Once more the " Pentagram" pays a modest tribute to the memory of Ted Annemann. In this issue there are three items contributed by those who at some time or another contributed to the " Jinx."
I can add little to what has already been said regarding this outstanding figure in the world of mental magic ; that little is : that with the passing of every year,. I realise more than ever the great contribution that the " Jinx" — and really by that I mean its progentitor — gave to present-day conjuring.
The torch-bearers of the name of Annemann are legion ; those torches will burn for ever.
In his book " Twenty Magical Novelties " the Edward Bagshawe's idea, the trick I am about to late Edward Bagshawe introduced a curious little describe introduces a more or less coherent business card trick under the title of The Message that can't cable instead of a meaningless jumble of letters;
be read. As outlined by Bagshawe, the trick had it can be made up to serve public performance;
perforce to be a mere intimate one entirely unsuitable it calls for the use of but one mask and, most import-
for the needs of the public entertainer. Now, ant of all, it has an entirely unexpected finish, although admittedly based upon and suggested by continued on page 34
CRYPTOGRAMAGIC — continued from page 33
Fig. i purports to show a cable calling for shipment of sundry lots of cereals to specified customers ; and Fig. 2 illustrates the three - slotted mask which has to accompany the cable card. The proportions of the cable card and the mask are arbitrary matters depending entirely upon the size of the hall or theatre in which the effect has to be exhibited; but in any event I suggest
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that the cable card should not be smaller than 15" x 10".
The plot is simple and straightforward. From four selected cards, the name of one, chosen with entire freedom, has to be revealed through the slots when the mask is placed over the mystic cable. Much to the discomfort of the conjurer, however, no card name is suggested when the mask is in place, and the trick in consequence appears to have gone wrong somehow. Suddenly brightening, the conjurer turns the cable card and mask upside down when, sure enough, the name of the chosen card seems to be magically transformed from the letters and figures seen a moment before. Fig. 2 illustrates the four possible revelations.
The figures and words that call for reversal on the cable card must be very carefully designed, particularly the figures 574034 and the words " Esq.m.p" in the first line and the somewhat strained " Ogpu Owoip " in the second line. The chief difficulties are with the figure " o " which in two places has to appear as an " a " when reversed, and the figure " 7 " which has to do duty as " t." The necessary blemishes in design should appear accidental and as unobtrusive as is possible.
The non-symmetrical arrangement of the slots in the mask, which is the key to the conceit, makes possible the revelation of four different combinations of words. Call one side of the mask A and the other side B. As each side can be superimposed in two positions on the cable card, it follows that any one of four different combinations can be made to appear through the slots by simply knowing in which position the mask has to be laid, and arranging it accordingly. Side A uppermost account's for Ace of Clubs in one position and for Ten of Diamonds in the other position ; Side B uppermost accounts for Six of Hearts in one position and for Eight of Spades in the other position.
Although unrestricted choice of one of them is permitted, four cards have to be forced. Whilst this will not disconcert the expert card handler, it can admittedly prove a stumbling-block to the ' ham-handed.' Here, then, are three suggested procedures which call for neither address nor dexterity :—(1) A forcing pack made up of thirteen sets of the same regularly arranged four cards will not only permit repeated cutting but ensures that any removed bunch of four cards will comprise the desired set; (2) An impudent nursery plan that might serve for an unsophisticated audience is to instruct a spectator to select with perfect freedom any four cards from a well-shuffled pack. As, however, the cards that fall to his choice must not be known even to the drawer of them, he is ordered to drop the four cards into a flap card-box and to close the lid. The four cards removed from box a few moments later are, of course, the hidden four which have to serve the purpose of the conjurer ; (3) The best plan, I think, is the following. It necessitates the continued on page 38
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