Conjuring Credits

The Origins of Wonder

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Menu Bill Prediction

In this effect, the total price of dishes picked by the spectator is predicted. Karl Fulves published this plot as “Soup to Nuts” in Self-Working Paper Magic, 1985, p. 108. As outlined in his Errata No. 1, 2015, p. 7, Fulves was inspired by Martin Gardner's principle in “Gardner's Card Speller” in Joe Berg's Here's New Magic, 1937, p. 3. Instead of spelling words of different length, the routine adds dishes of different prices, while still arriving at a predetermined total by adjusting the available choices on the fly.

Other number forces have been applied to the plot, like Paul John Flory's “The 5040 Prediction” in The Linking Ring, Vol. 61 No. 2, Feb. 1981, p.67, in which numbers chosen from different lists add up to a predicted total. Larry Becker applied a different presentation to it in “The Price is Right”, Magic Magazine, Vol. 3 No. 5, Feb./Mar. 1982, p. 39. That principle has also been used with Fulves's menu theme, see Fred Rosenbaum's variation “Chinese Menu” in Syzygy, Vol. 2 No. 7, 1995, p. 118.

Another approach is to use a multiple out prediction to allow for different totals, see Stephen Tucker's “Menu” in his notes 1987 Lecture, p. 6.

(Related in theme is Eddie Joseph's routine “The Menu Mystery” from A Magician Goes to Dinner, 1954, p. 20. Joseph predicts the menu that someone will put together. Methodically, however, this has nothing to do with the mathematical systems of the Gardner/Fulves or the Flory routines.)