The Triskadequadra Principle by John Hostler

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Postby Tom Frame » 12/14/12 06:02 PM

The Triskadequadra Principle (Ebook) by John Hostler $14.00 Paperback $20.00
23 pages, 3 diagrams, 2 photographs
Available at: www.lulu.com/spotlight/hostlermagic


I squealed with glee when John Hostlers latest ebook arrived at my review desk. I recommended his previous offerings The Rauschenberg Effect (1/21/09) and Cryptical Envelopment (6/25/12), so I shivered with antici.pation over what this tomes obscure title might portend.

Well, it turns out that Mr. Hostler has discovered a fascinating phenomenon that is genetically related to the Gilbreath Principle. It allows you to perform effects beyond the reach of existing Gilbreathean machinations, while enhancing the perceived randomness of the cards. It also eliminates a packet reversal procedure associated with Gilbreath.

You can think of The Triskadequadra Principle as Gilbreath Grande, but I prefer Mr. Hostlers lovely description:

Max Maven has famously described the Gilbreath Principle as a thing of terrifying beauty. Indeed, much of this beauty lies in its simplicity, internal logic, and broad utility. But if Gilbreath is card magics graceful dolphin, TDQ may be thought of as its blobfish or to stretch the metaphor its naked mole rat. Both have their place in the universe, but one sure is prettier than the other.

I like the way Mr. Hostler thinks and I thoroughly enjoy his writing. He writes with intelligence and a delightful, impish sense of humor. He does an excellent job of teaching the material. He dutifully provides appropriate credits.

The author begins with an overview of the Gilbreath Principle and its workings. He then teaches the TDQ Principle. In these sections of the ebook, you will come face to face with combinatorial mathematics. But fear not! You dont need to understand the math in order to perform the effects.

If you wish to understand the math, youll probably need to work through this material several times with deck in hand. The diagrams are a godsend, but my forehead still hurt afterward.

Then, its on to the effects, all of which require a prearranged deck.


Equilibrium: The performer shuffles the deck and spreads it face-up on the table to show that it is well mixed. He squares the deck, turns it face-down and tables it in front of the participant. He cuts off the top half of the deck and places it beside the lower portion. The participant gives the deck one riffle shuffle.

The performer spreads the deck face-up on the table and asks the participant to name her favorite suit. She announces that it is Hearts. The performer says that his favorite suit is Diamonds. He squares the deck and holds it face-down

The performer cuts small packets of cards off the top of the deck and drops them onto the table in a pile. The participant stops him when she senses equilibrium. He removes an envelope from his pocket and tables it near the participant.

The performer instructs her to turn the dealt pile face-up and sort it into two piles, one containing their favorite suits and the other containing indifferent cards. She counts the two piles and sees that there are 10 cards of their favorite suits and 10 indifferent cards.

She counts the favorite suit cards and discovers that there are 5 Hearts and 5 Diamonds. She opens the envelope and removes a prediction which states, The test pile will contain 20 cards - five of each of our favorite suits and ten other cards.

I like it.


Rogue Heart: The performer shuffles the deck. He hands half of the deck to the participant. He riffle shuffles his half of the deck. The participant riffle shuffles her portion.

The performer retrieves the participants cards and shuffles them into his cards. He cuts the deck and places the halves in front of the participant. She gives the deck a final riffle shuffle.

The performer takes the deck, turns it face-up and quickly spreads through it to audit the participants shuffling. He tables the deck face-down.

The performer removes an envelope from his pocket and tables it near the participant. He says that it contains a losing poker hand. He asks the participant to attempt to intuit the one card that would make the hand a winner.

The performer takes the deck, cuts a small packet of cards off the top, holds it above the table for a moment and then drops it. He continues cutting off packets and asks the participant to stop him when she senses something special about the packet that he is holding. He tables the designated packet face-down and disposes of the deck.

The performer arranges the packet in a row. The participant eliminates cards until only one card remains.

She opens the envelope and removes and tables the Ace of Clubs, King of Clubs, Queen of Clubs, Jack of Clubs and the Four of Hearts. The performer slides the Four off to the side and places her face-down selection in its place. She turns her card face-up and discovers the Ten of Clubs to complete the royal flush.


A specially constructed deck is required. It will be of little use in other effects. To clean up, Mr. Hostler describes a deck switch.

I like it.


Bar Bits: Mr. Hostler eschews the magic for a moment and offers, a couple of lighthearted swindles designed to quench your thirst on any given Saturday night.


Swindle #1: The mark shuffles the deck and then names any suit. The swindler bets him a drink that he can deal 13 consecutive four-card hands that contain the marks suit. If any four-card hand is missing the marks suit, he wins a drink.

The mark never wins a drink.


I like it.


Swindle #2: The swindler and the mark each name a suit and shuffle the deck. The swindler earns one point for every four-card hand containing a pair (or more) of his suit. The mark is similarly compensated for his suit. Whoever earns the most points wins a drink.

The swindler wins every time.


I like it.


Suitelepathy: The performer shuffles the deck and spreads it face-up on the table to show that it is well mixed. He squares the deck, turns it face-down and tables it in front of the participant. He cuts off the top half of the deck and places it beside the lower portion. The participant gives the deck one riffle shuffle.

The performer squares the deck, turns it face-down and hands it to the participant. He turns his back and instructs her to drop four-card packets of cards onto the table until one packet feels just right. She sets the remainder of the deck aside and concentrates on the faces of her four selections.

To discern her cards, the performer makes several statements, which the participant either affirms or denies. He successfully determines the colors and suits of her cards.


Mr. Hostlers divination procedure ensures numerous hits and a maximum of one miss.

I like it.


The TDQ Deck: The performer shuffles the deck and tables it face-down in front of his participant. He cuts off the top half of the deck and places it beside the lower portion. The participant gives the deck one riffle shuffle.

The performer takes the deck, turns it face-up and quickly spreads through it to audit the participants shuffling. He turns the deck face-down and hands it to the participant.

The performer turns his back and instructs her to drop four-card packets of cards onto the table until one packet feels just right. She sets the remainder of the deck aside and concentrates on the highest card in her hand.

The performer immediately identifies her card.


A specially constructed deck is required.

I like it.


I must confess that Im not a rabid fan of effects involving Gilbreathean methodology. While I occasionally perform them, I simply feel more comfortable employing other methods in my work.

But that preference doesnt prevent me from being impressed by clever material that falls outside of my cranky comfort zone. John Hostler has made an important discovery. The Triskadequadra Principle allows you to create strong, memorable magic and it opens up new vistas of exploration. I know a sexy naked mole rat when I see one.


Highly Recommended
Tom Frame
 
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Location: San Francisco

Postby Tom Frame » 12/15/12 02:20 PM

A shameless bump to return this product to its proper position of prominence.
Tom Frame
 
Posts: 820
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: San Francisco

Postby sjrwheeler » 12/15/12 10:14 PM

I only bought this a few days ago on Wednesday, so not long enough to have practiced enough to be sure... but i am struggling with the checking of the deck (to determine whether or not it requires adjustment). Any tips on that Tom?

I agree that it seems like it could be incredibly interesting. I just want to get past this issue.

I bought Cryptical Envelope based on your previous review and thoroughly enjoyed it.
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Postby Tom Frame » 12/16/12 10:34 AM

Initially, the deck-checking procedure presented a challenge because I, like you, had never before looked at a deck of cards in this, uh, compartmentalized manner. Basically, you have to train yourself to look at the cards with a new pair of eyes.

After a few hours of dedicated practice, the procedure feels more comfortable and your speed increases dramatically. So, my only tip is to be patient and keep at it.

Ultimately, Mr. Hostler is the man to ask. Perhaps he will chime in?
Tom Frame
 
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Postby JHostler » 12/16/12 11:20 AM

I PM'd sjrwheeler yesterday. He/she should be ready to roll... but you're right, it does simply boil down to practice.
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Postby sjrwheeler » 12/19/12 11:16 AM

Hi Tom.

Mr Hostler PMed me some detailed and excellent advice, I shall be spending time over the next few weeks working on developing this (and these new eyes).

Many thanks to you both,

Sam
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Postby JHostler » 06/16/13 10:21 AM

Just a quick note to folks afflicted with either morbid curiosity or the compulsion to own everything in print: The hard copy (Lulu.com) editions of all three of my existing pubs - Triskadequadra, Cryptical Envelopment, and the infamous Rauschenberg Effect - will vanish forever on or before 7/31/13. Not yet sure how the Lybrary.com e-versions will be handled, but I suspect they're not far behind. Snag 'em, burn 'em, or whatever while you still can.

Out with the old, in with the new (circa December).

Cheers,

Hostler
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Postby JHostler » 06/18/13 10:16 AM

Many thanks to all who have snagged the vanishing Lulu paperbacks. As for ye procrastinators, please be advised that these will no longer be available after midnight TONIGHT. Just couldn't wait for July 31... last chance at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/hostlermagic .

Cheers!
JHostler
 
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