I think it was Larry Jennings who said, "every good trick should have a discrepancy". (If it wasn't Larry Jennings... oh well, every good magic trick write-up should also have a discrepancy, I guess). Anyway, whoever said it would be very pleased with Ron Frost's trick, X-Factor. Because it has a couple of big visual discrepancies during the performance, but it also proves the adage, because both discrepancies fly by an audience of laymen without notice. (Maybe every good trick should have TWO discrepancies!)
The effect: a card is selected form a deck, and after a quick mix, the magi says he has narrowed it down to one of four cards. He removes a four-of-a-kind, and shows it. One of the cards is in fact the selection. (For example, the magi removes the four Sixes, and the chosen card is the Six of Hearts.) Then the magi says he feels strongly about the Six of Hearts being the selection, and he places it faceup on the table. Applause #1. To thank the audience for their kind applause, he shows how he knew -- the other three cards are turned facedown (showing their blue backs). The selection is turned facedown, and it has a red back with a big "X" drawn through it. Applause #2. For Applause #3, the magi turns the other Sixes faceup, and now they have big "X"s drawn through their faces!
The discrepancies? Well, one of the cards appears twice in a faceup count, and after turning a card facedown in a three card packet, later they are all facedown. Discrepant, but among the triple magical moments that occur, no one ever notices.
A very impressive packet trick for lay audiences, and one of Frost's best offerings in my opinion. Brand new, with instructions.
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