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the fritz
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Hello all. After posting in another thread, I had the idea to come up with a new self-working challenge. Since I'm not necessarily looking for methods as much as possible reference sources I thought it okay to post this challenge here. Also, I didn't want those who don't yet have 50 posts to be left out so here goes...

Anybody have any ideas for a self-working and preferably impromptu version of The Cassandra Quandary from Guy Hollingworth's book Drawing Room Deceptions? Like I said, I'm hoping we can collectively come up with possible sources for self-working tricks that look like they have methods/procedures that would fit the criteria required by the presentation. In order to discuss actual methods, we might need to move to the Secret Sessions or Triple Dare sections. Any takers?
the fritz
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Oh and by the way... if you do have a reference it would be helpful to have the book's title, the trick's title and the page number (same goes for DVD's except the page number).
a brown 1968
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Ho Fritz,

Perhaps a brief description of the effect may help

Andy
the fritz
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Andy,

Good idea. Here goes...

The basic idea is that the magician openly removes a card from the deck and seals it in an envelope. The audience is aware of the identity of the card. A volunteer then eliminates cards until one is left face down. The envelope is torn open and the card is missing. When the lone card is turned up, it is the one previously sealed in the envelope.

I don't remember the details of the entire presentation although I can say the audience is informed about what is going to happen before the effect begins, which is a fantastic suspense builder! Having written this description I am now acutely aware that this could be a challenge effect all the way, but Hollingworth's presentation is so riveting that the challenge aspect is virtually eliminated. Hopefully that clarifies. Thanks Andy!
Bandon
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My library is quite limited at the moment but in the effect "The tantalizer" in RRTCM there is a way of separating the cards into 2 piles, discarding one, and dealing into 2 piles until only one card remains (and control which one of course), which could be used to eliminate cards until one remains if combined with some eq*v*ca***on. Although it would take 4 or 5 rounds of eliminating depending on how you approached the final stage, so I don't know if that would be overusing the previously stated method. As for the other parts of it I don't have any references and I'm not sure how I can state it without going too far down the road of exposing certain things
The Burnaby Kid
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Just my two cents, but I don't know that you'll be able to get what you're hoping for with the conditions stated. Part of what makes Cassandra Quandary so powerful is that it's a combination of a great presentational premise along with a baffling methodology. You might be able to put a similar great presentation on top of an impromptu method, but you'll lose conviction with the methodology -- you'll have to introduce moves, stretch the equivoque too thing, etc. that will weaken it for those who try to rationalize the effect. A huge part of the power of the original is the darned fairness of it all, and I think you risk losing that with what you're hoping to do here.

Basically, I think you'll get a weaker effect. If the goal is to be working FASDIU, I think there are better effects open to you.
JACK, the Jolly Almanac of Card Knavery, a free card magic resource for beginners.
the fritz
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Amonod,

Thanks! Good starting point. The idea is to collect some sources where a method can be pieced together and you're the first to weigh in with a great piece of the puzzle. Even if this procedure may not work for the entire method, it's a good place to start and can be a springboard for some more ideas. Thanks for the input! Good stuff.

Andrew Musgrave,

I am honestly more interested in the exercise than performing what comes about. If we come up with an idea that works, great. If not, that's great too. The Cassandra Quandary is more a starting point for us as a collective think tank. Anyone and everyone is invited to join in and where it goes is where it goes. We may end up coming up with something totally different than Cassandra Quandary, but that's the beauty of ideas. Sorry if I didn't make the intentions clear enough.

To get a better idea of what could possibly happen, take a look back at the Thought Stealer thread (I believe in this section a few months back). It began with someone's question about Thought Stealer and the thread morphed into a great (and in my opinion, superior to the original) method of performing this trick. It was a wonderful collaboration that I would (selfishly) love to see more of. Plus it's just plain fun. So really, The Cassandra Quandary is more of a starting point to see what comes about. As John Bannon said in his great book Dear Mister Fantasy... let's play!
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I have to agree about the thought stealer thread, I only just looked at it now and it's brilliant! I have to ashamedly(?) admit that I am one of those who brushed it off without trying at first, but the last few days I've been reconsidering that decision and planning to sit down and practice my performance of it so my learning of the thought stealer thread also came at the perfect time. Which can show how useful threads of this nature can be (even though method wise it might not be in this particular case) but even so, going through a process like this of taking a trick and changing all the aspects into self-working ones and changing the methods used can also be a good one for us all to get some creative juices flowing
a brown 1968
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My first idea for the effect is as follows - when you are sitting in a traffic jam for 2 hours it's a good way to occupy the time.

I will need to read up on the original to see how close I am and for scripting the idea.

From a laymans perspective.

A deck is shuffled by the performer.

The layman cuts the deck twice and a card is chosen . Shown to all in the room but the performer.

The performer taking the card facedown , seals it in an envelope and then places into a wallet.

The deck is shuffled again and the spectator is asked to cut of about half the deck. THe balance of the deck is turned over and cards dealt onto the table in a pile , none are the chosen card.

The performer takes the pile cut by spectator and starts to deal these cards from the face but stops after a few cards showing none are the chosen card. The dealt cards are added to the packet and handed to the spectator facedown .

Hew now deals a card face up to you and the next card facedown to him and continues until all the cards he holds are dealt.

The chosen card is not seen in the faceup packet . THese are added to the other face up cards and the procedure is carried out again , spectator picking up your facedown pile and dealing faceup to performer and facedown to himself.

After about 4 rounds he is left holding 1 facedown card .

The envelope is removed from the wallet and torn open the card (the 5C all seen by the spectators is not there ) The one remaining facedown card is turned over .

It is the 5C

The deck is normal and can be used for any other effect.

Andy
Andy Moss
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Andy that sounds very strong.Are you employing the Cut Deeper force here with the 5C being added/dumped to the mix almost at the end leading to a simple final force from just two cards?

I was thinking of utilising the "Gemini Twin Principle" followed by Bill Simon's "64 Principle" to cleanly narrow down from fifty two to eight and then to four in this way with the spectator appearing to directly choose their four cards.At this point equivoque comes into play.

Your presentation of actually having the spectator eliminate the cards in such a fair and logical manner is I think better as long as palming is not essential to the methodology.
a brown 1968
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--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hello Andy,

There is no palming involved in the methodology.

I do not own Guy's book but I looked up on Google the story of Cassandra in Greek mythology to get an idea of the premise.

It seems Cassandra was the beauty of her day and blessed with the gift of prophecy. The god Apollo fell in love with this vision of beauty, only to discover Cassandra did not love him in return and in his rage cursed her, so that any person who heard her words would not believe them.

So far what I have is a work in progress with too many weak points for my liking but the more time I spend on it the more wrinkles I can iron out and I am hoping café members may chip in and help.

Requirements:

Normal deck of cards with 4 Hearts on top of the facedown deck
Duplicate 4 Hearts 3rd card down from the top of the deck
The other 4’s near the bottom of the deck
2 Envelopes
Himber W****t
2 blank index cards with 2 different prophecies, one on each card.

Effect

The performer tells the spectator the story of Cassandra and her frustration because her prophecies were never believed.

The performer takes out the Himber W, which is loaded with the 2 empty envelopes and places it on the table.

The deck of cards is removed from the box and given a riffle shuffle keeping the top 3 cards (4 Hearts, X, 4 Hearts) in place. Yes that does breach the self-working title a little but even my limited skills can cope with this. If the shuffle is to be avoided then there are some table false cuts, which require no sleight of hand.

The 2 index cards are placed on the table in a line and the performer tells the spectator that on each one is a prophecy he will not believe.

The performer turns over the first index card and the words on the other side say “You will cut to a 4”

The spectator holds the deck and he is asked to cut a small packet off, turn it face up and place it back on the deck. He does so and the face up card is a Jack of Hearts, not a 4 .. The performer looks puzzled and asks the spectator to cut deeper and turnover the packet as before. This time the face up card can be seen to be a 7 Spades.

The spectator thinks the prophecy/prediction is wrong.
The performer reminds the spectator of the curse and recaps that so far the spectator has made 2 free cuts from shuffled deck. Taking the deck the performer counts the face up cards onto the table, say 22 in total and places the first facedown card on the spectators hand (This will be the 4 Hearts) emphasising this is the 23rd card. The next facedown card is turned face up and added to the face up pile, with the performer saying that had the spectator cut to the 24th card he would be holding the 2 of Clubs.

The top card of the talon still held by the performer is the duplicate 4 of Hearts.

The spectator is asked to turn over the card he holds, it is the 4 Hearts and so the prophecy has proved to be correct.

I am happy using the cut deeper force here because the moves are not just done to get to a specific card but blend in with the premise of the effect

The wallet is opened and a small brown envelope can be seen inside. The spectator is asked to seal his card in the envelope and the performer puts it back in the wallet and closes the wallet.

The intention is to switch the envelope with the chosen card for an empty one using the wallet. I am not happy with this method because the envelope goes out of sight and I have not come up with any reason for putting it there. I am sure there are gaffed envelopes that may improve the method and keep an envelope in view at all times but I lack the knowledge here and will need to look into this further

The next phase needs a lot of work in terms of scripting and handling but the method is as follows.

The next task for the spectator will be to deal a facedown talon into 2 piles, dealing alternately, one card facedown to him and the other face up to you. When all cards have been dealt the face up pile is discarded and the facedown pile picked up, the procedure repeated until the spectator has one facedown card in front of him

A while back I asked a mate to build a little excel program which would tell me for any given packet size what the original position was of the last remaining facedown card if the above deal and discard procedure is used. The results showed that there are not that many positions for packets between 10 and 28 cards.

Having this knowledge can be put to good use with the effect.

As part of the first phase the face up cards were counted, therefore the number of cards in the balance of the deck is known and the top card is the duplicate 4H.
Therefore for a certain packet size I need to get the 4H to say the 9th position down if the dealing procedure is to work leaving the 4H as the last facedown card.

To accomplish this, the performer turns the deck face up and tells the spectator that he maybe thinking the deck is funny in some way or that half the deck is made up 4Hs.
To eliminate this possibility the performer deals cards from the face of the deck on to the table showing the to be all different, showing the backs and even handing a few to the spectator to look at. When there are 8 cards on the table, the performer drops the balance of the deck he holds onto the tabled packet, so now the packet is set for the dealing procedure.

The performer now points to the second facedown prophecy and turns it over.

It says, “The impossible will be held in your hands “ – still working on the wording…

The face up packet is handed to the spectator facedown and the dealing procedure is explained.

The spectator carries out the actions until he is holding one facedown card.

The performer asks the spectator does he feel he is holding the impossible? Most likely he has not got a clue what you mean.

The performer opens the wallet removing the switched envelope. It is torn open to show the sealed 4H has vanished.

The spectator turns over the card he holds, it is the 4H

The effect is over and the deck can be used as normal for the next effect.

Still along way to go but for a couple of hours work so far a good starting point
Scott F. Guinn
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A gaffed envelope or wallet and one duplicate card should make the solution obvious.
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
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a brown 1968
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Hello Scott ,

You have raised 2 points of the effect which as you said are obvious. However the purpose of this discusion thread is to work on the more difficult aspects of the effect without using sleight of hand.

I would be interested to read your take on how the spectator is to choose the duplicate without it looking too contrived and also how the spectator eliminates the remaing 51 cards to leave just one where the spectator discards half the cards each turn until one remains.

Andy
Andy Moss
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Andy, I have now had the time to play about with the effect a little.

My preference would be (rather than the humber wallet) to use one of those innocent looking plastic black wallets that have a hidden pocket behind one of the two seethrough windows. Simply place a blank playing card with the purposefully ambiguous words "I have flown" written on it face down so that it can be clearly seen in one of the two windows prior to the effect.You will also need to take out four playing cards from the deck so that it has exactly 48 cards in it. This deficit in cards will not be noticeable to the spectator.

Have your card to be forced on top of the deck. Have the duplicate of this card in third position or similar. Riffle shuffle/false cut to retain the order of the top cards in the deck whilst appearing to mix up the cards.

Proceed as per normal with the 'Cut deeper force' using your presentational touches which are clever.The spectator/audience sees what the forced card is. You take care to turn your back so as to not to see the card as it is shown around.The forced card is then carefully taken face down by the performer and openly seen to go into the little plastic wallet but in reality goes into the hidden compartment pocket out of sight.You might want to look away whilst you do this so that there can be no suggestion in the minds of the audience that you have peeked at the card.

Once the card has been inserted to hide it the wallet is immediately laid open face up like a book on the table to show the face down forced card (actually the message card) At this point you might have the spectator cover the card window with their hand. No switch will be suspected.The card never appears to leave the sight of the audience.

Then what I would do as I say is to use 'Bill Simon's 64 principle' (There is a link to this on the Café if a search is made) to eliminate very fairly down to just three cards. (48-24-12-6-3)The advantage of using this principle is that the cards are not just robotically dealt into two piles. There is also no need to 'position' the duplicate card in the deck for the elimination to work.

With the principle in play the spectator actually gets to exercise free will in selecting their SPECIFIC cards at every point in the proceedings.It just seems fairer.Experiment with the principle.You will see what I mean.No magician's choice.The cards the spectator wants the spectator gets.I recommend lightly pencil marking the duplicate card (bottom left) so that you can always follow it throughout the elimination process.The golden rule to remember is that as long as the duplicate card is in the top half of any pile it will always survive the elimination process.

Then once you reach a stage where there are only three cards on the table you just use simple equivoque to eliminate two of them which is easy enough to do with just three cards.This duplicate card of the earlier forced card is left face down on the table to maintain the suspense.

You then show your hands to be empty and take the wallet from under the hand of the spectator. you cleanly and openly remove the face down written prediction and immediately (they will see that the two windows of the wallet are now empty) place the wallet in your pocket out of the way. All attention is now on the card you are holding in your hand.

You make the first reveal which will serve to both surprise and confuse and indoing so will importantly prepare the audience for the second even stronger reveal.

You then ask the spectator for the first time for the identity of "the card you are merely thinking of" and go on to make the reveal of the card left on the table after the elimination process. This will of course will be the duplicate of the forced card.

Anyway that is how I would go about presenting such an effect in a self working methodology. Hope it provides food for thought. With best wishes Andy.
a brown 1968
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Great post Andy,

Your post has helped me refine my idea a little

In my original post, I had to control the duplicate card to a certain position based on the number of cards cut off by the spectator. This approach now has too many drawbacks.

· The performer having to handle the cards and reposition the duplicate card.
· The need for an excellent memory to remember how many cards to move for a given number of cards cut off the deck.
· Memory could be avoided if crib sheet used but this just adds another layer of complication.

When you said in the post you used a -card deck Andy, I went back to my results and checked what position the duplicate card would have to be in order for it to be dealt in the 2-pile process. The answer being 43rd card if the deck is made up of either 47 or 48 cards. So now the revised set up is as follows for the deck

Deck made up of 48 cards – remove the same 3 values as the force card + one other
Top card – force card - say 4H
43rd card duplicate of force card. 5th card from bottom of deck

Now the deck can be given a riffle shuffle at the start making sure that the two 4H remain in position. Not too difficult task to achieve with the riffle shuffle.

The cut deeper force approach from first thread still used to force the 4H, which is put in the switch envelope or switch wallet.

However the face up packet left from the cut deeper force is not discarded but put back on the deck making the deck now 47 cards with the duplicate still at position 43.

The performer can now do either another riffle shuffle keeping the bottom 5 card packet together or a real centre Hindu shuffle leaving the bottom 5 cards untouched, the Hindu being my preferred choice as it looks casual and sloppy.

After the shuffle the deck can be given to the spectator to carry out the dealing approach and he is left with the duplicate 4H as the last facedown card.

This approach eliminates

· All the memory work
· The need to reposition the card
· No crib sheet required
· No equivoque
· Allows for a really good shuffle before the dealing begins



Just need to work more on the envelope switch and scripting. May ask the guys in the mental forum for ideas regarding the envelope.

Best regards

Andy
Andy Moss
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Ah now you're talking! That is better in so many ways and is another step forward in the thinking for a presentation.I particularly like the fact that the deck can be cleanly shuffled on the two ocassions (one of them being directly prior to the deal down). This seems so fair. The Hindu shuffle with the drop of the last few cards would certainly work well. Also as you say no equivoque is now necessary.

The guys in the mental forum (Inner thoughts) will certainly be able to advise you of a hundred ways to switch cleanly. As I say I only know of the 'double ended envelope', the 'slitted envelope' and the 'nest of envelopes' switch methods.
a brown 1968
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Andy

Its an idea for an effect , would not do it , more an excercise of what can be done.
the fritz
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Hey guys,

I'm back from a week-long vacation with no internet access and imagine my delight to see what you've come up with! Long live the two Andy's! Since I've done little contributing while away I feel I have to come up with something to add so here's the idea I've been toying with. How about using a blank card instead of placing the card in the envelope? The envelope idea may be a little better since you're placing the card in sight but still out of sight at the same time, which is kind of a tease. The spectators believe the card is there, but there's always that possibility that it might not be there... hmmm.

Anyway, I was thinking that if they saw a card sitting face down on the table and you've just shown them what it is, they will have no reason to suspect it's anything else. Then when they turn it over and it's blank, they should be pretty dumbfounded. Guy Hollingworth has the spectator tear open the envelope before he reveals the lone card left after the elimination procedure so the effect can settle in before they actually see the lone card's identity. If you use a blank card that you switched for the selection/force then you can sort of do the same idea without the envelope. This may be taking a step backwards... I don't know.

Also, I think this may be worth mentioning... I just reread Guy's effect description on pages 264-265 of Drawing Room Deceptions and he doesn't even have a spectator choose a card. He simply makes an "open prediction" by stating his prophecy, saying (I'll quote directly from the book) "It is my intention to make a prophecy; I will foretell what is going to be. That is, that someone will take a pack of cards and will make a series of very fair choices, whereby they will eliminate cards until they are left with only one... and that card will be the two of diamonds. Remember that: the two of diamonds." This may make the method easier (or more difficult, possibly) but I thought it useful enough to include here.

Great thinking gentlemen. You guys never cease to amaze me. I'm going to keep toying with this and if I come up with some ideas to add, I'll jump in again.
the fritz
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Hey guys,

Just realized that if you wanted to do the envelope switch, you could simply count the cards and see which one is at the position to be forced in the elimination procedure, making that your open prediction card. Then just do Ken Krenzel's second deal from a spread (this isn't really a sleight, it's more of an optical illusion that really looks fantastic... if you don't know it, PM me for the nuts and bolts). The final result of this second deal is that the card next to the force card will actually be the one placed in the envelope. Now you just replace the cards and do the elimination procedure. You switch the envelope somehow at the end so there's no card there and you're left with a clean deck minus one card. No duplicate required. If you position the joker so you can use it for the envelope switch, you'll end clean with a full deck.

Finally, what about some way of just pretending to place the card in the envelope and not actually placing it there? Kind of the reverse of pulling a card from under the card box under the guise of actually removing it from the box. Only this way you're doing it with an envelope... or what about just using the card box as the envelope if your going to do that? Now we're down to just a regular deck of cards and very little that could be called sleight-of-hand. Even the spread second deal can be done by a beginner the first time they try it... I wouldn't call that sleight-of-hand, although not necessarily self-working either.
a brown 1968
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Hello Fritz,

Just read you post and hope you had a good vacation.

Thanks for adding the extra bit from the book. Whilst my suggested dealing procedure does eliminate all but one card, there is no sense of the spectator making any choices, which Guy's effect was built around.

As you know I prefer to work with a normal deck but what springs to mind after reading your post is that by using a Svengali deck you can have the following phase:

Performer shuffles the deck using the accepted ways with the deck , can turn it face up and dribble cards to show all different if desired.

Deck held facedown on performers hand and spectator asked to cut a portion off , free choice . The deck will mean he cuts to 1 of the 26 force cards (4H).

Performer takes the cut portion and shows the spectator the bottom card (4H) . The 4H is removed by the performer and dropped facedown on the table .

The packet is dropped on the table and the balance of the deck dropped on top.

Now the deck can be dealt into 2 facedown piles . One will contain all 4H , the other a mix of normal cards.

The spectator is asked to point to one pile and this one he will keep. The word "keep" is used as it allows options depending on the pile chosen.

If the pile with the 4Hs is picked this is kept where it is and the pile of mixed cards are discarded and pushed to one side.

The kept pile is then dealt into 2 piles and again the spectator is asked to choose which one to keep . The other pile discarded and placed on top of the previous discarded pile.

The process is continued, of chocies being made until one card is left which has to be a 4H.

If the performer wants he can pick up the facedown discard pile turn it face up and can spread the bottom 26 cards showing them all different and spectator could have been left with anyone of these cards rather than the one in front of him.

If the specator points to the packet of 26 mixed cards this pile is pushed toward him a little to keep and the performer takes the pile of 4Hs and continues with the dealing and chocie process allowing the spectator to keep all the cards but the last one.

Either way there is no manipulation of piles or words - The actions are always conistent.

Just my pennies worth ....

Right must get back and finish writing up my thought of card at thought of number effect. Where both the card and number are not known by the performer at any time until the card is revealed at the number.

Andy
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