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n mfiGflzine OF innovflTion XCIII



This is PRECURSOR XCIII and is published in November 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.). We start out this issue with Bob King's "Miniskill," a version of Stewart James' "Miraskill." which does not require adding or taking away cards from the deck to accomplish three predictions. In Robin Robertson's "Spreading and Staggering," a packet of cards with a selection shuffled into it is placed in the performer's jacket pocket from where it is produced and revealed. "It's All Just Semantricks" by Marty Kane is another one of Marty's very humorous tricks. After some strange "spelling." a straight flush is completed with a "Wild Card." "Bookmarker" by Russ Polizzi is what at first glance might appear to be just another book test where a playing card is used to force a page in a book. But in this case, a deck of cards is riffle shuffled into the book and both a playing card and a word are divined. Nick Sacco contributes "Flash Catch Aces." in which a card is selected and returned to the deck. The four Aces are produced two at a time, sandwiching the selection. "Forethought" is a prediction trick from Peter Tappan, in which a card from a blue-backed deck predicts a card that is freely selected from a red-backed deck. We have another "Houdini" trick in this issue. This one is "Houdini's Besst Trick" from Chris Kosuta and it is also a transposition trick. Actually, this is a real scoop telling the story of Bess and Harry's romance and marriage. Most gambling routines revolve around the game of Poker, but I naturally use the games of Black Jack and Rummy in my routine, "Black Jack or Rummy???" I provide two different handlings, but these are just the rudiments. I leave it up to you to provide as convincing a "False Shuffle Retaining the Top Stock" as you can. Fifty-five years ago, on May 9, 1949. Ed Mario sent a letter to Neal Elias in which he recounted "A Three Ace Effect." Later that May. Neal Elias worked out a variation that he titled "A Three Ace Effect #2". I am almost certain that this effect never was published; but historically, 1 found it quite interesting. It is definitely a step in the development of the "Finders" or the "Sandwich" effect. In just a couple of years, the "Finders" and the "Sandwich" effect became very popular and started the "Faro Craze" of the late 50's & 60's. Magicians such as Ed Mario. Harry Riser. Paul Swinford. and Dom Cervas developed many versions of the "Finders" and the "Sandwich" where one Perfect Faro Shuffle would replace the five pages of handling described here to "feed" one card between two other cards. William P. Miesel

July 15.2004 1

MINISKILL I have always been a fan of Stewart James' magic. I have performed his "Miraskill" for years and consider it a classic. What I have done here is to eliminate the need to palm any cards as none are added to the deck for the repeat. In this version of the classic Miraskill effect, it is performed three times in a row. Before each phase, write a prediction. All three predictions are totally different and at no time are there any cards added or taken away from the deck. This routine is performed with a fifty-card deck. Remove two red-suited cards and place them into the cardcase. The rest of the deck is set up from the back down: Forty-four cards are arranged with the colors alternating, black - red - black - red - etc.; below these alternating cards are four black cards followed by two red cards on the bottom. Thus, the deck contains fifty cards. Begin the routine with the deck face up and explain that, in a moment, they will take cards off the top of the deck in pairs. If the pair contains two red-faced cards, they will go into one pile. If both cards are black, they go into a second pile and if the pair consists of a red and a black card, they go into a third, discard pile. While explaining the rules, illustrate with the cards at the face of the deck. Upon completing this explanation, replace these cards in their original order back on the face of the deck. Turn the deck face down and table it. Have your helper cut off about half the deck. Pick up the rest of the cards and cut the back card to the face. Now. as you explain that they are to shuffle their cards, illustrate this by doing the following: Get the deck into Overhand Shuffle position, with the faces to the left. Shuffle three cards from the face into your left hand, note the color of the first - the bottom card. Throw the rest of the deck onto these cards and table the deck face down. Now, write a prediction based on the card you just spotted. If this card was black, write. "The red and black piles will have an equal number of cards." If the spotted card was red, write. "The black pile will contain one more card than the red pile." After your helper shuffles his packet, he turns the cards face up and takes them in pairs and forms three piles. If the spectator cuts off an odd number of cards, the final single card is placed on the packet of that color. Have the red and black piles counted and your prediction read. Ask your helper to square up these cards. He then cuts off another group of cards from the tabled-packet and adds them to those he just used. Explain that he is to shuffle his cards, and illustrate by taking the balance of the deck and give it a legitimate shuffle, shuffling the back card to the face. Place the deck on the table and glimpse the face card. If this card is black, write the prediction. "The red pile will have two more cards than the black pile." If the glimpsed card was red, then write, "The red pile will have one more card than the black pile." Have him go through the dealing and then check your prediction. When he has finished, have him add the rest of the cards to his; he will now do the dealing with all the cards.

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