Magazine article Word Ways

The Magic Spell

Magazine article Word Ways

The Magic Spell

Article excerpt

(Based on Jim Steinmeyer's 9 card Problem)

Using your amazing mystical powers, or is it your knowledge of an exotic mathematical principle unknown to your friends, you tell them the name of a book that they have freely selected

EFFECT: Business card sized pieces of cardboard or paper, each imprinted with the name of a different book, are displayed to the audience. The back side of each card is plain. A book title is selected by a spectator. The face down card with the title's name is mixed in with the other face down cards by the spectator. The spectator spells out the name of the book's author (supplied by the magician) by dealing the cards onto the tabletop. The magician finds the proper card with no fumbling or guesswork.

PROPS: There are 9 cards, each imprinted on one side, with the title of a book. The 10th card contains a list of the book titles and their authors.

Hand the cards to a spectator. She is to keep all of the cards so you, the magician, cannot see the titles. Have her select one title and place that card face down on the table mix up the remaining face down cards, and create two piles of four cards, each face down, on the tabletop. The selected title should then be placed face down on one pile. The remaining pile is then placed on top of the selection.

Place the list of titles and authors in front of your helper so she can clearly read both the titles and the author's names.

The spectator should once again pick up the packet of face down title cards. Have her then silently spell out the name of the selected book's author, as follows. …

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