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  #151  
Old 08-25-2019, 04:04 PM
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Season 6, Episode 9 (August 19, 2019)

Anca & Lucca: Mind-reading duo. So the conceit of this was to whisper to Teller how the trick is done, do the trick, then see if it fooled them? Unfortunately, no codes were dropped this time, only an understanding that P&T have performed these types of tricks in the past. The whole thing felt very anti-climactic.
I'm kind of unclear on what they were hoping to accomplish since P&T say they did it just as they said they did. Were they hoping their ploy would trick P&T into saying "you must have done it another way?" Or does it involve some crazy memory thing that they were hoping P&T would be so impressed by that they'd award a trophy due to sheer impressiveness?

Based on what P&T say, there is, in fact, no electronics or secret assistants - so she is not using a thumper or anything to transmit information electronically. The guy doesn't say a word to her during most of the numbers segment so unless the brief thing he said communicated a 12-digit number (which seems virtually impossible), it doesn't seem to be via codeword. Could he be making tiny sounds like footsteps and signalling that? Perhaps - but she also knew the name of Teller's friend which I don't think he wrote. Usually this stuff is done with pre-screening or eavesdropping pre-show. I imagine they wouldn't have allowed that with Teller.

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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)?

Clearly there are secret chambers in "his" box - there's really no other way to explain the book/card appearance and vanish. There are also clearly forces on the card and the book page.

He clearly puts his red box on top after inspection, diamond side-down, then leaves the BOTTOM one on the table with a red diamond on it. When he picks the other two up, the red diamond has become blue (perhaps a magnetic diamond that he sneaks away while his back is turned). So neither of the boxes the others have is gimicked, but his clearly is. I assume this is the dirty work Penn speaks of.

Elephant in the room and plainly obvious (I don't know why magicians do this so blatantly) is they inspect two of the boxes and not the third. Notably, the one that is re-inspected by Allyson is the same original red box. So the green one is gimmicked to - presumably the second copy of the pre-torn card is in an alternate chamber. The card therefore must have been a force. Since the book is pre-torn, Allyson's box doesn't need a secret chamber.

Other notes, When Allyson picks a page, he puts his hands on the paper pretty oddly - is he covering the fact that she chose the first page of Chapter 14 because that won't match the scrap so she won't notice? I'm not sure. I assume Allyson's page is pre-torn in her book, and he has another untorn page in the gimmicked book pre-printed as the same page number so he can do the initial force (or maybe even every page has the same number on it). He also seems to show her the page number on the left side of a page, but finds the page number on the right side of a page. The page he rips is not the first page of chapter 14.

I'm honestly not sure what was "so complex" about this routine that P&T couldn't encode it - box swap, card and page force, pre-torn items... secret compartments... they've had routines with more - they often don't even encode one or two obvious points as long as it's clear that they are on to the magician from the box swap - perhaps the mechanics of the secret compartments was addressed?

Edit: I see that psychonaut has done an analysis of this one in detail. The main thing I disagree with on him is what they already caught in a subsequent reply. When the volunteer opens the box, the 5C is already torn. I think it's more a case of a second deck and 5C are already hidden in a secret compartment in that box. We'd see a pre-tear on the very closeup shot of the volunteer's card. He never proofed the audience member's box was ungimicked, which psychonaut notices, but doesn't then trace towards a reason - the reason is certainly because it contains the torn card. Otherwise, he would have proofed that box two, pretending to prove all three.

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Originally Posted by cluck View Post
Jon & Owen: "The Penn & Teller of juggling." This was a very showy act with a present element of danger (aren't they usually warded off from doing this?) which I found fun and exciting. Based on what Penn was suggesting, was there a second mousetrap device with the card preloaded?
That seems to be the suggestion - that there's another device, but I don't see a swap anywhere.

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Horret Wu: Color-changing cards. The first thing I thought about was photographic development. Is it possible the light did all the "magic" using scientific principles? A cool routine nonetheless.
I was wondering about UV light or heat (colour changing toys for example), but there's a lot of precision here and I'm not sure if this routine could be achieved that way, but indeed on rewatching, he is in fact bottom-dealing as noted by another user here.

For the x-ray one, the cards do a 180-tumble on the way down, so I assume he had only one or a couple of white cards on top that are now on the bottom. He puts his left hand just below the table before collecting the deck just before that part of the trick and then puts his right hand into his coat (ditching all the white cards?). A minor part of the trick, but they actually show on overhead when he snatches the black felt and starts to yank it behind the table.
  #152  
Old 08-25-2019, 04:17 PM
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To self-edit, what Penn says about the light doing some magic, the "weak blue" card he does isn't a bottom deal. It's clearly a white card - and returns to white. I suspect that one really is a colour change card via either heat or UV or IR light from the lamp. The blue it achieves is a paler and more like a colour-change coating.

The rainbow deck is all pre-coloured. The light just makes it "look" like it's changing - though other than the initial yellow card, I think it's pretty obvious that the rest of the deck isn't changing, it's just being tinted by the light. From the head-on angle that initial yellow card always looks yellow.
  #153  
Old 08-27-2019, 03:45 AM
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Season 6, Episode 10 (August 26, 2019)

Wolfgang Moser: Magic teapot. This is a take on a really old trick ("Think-a-Drink"). The teapot has multiple compartments and there is some sort of switch that swaps the spigot from water to orange juice (which was clearly a force). Then he takes the top off to dispense the coffee (was he using mentalism to suggest the teapot was getting "warmer"?). I'm curious why when he's pouring the red wine, white wine and beer, it seems to come out as clear liquid before hitting the glass.

Johnny Magic: Guided meditation. Okay, so obviously all the answers were communicated to her somehow, even though she claims they weren't. I'm not sure what the Sam Harris reference is; maybe some sort of subliminal messaging or hypnotic suggestion?

Pere Rafart: Crazy cards. What a purely fun act with great showmanship. I was impressed by the whole thing, especially all the moves at the beginning with the closed deck. I'm a little disappointed by the result; Penn mentioned there were upwards of 50-75 effects within the whole thing; could they really guess all of them? Since the guy claimed he invented all his own tricks, I figured this would be an instant fooler.

Giacomo Bertini: Close-up coin magic. The whole act was very impressive and hypnotizing to watch. I've seen Teller perform so many coin tricks that I knew this would never fool him (especially at such a strategic vantage point). No foolers tonight, what a letdown.

Penn & Teller: Featuring Moxie Crimefighter. Maybe the most amusing part of this to me was watching how unimpressed she was of her world famous magic dad.

Last edited by cluck; 08-27-2019 at 03:48 AM.
  #154  
Old 08-27-2019, 10:20 AM
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Penn & Teller: Featuring Moxie Crimefighter. Maybe the most amusing part of this to me was watching how unimpressed she was of her world famous magic dad.
"No man's a hero to his valet."
  #155  
Old 08-27-2019, 03:16 PM
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"No man's a hero to his valet."
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  #156  
Old 08-27-2019, 08:21 PM
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Johnny Magic: Could it be that the SOUNDS of pigs, rain, a train, a piano were communicated to her (via the chair, etc.), rather than the WORDS, allowing her to answer honestly that nobody "told" her those answers?
  #157  
Old 08-27-2019, 10:24 PM
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How does the trick where the guy can/can't lift Penn's daughter at the end work?

He is quite big/strong appearing, and presumably is not a stooge - I don't think there's anything fancy (like electromagnets) involved, just a trick of taking away his leverage somehow by holding herself away from him?

Last edited by zombywoof; 08-27-2019 at 10:25 PM.
  #158  
Old 08-27-2019, 11:03 PM
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The old you-can't-lift-me is a classic ancient leverage trick. For the first lift, Moxie positions herself close to the volunteer with her forearms on top of his, making her easy to lift. Because her body is close to his arms, there is a small rotational moment required to get her off the ground. For the second lift, she steps back, places her forearms under his, and leans backwards, vastly increasing the leverage required to lift her.

Last edited by friedo; 08-27-2019 at 11:03 PM.
  #159  
Old 08-27-2019, 11:41 PM
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Anca & Lucca: Mind-reading duo. So the conceit of this was to whisper to Teller how the trick is done, do the trick, then see if it fooled them? Unfortunately, no codes were dropped this time, only an understanding that P&T have performed these types of tricks in the past. The whole thing felt very anti-climactic.
Even though acts like this one are usually very low in entertainment value - and this one was no exception - I have no freaking idea how it was done. Any guesses?
  #160  
Old 08-28-2019, 03:54 AM
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Season 6, Episode 10 (August 26, 2019)

Wolfgang Moser: Magic teapot. This is a take on a really old trick ("Think-a-Drink"). The teapot has multiple compartments and there is some sort of switch that swaps the spigot from water to orange juice (which was clearly a force).
Hidden compartments are only part of the mechanism. You'll note that during the course of the entire act, he pours out more liquid than the teapot can possibly contain. This is because there are actually two teapots, the second pre-loaded with the cocktail and the coffee. He switches one teapot for the other when picking up the cocktail book. Note how his right hand holds a tray with a glass of water on it, with the teapot dangling below. He puts the tray down on the table, allowing him to drop the teapot he is holding behind the table and simultaneously pick up its replacement.

The production of wine and beer can be explained with a combination of hidden compartments and glasses pre-treated with chemicals that dye the liquid from the teapot on contact.

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Then he takes the top off to dispense the coffee (was he using mentalism to suggest the teapot was getting "warmer"?).
No, not exactly. For the second part of the act, he uses a teapot with upper and lower compartments. The lower compartment is filled with cold cocktail, and the only inlet/outlet is the teapot's spout. The upper compartment is filled with hot coffee, and the only inlet/outlet is the hole at the top of the teapot. He first pours all the cocktail out of the spout, keeping the lid on top of the teapot to avoid spilling any coffee. Then he places the teapot flat on the volunteer's hand and suggests that it is getting warmer. The bottom of the teapot probably is getting a little warmer, since there is no longer any cold liquid in the bottom compartment. But this warmth might not really be perceptible; when the magician really wants the volunteer to admit that the teapot is warm, he asks her to place her hand on the upper wall of the teapotóthat is, on the wall of the compartment containing the hot coffee. He then removes the lid and pours out the coffee.
  #161  
Old 08-28-2019, 04:01 AM
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Johnny Magic: Could it be that the SOUNDS of pigs, rain, a train, a piano were communicated to her (via the chair, etc.), rather than the WORDS, allowing her to answer honestly that nobody "told" her those answers?
I think this has to be it. The picture looks to be pre-printed so it has to be a prearranged set of answers that she is relaying. Since her eyes are closed, she must be hearing cues that the audience cannot. But knowing the show's disdain for instant stooges, she probably isn't hearing someone explicitly (that is, verbally) tell her what to say. IMHO this is awfully close to instant stooging anyway and so I'm surprised the producers allowed the trick.
  #162  
Old 08-28-2019, 10:43 AM
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How does the trick where the guy can/can't lift Penn's daughter at the end work?

He is quite big/strong appearing, and presumably is not a stooge - I don't think there's anything fancy (like electromagnets) involved, just a trick of taking away his leverage somehow by holding herself away from him?
You have it. She only has to stand a little further away and lean the right way to make it impossible to pick her up. You can see her take a couple of steps back right after the guy puts her down the first time. Some very big strong guys have beat this trick, but usually the bigger the man the higher his center of gravity making it even more difficult.
  #163  
Old 09-10-2019, 02:01 AM
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I could not find this thread in the Cafe Society sub-forum list (on page one or two). Is there some kind of glitch...?
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  #164  
Old 09-10-2019, 02:02 AM
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It reappeared after the previous post.
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  #165  
Old 09-10-2019, 02:16 AM
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It reappeared after the previous post.
Magic!











(But seriously, it reappeared because you bumped it to the top when you posted. By default, threads will fall off the main page(s) if they haven't seen any new posts in ten days. You can change it by using the "Display Options" menu on the bottom of the forum page.)
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Old 09-10-2019, 02:56 PM
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Thank you.
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  #167  
Old 09-10-2019, 03:03 PM
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Anyone else feel a little uncomfortable with latest episode? The guy kind of forced the woman volunteer to ride him and touch Teller’s butt. I don’t know but it seemed to cross a line.
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  #168  
Old 09-10-2019, 04:09 PM
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Anyone else feel a little uncomfortable with latest episode? The guy kind of forced the woman volunteer to ride him and touch Tellerís butt. I donít know but it seemed to cross a line.
She was not forced in any way. Maybe she was embarrassed but she was not at work or even out in public, she volunteered to go on stage to perform in a magic act, something that often requires some physical contact.
  #169  
Old 09-10-2019, 07:28 PM
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Anyone else feel a little uncomfortable with latest episode? The guy kind of forced the woman volunteer to ride him and touch Teller’s butt. I don’t know but it seemed to cross a line.
Yeah, it was awkward - maybe some (or even most) volunteers would happily play along and grab Teller's ass, bear hug Penn, and jump on the guy's back, but she REALLY didn't seem into it - touching the guys as little as possible - and did you notice how she kept wiping her hand on her pants, as if to clean it?

Sure, she was not technically "forced" to do anything - but it was also highly unlikely she was going to stop and refuse to go along on stage in front of the audience, cameras, etc.

In the era of calling out the inherent power imbalances that allow gross old men to take advantage of attractive young women, I was surprised to see it, honestly (of course I'm not saying she was harmed or abused or anything like that, but it seemed a little tone-deaf in the #metoo era.)

Last edited by zombywoof; 09-10-2019 at 07:30 PM.
  #170  
Old 09-10-2019, 08:55 PM
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How'd that guy get the signed pea in the walnut shell?
  #171  
Old 09-10-2019, 09:06 PM
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How'd that guy get the signed pea in the walnut shell?
I assume he put it there . Nobody examined that walnut, I think it was partially open to allow the pea to be inserted and then would close tightly enough to appear to be an unopened walnut. He probably did that move when he pulled the wallet out of his jacket.
  #172  
Old 09-10-2019, 09:30 PM
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Season 6, Episode 11 (September 9, 2019)

Scott Green: Hardboiled egg puns. I guess something was up with the dice, so was it really "free range" choice?

Matt Donnelly: The Mind Noodler. I didn't find anything offensive about this, but I did sense how uncomfortable she was, which kind of made it funnier. Of course if the dudes were young and hotter, I'm sure she wouldn't have any problems playing along. The punchline to the trick didn't really feel worth the effort, though.

Doc Dixon: Pea and walnuts (fooler). Funny banter and solid illusion. I could tell by his professional demeanor that he was going to unnerve P&T and get under their skin. I feel like he got an FU on a technicality, but it's been awhile since there's been a fooler on the show anyway.

Sangsoon Kim: Shoe boxing. I found this kind of underwhelming and I don't know why. Sometimes it's P&T's muted reaction that causes me to become less impressed by a performance.

Penn & Teller plus Mo'Nique: Linking rings. I'm struggling to find anything to say about this. Not a very exciting episode overall.

Last edited by cluck; 09-10-2019 at 09:35 PM.
  #173  
Old 09-10-2019, 09:54 PM
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Scott Green: Hardboiled egg puns. I guess something was up with the dice, so was it really "free range" choice?
I think Alyson freely shuffled the eggs, he noted where the raw one was and gave her a die that would not turn up that particular number - later he swapped out for a normal die which he could show had all 6 numbers on it.
  #174  
Old 09-11-2019, 12:24 AM
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I liked the Sangsoon Kim act. I friggin looooove bian lian (Chinese quick changing masks) and I don’t care that it’s a well-known art and not a trick. It amazes the heck out of me every time. I think it was cool to see him use it in a different way.

I liked all the acts this week. Looks like the theme was “comedy acts”? I think they all seemed sharp, no weird storylines (“when I was a kid I loved looking at differently painted boxes and they would talk back to me...” or some shit) and they all entertained me.

I too was put off by the way Donnelley treated his audience helper. I don’t think she would have felt any weirder about touching a Chippendale’s ass than she would about Teller :-/ Also we’ve seen plenty of audience helpers and Alyson and Jonathan Ross as helpers and I can’t remember a time where a helper had to touch anyone’s butt or “ride” anyone so I’m not exactly sure how those are typical requests for magic assistants.

But, I’m hoping the show got clearance from her and it’s all good and I’m more weirded out than she is.
  #175  
Old 09-11-2019, 11:25 PM
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I did sense how uncomfortable she was, which kind of made it funnier.
Really? Would you find it funny if it were your daughter/sister/wife/etc. who was visibly uncomfortable when asked to grope/body hug/straddle some strangers on stage?

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Of course if the dudes were young and hotter, I'm sure she wouldn't have any problems playing along.
Yeah, it would be impossible for a female to prefer not to physically interact while in the presence of hot, young males.

Last edited by zombywoof; 09-11-2019 at 11:29 PM.
  #176  
Old 09-12-2019, 01:59 AM
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Yeah, it was awkward - maybe some (or even most) volunteers would happily play along and grab Teller's ass, bear hug Penn, and jump on the guy's back, but she REALLY didn't seem into it - touching the guys as little as possible - and did you notice how she kept wiping her hand on her pants, as if to clean it?
She was just wiping sweat off her palms. You can see her do this once or twice before she's even asked to do anything.
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Old 09-12-2019, 04:50 AM
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Really? Would you find it funny if it were your daughter/sister/wife/etc. who was visibly uncomfortable when asked to grope/body hug/straddle some strangers on stage?

Yeah, it would be impossible for a female to prefer not to physically interact while in the presence of hot, young males.
I always find it amusing when people take offense on part of other people. She was a volunteer/willing participant, it was a gag, the audience laughed. Also, does anyone care that Teller never gave consent to have his buns groped? He didn't even say a word, for cripes sake!

And yes, it would be objectively less "creepy" if some flirty hot guy asked her to do the same thing. It's a fairly common double standard.
  #178  
Old 09-12-2019, 12:06 PM
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I think Alyson freely shuffled the eggs, he noted where the raw one was and gave her a die that would not turn up that particular number - later he swapped out for a normal die which he could show had all 6 numbers on it.
My thought was that he swapped egg #1 for a raw one sometime after Alyson shuffled, and the die simply had no 1 on it. Your way works too - six different rigged dice and he is able to identify the raw egg by sight.

I noticed that when it was down to two eggs and he told Alyson to pick one, he didnít specify whether he would break that egg or the other one over her head. It was always going to be egg #1 being broken last no matter what.


Sangsoon Kim kind of underwhelmed me too. He may have been technically great, but the act was so scattered and frenetic that it was hard to follow. A couple of times I missed the trick entirely because I didnít know where to look; I just heard the audience applaud for something I didnít see happen. Not ideal.

Doc Dixon was great. Just outstanding sleight of hand. I pretty much knew what he would be doing, but damned if I could catch him at it.

Donnelly was OK. Very fun presentation but ultimately a fairly weak trick.
  #179  
Old 09-12-2019, 12:55 PM
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On the dice... Doing "in my head statistics" I think there is over 70 percent chance that if you rolled a die four times that there would be at least one duplicate number. This didn't happen on the show. Either he was lucky, they edited out the duplicates or it wasn't random.
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Old 09-12-2019, 02:03 PM
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FWIW, I'm fairly certain that the egg dice trick is exactly the same as Mark Shortland's trick from the very first season. The raw egg is subtly marked in some way, the magician sneaks a peak to see where it is, and switches the die with one that has the correct missing number.
  #181  
Old 09-20-2019, 11:32 AM
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I've been catching up and watching the episodes on YouTube.

I'm impressed with how many magicians are from different countries. Seems like the show is using more than past seasons.
  #182  
Old 09-22-2019, 03:10 AM
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I 100% saw him load the walnut under the meta l cup - but I did not at all see him swipe the pea from under Teller's glass or put it into a walnut under the table.
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Old 09-23-2019, 10:49 AM
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FWIW, I'm fairly certain that the egg dice trick is exactly the same as Mark Shortland's trick from the very first season. The raw egg is subtly marked in some way, the magician sneaks a peak to see where it is, and switches the die with one that has the correct missing number.
I found this more entertaining than Green's egg trick. And Penn busted him much more overtly on the rigged die. But that was only part of the trick. Shortland could have somehow made sure that Jonathan's phone ended up in envelope #4. But since he didn't put the die into the shaker until after the stickers were in place, I'm thinking he had six dice at the ready and knew which envelope to keep safe. But for the life of me I couldn't catch how.
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Old 09-23-2019, 04:37 PM
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I 100% saw him load the walnut under the meta l cup - but I did not at all see him swipe the pea from under Teller's glass or put it into a walnut under the table.
He did a little move with the shell that ended up under the glass, I assume kicking the 'pea' backward off the table, but I couldn't see anything in the video, maybe it was gone before then. I mentioned upthread that he probably loads the walnut when he gets the 'stolen' wallet out of his jacket.
  #185  
Old 09-23-2019, 06:04 PM
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I found this more entertaining than Green's egg trick. And Penn busted him much more overtly on the rigged die. But that was only part of the trick. Shortland could have somehow made sure that Jonathan's phone ended up in envelope #4. But since he didn't put the die into the shaker until after the stickers were in place, I'm thinking he had six dice at the ready and knew which envelope to keep safe. But for the life of me I couldn't catch how.
Look closely at the envelopes - each one has the word "Random" written slightly differently. (Uppercase and lowercase N's, different parts of the R connected and disconnected, etc.) At 2:30 he peaks to see which envelope is still empty, then just makes a note of which number Johnathan applies to that envelope after loading the phone. Then at 3:29 he retrieves the box and palms the needed fake die, which he swaps with the real die when he puts it in the box.
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Old 09-23-2019, 07:28 PM
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9/23 Episode

Lucy - OK, I get that the book was on a spring, but where was it before it was in the bag?!?!

French Guy - good trick, fooler, but he seemed to stop riffling through the deck way before someone said “stop.” Still impressive.
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thunder? Or to hear only thunder
when it's really the Voice of God?
  #187  
Old 09-23-2019, 08:04 PM
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9/23 Episode

Lucy - OK, I get that the book was on a spring, but where was it before it was in the bag?!?!.
The 'book' was in the bag. It's a folded up box like thing that springs open to look like a book. When she drops it behind the table it gets caught by something behind the table and simultaneously a real book is released to hit the floor.
  #188  
Old 09-25-2019, 04:50 AM
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Season 6, Episode 12 (September 23, 2019)

Lucy Darling: Book bag.
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The 'book' was in the bag. It's a folded up box like thing that springs open to look like a book. When she drops it behind the table it gets caught by something behind the table and simultaneously a real book is released to hit the floor.
Perfect explanation, thanks. I'm guessing on the list of books for the volunteer to pick, Harry Potter was the only recognizable one. (I really liked her joke about Fifty Shades of Grey being for 'interior designers with depression.')

Nestor Hato: Aces in the hole (fooler). This was a neat card trick which I guess relies completely on sleight of hand (even more impressive doing it under their noses).

Alfonso Rituerto: Coffee tricks. Making the cup 'appear' from sugar was probably the worst gag I've seen on the show. Making the coin appear under the mound of sugar is a little trickier...was it as simple as there being a second coin?

Keelan Leyser & Matt Daniel-Baker: Digital illusionists. So after looking at the instagram, I'm thinking the account was on private before the trick was revealed. They likely filmed every single combination of country/object and then just made the 'right' one available (and deleted the evidence).

R.I.P. Billy the Mime.

Last edited by cluck; 09-25-2019 at 04:54 AM.
  #189  
Old 09-25-2019, 08:42 PM
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Alfonso Rituerto: Coffee tricks. Making the cup 'appear' from sugar was probably the worst gag I've seen on the show. Making the coin appear under the mound of sugar is a little trickier...was it as simple as there being a second coin?

Keelan Leyser & Matt Daniel-Baker: Digital illusionists. So after looking at the instagram, I'm thinking the account was on private before the trick was revealed. They likely filmed every single combination of country/object and then just made the 'right' one available (and deleted the evidence).
Honestly, two of the lamest, easiest to understand, and borderline amateur tricks they've had on the show in a long while. I am not one to be overly critical, but both of these did not rise to the level of being on the show.
  #190  
Old 09-25-2019, 08:44 PM
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Nestor Hato: Aces in the hole (fooler). This was a neat card trick which I guess relies completely on sleight of hand (even more impressive doing it under their noses).
Very nicely done, so impressive. I loved his trick and I could tell that Penn and Teller did, too. It is not hard to see when they are impressed and when they are not. They were definitely impressed with his moves and would need more time than allotted to figure out what he did.
  #191  
Old 09-26-2019, 02:28 AM
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Just got around to watching Episode 12. Some thoughts:

Lucy Darling: Easily the most annoying act I have ever seen on the show. I absolutely hated the way she kept breaking character in order to talk about her character. The show has seen plenty of magicians with memorable and exquisitely performed personas, and nary a one had to talk up their performance. Can you imagine if John van der Put spent his entire pre- and post-trick interviews bubbling about this hilariously irreverent Piff the Magic Dragon character he'd come up with? Or if Rob Zabrecky and Dan Sperry suddenly dropped their weirdness shticks the moment the judging began?

Regarding the trick itself, I came to the same conclusion that TriPolar did as soon as Penn said the word "spring". If you'd like to see an even better act making use of springed props, check out my Explain Dinardi's flower magic trick thread from a few years back.

Nestor Hato: I guess this one relies exclusively on sleight of hand, though I didn't spot any of the moves. Very slick.

Alfonso Rituerto: Another disappointment. Most of his moves were so obvious, though some of this may be down to unfortunate (for him) camera angles. Regarding how he gets Alyson's coin into the pile of sugar, I'm pretty sure that there is a small slot in the table and a small slit in the tablecloth directly overtop. He is careful to pour the cup of sugar directly over this slit. After he takes the signed coin from Alyson, he exchanges it for a different marked coin, and puts Alyson's under the table and puts it into a track where it rolls into position underneath the hole. You can even hear it loudly clink into place when he says "You should not put your coin near the sugar". He then operates a lever, either with his hand or his foot, that pushes the coin up through the slot and into the sugar pile. (He might do this when he says "Thank you", when his left hand is under the table.)

Keelan Leyser & Matt Daniel-Baker: Yet another disappointing trick. As others have said, this was done by creating a large number of videos (one for each possible combination of flag and item), uploading them in advance to a private Instagram account, and then having a confederate delete all but one of the videos before making the account public at the conclusion of the trick. The magicians didn't even need to do too much grunt work here; if you watch the video carefully, you can see that there are separate flag and item shots that have been spliced together. So if they had six items and 100 flags, they would have had to record only 106 videos rather than 600, and spend comparatively little time editing them together.
  #192  
Old 09-26-2019, 02:01 PM
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Since they specifically instructed the Turtle Guy to not look at the screen while selecting the country, my assumption was that it would display Japan no matter what was touched. Then I figured they used a weighted die that comes up six every time. That would have saved them the trouble of making multiple videos. But it wouldn't have made the trick any less unimpressive.
  #193  
Old 09-26-2019, 03:23 PM
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Keelan Leyser & Matt Daniel-Baker: Yet another disappointing trick. As others have said, this was done by creating a large number of videos (one for each possible combination of flag and item), uploading them in advance to a private Instagram account, and then having a confederate delete all but one of the videos before making the account public at the conclusion of the trick. The magicians didn't even need to do too much grunt work here; if you watch the video carefully, you can see that there are separate flag and item shots that have been spliced together. So if they had six items and 100 flags, they would have had to record only 106 videos rather than 600, and spend comparatively little time editing them together.
Yes, very simple trick and honestly hugely unqualified for this show. Their hope was that Penn and Teller would simply guess that the trick was a force and be wrong.

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Since they specifically instructed the Turtle Guy to not look at the screen while selecting the country, my assumption was that it would display Japan no matter what was touched. Then I figured they used a weighted die that comes up six every time. That would have saved them the trouble of making multiple videos. But it wouldn't have made the trick any less unimpressive.
I figured this until Penn guessed correctly that they did the other thing, the laborious creation of videos.
  #194  
Old 09-28-2019, 07:45 PM
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Does ANYONE actually enjoy the iPhone/iPad sort of "screen"-based tricks?

(Halfway through this last one, I applied my time-compressing "digital magic" skills and fast-forwarded to something that might be interesting/entertaining...)

Last edited by zombywoof; 09-28-2019 at 07:45 PM.
  #195  
Old 10-02-2019, 02:26 PM
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Septerber 30, Season Finale.
Two excellent sleight-of-hand acts and two meh mentalist acts.

Woody Aragon and Sinbad Max didn't really have any groundbreaking stuff, but they were both a pleasure to watch. I caught Sinbad on two moves; other than that he was at least a step ahead of me. Woody was absolutely flawless. It was less a matter of "How did he do that?" than "Wow, he's really good at that!" Great stuff.

Denny Corby obviously had a tiny printer in his wallet. Technology is indeed amazing, but it also means pretty much everybody is on to you with something like this. Not sure how he got the $83 in the pocket though. I didn't rewind to see if his hands were anywhere near George's jacket after the selections were made. If he pulled a switcheroo it was pretty smooth.

John Walton's Mona Lisa magic square (fooler) was a real head-scratcher for me as well. Did he have a set of cards indexed for every number from 3 to 18? If so, where did he make the switch? And how did the big 8 get back there? Though, despite my bafflement, the entertainment value on this one was quite low, so I'm sticking with meh.
  #196  
Old 10-02-2019, 02:34 PM
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JAlfonso Rituerto: Another disappointment. Most of his moves were so obvious, though some of this may be down to unfortunate (for him) camera angles. [..]He then operates a lever, either with his hand or his foot, that pushes the coin up through the slot and into the sugar pile. (He might do this when he says "Thank you", when his left hand is under the table.)
I noticed on rewind that the show cut away from the table at the moment the sugar pile would be shifting from having a coin shoved into it from below.

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Keelan Leyser & Matt Daniel-Baker: Yet another disappointing trick. As others have said, this was done by creating a large number of videos (one for each possible combination of flag and item), uploading them in advance to a private Instagram account, and then having a confederate delete all but one of the videos before making the account public at the conclusion of the trick. The magicians didn't even need to do too much grunt work here; if you watch the video carefully, you can see that there are separate flag and item shots that have been spliced together. So if they had six items and 100 flags, they would have had to record only 106 videos rather than 600, and spend comparatively little time editing them together.
They could easily have gotten away with three items (even assuming a fair die), since they waited to see what the number was before telling Turtle Guy whether to count going up the column or going down the column. Maybe they could even get it down to two or one if they had other ways to take any number and make it land on the soccer ball while seeming like a natural way to do a random choice.

Also, as noted, since Turtle Guy wasn't looking at the pad when he chose, the pad could easily have just put up "Japan" no matter what he touched. Or, if they wanted to be less bold, one of ten or so countries -- the array of flags could be arranged so that every flag is either one of the prepared country or next to one of them. Since he's at least sort of looking away (and the magician was moving the pad around), even if he was trying to pay attention, Turtle Guy couldn't be absolutely sure whether he touched a particular flag or an adjacent one. The pad then displays whichever prepared country is closest to the actual touch and off they go.
  #197  
Old 10-02-2019, 02:45 PM
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I think Denny Corby and John Walton both used math.

Corby had a way to force 83 by making Wallace choose from specific categories in a specific order. He knew all of the combinations that would make up 83.

Walton's trick was super impressive but I feel like the 8 was forced. He seems like the sort of guy who could take any three numbers from 1-6 and make them equal 8 based on what operations he applied. He also added his own number too didn't he? He was probably befuddled and giddy that the only operation that needed to be applied was addition.
  #198  
Old 10-02-2019, 04:05 PM
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Walton's trick was super impressive but I feel like the 8 was forced. He seems like the sort of guy who could take any three numbers from 1-6 and make them equal 8 based on what operations he applied. He also added his own number too didn't he? He was probably befuddled and giddy that the only operation that needed to be applied was addition.
You may be right about this. I watched again and he definitely didn't swap in the cards. Chances are the magic number was going to be 8 no matter what and he got quite lucky. If he'd said something like, "Let's take Alyson's number, divide it by Penn's, and then multiply it by Teller's," the jig would probably have been up.
I tried to find a video of him doing this trick elsewhere but couldn't.
  #199  
Old 10-02-2019, 05:39 PM
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I tried to find a video of him doing this trick elsewhere but couldn't.
(Sorry for the double post.)
I checked YouTube for Denny Corby as well. I didn't find the restaurant bit, but this trick was pretty impessive. I don't see any way he could have forced that number. Any thoughts?
  #200  
Old 10-04-2019, 04:03 AM
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Corby had a way to force 83 by making Wallace choose from specific categories in a specific order. He knew all of the combinations that would make up 83.
How would that work, exactly? We can see in the menu that items have different prices, both within and across categories. And since addition is commutative, it shouldn't matter in what order the items are chosen.
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