I was delighted and intrigued to receive as a Christmas gift a puzzle impeccably designed and made. I am not good at this sort of diversion so after many hours of frustrated fiddling I put the thing aside to await more patient and relaxed moments. In fact, I had decided that it was impossible to solve, and at this point I discovered that the makers had already considered this and included in the gift pack an address to which one could write for a solution. I did not even believe the address as it was not shown on my A. A. maps. However, I wrote and received by return of post a well written note with the secret versed in doggerel. Was pleased to be able to solve the puzzle, and with it separated in my hands I immediately panicked as I was unable to form it back into its original order, (was faced with another call for help, or? ) worked at it and eventually 'solved' the solution. The address was - PENTANGLE, WALLOP, HAMPSHIRE, ENGLAND — would you have believed it?

I have written further and subsequently received a coloured catalogue containing some 50 diabolical devices. They range from Tangrams, double sided magic squares, rhombic and dedecahedron oriental puzzles, symetrical shapes, a Pandora's box by Professor Lionel Penrose with a nasty twist, three dimensional families of shapes like Papa Chuck, Woodchuck and Grand Papa Chuck, Chinese Rings invented by Hang Ming in the second century (this puzzled CARDAN in the sixteenth century) and made in acrylic and plated bronze in the twentieth century — 255 operations solve it, if you don't make any mistakes. Sliding block puzzles — executive table mind bogglers — block, chrome steel, string, marble, paper, and glass materials go into making the superb structures. There are puzzles for beginners as well as advanced thinkers. Some have taken 2 years to reduce one sequence of moves from 184 down to 144. There are novelty puzzles involving games, trains, pythons, mazes, clinch cubes, pentacubes, polygons, solitaire and 'nine men's morris magic'. Tricky pressed steel and wire puzzles (three sets of these) and even the old trouser puzzle with two marbles.

Also supplied is a book list which includes a book about women (completely empty) — books on magic, mathematics, magic squares and cubes, palindromes, anagrams, moving pictures, coins and games, paper masks, Chaucer's puzzles, visual illusions, enigmas, secret codes, op art mazes, creative mazes, hoaxes, whittling, sundials, logic, labyrinths and boomerangs etc. etc.

The books are paperbacks sewn in signatures in the manner usually reserved for the best publications — the covers are plastic laminated and designed for years of use and there is enough material here to keep one's mind active for years — a ninepenny stamp will bring you lists, prices, catalogue, supplementary guide and a questionnaire to serve many purposes — to identify your interest, locate enthusiasts, and help Pentangle to develop the products you want. For collectors of antiques. Perhaps even the eventual establishment of a puzzle society. Do you like to make, collect, historicise, design or invent puzzles?

In all, this is a very creative and lively go ahead firm who have many items selected for display at the DESIGN CENTRE, London. For full details send a ninepenny stamp to J.D. Dalgety, Pentangle, Over Wallop, Hants S020 8HT, England.

Highly recommended, intellectual or otherwise, young or old, or just for showing to those who know everything.

Most magicians know the stunt where a cigarette is apparently pushed into the ear and pulled from the mouth. This gag can be expanded in more than one sense of the word by first concealing an extra long cigarette in the left hand. An ordinary one is held in the right hand at the finger tips as shown in (1). Bring the free end of this cigarette into contact with the ear, or near it, and create the illusion of pushing it into the ear by sliding the fingers along it until it is completely concealed behind the fingers. The hand is then moved to the mouth and the cigarette placed between the lips, the fingers then sliding back along the cigarette bringing it back into view. Repeat this move once again.

Once more push? the cigarette into the ear, but this time the left hand concealing the long cigarette is brought up to the mouth and held by the lips, the fingers sliding along it, this time rather more slowly to increase the effect of the appearance of the long smoke.

The same stunt can be used as an opening to a continuous cigarette productions. Instead of having a long cigarette concealed in the left hand put an ordinary sized one in that position and after repeating the original stunt using the right hand only proceed as explained for the long cigarette finally taking the cigarette from the lips with the left hand placing it into the left coat pocket. Simultaneously the right hand produces its concealed cigarette from mid-air. Immediately the left hand comes out of the pocket bringing the other cigarette out again in the thumb palm position. The left hand now takes the cigarette from the right between the index and second fingers (smoking position) (2) the right hand stealing the one from the left thumb palm position. A continuous production of an apparently endless number of smokes is possible by repeating the process.

This stunt, unlikely to be used by many readers was a speciality of Stanley Merelle, a wellknown Midlands entertainer with magic, Punch and Judy and his Marvellous Marionettes; which every summer could be seen at Southport. It merely consisted of pushing a cigarette up his nostril until it was completely inside. He delighted doing this and watching the reactions of the squeamish. He probably got the idea from the Sphinx Magazine which in the twenties explained a similar effect using metal bars.

More later.

Was this article helpful?

0 0
Fundamentals of Magick

Fundamentals of Magick

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.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment