Mini-Mysteries - Touched by a Wizard

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This page contains effects from the distant past that have been revisited and "touched by a Wizard" to bring them up to date.

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Click on the pictures or the INFO buttons for a brief description of the effect from the article.
Please note: There are NO refunds on magical secrets.
Once you learn the secret, you cannot unlearn it, so you can't request a refund.



Thayer's Forcit Box

This interesting little box, invented by Floyd Thayer in the 1940's, will force a dime or a penny of certain date, a color (by using colored tiddlywinks), or tags upon which letters or numbers or words have been printed. One of these boxes today costs over $250, if you can get one at auction. I'll show you my Wizards' secret for building one for a buck ($1.00) along with a "new and improved" method of working it.



Louis Haley's Orange and Apple

This was originally sold by Thayer in the 1920's using a (for the time) realistic orange and apple carved of wood! My "Wizard-Touched" version brings the apple and orange to life using the real fruit. The apple (I use a green apple for my routine) is covered with a green bandana, and the orange is covered by an orange bandana. The spectator holds one and I hold the other. After I teach the spectator the Wizard's Transposition spell, he reaches into his green bandana and discovers that he is now holding the orange, while I now have the apple in mine. Both the real apple and real orange and two unprepared bandanas may then be used in other effects.



Spirit Print Card Trick by Evans Brown

A card is selected and remembered before returning it to the pack. A clear glass tumbler is exhibited and a blank faced card (which can be examined) is placed into it. The person who selected the card from the deck now concentrates on the card. Through the tumbler, it is seen that the blank card has changed into the selected card, which may then be removed and tossed on the table. No chemicals are used. No mirror glass used. Spellbinder's "Wizard-Touched" modern version included.



Winston Freer's Tile Deal Puzzle

A puzzle in which 63 squares, divided into 10 separate tiles, are arranged and rearranged so that they always occupy the same space (63 square inches, for example) but each time the tiles are rearranged, one tile is left out of the reassembly until you are left at the end with three separate tiles that will not fit back in. Yet you still have 63 squares every time you do this. I give you the original templates for making this yourself from cardboard, vinyl floor tiles from the Dollar Store, hardboard or thin wood.



Thayer's Pop Up Color Change Silk

There are many color changing silk effects, but as far as I know, this is the only version that can be done with one hand. A silk handkerchief, of a solid color, is shown and it is crumpled, with one hand only, into the fist. Then the fist is opened and a silk handkerchief of a totally different, and vividly contrasting color pops up. Both hands are shown empty. My "Wizard-Touched" Variations show how to do multiple color changes, mismades and blendos using the same simple principle.



Thimblerigging for Thimble Flingers
By Professor Spellbinder

I know, I know! Thimblerig is another name for the three shell game, but it also can describe any sneaky cheat used by con artists or (gasp!) magicians. So I have used the term to describe three special thimble gimmicks you can make to enhance any thimble manipulations you might be tempted to accomplish with pure sleight of hand. If this offends anyone, I am deeply honored.

I have heard it argued (mainly by those who have never tried it) that performing any kind of magic routine with thimbles is passť. Obviously, this e-Book is not for those “thimble-bashers.”

The first “Thimblerig” is by Floyd Thayer. In order to sell thimble effects, Thayer had to provide some basic instructions in thimble magic sleights that his customers could easily master. We include them in this e-Book as well, along with other basic sleights that might be needed to make use of the thimblerigs.



Evolutionary Slate of Mind
by Professor Spellbinder

This effect can be traced back to the 1940's when German magician Stanley Jaks invented his Supersonic Card Prediction. We trace its evolution through several generations of magicians' "improvements" up to the present day Slate of Mind, and end with my own 2009 version which is the simplest of all (in my humble opinion). Meanwhile the effect remains about the same; a prediction is made, a card is chosen, and the card matches the prediction. How each version gets the job done is the fun.

Note: This is NOT any related to commercial effects on the market today that have usurped the Slate of Mind name, such as Lefler's version of the Hen Fetsch Mental Epic, or the Book Test by Maverick Magic.



The REAL Panama Rope Mystery
by Professor Spellbinder and Jim Gerrish

Ted Collins' Panama Rope Mystery was published in the Tarbell Course of Magic (Volume 2) in 1942, the same year that "Colonel Collins of the U.S. Army" won a trophy for the best rope magic effect of the I.B.M Convention in Fort Worth, TX. Over the next few years, "Professor Collins of Mecca Magic Studios" polished and refined his effect. He revealed the subtleties and special handling only to his students, and now two of them are ready to pass this information along so it won't be lost to magic.



The Chest of Cagliostro
By Professor Spellbinder

In the Memoirs of Robert-Houdin there is a description of an effect performed by Robert-Houdin in 1846 that can only be described as an experiment in time travel back to the time of the alchemist Cagliostro. In 1960, Robert Harbin re-enacted his own version of the effect on television, going back in time to Robert-Houdin. We examine both effects and then come up with a new simplified version, "touched by a wizard." So whom shall we go back in time to visit? You decide.



Germain’s Silk to Egg Revisited
By Professor Spellbinder

So old, it's new. Karl Germain's version has these advantages over the usual silk to egg effect:

It seems like entirely new trick. If you are used to doing any of the traditional silk to egg effects in your show, you will enjoy substituting this one for a change of pace, especially for audiences who have seen your act once or twice before.

It takes time and effort to prepare, which leaves out the magic shop magician who buys everything at a magic shop and performs it right out of the box exactly according to the directions. This version leaves some openings for you to get creative. You are not likely to have any competition from other magicians in your area performing the same effect (until after they have seen you do it!).

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