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 his card to throw the performer even further off the track. Nonetheless, the performer somehow detects him in his lie and names the card thought of. The test can be repeated with analogous results.

Method: Here the liar's matrix, as explained in "Octal Pencil", is adapted to playing cards. First a mnemonic procedure will be explained: one related to that discussed in "Verbum Veritas". Then two nonmemory approaches will be taught.

The display boar d of cards is made of black posterboard, on which are mounted forty-eight cards. To keep the size of the board manageable, miniature cards are used, or normal cards cut in half along their width. The cards are arranged in eight rows as in the chart below:

frw

4H

6S

7C

5C

jm)

JC

10H

9C

3C

3C

JH

8H

2S

5H

6D

6C

2H

8S

JS

8D

2C

5D

10S

JD

2D

KC

3H

4D

QC

9s

QH

4C

7D

3D

7S

10D

5S

9D

8C

9H

4S

1 9S

KS

7H

6H

IOC

qdJ

For durability, cover the cards with either a sheet of clear plastic or a clear film laminate. If you plan to perform this on platform or stage, use a mat-finish plastic to avoid glare.

Again we rely heavily on the Nikola card system. The reader is free to exchange the positions of any red cards on the board for any other red cards. The same holds for the black cards. Only the redblack sequences must be maintained. The arrangement shown above is one Mr. Elmsley derived for his own use, in which he placed the cards to provide the best mnemonic links. However, each reader may discover other pairings better suited for him; you are therefore encouraged to experiment.

The Nikola word system for cards uses the same number-consonant alphabet for the values two through ten. (It will be recalled that the aces have been eliminated from the board.) The suits are designated by the first letter of the link word (C, H, S or D). For example, 2 = 11 and spade = S, Therefore, the two of spades is represented by the word SuN. Conversely, the first letter in the word CaP indicates a club and the P translates to 6—the six of clubs. In three cases the same link word is used for an octal number and a card: 02 and 2S both = Sun; 05 and 5S = Safe: and 06 and 6S = Soup. Mr. Elmsley has avoided any confusion with these three duplications by pairing the matching numbers and cards together, as will be seen shortly.

As for the jacks, queens and kings, they are given occupations linked to their sex and suits: clubs connotes a private club; hearts, romance; spades, garden work; and diamonds, jewelry.

Here is the complete list of octal numbers, cards and the mnemonic link words that pair the two.

Mnemonic Method

No. No. Link:Card Link

Card

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