Effect.—Name of distant " psychic " friend and his telephone number are given before commencing. A complete pack of fifty-two cards is given for thorough shuffling. A spectator is then asked to spread the pack ribbon-wise on the table, face down, and then he is asked to draw one card towards him without looking at it. There is complete freedom of choice. This card is not changed and not touched again until the spectator himself turns it over at the climax of the effect. The spectator is then asked to push any four or more cards towards the performer in a similar way, from any part of the pack. Again there is complete freedom of choice as to what cards are so pushed, and how many. The balance of the pack is now no longer needed and is squared up and put to one side by the spectator.
The cards pushed towards the performer are now gathered up by him. They are shown one by one, while the spectator writes their names on a slip of paper.
The assistant now rings up the number and calls out the cards over the 'phone. He does not get far, however (in fact any time after the first three cards are called out) when the voice at the other end says " Stop. I feel sure I know the selected card.
Somehow I feel convinced that it is the-of-.
Please let me know if I'm right. I'll hang on ! " The card is now turned over and it is !
Method.—The method is based on the simple principle that any one card can indicate the name of any other card, but the method of obtaining the card involves an entirely new use of the card index. But let us start at the beginning.
As only one card is going to give the information, it will be necessary to disguise the fact. ' That is why four or more cards are pushed out, and why at least three cards are called out before the information is given that the card is known. The card which gives the vital information is added to those that" are pushed out.
To discover the card under the conditions set forth in the above description, it will be necessary to use marked cards !
Take any pack of cards of the same pattern as are to be used for the experiment, and shuffle them thoroughly. Write down these cards and let them represent Ace to King sequences. Now put them in the card indexes as though they were the cards they represent.
Supposing the selected card was the five of Clubs. I would go to my card index and take out the card that would normally be the five of Clubs. I would have no idea what the card would actually be. It may be the King of Hearts. I would know, however, that whatever the card, it would be translated at the other end as the five of Clubs.
So the sequence is this: The selected card is known (a prearranged pack could be used if the shuffling by the spectator is dispensed with). The code card is obtained from the index. It is added to the others when they are gathered up to be called out. The performer looks first to see whether the card which came from the index is duplicated in the remainder he holds. If so he takes suitable action to see that the second one is not shown. The code card is called out first. The idea of getting the cards written down is that whereas cards may be mixed up or called out in different orders when taken to the 'phone, it is unlikely that they would be called out in any other than the order in which they were written. If seven or eight cards have been pushed towards the performer, the additional card is not likely to be noticed, but with fewer cards it wall be necessary to palm one away, or throw down two as one when calling them out.
The use of the index in this way is trouble free, and it is the simplest thing for the friend to refer to the conversion chart at the other end to see what the selected card must be.
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There is little doubt that Paul Curry, in devising his effect " Out of this World ! " gave card magic one of the masterpieces that is easily recognisable in its own generation. Many have been the false shuffles offered for this effect, but most of them have been variations of normal false shuffles where complete retention of a stacked deck has been desirable. For a performance of the effect in question this is not necessary. As we never publicly use a riffle shuffle, deeming the normal overhand shuffle more natural (we are quite aware that nearly every card player uses a riffle shuffle !) the false shuffle for this effect just walked in.
With the deck stacked for the effect and held in the right hand ready for overhand shuffling, the left thumb moves off about five or six cards. This is repeated three times so that the conjurer may have run off fifteen to eighteen cards. The next eleven cards are then run off singly, and the rest of the deck run off in small packets. The deck has been subjected to a genuine overhand shujfle but is ready for a performance of the effect.
Try this over with the cards in hand, and we think that you will like it. Incidentally the finest leads in to " Out of this World " are Stewart James's " Miraskill" which appeared in an early Jinx, and Walter B. Gibson's " Pay off " in the first issue of the Phoenix. In both of these effects the demonstrator of colour sense is in a position to carry right on with the ultimate effect.
Footnote.—Since the above was written, Walter P. Gibson has described a similar shuffle in " Conjurer's Magazine."
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