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Topic: Puzzles In Your Arsenal
Message: Posted by: Andrew E. Miller (May 5, 2003 11:18PM)
Do any of you use puzzles in your acts? Such as the little blocks of wood where you try and hook a dowl rod on a rubber band. This question is pretty strange. Then again...so am I.

Andrew :lol:
Message: Posted by: Reg Rozee (May 6, 2003 02:16AM)
I have a desktop puzzle I occasionally use as a solid through solid illusion. It is a solid ring apparently linked onto a spring. When you know the secret, you can unlink them quite easily, but even after the "work" is done they still appear linked due to the coils so you can make the separation appear as mysterious as possible. Apparently the puzzle is quite well known in England, but I have never met anyone in Canada who has seen it before.

-Reg {*}
Message: Posted by: Bilwonder (May 6, 2003 04:08AM)
I use the Ring and Spring routine as done by Paul Diamond...takes a puzzle into a real magical routine. (I buy a ring and spring at the hardware store. Most of the ones in magic sets hardly even make sense. "Stumpy's", on the web, sells good ones).

I also use the bent nails. After letting someone struggle with them a bit I take them (and with a secret twist) ask them to hold the head of one nail and just tip them...and they are amazed to see them slide apart in their own hands....I relink them and them still can't get them apart...for a time..

The old ring between horseshoes, can be presented almost like the linking rings if you cover the opening as you remove and replace the ring.

The metal "Linking Hearts" can be presented much the same...

The "Alcatraz" puzzle is magical also, as the ball seems to melt thru the bars...I do it all the time and have kept kids busy with it for hours.

I use the twisting the pencil in the hands puzzle without letting go of it between the thumbs...

I have a whole time killer routine based on several arm twisting puzzles.
Message: Posted by: Hideo Kato (May 6, 2003 10:13AM)
I have created a trick with Pentomino. After I placed 11 pieces in the case, the last piece and the shape of remaining space in the case don't match. So I try to change the shape of the last piece. But it won't change. But, the remaining space in the case has changed and the last piece now fits in the case.

Hideo Kato
Message: Posted by: Nir Dahan (May 7, 2003 08:52AM)
There is a real nice effect (forgot the name) where you have a playing card cut into 4 pieces (or more depends on the version - there has been many variations).
the spec is asked to put the pieces together, this is done very easily, when the card is turned over he is asked to do it again - of course the other side does not assemble to a complete card.
this always gets a puzzled look from the specs.
I strongly believe that one can add those puzzle effects into his act, magic can also create puzzlement not just wonder.
just MHO

nir
Message: Posted by: Wil Castor (May 7, 2003 03:28PM)
I do a bit for friends where I solve the rubix cube in less time than it takes them to mess it up... I love puzzles and have a few others I use to baffel and astonish friends. If you have seen / mastered the horseshoes and ring problem try to find one that uses 3 horseshoes linked by 3 welded chains and a ring for each side. It's tough but loads of fun.
Message: Posted by: Loz (May 8, 2003 07:48AM)
Hey Wil, what's your average time for the cube? Assuming the corners are all wrong (sometimes you ask someone to mess it up and they don't really screw up the corners which can allow you to solve it much quicker).

Always wished I could put this to some magical use. Perhaps solving it in the open while pattering. Then having it mixed up again, covered with hanky and instantaneously solve it using "the power!"
Message: Posted by: Turk (May 13, 2003 02:43AM)
I do the "Ring on Spring" trick for kids' shows but NEVER in a disparing way. In fact, I try to let the kids be the magicians and be able to do the magic while I, the magician, am unable to "solve" the puzzle.

As for the Rubic's Cube, I do the version performed by Doug Henning approximately 20 years ago on one of his TV specials. It is a great effect; mix the cube in front of the audience, show the cube completely mixed up, throw the cube into the air and it INSTANTLY returns into your hand "solved"!! It's a pants-wetter.

Turk
Message: Posted by: Loz (May 13, 2003 03:40AM)
Turk - Henning using a topit?
Message: Posted by: Turk (May 13, 2003 07:50AM)
Loz,

Nope! One Rubic's Cube only. "What you see is what you get".

Turk
Message: Posted by: Loz (May 13, 2003 12:03PM)
whoa - me baffled
Message: Posted by: hitmouse (May 16, 2003 04:51PM)
[quote]
On 2003-05-06 03:16, Reg Rozee wrote:
I have a desktop puzzle I occasionally use as a solid through solid illusion. It is a solid ring apparently linked onto a spring. When you know the secret, you can unlink them quite easily, but even after the "work" is done they still appear linked due to the coils so you can make the separation appear as mysterious as possible. Apparently the puzzle is quite well known in England, but I have never met anyone in Canada who has seen it before.

-Reg {*}
[/quote]

Yep, its a traditional children's puzzle in the UK. It generally comes as part of collection of puzzles of a similar nature which involve working out how to separate artfully bent pairs of nails.
Message: Posted by: leonard (May 16, 2003 07:54PM)
I recently (re)found the Ring-on-Spring and Snapper puzzles at a dollar store here in Michigan.

Puzzles are commonly used in magic, but not presented as puzzles. Rather, the impossibility of the situation is stressed. I am thinking in particular of the Mexican Bill Box and the Dollar Tube. Tenyo Products bridge the gap between these areas quite well.
Message: Posted by: John Smetana (May 17, 2003 05:00PM)
The "Ring on Spring" effect was reworked and sold by Richard Osterlind as "INDUSTRIAL STRENGTH LINK" The routine is quite good and it works as well, if not better, as a magic effect than it does as a puzzle.The props supplied are very well made and quite large.
If this type of effect suits your style you find it worth looking into.

Best thoughts,
John Smetana :kewl:
Message: Posted by: trainerjep (May 29, 2003 10:51AM)
I have a lot of puzzles, and find them very entertaining, but the best is the carpenter nail puzzle.

A nail is pounded into a wood block, you hand out 9 nails and have the spectator stack all nine nails on top of the one nail.
I have won sooo many bets with this, and no one, I mean no one, has ever ever figured it out.
Message: Posted by: robsigns (Jun 6, 2003 09:40PM)
I once saw a version of the "ring and spring" trick done with a valve spring and a coat hanger. The presentation was of a "soft spot" in the hanger.
I don't know if it was a "packaged" trick or just someone's idea they were showing, but I liked the idea.
Message: Posted by: Dave Le Fevre (Jun 7, 2003 05:54AM)
[quote]
On 2003-05-13 08:50, Turk wrote:
Loz,

Nope! One Rubic's Cube only. "What you see is what you get".

Turk
[/quote]

Just a guess, but three faces look randomised and three faces look "solved"?

Dave
Message: Posted by: tropicalpenguin (Jun 7, 2003 03:12PM)
One could say that all of magic is really a puzzle just waiting to be solved. All the different gimmicks and special methods, They go hand in hand.
Message: Posted by: Phil Pearce (Jun 7, 2003 08:32PM)
I forget where I saw this, I certainly didn't think it up, but a good impromptu Ring and Spring can be done by taking a ballpoint pen apart and using the spring inside, along with a paper clip.
I once saw Joel Bauer do 10 minutes with the Ring and Spring and mesmerize 75 people. The guy is an amazing entertainer.
Phil
Message: Posted by: Dennis Loomis (Jun 9, 2003 08:59AM)
The Rubic's Cube Puzzle, as performed by Henning and others is available on Daryl's Web Site for sixteen bucks:
http://www.foolerdoolers.com/

I posted yesterday about a Harry Lorayne routine which starts with a playing card puzzle and becomes a magic square that a spectator can keep as a souvenir. It's in the Magic Equations Section.
Dennis Loomis
Message: Posted by: Scott Cram (Jun 9, 2003 12:13PM)
[quote]
On 2003-06-07 06:54, Dave Le Fevre wrote:
[quote]
On 2003-05-13 08:50, Turk wrote:
Loz,

Nope! One Rubic's Cube only. "What you see is what you get".

Turk
[/quote]

Just a guess, but three faces look randomised and three faces look "solved"?

Dave
[/quote]

Nope. When you start out, it's very well mixed, and can be shown on ALL sides.

At the end, you can spin it in a very free and fair manner and show it's solved,
Message: Posted by: japanjazzy (Jun 22, 2003 06:51PM)
I have a two piece puzzle made from plastic that forms a pyramid. It came with a puzzle book that I got from Klutz. I use it in between tricks to give some of the know-it-all teens something to do.

The problem is I have tried to get more but I can't find them. I found wooden versions, but people seem to be able to figure that out very fast. On the plastic smaller version very few actually figure it out at all.
Message: Posted by: Scott Cram (Jun 22, 2003 09:08PM)
Mel Stover had a sneaky way of presenting this puzzle. He would bring the puzzle out, already in pyramid formation, set it down, briefly explain the challenge, and then knock it apart with his hand. When it was knocked apart, though, there would be [b]three[/b] pieces, with one surreptitiously added by Mel.

He would then challenge someone to reassemble the pyramid together "using just these pieces". He never said, of course, that you had to use [b]all[/b] of the pieces. ;)
Message: Posted by: 0pus (Jun 23, 2003 08:07AM)
I love it!

What a great bar stunt (or betcha).

0pus
Message: Posted by: Scott Cram (Jun 23, 2003 02:53PM)
Getting back to puzzles in the arsenal, I love doing the Knight's Tour for people. I have a portable version on my PDA.

When I've done my version, it amazes even performers who use a memorized path. This is because, in my version, I let someone choose the starting AND ending squares (as long as they're opposite colors).

If you want to learn this version, I wrote it up [url=http://members.aol.com/beagenius/knighttour1.html]here (click)[/url].
Message: Posted by: martyk (Jul 15, 2003 03:45PM)
Hey, puzzles are great! The rankest layman can hold a table group together for 10-15 minutes with a few puzzles, mostly because they involve the spectator. Don't compare the entertainment value of a series of puzzles to a series of good tricks for spontaneous entertainment; the puzzles win every time… unfortunately.
MartyK
Now someone will write and say,"... well, in your hands yes, but in the right hands…"
Message: Posted by: Bong780 (Sep 15, 2003 10:21AM)
My average time solve a Rubiks cube is about 2 minutes, It depends on the condition of cube. It can be much faster if its a new cube that runs smoothly.

I've seen the Guinness record, the guy solved the cube blindfolded! I think he solved it within 5 minutes.
Message: Posted by: Mindbender (Apr 9, 2004 05:36PM)
[quote]
On 2003-05-29 11:51, trainerjep wrote:
I have a lot of puzzles, and find them very entertaining, but the best is the carpenter nail puzzle.

A nail is pounded into a wood block, you hand out 9 nails and have the spectator stack all nine nails on top of the one nail.
I have won sooo many bets with this, and no one, I mean no one, has ever ever figured it out.
[/quote]

For variety, other numbers of nails can be used too, including:

6 nails stacked on 1 - see http://www.theoldgamestore.com/exclusiv.htm

10 nails stacked on 1 - see http://www.woodworkit.com/woodworking-project-plans/nail-puzzle.shtml?sid=AF961

14 nails stacked on 1 - see Nail Puzzle at http://www.businessballs.com/games.htm