General Question

jballou's avatar

Does anyone know how to do this magic trick?

Asked by jballou (2118points) August 21st, 2008—Guess-the-Word-3860166

Not the ash part, I already know how to do that- I just mean the actual knowing/guessing of the word.

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15 Answers

JackAdams's avatar

I know the answer to your question, but I have a kind of “problem” with telling you (and everyone else) the secret to that trick, because it is unethical for even an amateur magician (such as I) to publicly reveal to another person, precisely how a trick is accomplished.

Other magicians (both professional & amatuer) would roundly and publicly condemn me, for revelaing how a magic trick is done.

I will tell you (and this is no secret) that there are magic books at the public library that easily reveal the secret to that trick, and I have violated no rules of ethics, by informing you of that.

One of my favorite tricks that I do for my friends, is that I sit down at the kitchen table, and, right before their amazed eyes, I make an entire chocolate cake disappear, in a matter of minutes. [Burp!]

jballou's avatar

Does the trick have a title or a formal name?

JackAdams's avatar

I have heard it called “Ash Rubbing,” and that’s the only way I have ever referred to it.

JackAdams's avatar

Try this link, for one explanation:

Hope that helps.

jballou's avatar

Thanks for the link, but I already know how to do the ash rubbing. I was looking for advice on the “mindreading” portion of the trick.

JackAdams's avatar

Respectfully, if you really think about it long enough, you will devine the answer on your own, with no help from anyone or any website.

The simplest solution is the best.

JackAdams's avatar

There is only ONE “logical” explanation of how the mindreading thing can be done.

shockvalue's avatar

yeah, you gotta be psychic!

JackAdams's avatar

Guess again!

La_chica_gomela's avatar

okay, so i just watched the video. it looked to me like the word appeared on his arm in the same handwriting as she wrote it on the card…but if he used the method in Jack’s link, then there are still a lot of unanswered questions!
j, you’ve got me wondering too now!

La_chica_gomela's avatar

Okay, i’ve been thinking about it, and the only “logical” explanation I can think of is that the girl was in on it, and they had pre-arranged for her to choose that word.

Jack, is that it?

La_chica_gomela's avatar

Or is there a mirror somewhere, and he saw the word while she was showing the camera, and rubbed the soap on his arm while his back was turned?

JackAdams's avatar

That’s essentially it, La_chica_gomela.

These things are usually planned out in advance, with the subject working out the details with the magician, prior to the trick being performed.

There is no other way that such a trick could be performed, right?

jballou's avatar

I’ve seen this trick done by a friend of a friend who did it spontaneously with no prior setup, literally in the middle of a bar, with a random person that was hanging out picking a word out of a popular book. He left out the burning/ash portion of the trick.

So that leads me to believe that the “popular books” part of the trick is important.

If you think about it, there would be no point to the magician and the participant agreeing beforehand what word to choose, as there’s no real “magic” to that.

JackAdams's avatar

There is, to other observers, not “in” on it.

August 22, 2008, 5:11 PM EDT

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