Vollmer Variant

A handling variation of Richard Vollmer's excellent "Mystery of the 7 Suspects" that appeared in Mendoza Portfolio 1. There's no date on this hard bound book, but we deduce that it was written prior to 1984 and published around the mid-1980's.

This present handing eliminates two Faro Shuffles and places the selection at its correct position prior to the final elimination, while the Down-under Deal has been replaced by a simpler procedure.

WORKING

1. Begin by saying, "This trick is all about detectives and suspects. First let me remove two cards to represent the detectives." As you're speaking, casually spread the cards and cut any Ten spot to fourth position from the rear of the deck. Now spread through looking for the two black Aces—as you do so, crimp the inner corner of the tenth card from the face.

Make sure the crimp remains at the inner end throughout the routine.

Drop the Aces together face-down on the table with Clubs on top, saying, "These are our detectives."

2. Hold the deck face-down in dealing grip and then pick up the top Ace (Clubs) keeping it face-down and give it to a spectator, saying, "Stab that card into the middle of the deck and leave it sticking out."

Once he does that, carry out the Bill Simon Business Card Move to turn the outjogged card face-up, which is, briefly:

a) Spread off all the cards above the outjogged card and take them in your right hand, almost in dealing grip

b) Turn your right hand over and clamp the outer end of the outjogged card against the back of the right hand packet with your right thumb (Fig.2).

c) Turn your right hand palm-up again and place these cards below the left hand cards (Fig.3). The outjogged card is still in the middle but it's now face-up. More importantly, you've transposed the top and bottom sections.

As you do the move, say, "That's one of the Ace detectives." Then turn over the other Ace on the table, saying, "The other one's over here." This offers a slight delay after the Simon move.

Now spread the cards and cleanly cut all the cards above the Ace to the bottom, then replace the Ace on the table. The deck is back as it was.

3. Say, "We'll use the name of the detective." Spell A-C-E, dealing three cards into a pile, followed by C-L-U-B-S, dealing five more cards on top. Place the deck face-down on the table for a moment.

4. Pick up the eight cards you just dealt and invite the spectator to look at the top card and remember it, saying, "That will be the suspect that

the detectives will try to find." Have the card replaced on the packet then give it a few False Cuts so the card stays on top.

Pick up the two Aces and place them face-up on top of the packet then pick them off in a right hand Biddle grip. Count them onto the packet fairly then give the cards a complete cut, saying, "The detectives will now attempt to locate and arrest the suspect." Spread the packet and appear disappointed that nothing has happened. Cut the Aces back to the top.

5. Push over the Aces and catch a break under the first face-down card. Pick off all three cards in a Biddle grip then count them as two onto the packet (single followed by a double). This loads the selection between the Aces in a standard fashion. However, you are immediately going to unload it again!

Get a break under the top Ace and double cut it to the bottom of the packet (or, you can get away with a single cut here with such a small packet), saying, "These detectives are city guys, maybe they'll work better in a busier environment."

Drop the packet on top of the deck then ask the spectator to give the cards a complete cut.

6. Tap the deck then spread the cards revealing, not one, but several (seven in fact) cards between the Aces (Fig.4), as you say, "Well, it seems they've arrested everybody who was at the scene of the crime!"

Slide out the nine-card sandwich then square the deck. Ask the spectator to pick up the packet and hold it ready to deal. As he's doing that, casually cut the crimp to the bottom of the deck and place the deck on the table.

7. Say, "OK. It's time to eliminate all but one of these suspects."Tell the spectator to deal the cards into two piles, dealing back and forth as he would in a two-handed game. Turn over the pile without the Aces, show the faces then toss them aside, saying, "They've let these guys go."

The spectator picks up the remaining cards and deals two piles one more time. Again pick up the pile without the Aces, show the faces and toss these aside, saying, "Have you seen your card?" He'll say no. Appear pleased.

Now ask him to turn over the single card that remains between the Aces. But this isn't his card! It's a ten spot. "Ah," you say, "I believe that Ten spot is an informant."

Now ask him to pick up the deck and count down to the tenth card. Have him announce the name of his card before turning it over to reveal his selection.

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