Economy Class Departure

Elmsley duplicates as closely as is possible the eifect of his Point of Departure, without the benefit of a double-faced card. The search for a no-feke version of this trick has been taken up by a number of cardinen over the years, and solutions of varying merit have been published. Below is one of several that Mr. Elmsley devised in the late 1950s and early 1960s. He comments that the basic structure is flexible to minor variation. Therefore, it is not surprising that several...

Shakedown

Effect This is a wonderfully thought-out handling of that old standard. The Card Through Handkerchief. Mr. Elmsley's treatment is extremely direct and contains elements that will perplex those who know other methods. In effect, a card is peeked at in the pack. The deck is immediately wrapped in the center of a pocket handkerchief in an entirely convincing fashion. The bundle is shaken, upon which the thought-of card slowly penetrates the handkerchief, clearly emerging from the center of the...

Tour De Force

Effect Five cards are quickly chosen by as many persons, then lost in the pack. These selections are rapidly produced from the shuffled deck in a variety of magical ways. Next, unexpectedly, the lucky selection from the datebook trick appears. This is followed by the two selections made during the deck stab the jacks, queens, kings and aces from the poker deal and a number of cards with various back-patterns from the joker packet. This flurry of productions constitutes a summation of the entire...

The Tale Of The Old Timer

Effect The performer relates a story about four card sharps who are sitting around one slow night trying to impress one another. The first man shuffles and cuts the deck, then cuts off four small packets, each with a jack at the face. The second man takes the pack, shuffles it and cuts off four packets, each with a queen at the face. The third man follows the same procedure and cuts the four kings from the pack. The fourth man, an old timer, then takes the deck and shows his juniors what a...

Direct Link

(Featuring Bill ReicTs Automatic Discovery) Effect This effect is closely related to Second Link, described on pages 183-185. A spectator cuts a shuffled pack in half. The performer takes one of these halves and the spectator takes the other. Each then selects one card from the other's packet, notes it and loses it in his own packet. The performer now shuffles the two packets together. The deck is handed to the spectator, who ts only then asked to name a number between ten and twenty. Will you...

Paraspell

Effect A shuffled deck is handed to two spectators, each of whom is asked to fan the deck, look over all the cards and think of one. So that they won't think of the same card, one thinks of an odd-valued black card, the other of an even-valued red card. The performer then gathers the deck, shuffles it, and divides it between the two spectators. He asks the first person to name the card he thought of. The performer picks up the half deck before that spectator and spells the name of the mental...

Lyre Cough

Here are a few aids for linking some of the less obvious word pairs. 01 SaihClubman picture the king at a yacht club. 14 Lyre Cough picture the entire audience having a coughing fit at a lyre recital. 21 NaikCash recalls the old phrase, Cash on the nail. 22 Nun Sack remember the sackcloth of religious penitence but perhaps the picture of a nun in a sack is more appealing. 45 Roof Garden Boy picture the boy climbing the roof of a shed to pick apples. 53 Fame Dome think of the Hall of Fame. 55...

Penny Wise

Effect The performer runs through a shuffled deck and indicates to an elected confidant a random card that he feels will be a good prospect for a prediction. The spectator is asked to write the name of this card down, without revealing it to the group. The performer gives the pack a further shuffle and has another person take a group of cards from the center of the pack. The removed packet is counted while the performer turns away. However many cards the packet contains, that number is used to...

Blind Stud

Effect A shuffled pack is handed to someone who, when the performer turns his back, cuts the deck, completes the cut and deals stud poker hands for himself and three others. The four players are asked not to look at their hole cards yet, but to tell the performer what promising poker combinations appear in their face-up cards. Specific cards are not named just playable combinations like pairs, three of kind, etc. This information is less than would be had by any player in the game, but the...

Through Darkest Peirce

Effect A card sharp, to be successful, must possess an exceptional memory and a clear mind. Not only must he remember all the cards he sees, he must follow their positions as they are shuffled and dealt into hands, and as they are picked up again. To complicate matters, the number of hands may vary as people leave or join the game. A magician has an advantage over a card sharp in this. Let me show you. The performer removes about a quarter of the deck and sets the rest aside. He gives the...

Pockets Full Of Miracles

Effect Someone selects a card from the pack and notes it. The performer also peeks at this card and shows it to someone nearby. The card is then placed face-down on the table. The person who selected the card is now asked to name it. The performer and second spectator show surprise on hearing his response, for each of them saw entirely different cards. When the card on the table is turned up to verify which of the three is correct, it is found to be none of their cards. The performer then...

Small Revelation

Effect The performer displays a spread of four miniature cards, all of the same value. The four car ds have been glued permanently into a row, as shown in Figure 86. The four-card spread is displayed front and back, then placed into an ordinary envelope, which Is given someone to hold. Four matching normal-sized cards are now brought out. These are mixed by a spectator and dealt into a face-down row. He then picks one of the cards and turns it face-up. Next the person holding the envelope opens...

Diamond Cut Diamond

Effect The performer removes the ace through ten of diamonds from the pack, arranges the ten cards in numerical order, and sets the packet aside. He then has someone peek at any card in the deck. The card is not removed, merely glimpsed and remembered by the spectator. The diamond packet is dropped onto the deck and the spectator is asked to name any number from one to ten. The performer deals the diamond cards into a face-up row, but leaves the card at the spectator's number face-down. When...

Half Packed

Effect As the performer riffles his thumb down the side of the deck, someone is asked to call stop. The pack is cut at that point and one half is presented to the spectator. He is asked to choose any card he wishes from his packet, note it, then thrust it into the center of the performer's half. Both performer and spectator cut their cards, mixing them, before the halves are shuffled into each other. The performer explains that, while it was previously known that the chosen card was in his half...

Prediction By Proxy

Effect The effect is similar to that of Penny Wise. However, in this version an audience member makes her prediction without the prompting of the performer. Someone is asked merely to think of any card in a standard pack, barring the joker. A shuffled deck is then run through, faces toward the spectator, for her to remove the card she has mentally chosen. She lets no one see this card. This, the performer tells her, will be proof of her prediction. The deck is shuffled again, while the first...

Jubilee

Effect The performer removes the four kings from the deck and divides them between two spectators, who mix them. He then takes back any one of the kings, say the king of clubs, and cuts it faceup into the face-down deck. When he next spreads the cards, the queen of clubs has magically appeared face-up beside her mate. The two car ds are set aside and another of the kings, perhaps the king of hearts, is cut face-up into the face-down pack. On spreading the deck, the queen of hearts is found...

The Properties

Before going into the specifics of each trick, the props necessary to the entire act must be listed and their placement described. Three decks of cards are used during the act, along with a gimmicked packet of jokers for the Dazzle effect. This deck is prepared with one edge-marked card, the three of clubs. The card Is subtly but plainly marked on its opposite long edges near their centers. The mark measures about one inch in length (Figure 246). If the deck is fresh, the edge can be slightly...

The Microcosm Of Magic

This short article was written by a young Alexander Elmsley (age twenty-three) for the Gamagic Catalogue, New Series No. 5, issued around 1953 by the famous Gamages toy store in London. It is reproduced here not only for its interest as a rarity of Elmsleyana, but because the observations it makes on the world of magicians are as amusingly true today as they were when first composed. Perhaps the most fascinating thing about Magic is that it is a complete little world on its own. It has its own...

The Red And The Blue

Effect Two decks with contrasting backs are introduced and a spectator is offered a free choice of either. He removes any card from his face-up deck and hands the card to the performer. The performer does the same, handing a card to the spectator. Both performer and spectator place the foreign card each has been given into his own deck. The performer now makes a magical gesture over the decks, causing them to change color. When the spectator examines his deck, its backs are now the color of the...

Like A Rolling Bone

Effect The performer hands someone a die and asks that it be thrown several times to assure that it is normal. He then turns his back while he issues the following instructions This time the throw counts. Please shake the die and toss it. I realize that there are still skeptics who might suspect the die is loaded in some way to come up with a special number only when I want it to. You and I both know this is impossible, but to avoid arguments, I want you to follow some randomizing procedures...

Signature Piece

Effect The performer offers to demonstrate a new method of check forgery used by swindlers. To protect the members of his audience, he demonstrates this with playing cards rather than bank checks. Someone chooses a card from a red-backed pack and signs the face of the selection. The signed card is replaced face-up in the face-down deck, after which the deck is fanned and placed on the table, with the face-up selection clearly visible. A second deck is now brought into play, one with blue backs....

The Restacking Pack

We know that fifty-two cards return to their original order after eight out-shuffles. During these shuffles the top and bottom cards never move, and two more, the eighteenth and thirty-fifth cards, change places in each shuffle. The remaining forty-eight cards can be considered as lying in six chains, each chain comprising eight positions. A card at any of these positions will move through each of the other positions in its chain before returning to its original position after eight shuffles....

The Octal Pencil

Math Magic Mentalism Trick

Effect A spectator is handed a special pencil that has a series of six numbers printed on each of its eight sides (Figure 57, next page). These numbers are all different and some are printed in red, others in black. The spectator is told to choose any one of the sides of the pencil he wishes and to call out only the colors of the numbers there. However, as he does so, he is to lie about the color of one of the six numbers. This number is his choice as well. The performer turns away from him,...

Open Intruder

Effect The performer openly adds a bine-backed card to a red-backed deck. The identity of the odd-backed card is not revealed, nor its location in the deck. The performer turns the deck face-up and deals the cards into a facedown pile on the table. As he does this, someone is asked to specify any card he wishes as it appears on the deck. This card is dealt faceup onto the face-down pile. Then the rest of the deck is quickly dealt face-down. During the dealing a curious fact is observed the...

Fates Datebook

Effect The performer begins by giving out the deck for shuffling. While a spectator performs that service, the performer asks if someone else would mind having her fortune told. When she agrees, she is asked her birthday and given a datebook to hold. The performer takes back the shuffled deck as he explains the uncomplicated method by which he casts fortunes with the cards. He simply spells F-A-T-E, dealing one card from the shuffled deck for each letter in the word. The card arrived at in this...

Collinspell

Effect The four aces are arranged face-up on the table, along with four small piles of indifferent cards. An ace is honestly inserted into each of the piles, from which it then vanishes. The piles ar e dropped onto the deck and the cards shuffled. From the shuffled pack, the performer spells the name of an ace, dealing a card for each letter. At the end of its name, the proper ace appears. This is repeated with each of the aces, until all four have been produced. Method The plot is in essence...

Milling A Coin

Effect The performer shows two large copper coins (perhaps old English pennies) and places a dime between them. He then rubs the two large coins together, and within a few seconds silver dust begins to trickle from between them. When the stream of silver stops, the two coins are separated to show the dime gone apparently ground to dust. Method Mr. Elmsley created this charming novelty to take advantage of a coin gimmick devised by a friend. Jack Delvin. Large English pennies and a sixpence were...

The Imp Of The Inverse

Effect Here is another intriguing Elmsley experiment, demonstrated by him at a Saturday gathering with Jack Avis and other friends in the 1960s. The performer riffles through the deck until a spectator calls stop. The card stopped at is pulled partially from the pack and shown the nine of diamonds. The performer slowly and fairly pushes the selection back into the pack, then gives the cards to the spectator. In the process he lets his hands be seen empty. The performer snaps his fingers over...

V

Now. with your right hand, draw the outjogged card from the packet and show that the ace of spades has changed to an indifferent card. Flip the card face-down onto the packet, and deal the five cards as four (using the snap-down deal) onto the face-up pile of previous discards. The ace of diamonds remains to be vanished. Pick up this pile and backspread three cards, forming a four-card fan, as you have with each of the previous packets. As before, the fourth indifferent card remains hidden...

Halfway To Heaven

Effect Here is another abbreviated Out-of-This-World effect, but in this presentation the whole deck is in play. The deck is shuffled, then a red card is turned face-up. Someone is asked to touch a random card in the face-down pack. Three others are asked to do the same. These four chosen cards are removed from the deck and set aside with the face-up red card. A black card is now turned up, and the four spectators are each asked to touch another card. These four cards are also taken from the...

Its A Small World

Effect The performer openly removes ten cards from the pack and shuffles them. He then holds the packet behind him and brings out the top card face-down. This is offered to someone in the audience and she is told she can either accept or reject it. If she decides to take it, it is laid face-down before her. Otherwise, it is placed on the bottom of the packet and the next card from the top is offered. This procedure is continued until the spectator has accepted five of the ten cards. The balance...

Delicate Balance

Effect A deck is shuffled and spread face-down on the table. Then, while the performer turns his back on the proceedings, someone is invited to remove any card, hide it, then carefully square the pack so that no clue can be gained from it. The performer then takes up the deck, carefully weighs it on his hand, then announces that the card removed was red. The spectator brings out the card and checks it. It is red. The card is returned to the pack and the procedure is repeated and again the...

Face Your Brothers

Effect Three cards are removed from the pack by as many spectators. Each person is asked to relax and let his dormant clairvoyant faculty operate as he replaces his card face-up at a position of his own choosing in the deck. Each then removes from the pack his card and the card that faces It. When these adjacent cards are turned up, each is seen to be the exact mate to the selection beneath it all which lends support to the theory of subconscious clairvoyance. Method A simple six-card setup is...

Hidebound Forecast

Effect A shuffled pack is spread face-up to allow a spectator the fairest possible choice of a card. When one is indicated, the pack is gathered and put aside. The performer now brings out his wallet and opens it. From the wallet he draws a single playing card on e with a back design different from the deck on the table. When the face of this card is shown, it is seen to be a duplicate of the card just freely selected. That the wallet is ungimmicked and there is only the one card in it are...

The Fan Prediction

Effect Someone is asked to think of any card in a deck, remove it and record its name privately on a slip of paper. This slip, the performer explains, will serve as a prediction. The card is returned to an unknown position in the pack and the cards are spread for a selection to be made. A second person is asked to touch any card in the spread he wishes. There is no question that the choice is a fair one. The card touched is honestly outjogged in the fan and all the cards above and below it are...

Twoball Roll

Art Balls Repeated

This pleasant piece of jugglery with billiard balls not only entertains the eye, but also helps to conceal palmed balls as the flourish is performed. To these assets is added the further enticement that the maneuver is far easier than it appears. Manipulators unfamiliar with it will quickly make a place for it in their billiard ball exhibitions. A billiard ball is displayed in each hand, held between the extended first and fourth fingers (Figure 32), The flourish consists of moving the hands in...

The Rosette

This is a pretty and impressive extension of the roll-down display, a standard coin manipulation similar in visual effect to the preceding card flourish. When the roll-down is normally done, a stack of four coins, held on edge between the thumb and forefinger, are rolled by the fingers until one is held between each pair of digits. Mr. Elmsley has added a fifth coin to the display, which he catches between the thumb and fourth finger, completing a circle of coins (Figure 20). This manipulation...

The Mexican Prediction

Effect The performer runs quickly through the deck and sets two cards face-down on the table. He explains that these car ds, in combination, serve as a duplicate to one card in the deck. One of the pair predicts the value of the car d, the other predicts the suit. To test the validity of the prediction, someone is asked to push any card at random out of the spread pack. When the two prediction cards are turned up, they form a precise composite of the selected card. Method This prediction is...

Verbum Veritas

Effect The performer hands someone a card bearing forty-eight words. The words are arranged in eight rows of six words each, with some words in black ink, others in red. It is explained that these are words selected by a team of psychologists. The sound, arrangement and colors of the words are designed to produce a reaction in the subject that makes It Impossible for him or her to lie convincingly. However, only a specially trained ear can detect the dishonesty in the subject's voice. The...

Verbum Sapienti

Effect The performer brings out a pocket dictionary and has three or four persons choose random words from it. The dictionary is put away and. without a question asked or a thing written, the performer accurately divines each person's word. Method The choice of words is genuinely random, but the dictionary is prepared to deliver the chosen words to you instantly. It is a peek book. The peek book idea goes back to Paul Curry, though it has been reinvented several times over the years by others,...

The Astral Coin Rides Again

Effect This is a most puzzling sequence with a coin and two cards, characterized by an extremely fair looking handling of the props, in which everything is done at the fingertips. While seated at a table, the performer exhibits two cards on all sides, then lays them down together. He takes a quarter or other small coin from his pocket, displays it, then vanishes it from his hands. When he raises the two cards, the coin is found under them. He covers the coin with one of the cards, while placing...

Brain We

Principle Faro Shuffle

Effect A spectator shuffles the deck, then thinks of a card. The performer also mixes the cards, then places the deck behind his back for a moment while he reverses a card. He brings the deck forward in a fanned condition and asks the spectator to name the mentally chosen card. One reversed card is discovered in the middle of the fan. When it is removed and turned over, it is seen to be the selected card. It should be noted that the deck is unprepared and may be borrowed. Method The principle...

Phase One

When ready to begin, reach into the pocket and thumb palm the copper coin. Grasp one of the silver coins at the fingertips and bring the hand from the pocket. Briefly show the half dollar and drop it onto the palm-up left hand, positioning it at the base of the forefinger. Move the left hand from left to right, displaying the coin. If you take a half dollar and place it into the left hand At this point the left hand should be held directly in front of you, with the right hand nearby. Bring the...

Arab Rotopack

Effect The four aces are honestly buried at various depths in the pack and the cards are shuffled and cut. The name of the first ace, the ace of clubs, is spelled while one card is dealt for each letter. The ace of clubs turns up on cue at the end of its name. The pack is given another shuffle and the ace of hearts is cut directly from the middle of the deck. The deck is given a third shuffle and a cut. The top card Is turned up. It is a four. Counting down four cards from the top, the ace of...

Returning a Pack to the Same Order

Suppose we have an odd pack of P cards, and that it returns to its original order after S shuffles. First consider a card whose position from a reference card is originally n0, and which moves to nF n2, etc., in successive shuffles. After one shuffle nt 2n0 or 2n0 - P After two shuffles n2 2nt or 2nl - P 4n0 minus the largest multiple of P less than 4n0 4n0 - X2P After three shuffles n3 8n0 - X3P After S shuffles ns 2sn0-XsP (1) The pack returns to the same order after S shuffles, and therefore...

Pack Of Lies

Effect A board of miniature playing cards is displayed. The cards are arranged in eight rows, six to a row. Someone is handed the board and asked to think of any card he sees. His choice can be made from almost an entire deck, as only the aces are missing. These have been eliminated, as they are obvious choices that people too often favor. When the person has mentally selected a card, he calls out only the colors of the six cards in the row where his card resides and he lies about the color of...

Binary Translocations

While investigating the effect of combined in- and out-shuffles, I fell into the practice of abbreviating them as T and 'O*, This led me to the discovery of a fortunate coincidence, for I noticed that my sequences of Ts and 'O's could be read as Ts and 'O's and these could be manipulated with binary arithmetic to yield useful instructions for shuffle sequences. Here are several applications I've derived from this principle. 1) To bring the top card of the pack to any position, subtract one from...

Between Your Palms

Effect After the Elmsley count, I would judge this trick as Mr. Elmsley's best known contribution to card magic. He conceived the trick after reading John Dickson Carr's analysis of locked room mystery plots. From that he devised this locked room mystery with playing cards. While a number of clever magicians (including the originator himself) have attempted to improve on its method, many believe that the original is still the best to date. The performer removes a card from the deck and, without...

The Obedient Faro

Effect The deck is shuffled and the top five cards are shown. Someone is asked to name any one of the five he likes, then to choose a number from one to twenty. The performer places the five cards face-down on the deck and gives the cards two faro shuffles. He then hands the pack to the spectator and asks that he count down to his chosen number. When the card at that number is turned up, it is found to be the spectator's selection. The feat can be repeated. The result is always successful, and...

Multiple Mind Reading

Effect Four or more spectators are each given packets of cards from a shuffled deck. They shuffle their packets mid remember the top card. They then gather the packets together, in any order, and give the combined cards a cut or two before returning them to the performer. Despite the difficult conditions imposed, on looking quickly through the cards, the performer is able to identify every selection made. Method The secret of this multiple card divination is cunningly simple. All you need know...

The Mathematics Of The Weave Shuffle

This article was originally presented in three consecutive issues of Pentagram, in mld-1957. (Errata for the article were published in the May 1958 issue of that journal.) It holds the distinction of being the first serious examination of the mathematics behind the faro shuffle to be published in magical literature. In his article, Mr. Elmsley took the seminal information presented in Hugard and Braue's Expert Card Technique (pp. 145-150, much of which was based on faro tables constructed by...

Deck Preparation for Faro Shuffles

Farrow Shuffle Photo

While talking one day with Harry Riser, the topic of this book arose, and he related to me a fascinating Elmsley anecdote. One evening in 1959, when Mr. Elmsley was in the States for his first lecture tour, he and Mr. Riser met for dinner and, of course, to discuss magic. Mr. Riser asked if he had any tips on improving the accuracy of the faro weave. At this Mr. Elmsley just smiled and offered him his deck. Immediately comprehending the meaning behind the gesture, Mr, Riser gave the deck a faro...

Penelopes Principle

Elmsley published his series of articles on faro shuffle principles and their mathematics, in his closing lines he mentioned having reserved one principle in particular for his private use. This was obviously a tool that he valued highly. Over the years it was passed quietly from hand to hand through the inner circles of cardinen, and as was inevitable, tricks based on this ingenious principle began to appear in print sometimes with credit given to its inventor, but more...

Spell By The Numbers

Then, while the performer turns his back, the spectator cuts off a small group of cards and quietly counts them. When he has finished, he remembers this number and puts the packet somewhere out of sight. The performer turns back to him, takes up the balance of the deck and, while looking away, begins showing him cards. The spectator is asked to remember the card that falls at his number. Now the hidden packet is returned to the deck and the cards are given one...

The Fiddle With The Biddle In The Middle

Effect A card is freely selected from the pack. Two jokers are then placed together face-up in the center of the deck. The deck is dropped onto the chosen card and the card vanishes. When the deck is spread, the selection is found sandwiched between the reversed jokers. The three-card sandwich is removed from the deck and the deck is given to a spectator to hold. The two jokers and selection are displayed yet, when these cards are pressed between the performer's palms, the selection disappears,...

The Multiplying Aces

Elmsley presents this as a multiplication of cards at the fingertips. He positions a single ace between the thumb and forefinger of the left hand. The hand is shown otherwise empty. Suddenly a second ace appears between the first two fingers. Then a third ace materializes between the second and third fingers. Now the right hand, which has been seen clearly empty throughout these productions, becomes active and plucks the fourth ace from the air. This card is placed in the last vacant space...

The Elmsley Rising Card

Effect The plot follows that of the centuries-old classic, but in this version several exquisite refinements are offered. A card is freely selected, noted and returned to the deck. The deck is shuffled, then fanned. A magical pass it made over the fanned pack and the selection rises slowly from the center. Method The refinements mentioned ar e two First is the idea of having the card rise from a fanned pack. To the best of my knowledge, Mr. Elmsley was the first to perform the card rise in this...

Cold Steel

Effect Two cards are freely selected and lost in the pack while it is out of the performer's hands. He gives the cards several ornamental shuffles, then sets the deck face-down on the table. A pocket knife is brought out, opened and its blade is thrust into the side of the pack. When the pack is split at the spot penetrated by the blade, the chosen cards are found there. This segment of the act is structured to convey to the audience a sense of mystery and astonishing skill. Method In this...

Animal Vegetable And Mineral

Effect A pack of children's picture cards is displayed. On them are simple representations of birds and beasts, plants and famous structures. These objects, it is pointed out, can be classified as either animal, vegetable or mineral. We are going to play a game of Twenty Questions, announces the performer, with variations. In Twenty Questions, one usually tries to guess one object at a time. I shall attempt to guess three, all at the same time. That is the first variation. The second variation...

Alex Elmsley

Pre-illus tra tive Pho tog raphy Debbie Murray P. O. Box 100 Tahoma, California 96142 This volume, like the first, was made possible through the help and generosity of a great many friends and acquaintances. Gordon Bruce of Glasgow, Scotland, and Milt Kort of Birmingham, Michigan, did immense amounts of research, unearthing scores of articles in old journals and scarce booklets. Jack Avis, through his notebooks and correspondence, is responsible for the preservation of a significant portion of...

Elmsley Dazzle Cards

Elmsley briefly toured the U.S. with a lecture that was received with excitement and high regard by the magicians who witnessed it. The lecture was founded on an exquisitely routined series of card effects. It was a complete act, formulated on sound dramatic principles, and with some remar kably clever ideas that left its magician audiences often feeling like laymen. After performing the act, Mr. Elmsley explained it in detail. The principles he revealed mechanical, psychological...