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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magical equations » » Four variable Hummer Principle. (6 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Andy Moss
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A while back in a topic to be found below in Magical Equations I posted my thoughts concerining the 'Two doors to freedom' principle.

Now I turn my attention to the Bob Hummer principle only that I am going to offer an alternative that may be used with FOUR variables.

Four variables. You could use tarot cards, or colour cards or even have someone write down the name of someone not known to you who is now dead with three other names who are still alive.

What is important is that the cards need to have markings on the back. Many playing cards have naturally miscut back designs such as Bees or Waddingtons.
I am using game tablet cards from an 'Orchard Toys' game set designed for sale to young children. These tablets have the images of the following fruit on the front. Apple, pear, raspberry, banana.The card backs importantly have a naturally miscut wording repeated upon them so that I can easily discern the back markings of the individual cards.

Now follow the following procedure.

1) Cards given to person to look at and they are asked simply to think of any one of the fruit before mixing up the four cards in their hands so that even they do not know the order of the cards. They are then asked to place cards face down in a row.

2) You gain peek of the identity of the first and last cards of the row as you give the following instruction with an appropriate hand gesture. "I am going to turn my back and when I do I want you to turn face up the card that has the image of the fruit that you are thinking of" (pretend to turn the last card over to face up as you gain your second peek but do not actually do so).

3) "Now please swap around any two of the face down cards...it is up to you.".

4) "O.K Now focus your attention upon any one of the two swapped about face down cards....again it is up to you which one....and turn this card face up so that there will now be two face up and two face down cards. In the row".

5) "Now please swap about the two remaining face down cards with one another. ".

6) Finally please turn the two face up cards face down so that all the cards in the row are now face down and can not be seen by me when I turn around again to face you.".

A possible premise for doing all the above is that we proclaim when our back is turned to be visualising the face up image in our mind as the cards are moved about.

The following thought is optional. If we wanted to have the person give the row a further mix up then we might then have them swap the two outside cards followed by the two middle cards. This will merely result in reversing the order of the cards!.

Then for the reveal we simply apply simple logic as we do with the original three variable version of the Hummer Principle.
The only card that will be in its original position will be their thought of fruit!!

If we do not choose to apply the further mix up idea then start from left most card of pile. If the row ends in reverse order then from the right most card.
Remember if the first card is in its original position then it must be the thought of fruit. If not then rule it out and also the card that is now in its former place. Do the same for the last card.......anyway you get the idea.

I will leave it to you to work out the logic that needs to be applied here. It must be stressed that the logic works 100% each time.

All the best Andy.
Andy Moss
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Let us now raise the bar a little higher.Through adapting the above approach we may be able to discern the variable a person is thinking of among FIVE variables.

How do we achieve this? Well we have to introduce the variables gradually into the picture. We place the five tablets (that are naturally marked on the backs) in a face down pile on the table. We then turn our back to the spectator.

1) We ask the spectator to place any two of the tablets face down in a row. After the two tablets have been chosen we turn our back around to face the spectator for a couple of seconds as we give the necessary instruction as to what they should now do. Whilst we are doing this we simply note the identities of the two variables from their back markings and remember the two cards.We immediately turn our back around again so that we can not once again see the proceedings.

2) Spectator is asked to think of any one of the two variables before mixing the two face down tablets about on the table.

3) They are then asked to introduce a third face down tablet and then mix up these three tablets about on the table.

4) As for 3) with respect to the fourth and the final fifth tablet.

5) Your back is still turned at this point. The five variables have been randomly mixed about and the spectator will understandably believe that you can not know which one of tne five tablets they are thinking of.

6) We then turn our backs around for a second or so to give the next instruction. As we do so we simply note the positions in the row of the two originally chosen variables!

7) We turn our back around again so that we can not see anything. We then ask them to turn the tablet that they are thinking of face up.

8) We then simply ask them to swap about the two outer face down tablets.

9) We ask them to swap the two inner face down tablets about.

10) Finally we ask the spectator to turn the face up tablet face down again.

At this point we turn our back around to face the spectator.
We simply note which one of the two initially chosen tablets is still in its original position in the row. That will be the variable the spectator is thinking of!

This logic should always work 100% of the time.
Andy Moss
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There is actually no need to introduce the data variables gradually with respect to the five variable methodology athough this is one approach to doing it.

We could have a person mentally choose any card out of five as they are fanning through the cards in their hand and then lay the cards face down in a row. We secretly ascertain from the back markings the identity of the first and the last cards of the row.

We then turn our back.

1) We have them place a coin on top of their face down thought of card wherever it might be in the row. We emphasis that we could not possibly know which card the coin has been placed upon as our back is turned and we can see nothing.

2) We then ask them to switch the two "inner most coinless cards".

3) We ask them to switch the two "outer most coinless cards".

4) We ask them to switch the "first and third coinless cards".

5) We ask them to switch the "second and fourth coinless cards".

6) We now ask the person to take the coin off their thought of card.

Cards remain face down. We turn our back around to face the person.

We are now in the position to apply simple logic to ascertain which one of the five cards is the card that the person is thinking of. If the first card of the row is not where it should be then we rule this out and the card now in its place. Ditto for the last card. This leaves us with only one card their thought of card could be!

Just an alternative Hummer like approach to a presentation for a row of five variables. Try it with esp cards first which generally already come with inbuilt markings on the back.
Andy Moss
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I am reminded of another approach to positioning data in a row as employed by the late genius Stewart James in his effect 'Strangers from Two Worlds.(The Essential Stewart James p.147).

Various magicians (inspired by James) have subsequently improved upon this basic and direct 'swapping about' technique which is best done with five variables.

Let us now follow a Max Maven style presentation which I have adapted to my own needs. I have added a subtle touch at the end which allows us to ascertain everything we need to know about our data identification.

Three colour cards. Red, yellow, blue.

1) We place three envelopes in a row which from our perspective have the following symbols upon them. Circle, triangle, square.

2) We then turn our back. We ask the person to randomly place the colour cards upon the envelopes one to each envelope.

3) Yellow card swapped with red card.

4) Card on circle envelope swapped with card on triangle envelope.

5) "If it is possible to do so" Yellow card swapped with the card to its right.

6) "If it is possible to do so" Red card swapped with the card to its left.

7) "If it is possible to do so" Blue card swapped with the card to its right.

8) Swap "whatever colour card happens to be on the triangle envelope with the card on on the square envelope."

9) Swap "whatever colour card happens to be on the square envelope with the card on the circle envelope".

10) Now please place all the colour cards into their respective envelopes.

11) Finally please swap the middle envelope with the left one.

You will find that through this procedure that the envelopes will end up in known positions left to right triangle, circle, square. The colour cards will be either Blue, yellow, red or alternatively Yellow, blue, red.

At this point we can now proceed as follows.

12) We say to the spectator "Please pick up whatever envelope happens to be on the right in the row and place it in your right pocket.(Note that this will always be the square envelope containing the red colour card).

13) Now please take the envelope "that seems to you to contain the warmer colour of the two colour cards remaining" and place this envelope in your left pocket.

14) Now please cover the remaining envelope with your hand so that I cannot see it.

It will now be apparent to you as to the nature of the reveal.All three colours are now known to us!
Andy Moss
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In the original Stewart James 'Strangers from two Worlds' presentation the first and last data variables are directly eliminated in a row of five variables utilizing a number of initial swaps related to the position of the variable in the row. Then any odd number of swaps will of course bring the variable to the centre of the three remaining varibles.

This is basic but admittedly efficient.The only way I see of improving upon the approach is to better disguise the choosing of the odd number of swaps. The following is a means of doing so and continues on the theme of using colour.

Five colour cards. GREEN,RED,BROWN,WHITE,BLACK.

You will note that all the names of the colours contain an odd amount of letters! That is to say we are now in the position where we can simply have a spectator use their thought off colour to make the moves! Much more subtle I think.
Andy Moss
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Let us now move onto an innovative alternative to swapping variables about. I am going to maintain consistancy by once again using colour to provide one possible presentation.

Enjoy some icecream and get yourself six Haagen Dazs wooden spoon sticks:)

Now colour the sides of the sticks as follows.

white/black.
Red/Dark blue.
Yellow/dark green.
Orange/purple.
Lime green/brown.
Pink/sky blue.

Note that the first colour of any pairing on any stick is a warm and bright colour and that the last colour within any pairing might be considered to be a duller/darker/colder colour.

Patter will relate to Heimdall's responsibilities in guarding the Bifrost bridge.

Image cards relating to the following major norse gods/figures given to spectator. The names are on the back.

BALDER.
HEIMDALL.
SLEIPNIR.
FRIGGA.
ODIN.
LOKI.
HELA.
SURT.
FENRIR.
FREYJA.
THOR.

1) Have the spectator randomly mix about/turn over the six sticks on a surface.

2) We note how many colours after this mix are showing face up as bright/warm colours. We remember simply if this total amount is an odd or even number. We will call this our first parity.

3) We turn our back.

4) we have the spectator mentally choose any deity and to undertake turnovers of the sticks as they silently spell each letter of the name of their deity.

Now it will be noted (unbeknown to the spectator) that since all the norse names have an even amount of letters to them that the spectator will therefore always be turning over the sticks an even amount of times. Thus even is always our second parity.

5) At the end of the turnovers we then ask the spectator to cover any of the six sticks with their hand.

6) We turn about to face the spectator again. We note the amount of bright colours showing face up on the remaining five sticks. We remember this total amount as being odd or even. This is our third parity.

It is easy to determine the individual stick. It will just take a second or so. Just recite the following lines to yourself (rainbowlike in sequence an aid memoire) as you view the five sticks visible to you on the table.

"Red, orange, yellow, light green, light blue, black"

O.k so now we know the pairing of the stick under the spectator's hand...... But how do we ascertain whether bright or dark colour showing face up?

The answer lies in majority rule.

O means odd.
E means even.

We have our three parities in our mind.If two of the three parities are even then the colour is dark. If two of the three parities are odd then the colour must be the bright colour of the pairing.

If all three parities are even then the colour face up under hand will always be dark.
Andy Moss
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Using a simple binary coded distribution is yet another means to ascertaining the identity of a variable mentally choosen by a spectator. The problem with the usual basic presentation is that it generally lacks subtlety. The following presentation of mine is more enhanced. Unfortunately I cannot think of a presentation that uses colour this time so the following will have to do!

Feather, Cork, Paperclip Marble.

A, B, C, D,

We also require four small opaque plastic vitamin pots or any like containers/tins. Importantly when inside the pots the items cannot be seen.

Now it will become apparent to us that we will be able to readily discern the identity of the contents if the items are placed within the pots and we pick up a pot one in each hand. We can tell from both the weight and the movement within the pot.

1) We first ask the spectator to mentally think of any of the four items. We then turn our back.We cannot see anything.

2) Spectator randomly mixes up all the pots. They then place the items one each to each pot before mixing up the filled pots and placing them in a row.

3) Only then do we turn our back around again to face the spectator.

4) We ask the spectator to push any two pots forward from the row.

5) We pick up the left pot with left hand and the right pot in right hand.

6) We ask them to tell us if their item is one of the two items hidden unknown within the two pots currently held in your hand. They are to answer simply yes or no but must importantly always answer truthfully.

Now we keep repeating the procedure for 4 to 6 whilst gaining our identity of the two items within the pots each time we pick up the pots.

The subtlety is that the spectator is making all the choices each time. The assumption of the spectator is also that we cannot possibly know what objects are in the pots.Thus the binary approach is well hidden.

We just have to remain patient until the following three combinations have been offered for us to discern.

BC
BD
CD

We make our reveal of the item BEFORE all the pots are opened up.

Now if we want to make our presentation more interesting then we could have TWO spectators each thinking of an object at the same time. They secretly decide between them as to the role they want to play one choosing to be truth teller and the other the liar (it does not matter just as long as each is consistent).

Now we can first identity which is the liar and which is the truth teller before divining the item that each spectator is thinking of!

As to the formula for the ascertaining of the code I will provide the coding for the truth teller and for the lie teller. N=NO. Y=YES.

Truth teller.

A=NNN
B=YYN
C=YNY
D=NYY

Liar.

A=YYY
B=NNY
C=NYN
D=YNN
Andy Moss
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You will note from the above binary presentation that we ignore all pair combinations offered to us that include the variable A.

It is however possible to use the same methodology but this time use FIVE variables in the mix. How so? Well we use a 'poison variable'. Let us say we are using five face down tarot cards that have inbuilt markings on the back.

Strength, The Empress, Justice, The Sun, Death.

"I want you to consider the cards carefully and to choose any one that appeals most to your character.."

Now unless you are unlucky enough to be unknowingly presenting the effect to a coven of repressed occultist witches Smile it is VERY unlikely that a person is going to consciously choose the Death card.

People are still wary of steering towards such a card unless they really have to. We will use this fact to our advantage.

So now we have five variables. A,B,C,D,E.
We may now ignore all offered pair combinations that involve either A or E.
Andy Moss
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The following will raise the bar a little higher. Nine colour cards.

RED, ORANGE, YELLOW, GREEN, BLUE, INDIGO, VIOLET, PINK, GREY.
A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I,

Grey is our poison variable and is used as a filler.

"Look through all the colour cards. You will see that there is a good selection....now please mentally choose any colour that appeals to you..perhaps your favourite colour whatever it happens to be.....o.k..do you have one?"

This time we choose the five card groupings ourselves that are relevant for each of the four questions. We importantly make sure that we diguise things by mixing up all the colour cards between each group selection. By doing this it will make the individual selections look random.

Q1=A,B,G,H,I =1 point.
Q2=B,D,F,H,I =2 points.
Q3=C,D,G,H,I =4 points.
Q4=E,F,G,H,I =8 points.

A=1 point.
B=3 points.
C=4 points.
D=6 points.
E=8 points.
F=10 points.
G=13 points.
H=15 points.
Slim King
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When I have time I'm going to read all of this in a row .. Thanks!!!! Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile
THE MAN THE SKEPTICS REFUSE TO TEST FOR ONE MILLION DOLLARS.. The Worlds Foremost Authority on Houdini's Life after Death.....
Andy Moss
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You are most welcome Slim King!

We have already seen that we can use the actual names of the varibles in play to subtly force a spectator to make swap moves that need to be either odd or even.

Now consider the following.

"Please mentally roll a die to any number in your mind. Now please roll a second die in the same manner.To ensure that you have different numbers let us say....please make one of the die values odd and the other even."

It all seems innocent enough does it not? Yet we have just ensured that the spectator will make an odd numbered amount of swaps/turnovers!

There are also other subtle ways in which we can 'mark' key variables. We do not have to just use the marked backs of cards. Another means is to use a thick and/or thin card and to have the card variables hidden within envelopes. This adds another layer to the deception.

Buy good stock card at a reputable stationaries. You will see that card will be sold in all manner of precise thicknesses. We just need to experiment in 'feeling' the difference, Remember the spectator will not suspect a thing. They are not looking for anything.
Andy Moss
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The following is an example of a presentation that uses envelopes and a thick card. We will be continuing with our colour theme.

Now it should already be apparent from the thread how easy it is to ascertain the identity of a variable from a row of variables if two of the cards are marked on the back. We could use both a thick and thin card together for the following presentation but it is more subtle and thought provoking to use just the thick card as our sole 'marker'.

This will not be easy to explain but I will do my best to be clear.

Four opaque mat black money envelopes each of which has a round colour label upon the face. Red, blue, yellow and green respectively. I am using four corresponding double sided colour cards for the spectator to fit inside the envelopes.

Our blue colour card is the thick card (the difference should be subtle and ought to pass examination.You will find that when you perform this that all the heat will be on the envelopes!)

We turn our back. We then have someone "mentally choose" any of the four colours. They insert the other three rejected colours into the envelopes so that none of these three colour cards match up with the colour label on their respective envelope. Their chosen colour card however goes into its correct colour label envelope.

The spectator is then asked to gather up the four filled envelopes and to mix them in the hand before handing them to you. Without any hesitation you immediately deal the four envelopes out into a row left to right in the spectator mixed up order.

You now claim to be able to name the colour "that you are merely thinking of".You claim nothing more that this at this stage.

You now introduce four blank banked cards each of which has a colour on the face (red, blue, yellow and green). On the blank backs of each of these cards is a large question mark.

Each question mark has been written with a black pen slightly differently so as to provide subtle back markings which importantly means these blank backed colour cards can be swapped about behind the envelopes with identity of the face colours remaining unknown until the reveal.

Now we know from the feel of the envelopes as we dealt them out onto the table in which colour label envelope the blue card resides.Thus we place OUR blue prediction card face down under this envelope whatever its colour.

We also know the respective colour label on the envelope that happens to contain the blue card. So we take a note of this colour label and we take the same colour prediction card from amongst OUR cards and we place it under the blue labelled envelope.

This leaves us with two colour prediction cards in our hand and two remaining colour labelled envelopes. What we do now is to simply match our two colour cards with their identical colored label envelopes.

Now there are two avenues for the reveal. Out of the two colour cards that match their envelopes we take one and we swap the colour card with whatever of OUR prediction colour cards that happens to be placed under the envelope that has the BLUE label upon it.We claim that this colour (relating to the colour card that we have just swapped with the blue label prediction card) is the one out of the four colours that they are thinking of.

Then following two outcomes apply.

1) You are wrong..it is the other colour.... BUT all your prediction cards should now match with the hidden colour cards within the envelopes.You can patter something on the lines of...

"Not surprising that I do not know where your mentally selected colour is....after all how could I possibly know where any of the colour cards are in the envelopes?"

Then show that not only is their mentally chosen colour card the only colour card that matches with its colour label envelope but that you have correctly predicted where all the other three colours lie!

2) The prediction colour card swapped IS the card that they are thinking of.A successful reveal!! On the back of this proceed as follows. Immediately claim to the spectator that you are now going to attempt something even more challenging and that will be to identity the whereabouts of ALL FOUR colour cards hidden within all of the envelopes.

Since you now possess all the data you need to do this openly swap the colours about so that all the prediction cards match precisely with the colour cards within the envelopes. Then make your reveals of each envelope and matching prediction card.

100% success each time in both scenarios as it will seem to your audience.
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