(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 deal cards faceup onto the table," says the performer, "until you come to my card, the three of spades." The spectator does this.

'There is my chosen card. What was the number you chose? Fourteen. Will you now please count down fourteen cards and deal the fourteenth face-down right here." The spectator obeys. He is then asked to name his selectionâ€”and when he turns up the fourteenth card, it is none other than his own.

Method: In the mid-1950s Mr. Elmsley, with his friend Bill Reld, wrote a booklet of one dozen original faro tricks. This project proved an ill-fated one, and never succeeded in reaching press. Its story is recounted in the introduction to Volume I (pp. uii-ui/i). The Bill Reid material from this booklet was thought to be lost. However, recently Jack Avis made a happy discovery in his files. He uncovered a copy of the original typescripts by Reid for his six faro tricks. Eventually, Mr. Avis will arrange for the publication of this material, in memory of Bill Reid.

One of those six Reid tricks was an item titled "Automatic Discovery". Its plot is this: The deck is divided between the performer and a spectator. Each chooses a card from the other's half, notes it and cuts it into his own packet. The performer then faro shuffles the two packets together and hands the deck to the spectator. The performer tells the spectator, "My card is the ten of spades. Please deal cards face-up until you find it." The spectator does this, then takes the value of the performer's card to deal down ten cards farther. When the tenth card is turned up, it proves to be his selection.

The secret is quickly explained. The ten of spades is secretly positioned fifth from the face of the pack before the trick begins. The deck is given a false shuffle, preserving the position of the ten. A spectator then cuts the pack in half. The performer takes the top half, leaving the bottom half for his helper. Each draws a card from the other's packet, notes it and places it atop his own packet. Then each gives his half deck one complete cut. This places the setup directly over the spectator's card. Now the performer faro shuffles the two packets together, making sure that the center sections mesh perfectly. This positions the ten of spades ten cards away from the spectator's selectionâ€”and the effect is concluded as described.

Mr. Elmsley admired this trick and, shortly after learning it, came up with the idea of allowing the spectator to choose the position at which his selection would appeal-. It is this elaboration that will now be taught. ("Second Link" was developed around the same time, as a non-faro approach.)

A slightly more elaborate setup is required. You must position five memorized cards at positions six through ten from the face of the pack. For the sake of simplicity we will use an ace through five with suits in CHaSeD order. From the face of the pack the setup reads: five indifferent cards, ace of clubs, two of hearts, three of spades, four of diamonds, five of clubs. Of course, any five cards that you can easily recall can be used.

In performance, begin by giving the pack a false shuffle that preserves the ten-card bottom stock. Set the deck before a spectator and ask him to cut it into two fairly equal piles. When he does so, pick up the top half, leaving the bottom half for him.

Have him spread his half for you to make a selection. Do so, taking any card above the setup. Look at the card and place it facedown on top of your packet. You needn't remember it, as its only role is one of alibi in the scheme of things.

Fan your packet for the spectator to take a card. Have him note it and place it face-down on his packet. Now you both cut your packets near center and complete the cut to bury the selections. In doing so, the spectator unknowingly positions the setup directly over his card. Guide the spectator carefully as he makes this cut, leading him step by step through it. You do not want him to disrupt the setup by cutting too deeply.

Take his half from him and faro shuffle the two packets together. It doesn't matter if one packet Is larger than the other, or if the weave is an in, an out or a straddle, so long as it is perfect throughout the middle section where the setup lies.

Give the shuffled deck back to the spectator and ask him to choose a number between ten and twenty. The number he names defines the card you will, in a moment, claim is your selection. The system for determining the card is this: Each of the five memorized cards of your setup governs two numbers,

Ace of clubs =11 and 12 Two of beau ts - 13 and 14 Three of spades =15 and 16 Four of diamonds = 17 and 18 Five of clubs = 19 and 20

Therefore, if the spectator chooses eleven, you name the ace of clubs as your card. If he chooses eighteen, you name the four of diamonds. As you can see, the thinking necessary to designate the correct card is not terribly demanding. (You also will note that, although the selection range offered is a number between ten and twenty, twenty is covered by the system. However, offering a choice between ten and twenty-one, or from eleven to twenty, sounds too artificial. It is better to sacrifice the last number. Of course, if someone misunderstands your instructions and names twenty, you can oblige him.)

When the number has been named, you say to the spectator, "Will you deal cards face-up on the table until you come to my card, the.,." and you name the proper card from the setup. When he turns up that card and stops, you continue as follows:

If the number the spectator names is odd, your instructions are these: "There is my card. What was the number you chose? Fifteen. And there was no way anyone could have known what number you would name, is there? Will you now please count down fifteen cards." When he has done this, ask him, "What was the card you chose? The seven of hearts. Turn up the top card of the deck." And he finds it to be his selection.

If the number named is even, you say, "There is my card. What was the number you chose? Fourteen. And there was no way anyone could have known what number you would name, is there? Will you now please count down fourteen cards and deal the fourteenth face-down right here." Point to some place away from the pile of dealt cards. When he has done this, ask him, "What was the card you chose? The queen of clubs. Turn over that card." That card is the one dealt apart from the rest; it is also his selection.

In summary, if an odd number is chosen, that many cards are dealt and the next card is turned up to produce the selection. If an even number is picked, the selection is the last card dealt.

The weakest part of this construction is that you choose one of the cards and do not show it to anyone else. Therefore, your selection should not be made an important factor in the presentation. Instead, emphasize the freedom of the spectator's choice of both card and number, and stress that he himself lost his card in the pack, that he didn't name a number until after the shuffled deck was in his hands, and that he did all the dealing. Presented in this fashion, the trick can have a tremendous impact.

Mr. Elmsley mentions that the faro shuffle can be eliminated from this method if, when you stack the deck, you alternate the five memorized cards with indifferent cards at the face of the pack, then put eleven indifferent cards below this arrangement. Have the spectator cut the pack in half. You take the top half and let him choose a card from it. You then take the top card of his packet, a car d he randomly cut to. Pretend to note your card, place it face-down on top of your half and give the packet a straight cut to lose the card. Then instruct the spectator to lay his selection on top of your packet and bury it by placing his packet on top of yours. This places the stack over his car d. Give the deck a false shuffle and hand it to him. Then conclude the effect as taught.

While this second handling is performable, the faro procedure is the more convincing course. Indeed, Mr. Elmsley suggests that attention be drawn to the thoroughness of the weave as the cards are sprung square with the usual waterfall flourish. On the other hand, the execution of a false shuffle after the cards have been returned occurs when attention on the deck is understandably intense and, therefore, least advantageous. In addition, the stack required for the faro version is half the size of the non-faro stack, permitting greater freedom in the handling of the cards by the spectator.

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