Twofold Location


EVERYONE must have noticed at some time or another that there is more than one way of folding a rectangular piece of paper from top to bottom and from side to side into a quarter of its original size, but no one except a magician (or a secret agent perhaps), would think of attaching any significance to such a trivial thing. It was about six months ago that I first thought of using the different methods of folding as a means of secretly distinguishing one folded billet from another by mere touch.

Now this, of course, is a case in which a few illustrations can be worth much more than several words of detailed explanation so I would suggest that you look straightaway at the billets illustrated in Figure 1.

Notice first of all that each of them has been drawn with the creases at the top end and the right-hand side. This is also the way in which any one of them should be held before you try to feel which one it is.

Then notice that the first fold can be made either from top to bottom or from side to side. Notice also that either fold or both of them can be made either so that the two opposite edges are brought exactly together or so that one of them slightly overlaps the other.

To avoid having too many illustrations and too much detailed description, Figure 1 shows only those billets in which there is either no overlap at all or in which the overlap is produced by only one of the two folds. This gives us 10 different billets all of which, at a casual glance, look exactly alike, however, because none of them is folded more than twice and because each fold has been made at right angles to the other and to the edges of the paper.

But let us see how they do differ from one another so that any one of them can be recognised by feeling the creases and the sharp edges.

(a) In numbers 1 to 5 the double fold which tends to make the billet spring open again is at the right-hand side of the billet: in numbers 6 to 10 it is at the top end.

(b) In numbers 1 and 6 the four sharp edges at the left-hand side and the bottom end are flush together without any kind of overlap: in all the rest two of them overlap the other two.

(c) In numbers 3, 5, 7 and 9 this overlap is produced by the first fold and is, therefore, at the bottom end of the billet in numbers 3 and 5, and at the left-hand side in numbers 7 and 9. In numbers 3 and 7 the two overlapping edges are between the two shorter edges: in numbers 5 and 9 the two shorter edges are between the two longer ones.

As an example of the way in which some of them can be used in an actual effect, suppose that you have the six pieces of paper illustrated in


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PI am RE I

(d) In numbers 2, 4, 8 and 10 the overlap is produced by the second fold, and is, therefore, at the left-hand side of the billet in numbers 2 and 4, and at the bottom end in numbers 8 and 10. In numbers 2 and 8 the two overlapping edges are behind the two shorter ones: in numbers 4 and 10 they are in front of them.

Figure 2. Each of these is shown to your audience who are asked to remember the six different designs that are on them. As soon as each paper has been shown, you fold it into a billet using, in turn, any six of the different methods of folding already explained. (To help you to remember which is which, you should notice that the design

Figure 2. Each of these is shown to your audience who are asked to remember the six different designs that are on them. As soon as each paper has been shown, you fold it into a billet using, in turn, any six of the different methods of folding already explained. (To help you to remember which is which, you should notice that the design

By producing an overlap at both folds instead of at only one (that is, by combining 2 or 4 with 3 or 5, and 7 or 9 with 8 or 10), it is possible to get eight more different billets. The ten that are illustrated here, however, ought to be enough for anybody.

on paper 1 is drawn with one line only, that on paper 2 with two lines only, that on paper 3 with three lines and so on.)

Then, when all the papers have been folded and shaken about in a hat to mix them up, you can quickly pick out any design as it is called for or, more easily, you can immediately identify the «design on any billet which is picked out by a spectator and handed to you behind your back.

Once you have grasped the principle on which the effect is based, you will probably be able to think of other effects along similar lines for yourself.



ON PAGES 127-8 of " Scarne's Magic Tricks " there is a simple mental item called " Watch-it". In this a spectator is asked to look at the face of his watch.

First of all he is to add together any two numbers which are exactly opposite each other and announce the result. After a moment's concentration you tell him the two numbers which he added together. This is easily done because there are only six pairs of numbers to choose from, so you have only six different totals (8, 10, 12, 14, 16 and 18) to remember and, if you are given any one of them, you can soon discover by inspection the two numbers which must have been added together to produce it.

Then, when the spectator has done two or three of these additions, you ask him to choose another pair of opposite numbers but, this time, to subtract the smaller from the larger and not announce the answer but merely concentrate on it. Almost immediately you tell him what this number is. This again is very easy to do because the difference between every pair of opposite numbers is 6. But, as he has just had it impressed upon him that the result is always different when opposite numbers are added together, he will naturally tend to assume that the results will still be different when he is asked to subtract one number from another.

As I have already said, the trick is only a simple one. It can be made rather more effective, however, by using, instead of the relatively few numbers on the face of a watch, the several page numbers of a fairly thick magazine.

But first of all, I would like to explain how the first part of the trick with the watch can be done by using a simple calculation instead of by having to visualise all the possible pairs of numbers and relying on a process of trial and error.

Suppose that we call the larger number a and the smaller number b. Then you know that a — b=6. Suppose you have been told that a + b= 14. By adding together these two equations (a - b —6 and (a + b=14), you will find that 2a=20 or a = 10. Then, if a=10 and a + b=14 (or a + b=6), b = 4.


Now look at the way in which the pages of a magazine are numbered. Any single section book (one that is made by stapling or stitching together a single pile of double sheets), can be used but the one I am looking at now happens to be " Radio Times" which must surely be the commonest periodical there is. It has 48 pages.

Remove the wire staples which hold it together and look at the four page numbers on a few of the double sheets. There are two consecutive page numbers, of course, on each half of a double sheet. Call the sum of the two page numbers on the right-hand half x and the sum of those on the left-hand half y. Then, for every double sheet, x is greater than y, and x - y is different (as with a + b for the numbers on the face of the watch). But x + y is always the same: with " Radio Times " it is actually 98 which is 96 + 2, or 2 more than twice the total number of pages. In other words, if the number of pages in the magazine you happen to be using is z, x + y = 2z + 2.

Suppose, therefore, that you have asked someone to choose any double sheet from a " Radio Times" and mentally to add together the two numbers on the right-hand half and the two numbers on the left-hand half.

First of all, ask him to subtract the smaller total from the larger and tell you the answer. Suppose he says that it is 52.

You already know that x + y=98 so, by the same kind of reasoning which was used above for the numbers on the watch, you can quickly discover that 2x = (x + y) + (x - y) = 98 + 52=150 and, from this, that x=75. Then, since x + y = 98 (or x - y=52), y=23.

Now each of these numbers x and y is the sum of two consecutive numbers. To find out what these are, add 1 to each answer and divide each new result by 2. Thus, from y = 23 and x=75 yoa will find that the four page numbers on the chosen double sheet are 11 and 12 (because 24 -r 2 = 12) and 37 and 38 (because 76 -r 2=38).

Do this once or twice again letting the person who is choosing the numbers see that his answer which he is giving you is different each time.

Then ask him to add together all the four page numbers on any other double sheet and concentrate on the answer. You can immediately tell him that he is now thinking of the number 98 because you know that this must always be the answer.

Alternatively, if you have asked him just to add the odd number on either half of a double sheet to the even number on the other, you can immediately tell him that he is thinking of the number 49 because this is half of 98. Thus, with the double sheet used in the example above, 11 + 38 = 12 + 37 = 49.

It will also be obvious that a magazine can be used in this way to provide an impromptu method of forcing a number in any kind of trick.



THIS EFFECT was first used by me at a Magic Circle Show on October 7th, 1931. Reporting the show, Tom Donovan wrote the following: —

" Some finished thimble work introduced the act, the remaining contribution otherwise consisted of a baffling version of the rising cards. The pack was given into the hands of the audience, and three cards chosen and marked; the pack having been returned to the performer, the marked cards were inserted therein by the audience, and the pack placed in a glass standing upon a glass tray, both articles having been previously examined. At the word of command the marked cards rose and were at once handed to the audience for identification."

Let me add to the description the follow-

ing : —


Both pack and glass may be borrowed.


There is no force of cards.


Nothing is attached to either cards or



The cards may rise at any speed.


The final card can be made to jump from

the glass into the performer's hand.

the glass into the performer's hand.

6. There is no involved mechanism that can fail the performer at the last minute.

There is a drawback and that is that an assistant is required. Actually it is possible to dispense with the assistant but if the performer is compelled to do the assistant's job, then he will lose all mobility and the effect will suffer very much.

The Set-up.

The effect has been given so we will discuss the method. The means for arriving at the effect are simple indeed. Glass, tray and cards are rested on a chair seat and it is an ingenious arrangement of threads plus assistant which brings about the effect.

With the help of illustrations I will explain exactly how the threads are arranged. When I speak of thread, I exaggerate for, as little strain is placed upon the hook-up, strong cotton or Silko can be used.

At points A and B (underneath the chair seat), two drawing pins are pushed home. Two more drawing pins are now taken and these are inserted behind the top chair rail at points C and D. Next take a medium sized rubber band and fasten to its side the end of the length of thread (don't break it away from the reel for the time being!). Now holding the rubber band at a point between C and D, take the thread over C round behind A and B, and up and over D, finally breaking it at this point and attaching the free end to the opposite side of the rubber band. By reason of the elastic the thread should be maintained in a taut position. Now take the glass you intend using and placing it first on the tray and then both on the seat of the chair take another piece of thread and tie it at points E and F so that it crosses the top of the glass. Finally a long length of thread (this is governed by stage conditions), is taken and one end is tied to the centre of the piece which


runs from E to F. The free end of the long thread is now taken through the back cloth or alternatively if this is not possible through an anchored staple and then into the wings.

With these details given the principle should be apparent, and now all that is necessary is for the assistant to be stationed at the free end of the thread with a full knowledge of what he or she has to do. The assistant is the keystone and wrong handling can mar the ultimate effect. For the record the assistant I used when I first presented this effect was Colin Donister, the indefatigable Magic Circle librarian. We rehearsed the handling once at my home and on the night everything was as smooth as a whistle.

The Presentation.

Pick up the glass in your right hand and the pack of cards in the left. The first finger of the right hand snaps against the glass, causing it to ring. If thought necessary the glass can be handed out for examination. The pack of cards is handed to one spectator with a request that he thinks of one card, removes it from the pack and autographs it. He is asked to pass the pack along and two more spectators in turn choose cards in a similar manner. Whilst this is taking place you step back, pick up the tray and show it and then place the glass upon it. Both are placed on the chair so that the threads take up their position over the mouth of the glass (see illustration). With the third card chosen, you relieve the third chooser of the pack.

The three cards are then returned to the pack any by means of any standard indetectible sleight brought to the top from whence they are palmed off, whilst the pack, supposedly containing the three autographed cards, is handed out for shuffling. Upon its return the three palmed cards are added to the top, a left little finger break separating them from the remainder of the pack.

Walking across to the chair you appear to drop the pack into the glass, just that and nothing more. Actually, however, as the cards are placed in the glass the three separated cards go behind the cross thread whilst the balance of the pack goes in front. The offstage assistant must be in a position to see exactly what is going on so that he relaxes his hold on the thread as the cards go in, thus allowing the offstage thread to go down with the three autographed cards.

At this point a pull on the thread by the assistant will cause all three cards to rise at once but only the face card of the three will be seen, and from the audience's point of view only one card has risen. That is what happens. Just read on.

On the given word of command the assistant pulls either slowly or quickly (he must avoid any suggestion of jerkiness), causing all three cards to rise at once. When the card has risen three-quarters distance out of the glass, the assistant stops the pull. You then approach the pack and with the thumb and second finger grip the top corner of the front card. When this action is seen by the assistant he immediately releases the thread allowing the two hidden cards to fall back into the rear section of the glass. The card held by you is now handed out for a check. The second card is treated in a similar manner.

The rising of the third card can be treated in a different manner and with a command for its appearance the assistant gives a quick jerk on the thread which has the effect of making the card jump from the pack about two feet, at which position you catch it.

Congratulations to the Dutch school for their performances at the F.I.S.M. Vienna Congress. Van Domelen, the Grand Prix most of us have seen on a number of occasions but up till now only those lucky enough to see Peter Pit when he was playing cabaret over here have seen something more than the abbreviated act that was televised in the Henry Hall show. His version of the "Dancing Cane" is almost unbelievable and it must have helped a great deal in obtaining a first prize. He will be seen at The Magic Circle Festival which commences at the Scala Theatre in October. Strange to say the " Magic Circular " announce ment of artistes did not carry, what to some, is the most essential information, the date of the show. Of Holland, we would like to mention that the September number of " Triks " that splendid magical magazine published by our very good friend, Henk Vermeyden, is a British number and contains contributions from Hans Trixer, Leslie May, Francis Haxton, Alex. Elmsley, Roy Walton and Edmund Rowland as well as a mechanical piece of our own. Two items had to be held over ; the brainchilds of Jack Avis and John Derris they wil be published in a later issue.

And now for Eastbourne !


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