Th Du Maurir

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HAVING JUST Dl^CRJiEDaii effect that depends on a well-known gimmickcd deck co achieve a result thai fools even diose familiar with the tool, here is one more such piece diat has helped me fooi some very knowledgeable people. A different gimmicked deck is employed here. See if you can guess which one.

EFFECT: The performer asks a spectator to mix a pack of cards and, by way of illustration, gives diem a fair dovetail shuffle. The volunreer does likewise and the pack is placed on the table. The performer turns his back, saving, "Please lip off some cards; cut them anywhere. Now rake your time and choose either tlje top or bottom. "

The spectator does so. Let's say he's says, "Top." "Okay look at the card on top of the pile you have left on the table. Do it carefully just lift ir a little. Dont let anyone else see. Now put the cut-off cards back on lop. Cut the pack. Cutis again. Give the cards another shuffle, then put them hack in trie box. "

Without touching or looking at rhe pack, the performer is now able to reveal the card in any dramatic way that appeals to him.

1 almost rorgot to mention it, but the faces of die cards are seen to be different. Also, once the deck is in the box, it oui be placed in your coat pocket.

eliminating any possibility of glimpsing.

Barrje Richardson iFTHOD: If you guessed a Svcngali deck, you arc right. The title provided ne due. George du Mauriers THUyvtas the novel from which the character fSyengali emerged I was tempted to name this "The Walt Lees Impossible orct' because W'alt was demonstrating the Svcngali deck in Hamleys toy store •hen wc were first introduced by Fred Robinson. -There is, though, at least one aspect-in the procedure described above that probably bothering you. What I have added to an otherwise established pproach with a Svengali deck is a bit of verbal misdirection that diverts suspicion away from die very tool in use

First, you should use a better grade of Svengali deck, made from good quality cards, not the cheap ones favored by pitchmen.

Bring out the pack and casually let the races of the different cards be seen. Then give the deck a face-down dovetail shuffle, which preserves the pairing of long and short cards. Having demonstrated the mode of shuffling, hand the deck to a spectator for another mix. If the person ha^even modest experience with a deck, the short and long pairs should remain iogedier. However, no harm is done if a few arc separated in the process. letting the spectator shuffle the deck is very disarming.

Take back the pack and set it on the table, adjacent to the card case (Figure 1). This positioning makes it impossible for the spectator to grasp the deck by its sides, since one side is blocked by the case. Thus, he must cut the cards by the ends, which will auto mad- j cally leave a short force card on top of the bottom section. Alternatively, you can use a large ashtray or some other object on the table to perform the same impeding function. This devcr subdetv was first suggested, to the best of my knowledge, by Eddie Joseph.

Now comes a subdc application of the magicians choice, which is my addition to this procedure. Ask die assistant to choose cidier "top or bottom.'' I£ top is the answer, you interpret this as the top card of the bottom half, thar is, the force card just cut to.

I(bottom is chosen, you take this to mean that the assistant desires to use the bottom section. Consequendy, you instruct him to look at the top card of diat portion. The implication here is that, liad topbeen picked, they would have noted the card at the face of the upper packet.


Having made his choice, the assistant peeks at the card, then reassembles the pack, cuts and shuffles it, then places it in its case.. You of course know die identity and arc free to sell the effect for all you arc worth.

Putting die cased pack in your pocket appears to make it even more inaccessible:. It also gives you the opportunity to .switch in a matching, ungimmicked deck for your next niiracle. " •

Before dosing this discussion 1 would like to point out that you can apply • lily wordplay stratagem to another old force, in which a bridge or crimp is placed in rhe deck at the point you wish the spectator to cut. It is surprising how often this ploy succeeds. A brearher crimp (see The Vernon Chronicle* Volume L p. 96) is a particularly good choice for this purpose, as die crimped card subtly moves as it is cut to, giving you a visual check.

Spring 1991

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