October 21 2002

with many forms of the Double Lift it is both possible and desirable to turn the double card down, unloading one, and at the same time have it appear that the card(s) was never redeposited onto the deck. The origins of the following technique seem shrouded in controversy. Back in the mid-1960s Larry Jennings developed it after studying a similar but far more difficult procedure by Dai Vernon, published in The Gen (Vol. 19, No. 7, November 1963, page 175). The Jennings technique circulated through the underground, but was never published. In 1968 Juan Tamariz independently discovered the same technique and eventually contributed it to Pabular (Vol. 7, No. 1, January 1982, page 970), and later included in his book, Sonata (1991, page 57). The Tamariz description was, as is expected with this artist, replete with thoroughly thought-out details and an excellent touch by Arturo de Ascanio. It turned out Scotland's Gordon Bruce had also privately been exploring the same ground for some time, and his contributions to the sleight were published four issues later in the same journal (May 1982, page 1024). A friend of Bruce, Allen Jamieson, pointed out that the concept dated back to Stanley Collins (see Collins' Conjuring Melange (1947, page 970). Another piece was added to the puzzle when a manuscript by Fred Braue, provisionally tided Sleights and written in the early 1960's, was finally published in 1985 in The Fred Braue Notebooks, Volume Three. There Braue briefly described "The Braue Turndown" (page 25), which is the basic handling that Tamariz and Bruce elaborated on without knowledge of Braue's work. The technique was shown to me in the early 1970s by Derek Dingle, who learned it from Jennings. There is also a functionally related technique Daley attributes to Vernon, in The Daley Notebooks (Item 22). It may be that Daley's reference alludes to the Collins technique. More likely, it pertains to what Lewis Ganson describes on page 70 of Further Inner Secrets of Card Magic (1960)—clarified in "Double Lift and Leave" in the December 2001 Genii (Vol. 64, No. 12) on page 53. (Note: This Vernon procedure is different from that cited above.) Martin Nash published a variant of Vernon's handling, the Ghost Switch, in Any Second Now (1977, page 152).

The idea most like mine, however, is offered by Michael Close in his book, Workers 4 (1994, page 46). What I've developed are refinements, which include an enhancement that appeared in a recent publication. Despite considerable effort—and assistance, for which I am grateful, from Joe Ferranti, Arie Vilner, Jim Maloney, Aaron Shields, Joshua Jay, Matt Field and Harvey Rosenthal—I have been unable to locate this description; and there is probably more to the modern genesis of this technique of which I'm unaware. You should find my version more reliable, less angle-prone and more psychologically and visually deceptive. The Unload Subtlety, as I refer to it, is performed as follows:

We will assume you are hold- \2J

ing a double card as depicted in Figure 127, though essentially the same technique could be used from almost any palm-up, right-hand grip in which you could securely hold a Double.

The illusion we wish to create is that the card is moved forward and turned down so that it falls into a forward and right-jogged position in the left fingers. To achieve this look, the card is openly prevented from falling flush because it is caught between the left first finger and thumb and instantly pushed to the right by the left thumb. It should be apparent that the card never actually comes to rest on the top of the deck. This is not too difficult to achieve, since it never does.

In the process of turning down, catching and pushing off the card, the card just displayed—the card on the face of the pair—is unloaded onto the deck. The mechanics are relatively simple but must be properly timed to achieve an optimal illusion. The left edge of the double card should be moved over to the deck and flush with the right edge, which allows the left fingers to contact the rear card of the Double. The Double should be clearly out-jogged as you begin

to turn it lace down (Figure 128). This out-jogging is an important feature of this handling that is not normally given attention, though Tamariz mentions it. The illusion is enhanced because the logic of the move is more apparent.

The second critical element of this handling is that the left first fingertip extends past the top of the deck for almost the full length of its outer (distal) phalange. This detail is akin to Stanley Collins' technique and Michael Close's, and appears as well in the unlocated contributor's version. The projecting fingertip prevents the rear card from falling flush with the top of the deck.

The next crucial element is that the upper card of the double is not moved out of alignment with the lower one or released until the cards are at an acute angle to the top of the deck. I wrestled with the reliability of the technique until I remembered something Tamariz had stressed: that the moment of release had to be delayed until the double card had rotated beyond perpendicular. It is at this last moment that the right thumb slides the card at the face inward and the right fingers slide the card at the back outward, until the card at the face is aligned with the top of the deck, or slightly further inward (Figure 129). The cards are then released, but the rear card can fall only as far as the left first fingertip (Figure 130, in which the tilt of the card has been somewhat exaggerated for clarity). My additional touch flows from this. The left thumb immediately presses down on and pushes the top card to the right. This not only moves the card sideways but cantilevers it as well (Figure 131). Thus, the card never fully contacts the top of the deck. As you push and lever the top card, if the card that has just fallen onto the deck is misaligned, align it now. When properly performed the illusion of the displayed card never contacting the deck is nearly perfect. Nevertheless, not everyone will be persuaded it is the best way to go. Some will consider it too much work.

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