Quiz of the day

Discussions of new films, books, television shows, and media indirectly related to magic and magicians. For example, there may be a book on mnemonics or theatrical technique we should know or at least know about.
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jjsanvert
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Quiz of the day

Postby jjsanvert » January 30th, 2016, 8:59 am

Who wrote this?

“Steffi Esposito,” he said softly. “That was the chap. American. Made me
work ten hours a day for a week learning a thing called the Riffle Stack and how to deal Seconds and Bottoms and Middles. I wrote a long report about it at the time. Must be buried in Records. He knew every trick in the game. How to wax the aces so that the pack will break at them; Edge Work and Line Work with a razor on the backs of the high cards; Trimming; Arm Pressure Holdouts mechanical gadgets up your sleeve that feed you cards. Belly Strippers-trimming a whole pack less than a millimetre down both sides, but leaving a slight belly on the cards you’re interested in-the aces, for instance. Shiners, tiny mirrors built into rings, or fitted into the bottom of a pipe-bowl. Actually “it was his tip about Luminous Readers that helped me on that Monte Carlo job. A croupier was using an invisible ink the team could pick out with special glasses. But Steffi was a wonderful chap. Scotland Yard found him for us. He could shuffle the pack once and then cut the four aces out of it. Absolute magic.”
…..

Ten minutes later, in a heavy white silk shirt, dark blue trousers of Navy serge, dark blue socks, and well-polished black moccasin shoes, he was sitting at his desk with a pack of cards in one hand and Scarne’s wonderful guide to cheating open in front of him. For half an hour, as he ran quickly through the section on Methods, he practised the vital Mechanic’s Grip (three fingers curled round the long edge of the cards, and the index finger at the
short upper edge away from him), Palming and Nullifying the Cut. His hands worked automatically at these basic manoeuvres, while his eyes read, and he was glad to find that his fingers were supple and assured and that there was no noise from the cards even with the very difficult single-handed Annulment.
……

You know that silver cigarette-case he has in front of him, with his lighter? He never takes cigarettes from it. Doesn’t want to get fingermarks on the surface. It’s plain silver and very highly polished. When he deals, it’s almost concealed by the cards and his big hands. And he doesn’t move his hands away from it. Deals four piles quite close to him. Every card is reflected in the top of the case. It’s just as good as a mirror although it looks perfectly innocent lying there. As he’s such a good businessman it would be normal for him to have a first-class memory. You remember I told you about ‘Shiners’? Well, that’s just a version of one. No wonder he brings off these miraculous finesses every once in a while. That double we watched was easy. He knew his partner had the guarded queen. With his two aces the double was a certainty. The rest of the time he just plays his average game. But knowing all the cards on every fourth deal is a terrific edge. It’s not surprising he always shows a profit.”
“But one doesn’t notice him doing it,” “It’s quite natural to look down when one’s dealing,” “Everybody does. And he covers up with a lot of banter, much more than he produces when someone else is dealing. I expect he’s got very good peripheral vision-the thing they mark us so highly for when we take our medical for the Service. Very wide angle of sight.”
……..

He put his hands in his coat pockets and touched the two silk handkerchiefs. “And I think it should work. All I need is a couple of packs of used cards, one of each colour, and ten minutes in here alone.”
….

He had taken the two packs of cards out of the pockets of his coat and had put them on the table in front of Basildon. One was the blue pack that D. had cut to him and that he had pocketed, substituting instead, under cover of his handkerchief, the stacked blue pack in his right-hand pocket. The other was the stacked red pack in his left-hand pocket which had not been needed. He fanned the red pack out on the table and showed Basildon that it would have produced the same freak grand slam that had defeated D. “It’s a famous Culbertson hand,” he explained. “He used it to spoof his own quick-trick conventions. I had to doctor a red and a blue pack. Couldn’t know which colour I would be dealing with.”

mel
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Re: Quiz of the day

Postby mel » January 30th, 2016, 9:20 am

...I give up! Who wrote it???

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Q. Kumber
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Re: Quiz of the day

Postby Q. Kumber » January 30th, 2016, 10:07 am

Ian Fleming.

Philippe Billot
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Re: Quiz of the day

Postby Philippe Billot » January 30th, 2016, 11:03 am

A funny thing.

When the french translator has to translate : "he practised the vital Mechanic’s Grip", as he doesn't know what is a Mechanic Grip, translate by "la prise du mécanicien" instead of "la tenue mécanique". I was very young when I read that but I remember it very well.

Yes, Mr Kimber, it's Ian Fleming in a James Bond: Goldfinger.

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jjsanvert
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Re: Quiz of the day

Postby jjsanvert » January 30th, 2016, 11:06 am

You are right Q. ;-) Ian Fleming's Moonraker (not Goldfinger: it is another scam!)
I discovered this yesterday. Can't believe James Bond can give seconds, bottoms, centers, do a cold deck, cheated in Casino Royale with luminous, and they did not show SOME of that in the movies. Can't believe they used Roger Moore also, but that's another story.
You should read the French translation, it is just HILARIOUS. I think the translator commited suicide after this job.

observer
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Re: Quiz of the day

Postby observer » January 30th, 2016, 11:12 am

Philippe Billot wrote:A funny thing.

When the french translator has to translate : "he practised the vital Mechanic’s Grip", as he doesn't know what is a Mechanic Grip, translate by "la prise du mécanicien" instead of "la tenue mécanique". .


At least he didn't translate it as "la valise du mecanicien" ..."

Philippe Billot
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Re: Quiz of the day

Postby Philippe Billot » January 30th, 2016, 12:07 pm

"Au temps pour moi", Jean-Jacques, it's Moonraker.

I made a confusion because in Goldfinger, there is also trickery with cards in the game of canasta.

In Moonraker, it's the game of Bridge.

Ian Kendall
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Re: Quiz of the day

Postby Ian Kendall » January 30th, 2016, 6:34 pm

I read through all the Bonds a couple of years ago (after my first teenage encounter). I remember thinking, at the time, that Fleming had got hold of a copy of Scarne on Cards and just listed the contents page...


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