"How to Make a Rabbit Disappear" puzzle by Steinmeyer

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Postby David Garrity » 12/02/09 02:21 AM

Hello,

I am trying to run down the name of the principle that this puzzle, that was included with an issue of Genii about a year and a half ago, is based upon.

I have the insert itself, but not the narrow piece that held it in the magazine that I believe had the explanation and name of the actual principle that made it work.

Any help would be appreciated.

Sincerely,
David
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 12/02/09 02:37 AM

It's called the Principle of Concealed Distribution. All you do is switch the positions of the top two pieces.
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Postby Matthew Field » 12/02/09 06:13 AM

The principle has been explored brilliantly by the great puzzlemeister Sam Loyd (Teddy and the Lions, Get Off the Earth)and was the basis of the trick "The Vanishing Leprechaun" by Pat Lyons (wife of P. Howard Lyons) and Bill Elliott. It is also the basis of the trick in which you present a dollar bill which has been cut into 4 pieces, you turn the bill over and mix up the pieces, asking the spec to reassemble the pieces into the dollar. When he does so, the portrait of George Washington is missing -- there's a square hole in the bill. You reproduce it from an envelope.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 12/02/09 09:00 AM

Anyone got a handling of that puzzle where it might actually fool someone? IE the way you turn the pieces over hides the right/left reversal and you can claim a magical result?

On a related item - the puzzle piecies one (the rectangle of numbered squares for example) an "always room for one more" presentation might play well.
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Postby David Garrity » 12/02/09 01:47 PM

Richard,

Thank you! That is exactly what I was looking for, the name of the principle.

Now that I have the name of the principle, I can properly search out versions of this.

Thank you again!

Sincerely,
David
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 12/02/09 04:05 PM

There's quite a bit written about the principle and the puzzle in Martin Gardner's book Magic, Mathematics, and Mystery (probably have those in the wrong order!).
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Postby Matthew Field » 12/03/09 05:40 AM

"Mathematics, Magic and Mystery" (Dover Books).
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 12/03/09 07:17 AM

How about a handling that works as a magic trick?
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Postby Van McGee » 12/03/09 12:52 PM

Wilbur Kattner sold a trick called "Houdini Vanishes" that uded it.
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Postby Max Maven » 12/03/09 07:23 PM

Jonathan Townsend wrote:How about a handling that works as a magic trick?


Such has been done by many, including Winston Freer, Masao Atsukawa, Karl Fulves, Ton Onosaka, Mark Setteducati...

And, the first to devise a version with rabbits was Paul Curry.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 12/04/09 09:50 AM

Good morning,

here's a link to the rabbits item Max mentioned above: http://books.google.com/books?id=VbnVFX ... q=&f=false

How specifically does this artwork integrate into a handling where the audience misses the rearrangement process, actually goes looking for the missing item - and what's worked to produce he errant item in a way that feels (to the audience) that it did move?

Puzzled in Westchester, NY

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Postby David Garrity » 12/16/09 01:49 AM

Hello,

I just wanted to pop in here again and thank everyone for the terrific info regarding this principle and it's applications.

Sincerely,
David
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