The Festive Season having come round again, here are some stunts and puzzles to fill in those blank spots between drinks. As with these pages last year most of what follows has been in print before in one guise or another, but you will have a varied mixture from which to choose. So here goes
Some time ago we saw Alex Elmsley do a coin puzzle that we liked and we'll use it to start Arrange six coins of the same denomination as in (1). The puzzle is to form a circle with them by moving three coins. They must be moved separately and at the end of the move must be in contact with two of the other coins.
Figs. 2, 3 and 4 show how you do it. Even someone who manages it will have trouble repeating it again.
Ask someone to write down the sentence 'It is two miles from the Marlborough Arms to the White Horse Inn.' Now you ask him to write down 'There are two two's in the above sentence'. As we have written this it is grammatically incorrect; spoken out loud the sentence seems easy — try and write it and you will find you have a sentence that cannot be written.
Puzzle-minded readers may like the following:
You have twelve identical objects in appearance, but one of them is the odd man out — it is either lighter or heavier than the other eleven. Problem — you have to find out the odd object and ascertain whether it is lighter or heavier than the others but you only have a set of scales with no weights.
Solution: First divide the objects into 3 sets of 4, calling them X, Y, Z. Balance X against Y, Y against Z. If, for example, X and Y balance odd man out must be Z. Next balance Z against X or Y and if Z descends it must be heavier — and obviously vice versa. With two weighings we have found in which group of 4 the O.M.O. is in and whether it is heavier or lighter. To find which one of the four — you only need to weigh once more. Not wishing to spoil your fun we'll leave it with you
A big ^ame hunter sees a bear to the east The wind being in the west the hunter moved about a hundred paces north during which time the bear had not moved. Taking careful aim the hunter fired due south and killed the bear. What was the colour of the bear? You will find the answer in Focus.
You have been holding a party and afterwards see that someone has left a glove behind — you know it belongs to one of two one armed guests who buy and share a single pair of gloves, each having lost a different arm. The trouble is that they can only be contacted by phone and neither knows his 'left' from his 'right'. The problem: how do you ring them up and find out the owner without using the words 'left' or 'right' or referring to anything else except the glove?
The following effect, although having been around for many years, is seldom seen — and yet nearly every magician you meet knows something about it when mentioned. Strip off the striking surface of a box of safety matches, put it in a saucer, and set fire to it. The result will be a gummy residue. Now put some of this on the pads of your left index-finger and thumb. When you rub them together wisps of smoke can be produced. Follow this by saying "There is no smoke without a fire" and pass your right hand over the rising smoke causing it to burst into flame. How? Well, you have a concealed wad of flash paper in your right hand and of course this is ignited by your lighted cigarette. The impact produced by combining these two items will only be realised by those who actually try it.
^jC Last year Ken Brooke gave us a coin puzzle that generated some correspondence (see Pabular Vol 1 No.4, page 50) and Tony Faro has come up with another answer to the same thing. Arrange four ten pence and four two pence pieces as in (5). Disregarding the letters each side of the square has, when added, a total value of fourteen pence. The object is to move four coins only in straight lines without disturbing any of the others, and form a similar square in which each side totals twenty-two pence. Before reading on, close the page and try it. If you remember the original version given last year it won't help as this version is completely different!
Here is the solution. First, move the lOp in the middle of the right hand side across to A. Now move the 2p at the bottom of the L.H.S. to B and then the lOp on the L.H.S. to C. Finally, move the remaining 2p on the left side to D. You may now open the page and carry on reading.
¿JC Variations on the theme of a chosen card being revealed after the confederate/medium returns from outside of a room are many, but the following is neat. Remove the Ace to Nine of any suit and whilst your partner is outside have a card freely chosen from these and then mix this card with the other eight again, face down on the table. When the Medium returns you tap your finger on the back of each card in turn and then turn it face up. Naturally the chosen card is named. The secret is how you tap the first card — Fig.9 shows the code arrangement. As the audience will usually want it repeated you next use a method which should destroy their ideas of how it is done should they get that far. The next time you do not see the face of the card chosen and the persorifWho selected the card does the tapping, ¿¡fc This time you know the card because you Eire using a marked deck and as the cards are being spread around you contrive to get the chosen card into a position previously agreed with your partner. To enhance the effect further have the Medium fail to succeed with the cards face down but succeed with them face up when he grasps the hand of the person who taps the cards.
When next in a bar, remark casually that all beer tastes alike to you and you think that this must apply to most people. The immediate strong reaction you will receive is just what you want for the following stunt. Set up one or two glasses on the bar, one full of beer, one full of 'stout' (a dark beer). Blindfold each of those present in turn and handing them one of the glasses ask them whether they have 'beer' or 'stout'. The result is surprising — only about one in ten are correct!
Tony Faro also gave us the following match problems. Can you make four triangles with only six matches? Lateral thinking won't help you. Make a triangle on the table with three of the matches then make a kind of tent with the remaining three, one end of each of these in the triangle corners, the other ends meeting together at the top (6).
Now take fifteen matches and arrange them in five squares as illustrated in (7). The problem? You must reduce the number of squares from five to four, only moving two matches. Fig (8* gives you the answer.
"We're hoping for a boy."
Ed Schuman flew in recently from the U.S., left us with the memories of a good evening, and flew out. He also showed us the following numbers puzzle:
Write down beneath each other: 1000 20 1030 1000 1030 20
No, Not 5000
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Magick is the art and practice of moving natural energies to effect needed or wanted change. Magick is natural, there is absolutely nothing supernatural about it. What is taught here are various techniques of magick for beginners. Magick is natural and simple and the techniques to develop abilities should be simple and natural as well. What is taught on this site is not only the basics of magick, but the basics of many things.