Stmnc Harmony

, , Jmnste, which describes the card magrc of Johann NepbM At the end of he ^htr Ijsts eigll(een effects widiout giving methods"' The*

1 ,o6inspr',h<' ;l!?rlr raid problems duit have fascinated can! experts on all continents are tlx- famous I lot/»« 1ide deals with my solution to liLs Problem 8. Here k

, wn tip asked to draw a pip card FVom the rest of die pack, two more canls iSS ^ tliese two cards will add up to the number on die first rani t Z, knowted® this problem lias seldom been tackled by card experts,10 and when rS (he results do not fulfill Uie exact conditions outlined in Fischers description of Swan Some may think this due to die vagueness of Sharped translation. The true rea-son, homer, is not that Sliarpe's translation is simply vague, but dial it Ls wrong

Heir the German text is correctly translated:

The strange coincidence. Someone nits off a number of cards from a deck From the balance of the deck two canls are drawn The sum of these two cards equals the number of canls in the packet initially cut off.

You will agree that this is a different effect, and although not an eartli-shaking miracle, an interesting problem tliat can be made into a cliamiing mysteiy, if properly staged

I |Hiblislied an original solution in German in Vcbeiio extra-light,17 a book of mine devoted solely to "self-working" carel effects. Consequently, the following method will adhere to this criterii«1 The knowledgeable reader will immediately recognize different ways of luuidling certain situations, ami might wish to use a sleight-of-liand approach to them. I will give my technical suggestions in the Final Notes and will offer also a full-fledged variation.


The top twenty-six canls of the deck are stacked in the following orrler, from top down

FQi«11ii 1-3-5 4—6—5—7—6—8—7—9—8— 10—9—.Jack— 10-Queen-Jack-

aremSS1 , &St®It,'X<can ** any card The suits of the cards do not matter, .lacks ' mIPd 35 eleven- 38 twelve, Kings as tliirteen and die Aces as one.

The SpeßfatoCf may cut off up to twenty-five cairk Hi* t™ i r » t will always total the number of canlsS , J 1 V° T* üi Üle lxMam ,x,,1ion • «.-aitis cul oil Infi Joker has no vsdufe, and is used in case the spectator should cut off one or two cawfe Mr);, #/.//.

, • J(,, 1 u*h WJQkerlm no mue. Lets iusl take Ihr mine of tins one card, mention this hist tn vr«,r . .

, . uasjra to set your mmd at ease as, in reaHtv this cannot happen, thanks to die presentation. y umnoi

Construction, Management, and Saipt

TVike the deck out of its rase. "Tlieiv is mow lo ploying fttrib than meets the eye,. 7>ta omb /lawa mathematical ußhiily touxoxj eaeh other, a uftjc* / t^uWfofte topirn*in Ifcr

■¡J"^. ^fg®"»>rief prologue, you give the canLs an injog shuffle

(Volume /, page 44) to retain the top stock.

To adhere strictly to the self-imposed condition of making this a "self-working method, you can false Shuffle the deck widiout resorting to sleight-of-hand as follows Turn the deck fiiee up and hold it widi the cards facing to die left. Start an overhand shuffle, shuffling off less than half the cards, dien throw the still unshuflled portion behind die cards already shuffled off. In the first part of die Shuffle you should look at die amis and may comment your actions: "Let me mix the cards l>efoiv ire start this unusual experiment:"Then look up at the audience, diverting attention from your hands as the right hand throws its cards behind tho|X)itionjiLst shuffled off.

Immediately ribbon spread the deck face up on die table. "This is a deck Mfihfifty-three playing am Is." Tliis shows the mixed condition of die cards widiout drawing particular attention to the fact. .

Pick up the spread, square the deck and place it face down in front of the spectator. You now want die spectator to cut off a packet that contains no more than twenty-five cards. The most direct way to do this might be simply to ask, i(Ptßase cut qff n packet ftwn the deck Make it less Oum ha(t\ since We need the jvst of the deck to continue this aqxriment"lb clarify this instruction, you can use your thumb and forefinger to indicate a thin packet of cards.

Ask the spectator to place this cutoff portion into the empty card case. For the purpose of dils explanation, let s assume dial sixteen cards liave been cut off, which leaves a Seven and a Nine on top of the pile on the table.

Should die spectator cut off too many cards, which you wffl imniKMely see,,»en if y<« liavent studied Mario* Estimation, simply repeat your statement and have hmi dn >P a ft* cards ftom die bottom of the cu^ff portion bark onto the pile on the table ^ ^ >™

will randy find thisnecessary. If you prefer, you can haw the spectator cut the deck into thn ■«

on top.

, thP balance of the deck, but pretend I*1« "me difficulty in picking it ^ t0 ^eteble- Apparently to facilitate this the top card-in our exalte. you taKe it to sc-oop up the resL You

Seven.^ manner transferred the have n o the bottom with a natural action top card to w ^ ^ (a N-me) ^ ^

The sum 01 en) Wlliais tlie number of

^U;,n;rXe packet cut off and placed into

You \%iU now force the top and bottom cairls. Tb do this, hold the bala (town in left-hand dealing positioa Start dealing single cards face down a second spectator, "Please say stop at any point while Pin dealing.'

spectators command

Address a third spectator as you turn the cards remaining in your hand (ace up: '¡Aflfl may I ask you; sit] to say stop whenever you wish Pll even let you see the faces of the catxls." Deal the cards from the face of the packet one by one into a face-down pile on die table. Stop the deal when the spectator tells you to. The bottom cards of the two packets just dealt are die force cards.

lb give this process of selection a subsequent logic and coherence, continue by turning the deck in your hands face down and deal them face up into a new packet, explaining* ltWe dontknoiv Iww many cards are in each packet. And we don't know which cards, because

W limr stfjjrpvl the deal at any point You wuld have stopjxxl me on this and, or on m Point 10 ,ho respective cards as you turn them face up in this ^txospective dealing

^ W fowstoppedw^m thiscard—and on thistxnrrAs you say Ihkmm the ZTrl™lwkels face UP- ^ P^^et on the left shows a Seven on its face, we packet on the right a Nine

^"SS^SSS^ °ra p08^ {vdu»w 2<**427)1 separati,s altering .ho tnlZ ^ subsequent application, which Iras the function of

^a,ul,he. ei™0118 ^tuls ^ »» spoors memory. Place die still undealt immediately be coZ? m «W Obtainjtfeen. "You «8 ^■"Ttm little gag, whirl i, r nn; °/r™/s€V -v«^'- Ifoiyot my caW* - Ch LS a ***** strategy of Juan Thmariz, reinforces the assumption

— or« muui is a tavorite strategy of J you «A previously liave known the total Tl48

of the cards.

The first sjxxlaJor is now asked to take the packet froin the card case and court the curls. Sn a loud voice, into a faccMlown heap on the tableland tl «

Epilogue and Ptvlogue

It Ls tme that this effect is "short and sweet- but if it is too short it risks being perceived as a mere ^ 1 ^ contemplating Uiis pmblem of coast, kton. a ¡¡2 inend

St^^S ^ 7 'W Wnd,y ^ ™ Of Rt >lf Andras Setx*>ks ( a Professional magician of some fame in Germany, And in his notes I found die following handling of die pi^ent HoHnser problem; which Fve amplified with some thoughts of my own.

When the spectator lias cut off a packet, take die balance of the deck beneath die table perhaps after giving die cards a false shuffle and false cut, retaining die top stock. Proclaim dial, by the extraordinaiy sensitivity of your fingers, you will try to locate two canls dial have a specific meaning. Remove the top two cards, one after the other, and place diem face down on die table, pretending that you have picked them hapliazanily from some-where among the cards you are holding. Bring the rest of the canls l>ack into view and set diem aside, face down.

TVim over die two cards, which might be a Seven and a Nine, as in our previous example Look at die canls and dien at the spectators, as if contemplating wluu these cards could mean. Sometimes a spectator will suggest the two numters could be added to obtain a new number. If tills liap^ns, excellent—and I needn't tell you how to continue. But wliat lui|> pens if no one comes up with a good idea? Well, mention it yourself.

Have the spectator count die canls he initially cut off into a fcuv-up heap on the table. This counting procedure does not cliange the onler of die cards. On the odier liand, everyone watching will be so focused on the counting process and its expected outcome, the arrangement will not be noticed At the end of the count the number of cards will l>c found to match the total of the two cards you have located in die deck through the sensitivity of your fingers.

As the effect registers, calmly take the taccnip Seven, use it to scoop up the far*mi| > Nilte, turn both cards face doflft and drop them onto the balance you've set aside. Then take die cards the spectator has just counted and drop them face down onto die rest to reset your stock

You are now set to go into "Strange I larmony*, interpreting it as a secoiid and liiuil phase As a dramatic justification you could say, "Aiaybe you think tlus was made possible bemuse I chose the cards* Afo, no! Vie cruris themselves know. Let ine demonstrate with hoo cords you yourself aivgoing to select."

Rolf Andra used a more obvious setup, starting widi two X cards, ft ,11« >wed by twoAc^ two TWos, two Tlirees, etc He otherwise adhered to the condition set ft nth m Hscher b daa* tion ofHofzinseris eighth problem. As far as I know, the trick just described ls origM with


Sleight-of-hand Variation

W,til, addition of two sleights, the following variation is pebble. 1 like it beeau*- of ,ts straightforward appearance.

Starting Easy

-- , irfnIV nliase, sis described above. Then gather the c^u

,h R„ir Andra's intnxMWJthan liaIf tJie deck, cannotguessltayPW explain tliat two cards will now l>e chosen at landJ

Pick-up the rt^ ^l^u-n pile to your left until die spectator calls stop. Con^KS Start dealingcartb W*®*) ^ m ofthe fi^ asking another spectator to again call ¿J ** aftesh®unt^¡¡"^ (jie undealt cards aside.

DmM*^^ Pick up die first packet, that on your left, and while squaring it (an action perfect^ ji^ fied by the condition of the packet) use U* side steal transfer to shift the lx>ttom canl secretly to the top (Volume3% page 759; also Check Point 7, page 761). I/x)k at thespecta. tor as you do this, emphasizing that he could have stopped you at any card. Look Ijack at the cards and turn the card now on top face up. As you square it on the packet, angle-jog the bottom card slighdy to the right in readiness for the transfer move ( Volume 3, page 516). Hold die packet in right-hand end grip, as shown in an exposed pose here.

With your loft forefinger, tap die top of the tabled pile, while naturally bringing your right hand to the right and over it

packet ixvween your left thumb, on the back, and firs, twoflngera, on the face and mc nvii io

The right liand picks up this pie in end grip, as the left liand sets its canls, in an in-transit action (Volume 2, ¡>age407), onto the table, the main action being to grasp the cards and take them in dealing jxsition, so tliat die right ham 1 Ls free to turn the toj> card over. You liave just used die transfer move in an unsuspicious way.

From here on proceed as in the description above, adding the values of the two apparently freely chosen cards and then counting the cards in the spectator's packet to arrive ai the match diat resolves this effect ✓->

Final Notes

1. 1 began this description by suggesting that you take the deck, alrea*|y stacked, from its case and go directfy into tiie presentation of "Strange 1 farmany". A f;ir better approach, however, would l>e to delay the use of this stack, by first performing a few effects that will not disturb die order of the top twenty-seven cards. Rolf Andras introductory phase may veiy well support such a purpose

2. I also mentioned at die opening to this article that the first solution given was conceived entirely on the premise of finding a self-working method Here are several suggestions of alternative liandlings using sleight*ifharuI:

After the spectator has cut ofT the top ¡\arket, instead of using the top card of the balance of die deck to scoop it up, use any kind of transfer ait to bring live top card to die bottom. Now do a <(uirk riflle or overhand shuffle to retain the to)i and bottom cards. < n* use an over-hand shuffle to slut) the top card to itie bottom, which remains ivtnsistent with the shuffle i ls< h I at die start: Simply peel off the top card in the flisf shuffle artion and drop the rest onto it. Intiucdtitfrly st;irt a second overiiaiw! shuflte, and anerse the positions of the top and S then Shuffle off. dropping Ae

Sni on top. 'lite order of these ttfocaitfe does not mailer Hie pun* s apt Hoadi wiD be td nm (he Urat Card, lift it behind die itfttliiliBed aock, nm the next card, shuffle off and drop die lifted (Sid last. 71 ie second can! from die top has tx?en transferred to the bottom, the top and has been retained on top, aJJ in Uh? coui^e of a simply shuffle!

;). Regarding tlio initial setup, it is quite easy to remember, once you understand the principle it is based on, namely tliat the \aJue of two cards must add 15) to lite number of cards above them Tb achieve this you could use Andras stark, starting with two indifferent can Is. followed by a jxtir of Aces, a |j;iir of T\vos, a p*ur of Threes ajxl so on However, the setup IVe suggested lias the advantage that it will not be discerned as die cards are spread face 11[) at the beginning, which I think is a worthwliile toudi

4 ^ fiviAI cluttering the explanation with too many details IVe chosen jnmjy to hint aj my presentation i^forthoseiyhohavereadthis might as weflgfveyou a few of the

Measlusetoflhitote the premise C

the cards have "mathematical affinj. ties' To do this, all that Ls necessary is to place two spot cards, say a Five ami a Nine, on top of the setup. After the deck a false shuffle al die ning, to retain the stock of twenty-nino cards, I explain tliat the cards can be used to perform simple mathematical operations. "For instance, it can tdl the square root of any number. Urs take the squaw ivot of— 25."Hesitate here, as if you are picking an example on die spur of the moment. Riffle the deck, explaining tliat this is the way you tell it to deliver a solution Then turn up the top card It is a Five. Insert it into the deck, below the setup. "Or you can do any type of addition Spread the deck face up in your hands and upjog a Four and a Five. lcVf)iai is four plus five?'' Scjuare the cards again, turn die deck face down, riffle it and turn up the top card to reveal a Nine— which you lose in die deck, once more below your setup. You will now have the idea, and you can make up a few short effects of your own to introduce die plot Using false shuffles to retain die top stock before turning up the top card helps to mask the method If you use the self-working false shuffle suggested above, tills method remains essentially "automatic".

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