The Eldridge Subtlety

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The Eldridge Subtlety

Postby Guest » May 23rd, 2002, 10:46 pm

Here is something from my soon to be published book, The Complete Mind Control. I would like some feedback on this thing that I came up with. So, here it is:

The Eldridge Subtlety

This is an unbelievably easy thing to do, but it will do WONDERS for any Equivoque sequence in which cards (not necessarily playing cards) are used. I came up with this almost by accident. I was in a brainstorming session with San Diego magicians Jeff Marcus and Sumit Dua. We were discussing various ways to make Equivoque more effective. As we brainstormed, we began to discuss the idea of having cards turned over, instead of picked up, pointed to, or any other action of the like. If it were not for that session, the Eldridge Subtlety would not exist. I am going to tell you right up front that it is ridiculously simple, and I think that many of you will not even try it because of its simplicity. Trust me when I tell you that it works, and that it will make your Equivoque sequences much stronger.

To explain this to you, let's use an effect that has already been discussed, Act of B'wavery. In that effect you have four cards laid out face-up in a row, one of which has a blue back (the others are red backed). The idea now is to use Equivoque to eliminate the three red backed cards. I gave you my original version in the Act of B'wavery chapter, but this is the one that I now use in actual performance.

With the cards set out as described above, tell the spectator to push any two cards toward you. The spectator will now do one of two things. She either will push the force card toward you, or she will not. If she does not, then pick up the two cards that she pushed and hold them face-up in your left hand. Do not place them aside as in most Equivoque sequences, but rather hold them in your hand without drawing attention to them.

If, on the other hand, she does push the force card toward you, tell her to pick up the two that she did not push, and hand them to you. In either case, you will end up with two of the non-force cards in your left hand.

Now, tell the spectator to concentrate on the two cards that remain, and tell her to turn one of them over. Do not use the term “face-down”. Many lay people do not know what that term means. Also, I feel that the word “down” implies that you want the overturned card eliminated. Sort of like when you “turn down an offer”. She will again do one of two things. Either she will turn over the force card, or she will not. Now comes the subtlety. If she turns the force card over, leaving the non-force card face-up, casually toss the cards in your left hand face-up on top of the other non-force card.

If, on the other hand, she turns the non-force card over, leaving the force card face-up, do the opposite. In other words, casually toss the cards that are in your left hand face-down onto the other non-force card i.e. the card that was just turned over by the spectator.

In either case, you have now caused all three of the “eliminated” cards to look the same, while the force card looks different. This is kind of like the game that is (was) played on Sesame Street. You know? “Three of these things here go together. Three of these things are kind of the same, but one of these things does not belong here. Etc.” It is that kind of psychology that has been put into play. All of the attention is now placed on the card that “looks” different. Therefore, it is the object with the spotlight on it.

Well, that is the Eldridge Subtlety. It is absurdly simple, but it makes all the difference in the world. Try it and see.

Ok, if you want to give me any feedback, reply to this post, or e-mail me. Thanx

Eric Rose
Posts: 245
Joined: February 8th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Franklin, Indiana

Re: The Eldridge Subtlety

Postby Eric Rose » May 24th, 2002, 3:08 am

Interesting idea. I'll try it out and give you feedback once I've done it a few times.

How soon will the book be published?

M. Sibbernsen
Posts: 96
Joined: March 14th, 2008, 9:46 pm

Re: The Eldridge Subtlety

Postby M. Sibbernsen » May 24th, 2002, 3:15 am


Very nice! Thank you for sharing. I look forward to the book.

Might I suggest a face-down variant, forcing a particular card. Best would be to have the force card subtlety marked giving the ability to have the four cards mixed and placed on the table by the spectator.

As with yours, two cards are pushed forward, and two (either or) placed in the hand (face-down). One of the remaining cards is tuned face-up. If it is the force card, then drop the two in the hand on the remaining face-down card. Say;

"Excellent. Any one of these would have been a fine selection..."

Point to the three cards, (or lift and display, then toss aside).

"... but only one was truly special- the Jack of Clubs" (for example).

Reveal the prediction, or whatever the effect entails.

If they leave the force card untouched, immediately drop the 2 cards in the hand face-up onto the tabled card, and say;

(For example) "The Six of Spades, Nine of Diamonds, Three of Hearts... all fine cards, but only one of the four was truly special..."

Glance over at the remaining face-down card.

"...Take a look."

Spectator flips the card. Continue with desired effect.

Max Maven
Posts: 426
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Hollywood, CA

Re: The Eldridge Subtlety

Postby Max Maven » May 24th, 2002, 6:40 pm

This is not a new idea.


Re: The Eldridge Subtlety

Postby Guest » May 24th, 2002, 7:04 pm

It is so simple that I am not surprised to learn that it is not new. However, I DID come up with it independently, and can prove it with witnesses. Please, tell me where else it has appeared, and who came up with it first.

Bob Farmer
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Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Short card above selection.

Re: The Eldridge Subtlety

Postby Bob Farmer » June 5th, 2002, 9:52 am

I think Eugene Burger may have used this idea. He used to do an extensive lecture on Equivoque, which if ever published in combination with the ideas in Max's famous book, would be one amazing tome.

One of the basic differences between Eugene's lecture and Max's book is that the former dealt with Equivoque where you don't know the location of the object to be forced, while the latter dealt with it where you do.

I worked out a trinary Equivoque that goes like this:

A row of three cards is on the table. You run your finger along the row and say, "This is the line of decision -- touch any card."

If he touches your force card you end.

If he doesn't, you have him push the card forward, "below the line of decision."

Now he touches another card. If he touches the force card you have him pull it towards himself, "above the line of decision."

You then say he's pushed a card below the line of decision, left a card on the line of decision, and has chosen just one card for himself."

If he doesn't touch the force card, he pulls it towards himself, "above the line of decision" and leavces the force card "on the line of deicison."

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Q. Kumber
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Location: Manchester, England

Re: The Eldridge Subtlety

Postby Q. Kumber » June 6th, 2002, 6:11 am

I don't use the PATEO force but if I did I would first ask the spectator to point at two cards. If one of these was the force card, proceed as with equivoque. If they point at any other cards then give the PATEO explanation and proceed as normal. :genii:

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