Daley Dilemma (Part 2)

In my last post I talked about how the Too-Perfect Theory relates to Dr. Daley’s Last Trick. In this post, I’m going to continue my analysis of the plot in an attempt to make the transposition play stronger.

Like many magic tricks, Dr. Daley’s Last Trick suffers from poor motivation. Why do we use four Aces when only the black Aces are involved in the action? Obviously, as magicians know we need the red Aces to perform the transposition. We could announce ahead of time what is going to happen, but this would ruin the surprise element of the trick. No, we don’t want to do that.

Poor motivation is usually a sign that the internal logic of the trick is faulty. I touched on this weakness in my last post, when I mentioned a way to improve the internal logic of Daley’s trick by mixing the position of the two black Aces before the reveal. This make locating the Ace of Spades more challenging, thus justifying the silly question (“Where is the Ace of Spades?”). This improves the presentation, but still doesn’t help explain why the two red Aces are being used.

By further developing the “chase the Ace” presentation I outlined in my previous post, we can also justify why we’re only using the black Aces. Simply explain that you’re using two Aces to begin with to make the game easier to play. After all, your mark volunteer has never played this game before, so using all four Aces would be unfair! Problem solved! We’ve justified the use of all four Aces and managed not to spoil the surprise ending. You could even develop a second phase to Daley’s Last Trick which did involve all four Aces to add credence to this premise.

So, that’s another weakness dealt with. Onto the next!

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