Brainweave

In analyzing the "Self-Correcting Set-Up", I realized that the numerical nature of the cards could be concealed, thus making the principle all the more subtle. The first application I devised utilizes a pack of design cards substituted for one of the number packs, and a set of word cards in place of the other.

The design cards are in a known order, such that each design is linked to its position in the stack. There have been many such systems in print, by Annemann, Warlock, Dexter and others. I published a 25-card sequence of this sort in the routine "Vision Version" (in "The Red Book of Mentalism", 1977.)

The word cards must also be a known sequence. Beyond that, they should be words which are constructed for pumping. Probably the most functional approach is the Progressive Anagram concept. This is a very old idea which has been explored many times in print. A comprehensive discussion can be found in the instruction book for "Astrology, The Hidden Force" (1983), by Sam Schwartz and Karl Fulves. The most elaborate set of interlocking anagrams available is located in T. A. Waters' "Anagramarye", in "Octasm" (1982) .

To perform, have the two packs set in proper sequence. Display the cards, commenting on their different natures. Explain that it will require two different cerebral modes to thought-read this information, as one is in pictorial form, the other linguistic.

Invite a spectator to Riffle Shuffle the two packs together. The cards are then distributed in pairs to members of the audience.

Ask those spectators holding mixed pairs (one design, one word) to raise their hands. Your rationale for working with mixed pairs is logical, as you wish to demonstrate both of the modes previously discussed.

Pick a spectator to work with. Note his/her position in the audience, as this information will be put to use momentarily.

Instruct the spectator to begin by concentrating on his/her word. You now pump the word, via the Progressive Anagram system. In short order, you will reveal the thought-of word.

As soon as you ascertain the word, you will also know the design being held by that spectator, thanks to the "Self-Correcting Set-Up" principle. For example, let's assume you are working with the sixth spectator. You know that the combined value of his/her cards must be twelve. Let's say you have pumped the spectator's word, and learn that it is eighth in your memorized order. By subtracting eight from twelve, you now know that the design held by the participant must be the fourth in that sequence.

At this point, of course, you know exactly where you are in both runs of cards, and may make use of as much of that information as you so desire.

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