Autodiscovery

Effect: The deck is set before a spectator and he is asked to cut it at random, remove the card he cut to and pocket it. He shuffles the rest of the cards he has cut off, then loses them in the remainder of the deck.

The performer gives the pack one shuffle, declaring that it will function as a calculator to discover the identity of the selection. The deck is spread and in the center is seen a face-up card. This card and the face-down card above it are extracted from the spread. The face-up card, the performer explains, reveals the suit of the chosen card—and the value of the facing card completes the identification. When the selection is brought from the spectator's pocket, it is seen to be the very card specified by the two indicator cards.

Method: Here, as promised, the fascinating principle from "Late Night Location" is made to function with a standard pack. A setup is necessary. First remove the ace through king of diamonds and set the ace to one side. Then remove twelve cards running from two through king. The suits of this second set are mixed. Arrange the mixed set of cards with its values running in reverse order to those of the twelve diamond cards. The diamonds, by the way, are not set in any particular order; they can be left just as they come from the pack.

Now assemble the deck in this manner: Form a face-down packet from thirteen of the unsorted cards. Onto these lay the twelve-card set of mixed suits, face-down. Place the ace of diamonds, face-up, onto this. (You must be able to cut quickly to this ace later in the trick. Therefore, if there isn't a dependable bridge in the pack, crimp the ace in a manner that allows you to cut immediately below it.) Lay an indifferent card face-down over the ace, and place the twelve diamond cards onto that, also face-down. Finally, top the setup with the remaining thirteen face-down cards.

Begin the trick by setting the arranged pack face-down before someone. Casually ask him to cut off anything between a quarter and half of the pack. In doing so, he unwittingly cuts into the diamond stock. Have him remove the card on the face of the cut-off portion and pocket it without showing it to you or to anyone else. Whether he himself looks at it is a presentational point left to your discretion. Then have the spectator shuffle the rest of the packet.

When he has finished, reach out and divide the remainder of the pack, as it lies on the table, cutting it at the bridge or crimp. (The reversed ace of diamonds is at the bottom of the upper portion.) Ask that he place his mixed cards between the two portions, losing them. Drop the upper packet onto his packet, sandwiching the shuffled cards, square the pack and pick it up.

Explain that the pack can act as a calculator to determine the identity of the missing card. Cut the pack near center (twenty-five cards in one portion, twenty-six in the other—it does not matter which half is the larger) and give the deck one straddle faro, weaving the smaller half into the greater. Then ribbon spread the cards to reveal the ace of diamonds face-up near center.

Explain that this card identifies the suit of the selection in the spectator's pocket: a diamond. Slip the ace from the deck, accompanied by the face-down card just above it. Turn this card up. It will be the same value as the chosen card. Have the spectator remove the card from his pocket and reveal it, proving the uncanny accuracy of the calculating pack.

If you are concerned that the spectator may accidentally cut to the ace of diamonds, prematurely revealing it, you can do this instead: Edge mark the ace and position it face-down in the stack. Then, after the faro shuffle, rather than ribbon spreading the cards, bring out a pen knife and stab Its blade into the side of the pack, using the edge mark as a guide (an idea of Dr. Ben Braude, ref. Phoenix, No. 293, Nov. 13, 1953, p. 1173). Ideally, the blade should be inserted between the ace of diamonds and the card above. However, if you find you are one card off, both cards can be produced, either above the blade or below it, without appreciable loss of effect. You can use the blade of the knife as a shiner, to cue you to the accuracy of the stab, before you separate the pack. See page 447 or further details on this method of glimpsing.

September 1958

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