Conjuring Credits

The Origins of Wonder

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Spectator Cuts the Aces Ruse

The idea here is that the first cut is forced at a break near center to form two piles, each with two Aces on top. Then each pile is freely cut again to form four piles. Two Aces are turned up and dropped onto the two null piles. Then the other two Aces are turned up and dropped on the piles from which they came. Visual confusion makes it seem as if each pile had an Ace on top. An early precursor to this idea appeared in Bob Veeser's brief entry in Ed Marlo's Faro Controlled Miracles, 1964, p. 64. He used a single bluff. Marlo mentions the possibility (although a risky one) of cutting only three piles and using the bluff twice.

Ian Baxter seems to have created the basic double-bluff ruse as described above, and published it within his “P.P.P.P.” from Linking Ring, Vol. 49 No. 10, Oct. 1969, p. 66-68. Later, Paul Harris (“Silver and Aces,” The Magic of Paul Harris, 1976, p. 49), Al Smith (“Cross-Over Aces,” The Talon, No. 2, p. 13, c. 1980), Father Cyprian (“Swindle Cut Aces,” The Elegant Card Magic of Father Cyprian, 1980, p. 10), Gary Ouellet (“Three Second Wonder,” The Close-up Illusions of Gary Ouellet, Volume One, 1981; VHS), and Shigeo Takagi (“Who Cuts First?” The Amazing Miracles of Shigeo Takagi, 1990, p. 40, and “To the Cut,” Apocalypse, Vol. 13 No. 4, Apr. 1990, p. 1770) published variant handlings of the Baxter idea. Interestingly, this ruse, according to Genii, Vol. 62 No. 8, Aug. 1999, p. 43, was also used by Frank Thompson. Cy Keller also credits Thompson in his Lecture 1.1, c. 1979, p. 3.