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Ken de Courcy

Ken de Courcy

(Hastings, England: 10th March 1922 - 23rd July 2008)

Stage name of Kenneth William Gurney de Courcy Tyler since 1942. Learned at age 6 from parents gift of an Ernest Sewell magic set. Tutored by Stanley Collins 1938-42. Pro debut 1945-47 touring Southeast Asia for ENSA. Semi-pro c1947-c1964 while in business. Specializes in cabaret and close-up. Stage act with assistant-wife Sue de Courcy since 1969. Pet effect: Knife thru Coat. 1989 AMA Literary Fellowship. British Ring President 1989-90.

Wrote over 60 booklets, beginning with Genial Improbabilities (1949, 62pp; repr 1968), then Zodiac Telepathy (1951, 17pp), Automentalism (1953, 15pp), Dubbelkross and Simulkross (1955, 16pp), Son of Pentertain (1974, 29pp), Creditable Conjuring (1983).

Edited The Budget for 17 years and Magigram since 1966. Edits-publishes The Coffee-Break Chronicle (limited to 100 subscribers) 1988-?

Coauthors: Herb Rungay, Richard Himber, George Blake, Peter Pit, Edwin Hooper, Ian Adair, Ravelle and Andree, Ulysses Frederick Grant, Jack Yates, Billy McComb, Marc de Milo, Dick Turpin, Alan Shaxon

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Ken de Courcy
Count Down by Ken de Courcy

Very easy to do, impromptu and with a big effect! What else would you ask? Count Down by Ken de Courcy is a card trick that you can present in several ways, all well explained in this little manuscript.

The basic effect is the following: A spectator shuffles his own pack (Yes! It can be his own pack of cards and he really shuffles it...), then counts ten cards in a reverse order. If a number of spots on a card happens to match the number he is counting aloud at the time, the card is thrown out face-up. If none match during the count, a card is dealt face down in front of the magician.

This...

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Ken de Courcy
Conto Alla Rovescia by Ken de Courcy

Si tratta di un effetto impromptu, molto semplice da eseguire e dal grande effetto! Cos'altro volere di più?

CONTO ALLA ROVESCIA di Ken De Courcy è un gioco che può esser presentato in diversi modi, alcuni spiegati nel dettaglio in questo piccolo manoscritto.

L'effetto base è il seguente: uno spettatore mischia il proprio mazzo di carte (si proprio il suo mazzo che viene mischiato veramente!) quindi conta dieci carte facendo un conto alla rovescia. Se il valore della carta corrisponde al numero contato, la carta viene messa sul tavolo a faccia in alto. Se nessun valore delle carte...

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Ken de Courcy
The Novena Enigma by Ken de Courcy

Another great trick by Ken. You can do it anytime, anyplace with any deck. You can perform it even if the deck is incomplete. It is a perfect impromptu trick. It has all the elements of a great trick: an entertaining patter, comedy and a surprising finish.

THE EFFECT

A pack is shuffled and a card is selected by a spectator, shown to a few other people, then returned. The magician shows the face card of the pack and asks whether it is the chosen card. This is denied. The performer tries to right the things.

He drops the pack face down on the table but the top card is face up. But once...

$4
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Ken de Courcy
Roy Baker's Time Flies by Ken de Courcy

Time Flies! And it's hard to time it because it flies so fast. Anyway, here is a routine with a borrowed watch that you will find fun to make up. Even the most ham-fisted should be able to complete the job in about half-an-hour. It's fun-packed and the magic content is strong. In brief a borrowed wrist watch disappears in a cascade of streamers and is found in a sealed tin can.

5 pages

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Ken de Courcy
It's Knot Impossible by Ken de Courcy

Get the most from a classic trick. All you need is a single piece of rope (that can be borrowed) and you are always ready to entertain your audience. It packs so small but it plays so big. You can perform it close up or for a big audience.

"The Impossible Knot", originally called "G.W.Hunter's Puzzle Knot", was well-known to magicians fifty years ago but appears to have dropped out of use. This is a shame because it is easy to do, not well-known and, due to the method, almost impossible for a spectator to work out even when he is apparently shown how it is done. In short, it's a useful thing...

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Ken de Courcy
You'll Get The Point by Ken de Courcy

If you like a real card baffler, look no further. This is a sort of 'One-Deck Do-As-I-Do' but it works on a very different principle.

Cards are shuffled and cut both by the spectator and the performer (really!). The spectator mentally chooses a card (free choice) and the performer does the same. Then the cards are shuffled again. Unbelievably, the magician and the spectator get cards of the same value and colour. It almost works itself.

Effect: The performer cuts a portion off the pack, hands it to a spectator and asks him to do exactly as he does. First they both shuffle their packets,...

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Ken de Courcy
New Zealand Brag by Ken de Courcy

A close-up "lay-out" type effect based on a mythical game, "New Zealand Brag".

You deal out the shuffled Aces, Kings and Queens, yet miraculously when the hands are turned over they have separated into suits and, what is more, each hand is in their right order, Queen, King, Ace! Something very different in card magic.

1st edition 2018, 5 pages.

★★★★ $4
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Ken de Courcy
Auto-Find by Ken de Courcy

Based on a Bob Hummer and Karl Fulves principle. A spectator is handed seven playing-cards. He shuffles them, then places one of them aside face-down without looking at it. Now squares of cardboard are shown with cut-out windows. Spectator follows the magician's instructions and, at the end, looking through the cut-out windows in the cards, an index of a card appears. The chosen card is turned over and has been correctly revealed.

You will have to make up the squares of cardboard for this. The trick itself is self-working, the real work having been put into the evolution of the effect, but they are useful for...

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Ken de Courcy
Mentelimination Plus by Ken de Courcy

Find any card a spectator takes from a borrowed and shuffled pack.

EFFECT: The magician tells his audience he has trained his mind to work like a computer. To demonstrate its computer-like capabilities, he asks a spectator to shuffle a pack of cards then, without looking at it, remove one card and place it in his pocket. Taking back the pack, the performer runs through it quickly, then goes through it again even more quickly and pulls out one card which he places face down on the table. The spectator removes his card from his pocket and places it face-up alongside the magician's card, then...

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Ken de Courcy
Hammanesque by Ken de Courcy

In one of the New York Magic Symposium volumes there is a trick by Brother John Hamman entitled "The Lie-Detector Card Case". In it, he describes a truly brilliant-in-its-simplicity method for discovering a merely-thought-of card. Here is an alternative ending to it which, for me, makes it easier for larger audiences to see.

EFFECT

A spectator shuffles a pack of cards, then merely thinks of a card as the performer counts some over before his eyes. The cards are shuffled, then the performer shows the cards at the top and bottom of the pack; the selected card is not among them. Next, he introduces two paper...

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Ken de Courcy
Nod ... è Possibile by Ken de Courcy

Ottieni il massimo da un trucco classico. Tutto ciò di cui hai bisogno è un unico pezzo di corda (che può essere preso in prestito) e sei sempre pronto a intrattenere il tuo pubblico. È così piccolo ma ha un effetto così grande. Puoi eseguirlo da vicino o per un grande pubblico. Puoi eseguirlo anche in VIDEOCONFERENZA!

Ottieni il massimo dal “Nodo Impossibile di Hunter” con questa routine del grande Edwin Hooper descritta dall’altrettanto grande Ken De courcy.

"The Impossible Knot", originariamente chiamato "G.W.Hunter's Puzzle Knot", era ben noto ai maghi cinquant'anni fa,...

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Herb Rungay & Ken de Courcy
Dream Poker with a Kicker by Herb Rungay & Ken de Courcy

This is a multi-stage multi-climax routine with a deck of cards. If you already know George Blake's Dream Poker, you will love this one.

There is a lot of magic here - very easy to do (it is almost automatic…). You repeatedly find a chosen card with seemingly impossible conditions, by logic, by spelling it out and by chance. Then you deal to the spectator a Royal Flush in Spades in a freely chosen position on the table. And finally the spectator finds his chosen card in the deck that he had shuffled, by spelling it himself!

From the foreword:

Frank Lane, in his book, "Help Yourself", published in 1931, wrote:...

★★★★ $5
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Ken de Courcy
Ken de Courcy Discusses "The World's Fastest Card Trick" by Ken de Courcy

A bestseller on our site has been Joe Karson's The World's Fastest Card Trick. A great lesson of showmanship packed with loads of laughter for the audience. Now it is a pleasure for us to present an in-depth discussion of this trick by the great master Ken De Courcy.

In this manuscript, you will find the complete presentation of the trick by De Courcy, enriched with many different endings that make the trick memorable. The trick is a real comedy of errors in which a spectator is invited on stage to pick a card and then...the fun begins...Everything seems to go wrong while the performer tries again and again to find the card miserably...

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Ken de Courcy
Ken de Courcy Discute Il Gioco Piu Veloce Del Mondo by Ken de Courcy

Un manoscritto di grande successo sul nostro sito è stato quello di Joe karson " il gioco più veloce del mondo". Una vera lezione sull'arte della presentazione e un carico di risate per il pubblico.

Ora è un piacere per noi presentare una approfondita discussione su questo gioco del maestro Ken De Courcy.

In questo manoscritto , troverete la personale presentazione del gioco da parte di De Courcy, arricchita con molti finali diversi che renderanno il gioco memorabile. Il gioco è una vera e propria commedia degli errori in cui una spettatrice chiamata sul palco per scegliere una carta...

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Ken de Courcy
The Receptive Shroud by Ken de Courcy

An unusual presentation detailing probably the easiest system for the two-person mind-reading act yet produced.

EFFECT:

A clip-board is tossed into the audience. Under its elastic band is a pencil. The performer asks the person who catches it to pass the board to anyone in the row behind him. That person then writes anything he likes in the top space - a name, a date, a phone number, a question - anything. He then passes the board to someone behind him, who does the same thing, then the board is passed again.

When six people have written their thoughts, the board is returned to the...

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Ken de Courcy
One Dream Bottle by Ken de Courcy

Here is a mental effect that is useful for after-dinner shows.

EFFECT:

On the performer's table stand five bottled drinks. All contain different drinks, but they are all the same size. A spectator is invited to mentally choose one, then they are covered by him with five identical covers and, finally, mixed so no one can know the position of any particular drink. At this point, the performer turns his back and directs the spectator to move the bottles himself. Then one by one they are eliminated until only one remains.

He is asked to name the drink he chose, then lift the cover from...

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Ken de Courcy
Ken on Kards: Card Magic for Non-Card-Men by Ken de Courcy

The title of this little booklet is self-explanatory. In the pages of this lecture Ken gives advice on how to create a card act. He begins explaining his twists on classic card moves as the pass, card changes and force. Then he gives a brief description (direct to the point) of several card tricks that can be included in the act.

The majority of the tricks are improvements of other tricks or are Ken's original. Many are loaded with comedy in the usual Ken de Courcy style. In the manuscript you will find

  • The face to face routine
  • Nap hand Sam
  • The Indian rope trick
  • The triple cut discovery ...
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Ken de Courcy
Rink Goes Loop La-La by Ken de Courcy

From the introduction:

"Rink (van Rinkhuyzen) of Holland has a keen trick brain. Like most of the great magical inventors, he individualises every effect he obtains and, if he likes it, he continues to work on it. The result; a string of often unbelievable variations that astounds everyone, including the man who invented it.

Some time ago, Supreme marketed Tommy Talbot's "Loop La-La", an amusing little thing with two unfaked rope loops. As it stood, it was basically a compere gag. It could be repeated over and over again, but there was no build-up, and no end.

Rink took "Loop La-La"...

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Ken de Courcy
A Case For Cards by Ken de Courcy

From the FOREWORD

In this short thesis I'm going to discuss a fairly well-known plot ... "The Card in the Card-case". If you think about it, there's more 'logic' in this effect than in, for example, "The Card in Matchbox"; the card-case is already there because the cards were in it. Unless you smoke while performing, there is little reason for introducing a matchbox into the equation.

"The Card in Wallet" is a good, well-tried effect, but I submit the "Card in Card-case" is more "impossible" because it's in view all the time. This last point, obviously, creates difficulties which I'll...

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Ken de Courcy
Sleeve Subway by Ken de Courcy

A brilliant card-up-the-sleeve routine wherein you perform the effect first with regular cards and then with JUMBO'S.

Not difficult to do - a pleasure to learn and a delight to perform. Complete with Ken de Courcy's original fully illustrated routine, (based on a concept by R. M. Jamison), and full patter presentation to perform this unusual and entertaining mystery.

The effect is the following:

The magician introduces three playing cards, for example, a Two of Hearts, a Three of Diamonds and a card which is conspicuously different to the other two, an Ace of Spades. The cards are...

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Ken de Courcy
Pinpoints by Ken de Courcy

From the introduction:

Safety-pins are familiar things; they're inexpensive and can be bought almost everywhere both here and abroad. In other words, they're ideal props with which to perform magic. As a bonus, they are extremely portable and shine under lights.

Over the years the Supreme Magic Company has stocked a number of tricks with safety-pins but, probably because they were sold at low prices, people read the ads. and ignored them ... "because they can't be much good at that price'."

On the contrary, some of them had a startling effect, so Edwin has agreed they should be collected...

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Ken de Courcy
The Ring of EOK by Ken de Courcy

An amazing three part routine with a simple piece of rope and a borrowed ring.

The routine is in three parts. In Part I, a borrowed signet-ring is threaded on a rope, then penetrates it. Part II sees the ring again threaded and also knotted on the rope. Nevertheless, the ring visibly dissolves through leaving just the knot. In Part III the ring is threaded and knotted on the rope then a handkerchief is wrapped round it and the whole thing is held by a spectator. When instructed, he allows the handkerchief to drop to the floor to disclose an 'empty' rope; no ring ... not even a knot.

Since...

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Ken de Courcy
The Blood Feast of the Sun by Ken de Courcy

Ken de Courcy and Billy McComb took an old chemical effect, figured out the secret that makes it work reliably, and worked out all the other kinks, to make it ready for real world performances. The effect reads like one from Lubor Fiedler.

Effect: The magician introduces a circle of yellow tissue paper and hands it to a spectator to crumple into a ball. He receives it back then, holding it at his fingertips, concentrates on it for a few moments. The tissue ball is placed on an ashtray then ... it suddenly bursts into flames and burns away.

PDF 6 pages.

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Ken de Courcy
Lucky in Love by Ken de Courcy

Here is another magical gem from Ken De Courcy. It is packed with mystery, humor and audience participation. This card effect is suitable for close-up, stage, cabaret-floor or where you want to present it. The totally unexpected (yet logical) climax really hits the audience between the eyes and cannot fail to gather applause.

EFFECT: A lady is invited to assist. She chooses one of four envelopes and the remaining three are left in full view. She is then handed a red-backed pack to shuffle while the magician shuffles a blue pack. Then the packs are exchanged and shuffled again if you want. ...

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Richard Himber & Ken de Courcy & George Blake
Linking Finger Ring by Richard Himber & Ken de Courcy & George Blake

Routines with the Himber type linking finger ring.

  • The Original Himber Routine
  • Richard Himber's StaggeRing
  • The K de C Triple Link (Ken de Courcy)
  • About Rings and Things (George Blake)
  • Ring, Pin and Cord
  • Chinese Coins and Rings
  • A Ring and a Loop o'String
  • Sefalaljia-By Hand
  • BewildeRing

1st digital edition 2018, 19 pages.

$5
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Ken de Courcy
Ultimate Faulty Followers by Ken de Courcy

Here is a wonderful routine that you can perform every time and everywhere. From an idea by George Sands, Ken developed a beautiful three phases routine that can be performed under all circumstances with eight unprepared giant cards. The routine develops the theme “You can’t do what I do”.

Effect: Having enticed a spectator up to help, the magician hands him eight jumbo cards and says, "Please give me any four....and keep four yourself." This done, both performer and spectator carry out some simple movements but, when the cards are counted over, all the magician's cards are face down...

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Ken de Courcy
Easy Everywhere and Nowhere by Ken de Courcy

"Everywhere and Nowhere" is a classic plot which, due to the difficulties in performance, is rarely seen. The original version calls for exceptional aptitude in card-changes which are not the easiest sleights to do well. Here is a new method utilizing a well-known fake pack that surely you already have, used in an undetectable way. This routine brings "Everywhere and Nowhere" within the range of everybody. Give it that and you'll have a trick that will amaze and entertain both laymen and magicians.

EFFECT:

A card is selected from a pack, then returned and the deck is cut a number of times...

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Ken de Courcy
The Red and Black Computation by Ken de Courcy

You correctly guess how many red and black cards a spectator has casually put into four pockets with an unexpected climax. No skill required.

EFFECT

A spectator is given a pack of cards, or he can use his own. He shuffles it, removes some cards, splits them into blacks and reds and places the blacks in his left trouser-pocket and the reds in his right. He takes some more cards, splits them as before and conceals the black cards in his left jacket pocket and the reds in his right. All this has taken place while the performer's back is turned.

The magician asks the spectator to again...

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Ken de Courcy
Delayed Action Eleven Cards Routine by Ken de Courcy

A multi effect comedy card routine with audience participation and an unexpected climax. Cards mysteriously increase and decrease of number in magician's hands defying the laws of mathematics in a crescendo of surprises.

EFFECT

The magician fans a pack of cards to a spectator asking him to choose one and place it in his inside jacket pocket. The performer tries to read the mind of the spectator and to guess the chosen card but he fails. In desperation he slings the pack high in the air. With hardly a break, he removes some more cards from his pocket and goes straight into another trick...

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Ken de Courcy
Five Card Stunner by Ken de Courcy

A very easy to do routine in which a black card repeatedly flies from hand to pocket leaving spectators amazed again and again, despite the performer trying to simplify things. All can be examined.

Imagine deliberately counting five cards....four of which are red with only one black. Each and every card is called and shown - without a single false move four cards are tossed to the table and the black card is seen to have vanished. It is reproduced from the pocket. Now Imagine that you can do it again and again each time eliminating one red card to make it easier for the public to follow the...

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Ken de Courcy
Fortunato in Amore by Ken de Courcy

Un'altra grande routine da Ken De Courcy , piena di mistero, umorismo e partecipazione del pubblico . Questo gioco di carte è adatto per essere eseguito in close-up, sul palco, in un locale o ovunque preferiate. Il colpo di scena finale, completamente inaspettato (seppur logico), sorprenderá enormemente il pubblico e non mancherá di regalarvi un lungo applauso.

EFFETTO: Una signora del pubblico viene invitata come assistente e le viene chiesto di scegliere una delle quattro buste presentate apertamente su un tavolo. Le rimanenti tre vengono lasciate in piena vista. Viene consegnato all’assistente...

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Marc de Milo & Ken de Courcy
Bingo Divination by Marc de Milo & Ken de Courcy

Card tricks suitable for stage presentation are rare. Bingo Divination can be performed successfully on a stage or in a cocktail-lounge. It is the logical, up to date version of the classic Nap Hand, without the necessary memory work or sleight-of-hand. Rehearse it carefully, paying attention to presentation, and you'll have a reputation-maker.

EFFECT: The magician introduces a pack of cards. The cards are genuinely shuffled and then dealt into two piles, one containing Clubs and Hearts, the other Spades and Diamonds. The Clubs-Hearts pile is again dealt into three face-down piles, one to...

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