Ace Revisited

Many, many years ago, a magician by the name of Ace Gorham released a mental effect called the Ace Dictionary Trick. I believe it was in the 60's. As I recall it, the effect came with a wooden stand, a deck of alphabet cards and a dictionary. A total of 125 words and page numbers were taken from the dictionary and written in the borders on the backs of the 50 alphabet cards. The single bold words in the upper left and right hand corners of 125 pages in the dictionary are the words that eventually are used for the selection. The choice of page was governed by the five finger number force. In other words, three spectators each hold up a clenched fist. On the performer's signal, each holds up as many fingers as they wish, from one to five.

The result is a three digit number which indicates the page in a dictionary a fourth spectator is to turn to. Because of the limited force employed there are exactly 125 numbers that can be created, although from the audience's perspective, there seems to be many more possibilities. Once the 3-digit page number is selected, the performer has the fourth person turn to that page in the dictionary. He is instructed to concentrate on the word in the upper left or right hand corner of the page, which is set in bold type. As this is being done, the performer displays the faces of the alphabet cards to the audience. Naturally, all he has to do to know which word the spectator is looking up is to check the back of the cards.

The effect was well thought out, but of course, the first thing I did was to eliminate the stand and alphabet cards. To the best of my memory, my favorite routine using the principle eventually evolved into an effect I called "Bell, Book & Candle." This appeared in my second book, World of Super Mentalism, Vol. 2, published in 1979. I used a limiting procedure (a Pentagram) that reduced the 125 possibilities to 60 and these were written inside five matchbook covers (twelve words in each). In later years I returned to the 125 possibilities to structure the word test you're about to delve into. The reason was my introduction to the computer in 1985. Now it was possible to reduce 125 words, even 250 and page numbers to a readable size on a 3" x 5" file card. The resulting prompter can be hidden and accessed in a number of ways.

My favorite apparatus for holding the prompter is the Himber Wallet variation that I had Roy Roth make up for me known as the Blockbuster Wallet. The wallet is designed to hold a single 3" x 5" file card on the inner right hand panel and the left hand panel contains a single small pocket to hold an envelope and some business cards. Here's how I used it to perform a truly baffling word test. Incidentally, if the reader does not own my Blockbuster Wallet, there's a no-wallet method explained in these instructions. The next thing you need is the perfect dictionary. It's entitled, Webster's New World Portable Large Print Dictionary. It's softbound and contains 890 pages and 30,000 words. But, it's the large print aspect that makes a critical difference for the mentalist. Because the book is designed for the visually impaired, there is only one column of words on each page and the bold word in the corners is large enough for people who need glasses to read it. If I squint, even I can read them without my trifocals. Since all the words are that size, it's much easier for a spectator to count down a number of lines in the column without making a mistake. The dictionary is also quite thick, which makes it look even more formidable.

The retail price is $18.95 and you can order it from Amazon.com if you have access to the internet. The editor is Jonathan L. Goldman.

To prepare the prompter, Xerox the artwork and cut it out following the broken rule. Glue it to an index card. Laminate it on both sides using adhesive backed laminating film obtainable at any office supply store. You'll also need a blank index card cut to the same size and laminated with adhesive backed laminating film. To write on the laminated surface, use a "Sanford Vis-aVis wet erase, fine point overhead projector pen. These low-cost markers can also be obtained at any office supply store.

What it looks like to your audience:

The performer hands out a large dictionary to a member of the audience. (Pick someone wearing glasses to be on the safe side). Now, have three spectators randomly selected. Have each stand in place. State that you're about to ask these folks to create a random number, over a hundred, but under a thousand. Ask the first spectator to hold their right or left hand in the air with their fist clenched. As soon as the spectator does this, explain that when you shout, "Now!" the spectator is to hold up any number of fingers that he wishes. The performer shouts. "Now!" and the spectator holds up three fingers. This repeated with the remaining two spectators. For example, the volunteers create the number 3-2-4. The performer records each number as it is created, on a file card in his pocket secretary. The performer now shows the number 324 boldly written on the file card, to the audience. Now, a fourth spectator is asked to stand and rearrange the 324 into another number. For example, the fourth spectator converts the 324 to 432. Thanking the four spectators for their help, the performer has the audience reward them with a nice round of applause. The performer writes the number 432 beneath the 324, which he crosses out. Displaying the new number to the audience, the performer asks the gentleman holding the dictionary to stand and turn to page 432 in the dictionary.

When the spectator states that he has found page 432, the performer asks the spectator to look at the bold word in the upper left hand corner of the page. The spectator is further asked to picture the word in his mind. After a moments intense concentration the performer writes something on the file card. "I'm getting the impression that the word you're picturng in your mind is not an object, is that correct? (The spectator answers in the affirmative.) It has something to do with language, is that correct? (Again the response is, "Yes.") But it's not an easy language to decipher, is it?"

EVEN (UPPER LEFT) • ODD (UPPER RIGHT)

111 -

CAMELLIA

243

■ DYNAMO

425

- LAPIS LAZULI

112 -

■ CAMEO

244

■ DYNASTY

431

- LEGAL

113 -

■CANOLA

245

■ EBULLIENT

432

- LEGALESE

114 -

■ CANON

251

■ ELEPHANTINE

433

- LESSEN

115 -

■ CAPLET

252

■ ELEVATE

434

- LESSER

121

- CASTRATE

253

■ EMBOSS

435

- LIBIDO

122

- CASUAL

254

■ EMBRACE

441

- LIVE

123 ■

■ CAT - O - 9 - TAILS

255

■ ENACT

442

- LIVE

124

- CATSCAN

311 -

■ FUROR

443

- LODE

125

- CELL

312 ■

■ FURRIER

444

- LODESTONE

131 ■

■ CHARLEY HORSE

313 ■

■ GALAXY

445

- LOOK

132

- CHARM

314 ■

■ GALE

451

- MACHO

133

- CHECKUP

315 ■

■ GARDEN

452

- MACKEREL

134

- CHEDDAR

321

GI

453

- MAHARAJAH

135

- CHILBLAIN

322

■ GIANT

454

- MAH - JONGG

141

- CIRCUS

323

■ GLADIATOR

455

- MALFEASANCE

142

- CIRRHOSIS

324

■ GLADIOLUS

511 -

■ NONCOMBATANT

143

- CLARION

325

GLOW

512 ■

■ NON - COM OFFICER

144

- CLARITY

331

■ GRAND

513

- NOSE DIVE

145

- CLICHE

332

■ GRANDCHILD

514

- NOSEGAY

151

- COHORT

333

■ GRAVITATION

515

- NUANCE

152

- COIFFURE

334

■ GRAVITY

521

- OCCUPATION

153

- COLLUSION

335

GRIPE

522

- OCCUPY

154

- COLOGNE

341

■ HACKER

523

- OFFENSE

155

- COMFORT

342

■ HACKLES

524

- OFFENSIVE

211 -

DERELICT

343

■ HALVES

525

- OLIVE

212

- DERIDE

344

■ HALYARD

531

- ORIGINATE

213

-DESTRUCT

345

■ HANGER

532

- ORIOLE

214

- DESTRUCTION

351

■ HEARTY

533

- OUT

215

- DEW

352

HEAT

534

- OUT -

221

- DISAPPROVE

353

HELP

535

- OUTSET

222

- DISARM

354

■ HELPING

541

- PAISLEY

223

- DISCRIMINATE

355 -

■ HERMAPHRODITE

542

- PAJAMAS

224

- DISCURSIVE

411 -

■ JOB

543

- PANIC

225

- DISPARITY

412 ■

JOBBER

544

- PANIC STRICKEN

231

- DOLLY

413 ■

■ JUDGEMENTAL

545

- PARALLEL

232

- DOLOROUS

414 ■

JUDICIAL

551

- PATHOLOGY

233

- DOUBLE - DATE

415 ■

JUSTICE O.T.P.

552

- PATHOS

234

- DOUBLE DECKER

421

■ KUNG - FU

553

- PEACE

235

- DRAFT

422

LAB

554

- PEACEFUL

241

- DUMBWAITER

423

LAITY

555

- PEEVE

242

-DUMFOUND

424

LAKE

The spectator agrees. "Is there an 'e'?" the performer continues, "There are three e's, aren't they?" The spectator responds that there are.

"It has something to do with lawyers or legal. Please, close your eyes and think of the word. The word is 'legalese', isn't it? If I'm right, give me a high five!" yells the performer. The spectator raises his hand and the audience applauds loudly.

You don't have to be a rocket scientist to know how to perform this great word test. As you are struggling to get the word the spectator is thinking of, you're looking at the second side of the Blockbuster wallet. The one with the 125 words and page numbers. When do you close and open the pocket secretary? As soon as the final number has been shown to the audience. You simply close the wallet as you instruct the spectator with the dictionary to turn to the selected page number. As soon as he has found the page, you reopen the wallet to the prompter side. Since the prompter is laminated, you can scribble on it (everywhere but where the selected page number and word is located) as if you're recording fragments of thoughts. You know the drill.

Note the example I've given you. Don't blurt out the word as soon as you've located it. Pretend you're giving birth. Struggle a bit, but be sure to get plenty of affirmation along the way. As soon as you asked the spectator to raise his hand if you're correct (that's so your entire audience knows you've got it, even if they couldn't hear the spectator's verbal response) you close the pocket secretary and return it to your pocket.

For those of you who don't want to use a Himber style wallet, no problem. Simply paste the prompter on a 3" x 5" blank index card. Cover the prompter side with adhesive backed laminating film. Trim it right to the edge of the card. Place the prompter on a packet of about ten or twelve 3" x 5" blank index cards printed side down and upside down as well. Place a blank card on top of the prompter card. Injog the top two cards so they protrude approximately 1/8" below the rest of the packet. Affix a small bulldog clip at the upper end of the packet. You'll also need a Sanford wet erase overhead projector pen. It writes on the laminating film but the writing can be erased later with a damp paper towel. Remove the packet from your pocket and use the top card to write the 3-digit number created by the audience. Allow the audience to see it. As the spectator is turning to the selected page, grasp the two injogged cards with the right fingers. Pull the two cards slightly away from the remainder of the packet to enable you to get a left little finger break. Holding the packet with the left hand,maintaining the break, remove the clip with the right hand. Keep the clip in your right hand as the right hand grasps the two injogged pages and turns them over vertically as one, from bottom to top, replacing them on the packet. The prompter will now be facing you. Keep the surface of the prompter from the audience's view. Replace the bulldog clip at the top edge of the packet.

Using the wet erase marker, as you ask the spectator to concentrate on the bold word at the top of the page, begin writing something on the surface of the prompter. What you're actually doing is locating the selected page number and printing it elsewhere on the surface of the card a few letters at a time. When you're finished birthing the word as previously described, reveal it as dramatically as possible. Ask the spectator holding the dictionary to give you a high five if you're correct. When he does so, scrawl a check mark on the prompter page as you say, "right on," and place the packet in your inside jacket pocket. There's no reason to show what you wrote since you've already revealed the word and the spectator has confirmed that you are correct.

There it is. A no-gaff, no wallet method for performing Ace Revisited.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

If Pregnancy Is Something That Frightens You, It's Time To Convert Your Fear Into Joy. Ready To Give Birth To A Child? Is The New Status Hitting Your State Of Mind? Are You Still Scared To Undergo All The Pain That Your Best Friend Underwent Just A Few Days Back? Not Convinced With The Answers Given By The Experts?

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment