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Old 08-22-2019, 02:49 AM
psychonaut is online now
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Europe
Posts: 5,983
Originally Posted by cluck View Post
Tom Stone: Chest of drawers. Again, P&T dispensed with the secret codewords and elected to determine this using the offstage judges. Am I correct in assuming that the box he held had hidden compartments with both cards and book (which matched the same torn edges Alyson and assistant were holding, which must have been forces)?
At the beginning of the trick, the three boxes are in a pile. The topmost box (Box 1) has a red diamond on the top side. The middle box (Box 2) has a green diamond on the top side. The bottom box (Box 3) has a red diamond on the top side. Box 1 is a completely ordinary box and is empty. Box 2 and Box 3 are gimmicked in such a way that they can be opened to either of two compartments. Box 2 contains in one compartment a deck of cards and a five of clubs with one of the corners ripped off; the second compartment is empty. Box 3 contains a deck of cards and a five of clubs in one compartment, and in the other compartment a book containing a pre-ripped page wedged between two other pages.

Stone removes Box 1 from the pile and designates it as "my box". He demonstrates that it is empty, and it is indeed empty. He puts it back on top of the pile, upside-down on top of Box 2, and then picks up the entire pile.

He then pretends to put "my box" back on the table, but he actually puts the bottom box (Box 3) on the table. The audience doesn't notice this because Box 3 also has a red diamond.

He then picks up Box 1 from the top of the pile, which now has a blue diamond. There are a few different methods he could have used to change the colour from red to blue. The simplest explanation is that the red diamond is a card loosely attached to the box and covering a blue diamond. When he turns his back to replace Box 1 on the pile, he removes the red diamond with his fingers and hides it on the table or on his person. Alternatively, it could be that the red diamond is a magnetic strip (green on the other side) that jumps between Box 1 and Box 2 when they are pressed together, or that the red diamond is made of some material that changes from red to blue when heated or cooled by contact with Box 2. However, I think sleight of hand is the most likely explanation, since you can see that the red diamond is not flush with the surface of the box, and before he turns his back he is careful to place his fingers over it.

He shows the blue box (still Box 1) to the volunteers and demonstrates that it is empty, which of course it still is. He then gives Box 1 to Alyson.

Box 2 has a green diamond. Stone opens it to the empty compartment but crucially, he does not completely remove the drawer as proof that the box is empty, because it is not. He takes a deck of cards and demonstrates that some of them near one end of the deck are unique. He then has Adrian select a card from the other end of the deck, which are all fives of clubs and gimmicked such that the corners tear off in exactly the same way. The card and deck are placed in the empty compartment of Box 2, which Adrian holds behind his back.

Alyson selects a page from a book from which (unbeknownst to her) one of the pages has already been ripped. The page number is forced by Stone. Again, there are a few ways this could have been done. For example, he could have stopped riffling at a page that has a duplicate page number as the pre-ripped page, or he could have palmed a scrap of paper with a page number (the same as that of the pre-ripped page) that he holds in front of the page he shows Alyson. The book is then placed into Box 1 and returned to Alyson.

Stone takes Box 3 ("my box") from the table and opens it, revealing the deck of cards and the five of clubs. He rips the corner of the five of clubs and puts the card back in the box, retaining the corner. He then opens Box 3 again, this time to the compartment containing the book. He flips to the prearranged page number and pretends to rip a page out of the book; in reality he is simply dislodging the pre-ripped page. He retains the page and replaces the book in Box 3. He then opens the box a final time and shows that it is (apparently) empty. Since he does not completely remove the drawer, I assume he activated a hinge at its rear that allowed the contents to slide back into the box, behind the drawer.

Stone takes Box 2 from Adrian and opens it to the compartment containing the deck of cards and the pre-ripped five of clubs. He takes the corner he had ripped from the card in Box 3 and demonstrates that it matches the card from Box 2. Stone takes Box 1 from Alyson and has her turn to page 260, which was pre-ripped. He takes the pre-ripped page he removed from Box 3 and demonstrates that it matches the book from Box 1.

All in all, a very impressive trick -- the only anomaly I noticed on first viewing was that he places the red box on the top of the pile but removed it from the bottom of the pile a few seconds later. The rest of the trick took a couple more viewings to figure out. The only thing I'm not completely sure of is how the trick boxes work mechanically (i.e., how he controls which contents are shown when he opens the drawers), but I assume that these are fairly standard magic props.