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n mfiGflzine OF innovnuon XCII



This is PRECURSOR XCII and is published in September 2004. PRECURSOR is edited by William P. Miesel and is published by unikorn magik. The editorial offices are at 2215 Myrtle Street, Erie, Pennsylvania, 16502-2643 (phone 1-814-454-8802). unikorn magik can be reached through Ed Eckl, "Clutter Cottage," 3 Gregg Street, Beverly, Massachusetts, 01915-2913 (phone 1-978-927-9388). PRECURSOR will be published more than three times a year, and it will be sold for $21.00 (U.S.) for three issues. Outside the United States, Canada, and Mexico, three issues are sent Air Mail for $25.00 (U.S.). In "Excaveat." Phil Goldstein takes the age-old principle of spelling all thirteen values of the cards and producing one of each. He then actually arrives at a mentally thought-of card. Robin Robertson contributes "Metamorphosis," which is his version of the "Houdini Card Trick." The earliest version of this effect that I am familiar with is Stewart Judah's "Substitution Trunk," and it was published in the Pallbearer's Review, Folio #10, 1974. In 1979. Jon Brunelle performed his version at the FFFF Convention at the Forks Hotel. Jon replaced the flap card box with the card case. I then worked out an impromptu version that I put in Precursor I1L 1984. In "Self-Help Groups," Marty Kane uses "Dueling Magicians" to find each others cards with a patter story about the Captain Kangaroo Show. Tom Batchelor contributes "The Death Card," which is an up-dated version of the "Spelling Bee" with a fortune telling story of the "Death Card," the Ace of Spades. "Two-Faced Prophecy" by P. J. Lewis will be considered somewhat controversial by many. It is a very humorous prediction trick, aimed for the most part, to entertain other magicians because both sides of a double-faced card take part in the revelation of the prediction, but it does not play a part in the method in any way. The first phase of "Close Relative" by Russ Polizzi is a close relative of Dai Veraon's "1 - 2 3" in Phoenix #129, but I am sure that you will find the total effect of this routine very pleasing. Be sure to read Russ" little problem posed at the end - I know that I am thinking about it. "Have a Heart" by Norman Gilbreath is an unusual routine using the "Gilbreath Principle." The plot of the trick revolves around a supposedly new card game that was invented by a magician. Thirty years ago, I got together with Charlie Hudson in the summer of 1974 at the IBM Convention. He did "A Faro Location." which he did not explain, but 1 am sure that my reconstruction, that is presented here, is pretty close. To the best of my knowledge, this seemingly impossible location has not appeared in print previously. "Casting A Spell" is a very different idea that I had for "Spelling The Aces" from a deck that is being constantly mixed as the routine develops.

William P. Miesel

EXCAVEAT In 1929, Stewart James marketed "The Evolution of a Dream." The effect engendered several variations and reinventions, notably Fred Mostellefs "Bravo!'" which drew much attention when it was published in the Phoenix #49 in 1943. It used a full-deck stack that, with some procedural options, enabled a freely thought-of card to be spelled without adjusting the deck. In fact, the dealing could be done entirely by the spectator. The following is a related notion, using a different methodological structure. I can assure that it plays far better than it reads. Technically, it can be presented with the spectator doing all of the dealing; however, it's a brisker presentation if you handle the cards yourself. A sample performance would go like this: The deck having been shuffled, the participant is asked to think of any card. The magician says, "Are you sure that the card you're thinking of was a free and uninfluenced choice? " Regardless of the response, the performer continues by requesting that the person change to a new card, "to be absolutely certain that I wouldn 7 be able to guess which card you 'd had in mind. Therefore, you have now decided on a card that not even you knew you would think of Thus, it is clear that no one - especially me - could know the identity of that card. " The spectator confirms that this is so. The magician states, "Despite the impossible conditions, I shall locate your card using a 'magic spell. '" He follows this literally: Dealing one card for each letter, he spells, "A- C - E, " then inquires, "Are you thinking of an Ace? " For this description, we'll assume that the answer is negative. The performer continues dealing cards onto the tabled-pile. spelling, "T- W- O, " then asking if the thought-of card was a Deuce. This is continued. We'll say that the spectator affirms once the value offive has been spelled. "Okay, " says the magician. "We 've designated the value of your card, and it was only moderately time-consuming. We could repeat this with the suits, but I can spell it much faster. In fact, I can gel to your card faster than you can imagine. Name the suit. " For example, the participant replies, "Spades. " The performer turns over the last-dealt card, and it is indeed the thought-of Five of Spades, for a successful resolution. The method makes use of a curious fact about playing cards: The combined number of letter used to spell (in English) the thirteen values, A - C - E - T - W - O - T - H - R - E - E ... through K - I - N - G. is fifty-two, the same number of cards that is in a standard deck. (Oddly enough, this also works in French and. I believe. Swedish.) To the best of my knowledge, this has only once been used in a card trick, George Blake's "Full Pack Spell" in Max Andrews" The Magic Magazine, Vol. 3 #7, April 1954. Several years back, I devised another application that, while mildly interesting, was as presentationally tedious as George Blake's routine. Recently, however, I returned to the idea and discovered a pleasing hidden asset. If you arrange a deck in "value-quartets" - four Aces followed by the four Deuces, etc. - and then spell the values in order, at any point upon completing the spelling a given value, you will find yourself either within or at the end of that quartet. (Whether this works in French or Swedish I have not bothered to determine.)

Pages from precursor no 92 39105  
Pages from precursor no 92 39105