ago I got a l e t t e r from Steve asking about PRECURSOR. We both now get each other's magazine. I know that a lot of my subscribers get Trapdoor. I feel that the rest of you would find it extremely i n t e r e s t i n g , and I recommend it very highly. To r e ceive five, 20-page issues, send $25.00 to Trapdoor Productions, 407 Carrington Drive, Knightdale, North Carolina 27545. Please don't procrastinate as long as I did. William P. Miesel

Reading William's remark about a lefty using a peek force and the spectator seeing only a blank corner instead of an index made me chuckle a bit and to offer t h i s modicum of advice ... use a blank deck, and then it won't matter! Seriously, though, I am always amazed at the c l a r i t y with which William explains the workings of card tricks knowing that he is going through the entire "working it out" just backwards from his natural handlings. This issue of PRECURSOR is l a t e according to our schedule. Due to the h o l i days, the material was a bit l a t e getting to me, and then my schedule showed that if I kept to i t , the issue should have been sent off to William the week of the Columbus Magi Fest. This wouldn't do, so I procrastinated (yes, me, too, William) and put off finishing up the issue, most of which was already on disk, although unedited. Then I wasted a holiday from work, and now am finishing up "in a panic", as it were. Sorry, William. Will try to do better next time. (I always say that!) Ed Eckl

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