The order of the three cards from the top down should be Five, Three, Four (the order of the second and third time cards is always transposed). The fourth card from the top should be a spot card of contrasting value to the other three. Serious card guys will shun this initial setup as inelegant and will instead glimpse the top three cards of the shuffled deck - then stall until the appropriate time.

5TELP T\N/<2? - Give the deck a few shuffles and cuts without disturbing your top stack, then hold the deck face down in your left hand. Obtain a left little-finger break beneath the fourth card as the deck is squared. Grasp the deck from above with your right fingers, transfering the break to your right thumb. Cut off the lower two-thirds of the pack onto your left-hand, then your left thumb slides the top two cards of the deck (one at a time) onto the left-hand packet. Place the two sections of the deck together and retain a left little finger break between them.

As the packets are placed together, your right fingers turn the two cards above the thumb-break face up onto the deck as one. Remove the packet above the finger-break and place it on the table with the face-up double on top. As this packet is tabled, obtain a left little-finger break below the top card of the left-hand packet.

Grasp the left-hand packet from above with your right fingers, transfering the break to your right thumb. Revolve the lower half of the packet with your left fingers face up onto the one-card break. Cut to the break with your right fingers. As you table this packet to the right of the first packet, obtain a left little-finger break below the top card of the packet in your left hand. Execute a Braue Reversal with these cards by grasping them from above with your right fingers, transferring the break to your right thumb. Revolve the lower half of the packet face up onto the top card. Cut off the rest of the cards from below the break with your left hand and place them face up onto the right-hand packet. Table these cards to the left of the other two packets.

At this point your audience won't know or care whether the three face-up cards are on top of the face-up or face-down packets. This touch of mystery sets you up for the big change at the end.

6TE.P TJ-lR-E-E. - The current condition of the tabled packets should be as follows: Right packet face up with reversed Three at back, center packet face down with face-up double on top (the top card conceals the Four), left packet is face up with a reversed Five concealed at its back. If either of the two end packets show a face card, openly remove it and toss it aside. Read off the time showing on the cards from right to left, then comment that your digital deck is never wrong. When a spectator points out that the time illustrated by the cards is incorrect, apologize and explain that the deck is set for Venezuelan time. Ask for the correct time, then comment that it's a simple matter to reset the time.

Pick up the center packet and place it onto your left hand. Turn the double card on top face down as one, then deal the top card face down onto the table between the other two packets. Table the face-down left-hand packet behind the card just dealt. Pick up one of the end packets in each hand (FIG. 1) in preparation for an open exchange of the position of the two packets by crossing your hands.

The left hand passes over the right. As the two packets cross, curl your forefingers under their packets and lever the packet over. The right packet is turned toward the left, the left packet toward the right (FIGS. 2, 3, 4).

The packets will end up clipped between your first and second fingers. As the hands cross, the packets are secretly flipped over and then tabled - all in one fluid action. The larger movement of the hands crossing covers the smaller action of the packets being turned, resulting in an instant change of the two cards on top of the packets. Release the packets, uncross your hands, and turn the face-down card in the center face up. This crossing and uncrossing sequence takes but a second to perform and results in what appears to be a visible change of the three "wrong" cards into the correct time "5:43" from the spectator's side of the table.

Pick the two top cards off of the end packets and scoop up the center card between them. Place the three cards face down onto the inside packet and assemble the deck.

Paul Harris The Art of Astonishment

ELFFLCT - A card and a coin change places in a most startling fashion.

6TE-P ONL - Start off with an extra half-dollar finger-palmed in your hand. You can easily get into this position by first performing your favorite four-coin routine. At the conclusion of the routine, openly leave one coin on the table. As the remaining three coins are put away, fin-ger-palm the extra coin in your right hand.

With the deck held face down in your left hand, thumb the top card off onto your left fingers, covering the coin (FIG. 1).

As you turn the card face up, retain this coin with your thumb while the previously concealed coin at the face is allowed to drop onto the table (FIG. 3). Place the face-up card square onto the face-down deck. As the card is positioned, press down with your right forefinger and pull away your right thumb (FIG. 4). The left thumb is pressed onto the card directly over the coin.

5TE.P - Remove the deck from your left hand by grasping it from above by its ends with your right fingers (FIG. 5). Your right fingers should be positioned to do a one-handed top palm. Note that the right little finger is pressed onto the upper right corner of the pack. Pick up the tabled coin with your left hand, position it at the base of your second and third fingers, then close your fingers over the coin. The left fist should be fingertips up, thumb side toward the audience (FIG. 6).

face-up card on the deck, then perform a one-hand top palm. It will appear as if the card instantly transformed itself into a coin (Figs. 7,

In a continuing action, tilt the deck, causing the coin to fall to the table.

5TE-P fO\M. - Load the palmed card into your left fist, then immediately remove that same card from the fist, and place it over the coin onto the left palm by following (Figs. 10 through 18). These actions are performed in one smooth sequence at the moment the coin from the deck hits the table.

To clean up at this point, simply place the card onto the deck and retain the concealed coin in a left finger palm. Pick up the tabled coin and place both into your pocket.

MAOJ^-MANl 0?INl VLR.61^ -Pretend to place the coin into your left hand, retaining it in the right. Load the palmed coin under the top card of the deck as the card is turned face up. Proceed as in the original. The tricky part about this version is positioning the top card over the coin - then getting into a one-handed top palm - without the aid of your left hand. But if you've got more hair on your chest than you know what to do with, give it a shot.

OJtAP-6lJ0T IhJVl^l&LL - Get the half-dollar loaded under the face-up top card and hold the deck in top palm position. Reach into your pocket with your left hand and bring out a handful of nothing. Display the invisible half, then hold it in your left fist, The coin becomes visible as it changes places with the card. The effectiveness of this version is totally dependent upon the twinkle in your eyes and the depth of your dimples.

This is an astonishing thing to see in action, but you need a dead-on, balls-to-the-wall one-handed top palm. This palm is a valuable tool and is worth whatever effort it takes to acquire it. Experiment with tiny changes of fingering and hand position. If the levered-up card consistently extends past your hand try changing your hand position so its in the spot where the card wants to go. If you have trouble getting the card to lever up, try leaning all of your right fingers forward as you do the action to give you more leverage.

Vhen I first showed this flourish to Daniel Cros, resident magician and one-man escort service at the Las Vegas Desert Inn, he suggested that we celebrate the occasion by "finding a couple of women and having a party." (Daniel also celebrates the mowing of his front lawn and a successful trip to the 7-11 by "finding a couple of women and having a party.")

Daniel decided that we should hang around the casino and just wait for something to happen. Daniel stood at the bar poised in his imported French "Just-Call-Me-Mr.-Wonderful" look, while I leaned my elbow into the olive tray — trying to look cool as I sipped my root beer on the rocks.

After we had displayed our charms for a few moments, two shapely women with cameras approached the bar and stared up at Daniel. The first woman, wearing a revealing T-shirt which read "Magicians do it in a thumb tip," whispered to her friend, "My god, he's so handsome!" Both ladies then quickly snapped Daniel's picture and walked off. It goes without saying that Daniel was upset. "How dare those women take my picture — and then have the nerve to walk away without paying me!"

But the evening wasn't a total loss. A visiting nun finally paid Daniel for a picture, a bartender paid me to take my elbow out of the olives, and a woman who wasn't a nun asked me for Daniel's phone number. I asked her if this was just a clever ploy to talk to me. She was speechless. I threw an olive into her mouth. It was the start of something wonderful.

ELFFE-CT - A super cool flourish which enables the close-up entertainer to open a card case, remove the deck, and then fan the cards out for an opening selection — with just one hand!

6TE.P ¿?NL - Hold the closed case, half-moon cutout towards yourself, by its sides between your right fingers and thumb (FIG. 1).

Note that your right second fingertip rests on the case's upper right corner. Press your right forefinger through the half-moon cutout and disengage the flap from the box (FIG. 2).

Place your right first and second fingertip against the inside of the open flap (FIG. 3).

Clip the right side of the flap between your second and third fingers (FIG. 4), then slide your right thumb over so that it presses against the deck through the half-moon cutout (FIG. 5).

The face-down deck should now be pinched between your right thumb, first and second fingers (FIG. 6).

5TE-P T\V<? - Slowly extend your right second finger to push the case away (FIG. 7) while at the same time pulling the deck toward your right hand with your right thumb and forefinger (FIG. 8).

If all goes well the deck should uncase itself, leaving the empty hanging card case clipped between your right second and third fingers (FIG. 9).

5TLP TLlR-ELE. - Position your left hand about eight inches behind the deck (FIG. 10).

Tuck the flap into the case with your right third and fourth fingers (FIG. 12).

Then smoothly set the closed case onto the table. Have a card selected from the waiting fan and proceed to prove that you're not called "Mr. Wonderful" for nothing.

Fan the cards with your right hand by pushing down with your thumb and pulling back with your fingers. The fan action will revolve the case directly into your waiting left hand (FIG. 11).

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