Great Genii Routines

Published on Thursday, May 04, 2006 in , , , , ,

Genii Magazine May 2006This month's (May 2006) Genii Magazine features some great routines that will be of interest to readers of this blog.

First, there's Harry Lorayne's To-And-Fro Magic Square. This is a simpler magic square routine, quickly generated with any four numbers chosen by the audience. It's a simpler routine good for a point in your show where you need a simpler, more relaxed effect. It would also be great as a lead-in to a more complex and impressive magic square routine. You can find this routine in the Mathematical Wizardry book, as well (You can find my review of this book here). Just over a year ago, Genii published another magic square routine, called 4x4 Magic Square Breakthrough??, which is a more involved routine that is worth looking up.

Next, there's Seven, by Roberto Giobbi, who is best known for his Card College books. Seven is a card routine which he taught at the recent "Gathering for Gardner 7" (G4G7, for short). It's a self-working, mathematical routine in which you openly predict where a selected card will wind up, despite the audience determining how much the cards are mixed. It's a great variation of Gary Plants' routine, A Four-tunate Choice, from the September 1997 issue of Genii. As this routine is intended for an audience that isn't entirely magicians, there are some handlings that are almost too simple for the professional and amateur, but even the author acknowledges that Genii readers will quickly recognize where changes can be made to it.

The final routine I'll mention from this month's Genii isn't necessarily a memory- or math-based effect, but it is interesting nonetheless. Bob Farmer's Flim-FlaMagic column this month describes a routine called, One Faces South (Parodying the now-classic routine title, 51 Faces North). You show a paper depicting 51 cards face-up, and one card face down, and explain that there are 3 ways to discover the identity of the card - Have the performer reveal what it is, look at the other 51 cards, and use logic to determine the missing card, or through the use of an trans-cranial, intergalactic telepathic mind meld. Guess which one Bob Farmer proceeds with?

The spectator shuffles the deck, and then proceeds to recreate the situation shown in the picture that was just displayed. They deal out cards face-up in a circle, dealing a face-down card that is unknown, even to themselves, at any point. Any remaining cards are used to complete the circle. At this point, the magician brings the drawing back out and reveals the identity of the face-down card. To prove it, the spectator is asked to find all the cards of the same value in the picture. Naturally, only three of them can be found, confirming the identity of the face-down card in the picture. The face-down card that was dealt onto the rest of the deck is turned up, and shown to match the predicted card!

This is a great routine, and is well thought out, with a great synthesis between method and effect. If you are interested in performing One Faces South, however, you will need to make sure you have access to the February, March, April and May 2006 issues of Genii (ahh, these crafty magazine editors!).

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