The Holy Dixie Cup by David Devlin

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Tom Frame
Posts: 996
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Del Ray
Location: San Francisco

The Holy Dixie Cup by David Devlin

Postby Tom Frame » July 11th, 2014, 1:33 pm

The Holy Dixie Cup (PDF) by David Devlin $8.00
13 pages
Available at: http://www.lybrary.com/the-holy-dixie-cup-p-496735.html


For a month or so, I’ve sensed a great, sucking void in Cardopia. Something has been missing. What could it be?

And then it dawned on me. No one has recently proffered their latest, whiz-bang method of performing ACAAN! Yeah, that’s it!

This realization struck me like the wet kiss at the end of a hot fist. I was relieved, but pained.

Apparently, Cardopia deplores a void. In its frenzied compulsion to plug that hole, it inspired not one but two gentlemen to send me their methods of performing what some continue to fatuously call “The Holy Grail” of card magic.

For now, I’ll focus my attention on the pasteboard Panama that David Devlin has pitched into the recombinant ring.

First, click on the link above to read the hype.

Your eyes will quickly be diverted to the bee-sting lips and bountiful cleavage of the jail-bait chick whose image graces the cover of the PDF.

Okay, you’ve read the misleading description of the effect and lingered far too long on the cover photo. Pay attention as I provide an obsessively detailed description of what the crowd actually sees.


A participant freely thinks of any number between 1 and 52. A second participant freely thinks of any card. The performer spreads through the deck, with the faces toward him. He removes a card and tables it in front of participant #2, sight unseen.

Participant #2 names her card. Let’s say it’s the Eight of Spades. The performer recaps the proceedings. While doing so, he spreads through the deck again, with the faces toward him. He squares the deck.

The performer suggests that the face-down card in front of participant #2 is the Eight of Spades. The participant turns the card face up and it is the Queen of Hearts. Meanwhile, the performer cuts the deck. He places the Queen back into the deck.

Participant #1 announces that she thought of the number 23. The performer deals/counts cards from the top of the face-down deck onto the table, forming a face-down pile. When he has dealt about a dozen cards, he removes the bottom card of the deck and uses it to lever the tabled pile face up. He spread those cards to show that the Eight of Spades is not among them.

The performer turns the discard pile face down and resumes counting. After dealing the 22nd card, he stops. He sidejogs the top card of the deck, the 23rd card.

With his right hand, he removes the sidejogged card and hands it to participant #1. Simultaneously, his left hand turns the balance of the deck face up, turns the discard pile face up, deposits the deck on top of it and spreads the cards.

The participant turns the card face up and it is the Eight of Spades.


Mr. Devlin writes pretty well, in a subtly playful voice. He does a good job of teaching his method. He dutifully cites his inspirational sources. He also includes a link to a video in which he demonstrates and teaches his technique.

The author concedes that his method is not The Grail. The product’s name indicates that Mr. Devlin views it as a poor man’s ACAAN.

When Mr. Devlin tables the face-down card in front of the participant, and later discovers that it isn’t her card, he employs a line that he attributes to Dunninger:

“Darn! Sooner or later someone will say, ‘The Queen of Hearts’”

The author assures us that this bit of business is “a very funny gag.”

The alleged humor eludes me. I imagine that most lay folk will understandably conclude that the performer simply failed. Laughter doesn’t always indicate that the crowd is amused.

Furthermore, using another performer’s patter reveals a lack of creativity, and is unethical.

Mr. Devlin’s primary method is a sleight that he calls “Devlin’s Little Bottom”. This moniker is not an allusion to the author’s purportedly petite posterior. Rather, it indicates that his technique is a variant of a very old, very well known form of subterfuge.

Unfortunately, the author’s technique and his execution of the technique are painful to behold.

When he demonstrates the move in the video, it is abundantly clear what he is doing. He unwisely chooses to execute the technique when all eyes are burning the sidejogged card. He executes the move quickly, drawing even more unwanted attention to it.

Even if the crowd can’t unravel the specific technique, they will know that the performer did something. That awareness alone kills the magic.

Like a Dixie Cup, Mr. Devlin’s version of ACAAN is flimsy and disposable.


Not Recommended
"There is more to consciousness than meets the mind's eye." - Frame

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