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All Roads Lead To Rome: exploration of an unusual magic method
by Chris Wasshuber


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All Roads Lead To Rome: exploration of an unusual magic method by Chris Wasshuber

With contributions by Werner Miller, Max Maven and Shigeo Futagawa.

The day was March 6th 2011 when Werner Miller sent me his Da Capo 3 and Da Capo 4 ebooks. Whenever I receive something from Werner I make time to read it. He has a knack to incorporate new twists and takes, or entirely new principles which stimulate my own grey cells.

Browsing Da Capo 3 I stumbled on an unusual effect which Werner titled "Pointing the Way". It was first published in 2001 in Club 71. This effect consisted of two parts. One was a printing effect where blank cards were shown, which later had arrows printed on them. This part of the effect was nothing special, the usual small packet trick stratagem, hide some sides, show others more than once and voila we have a little miracle. What got me interested though was the second part of the effect where a card was signed and lost in the packet via a spectator cut. Then the cards were tabled by the spectator in a 3x3 pattern. Starting at one corner the spectator would turn over a card revealing an arrow. The arrow would point to another card. Turning that one over would reveal another arrow a.s.o. until the spectator would find his signed card.

I was immediately smitten by the effect as well as the method. The effect was perhaps more puzzle like rather than a deep mystery, but charming and astounding nevertheless. The method was entirely original. How could the arrows be always pointing the right way to find the signed card?

I thought this was a very commercial effect that held a lot of potential. I also thought that there are ways to improve the effect. When I continued reading in Da Capo 4 I found another related effect called "Go West" which Werner first published in 2005 in Club 71. Here instead of blank cards he uses the four Kings, the four Jacks and the Queen of Hearts. The trick uses a somewhat different procedure but in the end speech bubbles appear on the Kings and Jacks, leading the spectator to find the Queen of Hearts. The underlying method was very similar to the one in "Pointing the Way".

I had to email Werner to congratulate him on these two wonderful effects as well as ask him for permission to pursue this method further and publish a little ebook on my exploration. Werner replied with his permission and mentioned that Max Maven had pretty much the same reaction back in 2001 when he read "Pointing the Way". Max created his own variation called "Arrow Dynamic" (included in this ebook) which was produced and published by Ton Onosaka of Magic Land in Japan in 2001. I was in good company.

This ebook describes Werner Miller's original "Pointing the Way", followed by Max Maven's "Arrow Dynamic", and Miller's "Go West" routine. All of this will be followed by my "Treasure Hunt" and two variations "Streetwise" and "Streetsmart." The attention I gave these effects prompted Werner to develop more variations which try to improve on some of the weaker points in the originals. These are included here, too. Further you will find Shigeo Futagawa's "Linking Rope Card Trick", which can be considered a distant early precursor to these type of effects.

1st edition 2011; 44 pages.
word count: 8823 which is equivalent to 35 standard pages of text