Old Plots New Thoughts

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This issue contains some card plots that have been on my mind. The first is Peter Kane’s Elongated Lady otherwise known as the Stretching Queen. I first saw this performed by Bob Ostin and it was very effective in his hands. It’s a cute novelty. It uses a fake card and so, naturally, like everyone else who ever saw this trick, I tried to develop an unfaked version.

My versions, like the original, used three cards. But recently I checked out other versions that people had developed. and I was struck by Roy Walton’s idea, in Stretching a Point (Some Late Extra Card Tricks, 1975) of using four cards instead of three. That led me to the following:

You don’t have to use four-of-a-kind. You can have four different cards selected and do the stretching illusion with any one of them. The Elongated Lady effect is quite short so you might want to extend the routine. Luckily, the cards are ready for a Twisting the Aces effect. After that you can use the four cards for, say, Dr Daley’s Last Trick. This way you have a longer routine comprised of several effects using the same four cards. I’ve outlined the Twisting the Aces sequence below. In the video I mention a Tamariz/Bruce subtlety used in connection with a multiple lift. You’ll find further details of that in the video of Rosini’s Royal Trio. I was never clear about the origin of that move because when I first read it, it was uncredited. Jerry Sadowitz pointed me in the direction of Pabular magazine (Vol 7, No 1 & 4) where the full story is told.

I shared this routine with Shiv Duggal who pointed out that Bob Farmer had the same idea, of doing the stretching illusion and then moving into a twisting aces effect. Similarly inspired by Roy Walton’s he arrived at yet another handling which was published as Twisting, Turning, Extending and Otherwise Molesting the Aces. See Pabular Vol 4, No 9, May 1978. Bob has a nice idea there for creating a pseudo duplicate which you can also adapt to Long Tall Sally.

Talking of pseudo duplicates…


There’s an old trick where you put two cards into the middle of the deck and make them come back to the top. You’ll find a version entitled Singular Transposition in Roterberg’s New Era Card Tricks (1897). It’s a very easy trick to learn and perform which is why it is a good one to teach to spectators when asked. In fact you can see Brian Markenson doing just that to the YouTube special effects masters known as the Corridor Crew:

I thought it might be interesting if this trick had a kicker. It doesn’t need one. But hey, it’s a pandemic. We have a lot of time to fill.


One of my friends is reading House of Cards: The Life & Magic of Paul Rosini, an excellent book written by Chuck Romano. I hadn’t read it for quite a while so decided to take a look. One of several tricks that drew my attention was Rosini’s Royal Trio. This because I recalled reading a similar trick in Pallbearers Review. That trick was Surprise Reverse by Louis Zingone (Pallbearers Review, Vol 7, No 3).

Zingone, a performer of interest ever since I read about The Zingone Spread (Expert Card Technique and Amateur Magician’s Handbook), had originally published Surprise Reverse in Walter Schwartz’s CIGAM (1931). There it is a simple transposition trick with an offbeat method. Paul Rosini’s version has a patter story that helps make sense of the unusual effect. In fact, House of Cards also contains a more risqué version of that patter story, as recalled by Neil Elias, which might well have made the trick worth doing back in the nightclubs of the 1930s that Rosini worked.

Rosini’s version made use of the pass. And if that suits your way of working, then that is absolutely the way to do it. If it doesn’t, then you might want to give the following version a try. It also features a Multiple Lift I explained in Genii magazine under the title Science Friction (July, 2012).


When I wrote the book Chan Canasta A Remarkable Man (2000), Jeff Busby suggested that Charles Carts had been overlooked. And that perhaps Canasta had been inspired by Carts. It’s unclear what made him think that, however, if you are interested in performers who made their living with a deck of cards, then you will find Charles Carts worth studying. With this in mind, I’ve published an essay on the Cardopolis Blog that you might want to read as it details Carts’ act. You can read it here. Should anyone know more about Carts, please get in touch.

Until next time… happy shuffling.


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