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Topic: Too-obvious math tricks?
Message: Posted by: Hushai (Dec 16, 2004 05:38PM)
I am a big fan of Peter Duffie's, and I just bought his new calendar trick entitled "Devious Dates." The description on his Website sounded good, and I snapped it up right away. After reading the instructions, however, I went back to the ad and realized that, if I had taken a few minutes at most, I could probably have figured out the method just from the description of the effect there and been able to do the trick without buying it. Not that I would have done that, but, I mean, I wonder if this doesn't mean the method is too obvious to anyone willing to do a little fooling around with arithmetic, and thus too obvious to really be a success as a trick --? It does depend entirely on a simple mathematical principle, and I would think anyone who saw it and cared to try could figure it out. As I say, I usually really like Peter Duffie's stuff. Does anyone else have experience with specifically math-related tricks that turned out to be too obvious? Are there ways of disguising the method in such cases?
Message: Posted by: DoctorAmazo (Jan 19, 2005 10:11AM)
But, can you not say the same about MANY other effects?

Once you know the method, it's very easy to say "I should/could have figured this out if I'd only thought about it a little more". The best way to judge how "obvious" an effect is, is to use it on lay audiences for a while and gauge their reaction.
Message: Posted by: dyddanwy (Feb 16, 2005 05:59AM)
DoctorAmzo makes excellent sense: do some fieldwork testing the method out - adapting your script, and retesting. Also, check Richard Busch's ideas in 'Number Please' he offers some great thinking regarding modifying mathematical ideas to better hide the calculation aspect. The trick my just need a little re-framing, after all, the ad originally caught your interest... so there has to be something of value in it somewhere.

JD :dance:
Message: Posted by: Hushai (Feb 24, 2005 03:08PM)
I guess that part of what I hoped in posting the above was that someone else would go to Peter Duffie's website and take a look at the description of the trick and tell me whether they could in fact have figured the method out easily just from the description. Truly, I may be especially dense, but I can almost never figure out the method of a trick just from the description in an ad, unless I happen to be familiar with the general principle the trick utilizes, but I think I COULD have figured this one out if I had given it, literally, five minutes or less of thought. Since getting "Devious Dates" and making my previous post I have found the same principle it uses in several other places, some of them in other tricks by Peter Duffie. I am singularly unimpressed by this principle no matter where I find it. It is just too transparent, and I don't feel I could do it confidently for anyone.
Message: Posted by: JSBLOOM (Feb 25, 2005 10:36PM)
Send me the link and I'll check it out.
I do agree with the above posts.
Once you know how the trick is done, it does not seem as impressive to YOU!
But.. what counts is the spectator reaction.
Message: Posted by: Hushai (Mar 3, 2005 04:55PM)
"Devious Dates" is offered on Peter Duffie's website at http://www.peterduffie.com/. Thanks.
It would take an investment of time and effort to make up the apparatus for "Devious Dates," more than I would be willing to give just to try it out on spectators. If it flops as I think it will with EVERYONE, I will have wasted that time and effort.
Message: Posted by: JSBLOOM (Mar 13, 2005 10:25AM)
I checked out the web site.
Not enough specifics ( number of cards) ect for me to figure out the method.
If you do not like the efect, why not sell it?
Message: Posted by: Hushai (Mar 14, 2005 05:16PM)
On 2005-03-13 11:25, JSBLOOM wrote:

If you do not like the efect, why not sell it?

Well -- it's a manuscript. There's really nothing to sell except a brief .pdf file. Now that I know the secret, I'd feel bad about selling it -- though, since I don't think I'll ever actually do the trick, maybe I could do that.

Thanks for taking a look.