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This is PRECURSOR I I I , and i t is published in March 1984. The e d i t o r i a l offices are at 2215 Myrtle Street, Erie, Pennsylvania 16502. PRECURSOR will be issued three times a year, and it will be sold for $4.00 per issue, or three issues for $10.00. Outside the United States and Canada, i t w i l l s e l l for $5.00 per issue, or three issues for $13.00. Most subscriptions expire with this issue, and now is the time to renew if you receive a notice with t h i s issue of PRECURSOR. I am sure that you w i l l not want to miss a single issue, and I have some great ideas for next year. The opening trick in this issue is Jon Racherbaumer's "Locked Room Hotel Mystery". I explained the h i s t o r y behind t h i s t r i c k in CREATIVE CARD MAGIC ON page 96. Briefly, I f i r s t saw Persi Diaconis perform this effect at the S.A.M. Convention in Boston in 1967. I loved the premise of using four cards of one value and only two of another and causing a transposition. I went home from that convention and more or less reconstructed what Persi did, and over the next several years, I developed several different routines of my own. In 1976, a couple of methods by Ed Mario and Dave Solomon appeared in MARLO'S MAGAZINE, V o l . 1 .

Jon has made a great addition by adding two card cases and thus creating the "Locked Room" idea. When I received this contribution from Jon Racherbaumer, I was very intrigued with his "Locked Room" concept and evolved the method presented here from some of my earlier methods and was able to eliminate many of the Biddle Counts that permeate Jon's routine. When I published "Wild Tic - Wilder Tac - Wildest Toe" in Issue #1, I expected i t to s t r i k e the fancy of many and to challenge them to go on from there, and it has brought the greatest response. Here you will find a variation by Phil Goldstein entitled "Tic - Tac - Total" which will give you something else to work on. Of course, Phil worked t h i s out before my t r i c k was published, getting his inspiration from Ed Hollins1 original trick just as I did. I have spent quite a b i t of time trying to devise ideas for using a "Tabled Riffle Shuffle" as a control. I could never understand the idea of controlling a selected card and then false shuffling the deck to retain i t in position. Why not just control the card with the riffle shuffle itself? These ideas are just the basics, and I'm sure that many more subtle methods can be developed from these. At the 1979 Close-Up Convention in Buffalo, Jon Brunelle performed a very interesting transposition, the plot of which was based on a story about Harry Houdini and the Substitution Trunk. The original trick that Jon's was based on was Stewart Judah's, and i t can be found in "The Judah Folio", Part 1 of the

PALLBEARER'S REVIEW. After seeing his r o u t i n e , I developed t h i s impromptu version of that trick. In APOCALYPSE, Vol. 6, No. 11, Virgil McDonagh released his "Harry and Bess", and I thought some might find my version to be very interesting. In PRECURSOR I, there was "ESP Prediction" by Nick Trost, and it was published because the principle of the chain of double-faced cards was very intriguing to me. Ed Mario recalled "Undercover Mentalism" from ESP HANDBOOK to my attention for anyone who wants a b e t t e r method to perform the e f f e c t , but I am s t i l l looking for a better effect to go along with the method. Also, Karl Fulves had used the same idea of t h i s chain of double-facers in a t r i c k e n t i t l e d "Red Dragon" in PALLBEARER'S REVIEW, Vol. 4, No. 4. The t r i c k was published under the name of Mike Mohrman, which is one of Karl's many pseudonyms. Again the method was much more interesting that the effect. This completes Issue No. 3 and the f i r s t year of PRECURSOR. Number 4 w i l l be out in the early Spring and is going to contain some fine ideas from my friends in Ohio: Al Thatcher, Del Copley, and Dom Cervas. The lead t r i c k w i l l be a great one from Mel Stover of Winnipeg, so don't forget to renew today. Remember, I do extend subscriptions to contributors of appropriate material. I hope that everyone had a very Happy Holiday Season, and best wishes for a Magical 1984. William P. Miesel December 26, 1983

PLEASE READ THIS . . . Although PRECURSOR I I I is about on schedule, we had hoped to have had i t in the mails in January. However, "Things happened!" F i r s t off, I moved, but I had the manuscript before I moved. No work on i t in December, though. High priority after the move, of course. Computer problems! Then I t i d i e d up for a p a r t y . Boy, did I t i d y up! I l o s t the manuscript!!! Of course I didn't want to l e t B i l l know what a dolt I was, so I looked, and I looked, and I looked. Guess what? I didn't find i t ! A c a l l to B i l l . "Please copy the manuscript for me." " I ' l l send you the carbon." "NO! Never send me anything that you don't have a copy of!" Well, B i l l sent the copy, we talked about things unreadable because of corrections on original that showed up on carbons as blobs. I got busy with work. Then I got busy with PRECURSOR I I I ! And here it i s . Please accept my apologies. PRECURSOR IV will be out in time for the FFFF Affair in Buffalo the end of A p r i l , so i t w i l l be in the mails shortly after that. You will note a slight format change in this issue. I had to make room for two pages for the "Substitution Trunk Card Trick" which I feel had to be in I I I . So each t r i c k doesn't begin on the top of a page as i s normally the case. By doing t h a t , I lost "my space"! But i t ' s a dandy t r i c k , and I ' l l make up for my loss next month, or later. Again, I'm sorry this issue is so l a t e . Ed Eckl

LOCKED -ROOM HOTEL MYSTERY To set up for t h i s effect, the seven principle cards are arranged in the following order from the face: Ace of Spades, King of Diamonds, King of Spades, King of Hearts, King of Clubs, Queen of Hearts, and Queen of Spades on the back. The empty card case is on the table to your l e f t ; the deck is to your r i g h t . 1. Hold the seven card packet face up in the left hand. Explain the premise. Grasp the cards from above by the ends with the right hand in readiness for a "Kardyro-Biddle-Veeser" handling. 2. Feel off the Ace of Spades with the left thumb, then take the next five cards in successive peels and "Biddle" the King of Spades (as they say). That i s , when the King of Spades is peeled into the left hand, retain a break below i t with the left fourth fingertip. Then steal i t under the right hand cards as the next King, the King of Hearts, is peeled. The last two cards are placed as one on top of a l l . This results in a displacement of two cards, and the order from the face to the back now is: QS - KS_ - ^H - KC - KH - KD - AS. Besides reversing the order of a l l of the cards, the King of Spades and the Queen of Hearts (underlined) are out of place. Notice that the so-called Biddle action occurs between the pairs of Kings, thus excusing the slight pause during the peel-and-display. 3. Flip the packet face down into the left hand. Turn the top card, the Ace of Spades, face up to indicate the "detective", and let i t f a l l flush. Lift off the top two cards with the right hand, holding them from above by the ends as apparently one card. 4. Place these back-to-back cards on top of the deck. As soon as they are flush, adjust the face-up Ace of Spades into a slight side-jogged position. Say, "The detective goes to his lookout station ...." 5. Because the audience may be uncertain as to the disposition of the remaining cards, you now have an excuse to show them again to effectuate the next rearrangement. Push over the top two cards as a pair, and take them with the right hand; however, grasp them at t h e i r upper right corners as shown in Figure 1. Then flash the faces of these two cards while saying, "Remember, there are two men for each woman." 6. Place the right hand pair underneath the cards in the left hand in the standard ducking action. Repeat the display of Step 5, apparently showing another pair of Kings. In r e a l i t y , t h i s pair consists of the King of Spades and the Queen of Hearts, but the Queen of Hearts remains hidden under the right fingertips during the face-up display. Place t h i s pair under the left hand cards. The audience assumes that the pair of Queens is on top.

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