TRIVIA QUIZ: Charlie Miller

Discuss the historical aspects of magic, including memories, or favorite stories.

Postby Jon Racherbaumer » 07/13/04 01:47 PM

A TRIVIA QUIZ ON CHARLES EARLE MILLER

This quiz was compiled about thirty years ago when I entertained the daft notion of writing a large (400-page) trivia book about magic, tricks, sleights, and magicians. At the time I thought that it would make a nice bedside or bathroom book. Besides, lots of trivia books were being written back then and the game, Trivial Pursuit, was getting traction in the marketplace. Since that time many writers have published trivia columns, the most recent being Max Mavens in Genii magazine. There have also been a few Jeopardy-type quizzes enacted at various venues, supposedly to test many so-called trivia experts that are sprinkled around magicdom.

This short quiz is tough. There are only 20 questions. If you can answer at least half of them off the top of your head, you are a true trivia expert. If you can answer 15-20 of the questions after consulting our literature, you get high marks for knowing where to look. The answers will be posted later on my Website: www.JonRacherbaumer.com.

1) How old was Charlie Miller when he became interested in magic?

2) What is the date of his birth and in which city?

3) When and where did he learn his first tricks?

4) Who initially inspired him?

5) What was his first magic book?

6) How old was he when he first began studying this book?

7) Who taught him to Han Ping-Chien coin trick?

8) Who did he think invented sponge balls?

9) Who actually invented them?

10) Before he moved from his home town to California, he stopped at a city and then lived there for a couple of years? What is the name of that city?

11) What did his father do for a living?

12) How old was he when he decided to be a professional magician?

13) Which year?

14) When he moved to Los Angles he met Manuel, Master of the Mighty Dollar. What was his real name?

15) When was Miller drafted?

16) Which branch did he serve under?

17) Who did he replace in the U.S.O. shows?

18) Did he invent the Buckle Count?

19) 19) Which years did he write the Magicana section of Genii?

20) Did he write An Evening with Charlie Miller (1961)?

Send answers or comments to me at: VoxSite@aol.com
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Postby Bill Mullins » 07/14/04 08:22 AM

Jon -- You have stumped us (me, at least). I was 0 for 20.
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Postby Guest » 07/14/04 09:22 AM

Come on you guys! This is easy - Charlie was born in 1909, in Indianapolis. His brother showed him his first trick at age 7. El Paso is the place he lived before LA, He was in the Army, Paul Rosini was the magician that , oops I forgot the question... Uh, Charles Maly figures prominently in his early years, though there are conflicting accounts of his first mentor. He learned the buckle count from Cantu, I think it was, only considered two things he did original, one was the waterfall control, the other was an ace assembly, if I remember right...

more in a minute, I have to go baack and read the rest of the quiz - should just print it, huh?

Best, PSC
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Postby Guest » 07/14/04 09:26 AM

Bob Thomas was Manuel, Master of the Mighty Dollar, Hatton and Plate was his first book, Magicana started in November of 1964, and ended on differing dates, depending how you keep track. Charlie took ill in the early 80's and was replaced for a while by various writers, then came back for a while, then died. No, he didn't write "An Evening with...", Bob Parrish did. That's it from memory right now...

Best, PSC
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Postby Guest » 07/14/04 09:30 AM

On the Rosini thing, that's who taught him the Han Pien Chien, I think...

Best, PSC
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Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » 07/14/04 10:07 AM

Originally posted by Jon Racherbaumer:

9) Who actually invented them [sponge balls]?
Jessie Lybarger, I believe. (Spelling may be incorrect, though.)

-Jim
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Postby John Bodine » 07/14/04 11:15 AM

A wonderful thread, thanks Jon for starting it off with the questions, and as expected, Mr. Chosse for sharing his knowledge of this relatively unknown magician. I say relatively unknown because the average "club" magician will know little to nothing about this master.

I understand at one point there was talk of a book of Charlie's material, writings, touches, etc. in the works but it was shelfed, that would certainly be a worthwhile endeavor I'm sure. I for one would be delighted in such a tome.

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Postby Guest » 07/14/04 12:08 PM

There's lots more to be said about Charlie Miller. Jon started with some great questions, and I haven't run to the library yet for the rest of the answers, but I know I could find them if I look.

There is an unpublished manuscript by Frank Csuri which is comprised of the letters from Charlie to Faucett Ross over a thirty year period. The other side of that correspondence was the basis for the Faucett Ross book. Too bad no one has ever done a Charlie Miller book from those notes.

The other thing that has been mentioned many times is a compilation of the Magicana columns. What a great book this would be! I don't really want it to happen, since I have them all already, but the rest of the magic community would certainly benefit. Charlie is the single most underrated magician of all time, in my opinion.

I was lucky that one of my close friends, Jack McMillen, was Charlie's friend for over 60 years. As a result of that, I was introduced to Charlie by Jack, and got to know him more intimately than might otherwise have been the case. Charlie's knowledge of magic ran the gamut from self-working to closeup, standup, stage and illusion, gambling, etc. It really was encyclopedic. You could ask Charlie just about anything and he had good input. The sessions I had with him were always jam-packed with magic trivia, small details, handlings, tips on dress, discussions of music, etc.

For some reason, people who were close to Charlie tend to keep quiet about it. I know that Charlie was very close-mouthed, and when he was alive, you really didn't break a confidence, or he would be really mad. But he is gone now, and it just seems like it is time to share what a great guy he was, and to perpetuate his memory in some positive ways. I wish people who knew him well would do something to share thier information...

Best, PSC
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Postby Richard Lane » 07/14/04 04:45 PM

I hate to distract this thread away from further thought of Mr. Miller, but could Mr. Racherbaumer be persuaded to post his 'Sticks & Stones' Erdnase trivia challenge from 1977?
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Postby Jon Racherbaumer » 07/14/04 05:19 PM

Good responses by all, particularly from the Chosse-meister...although the guy who taught Miller the coin move was Rolland Hamblen, not Rosini. BTW, Charlie Miller supposedly invented the "bean shooter" hold-out.

Here is the Erdnase quiz:

SHORT ERDNASE QUIZ
Jon Racherbaumer

This was originally published in STICKS & STONES #9, back in the 70s.

Every cardman claims to have read Erdnases The Expert at the Card Table, regardless of whether or not they have really read it. Who will challenge them?

Not many.

One thing is reasonably certain: Most cardmen have not studied Erdnase. That is, they do not know details. Here, for example, are some questions for serious students of Erdnase. Those truly informed will not have to consult the text.

1) Is the Double Lift mentioned anywhere? If so, where?
2) Is the Riffle Force described?
3) Are any glimpses mentioned? If so, how many?
4) Is the principle of roughing mentioned? If so, where?
5) How does Erdnase recommend to mark cards?
6) Are hold-outs recommended?
7) Which sleight did Erdnase consider the most highly prized among professionals?
8) Does Erdnase describe a Multiple Shift? Where?
9) Which technique does he say is used almost exclusively with marked cards?
10) What is Skinning the Hand?
11) Does Erdnase encourage full deck control at the card table? (Zarrow shufflers take note.)
12) How many full-deck Blind Shuffles does Erdnase describe? Which one is now mistakenly referred to as a Zarrow-type Shuffle?
13) Who was Erdnasereally?

Have fun...

Onward...
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Postby Guest » 07/15/04 12:29 AM

Originally posted by Jon Racherbaumer:
Good responses by all, particularly from the Chosse-meister...although the guy who taught Miller the coin move was Rolland Hamblen, not Rosini. BTW, Charlie Miller supposedly invented the "bean shooter" hold-out.

Here is the Erdnase quiz:

SHORT ERDNASE QUIZ
Jon Racherbaumer

This was originally published in STICKS & STONES #9, back in the 70s.

Every cardman claims to have read Erdnases The Expert at the Card Table, regardless of whether or not they have really read it. Who will challenge them?

Not many.

One thing is reasonably certain: Most cardmen have not studied Erdnase. That is, they do not know details. Here, for example, are some questions for serious students of Erdnase. Those truly informed will not have to consult the text.

1) Is the Double Lift mentioned anywhere? If so, where?
yes, sort of - in the Palm Change in the Legerdermain section

2) Is the Riffle Force described?
Again, sort of - in determining a thought of card, the first method, you pause in the "ruffle" to force the spec to think of that card...


3) Are any glimpses mentioned? If so, how many?
Yes, though some may be questionable - in the ordinary method of locating cards there are two methods, then there is a method for ascertaining the top cards and reserving them at the bottom, then in the legerdermain section there are three in two, maybe three short paragraphs - can't remember the heading, offhand...

4) Is the principle of roughing mentioned? If so, where?
Yes, under marked cards, specifically for Faro

5) How does Erdnase recommend to mark cards?
With blockout work

6) Are hold-outs recommended?
No, quite the opposite - the expert disdains them...

7) Which sleight did Erdnase consider the most highly prized among professionals?
The bottom deal

8) Does Erdnase describe a Multiple Shift? Where?
Yes, under the Diagonal Palm Shift

9) Which technique does he say is used almost exclusively with marked cards?
The second deal

10) What is Skinning the Hand?
Sorting the extra cards from your hand when you are heavy

11) Does Erdnase encourage full deck control at the card table? (Zarrow shufflers take note.)
No

12) How many full-deck Blind Shuffles does Erdnase describe? Which one is now mistakenly referred to as a Zarrow-type Shuffle?
Five, but the last one hardly counts since he says it is hardly useful for scoolchildren! The third method is commonly compared to the Zarrow

13) Who was Erdnasereally?
Jeff Busby...

Have fun...

Onward...
Best, PSC
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Postby Guest » 07/16/04 05:46 PM

Jon got this started, and I couldn't resist, so:
New quiz on Erdnase:

1.)What does he say about hand size?

2.)Where does he mention Royalty?

3.)If, when Bottom Dealing, it is necessary to deal cards consecutively, what does Erdnase suggest as an aid to dealing successfully?

4.) Again in Bottom Dealing - what does Erdnase consider to be "the most favorable conditions" under which to bottom deal?

5.) And finally - Under what circumstances should a normal dealing action not be attempted/duplicated when bottom dealing?

6.) There is a striking example of poor grammar in Erdnase, which is jarring considering the overall tone of the book. It may be a colloquialism, but it is not indicated by quotation marks, or anything else. What is it, and where?

7.)Erdnase says there is but one time when the expert will hold out, THEN describes an exception. When DOES the expert hold out, and what is the exception? How many methods does he give to do this?

Thanks, Jon, for getting me started on this. I forgot how much fun it can be! Hope you have a good time with this - then maybe someone will do one on something else...

Best, PSC
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Postby Richard Lane » 07/16/04 06:39 PM

6)The Erdnase minstrel sketch in the introduction jars the heck out of me.

However, I do wonder if the spellings could be traced to other texts, or if regional variations of such vernacular place S.W.E from a particular region.
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Postby Guest » 07/16/04 07:24 PM

1.)What does he say about hand size?
That size doesn't affect your skill. (p. 24)
3.)If, when Bottom Dealing, it is necessary to deal cards consecutively, what does Erdnase suggest as an aid to dealing successfully?
To crimp or jog them. (pp. 55-56)

4.) Again in Bottom Dealing - what does Erdnase consider to be "the most favorable conditions" under which to bottom deal?
When the amount of cards in the deck is minimal. (p. 55)

5.) And finally - Under what circumstances should a normal dealing action not be attempted/duplicated when bottom dealing?
When dealing stud poker and turning the cards up in a stud fashion. (p. 57)

6.) There is a striking example of poor grammar in Erdnase, which is jarring considering the overall tone of the book. It may be a colloquialism, but it is not indicated by quotation marks, or anything else. What is it, and where?
"Lighting don't strike in the same place often..." (p. 79)

7.)Erdnase says there is but one time when the expert will hold out, THEN describes an exception. When DOES the expert hold out, and what is the exception? How many methods does he give to do this?
He says that the only time you should hold out is during the cut when you are the dealer. The exception is replacing cards when the deck is passed to you for a cut. Erdnase provides three methods. (pp. 110-111 and pp. 113-114)
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Postby Guest » 07/17/04 06:55 AM

Nicely done, Cameron!

I did have a different response in mind for #4, though. Nothing wrong with your answer, just that the one I have in mind is more situational...

Best, PSC
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Postby Guest » 07/17/04 10:56 AM

Paul,

Perhaps you meant that the most favorable conditions are when the player to whom the bottom cards will be dealt is seated third; the dealer can deal two cards one-handed and then begin dealing two-handed, starting with a bottom deal. The action of bringing the hands together covers the movement required to execute the bottom deal. (p. 57)

Maybe this is where that crazy Vernon guy got the whacky idea that the "larger action covers the smaller action."
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Postby Guest » 07/18/04 01:09 PM

Right Cameron, though the "seat" is not so important as the combination of one and two-handed dealing is... THAT is what I was getting at. I don't know very many people that are comfortable doing the mixed deal, and Erdnase is pretty confident as to its' reliability.

Best, PSC
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Postby Guest » 07/18/04 09:28 PM

Has anyone found the five technical errors in Erdnase (two of which, apparently, even Dai Vernon was unaware)?
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Postby Edwin Corrie » 07/19/04 03:17 PM

Darwin Ortiz points out the five errors in his "Annotated Erdnase", and mentions Gary Plants as the source of at least one of them. They are also listed in an anonymous review of the Dover edition (by "a reader" from Canada) on amazon.com, of all places.
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Postby Edwin Corrie » 07/19/04 03:21 PM

P.S.
Sorry, it's late here and I don't feel like going through my Annotated Erdnase, but the Amazon review is still there. Just go to Amazon, search for "Erdnase" and check out the reviews.
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Postby Guest » 08/16/07 07:06 AM

Anyone want to give this Erdnase Trivia Quiz a try? There are some trick questions in here, but they can all be answered with just a copy of Expert.

1. Name two games Erdnase admits to playing and being cheated.

2. Although he mentions the use of riffle stacking is limited, where does Erdnase suggest performing it to add two cards to a stock?

3. Does Erdnase ever mention palm reading? Where?

4. At one point Erdnase makes a metaphor comparing himself to a bird and then a bear- where?

5. When does Erdnase mention performing for children?

6. Where does Erdnase mention a key card?

7. On what page does Erdnase mention 9 separate passes?

8. Erdnase gives step by step directions for two double dukes. Where are they?

9. Where does Erdnase say that magicians never shuffle on a table?

10. When is the last time Erdnase mentions friction in the book?

11. Where does Erdnase mistakenly mention altering womens clothing?
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