Review: The Trick That CAN Be Explained by Mark Elsdon

[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_custom_heading text=”Reviewer: Ning”][vc_column_text]EFFECT:

The performer introduces a small envelope and says that there is a playing card inside. He places the envelope on the table and never touches it again. A participant takes the deck out of the box and shuffles it. Then they cut the deck and the top card is immediately turned over. It is, for example, the 7 of Spades. The deck is turned face-up and clearly spread to show that there are no duplicates. The participant opens the envelope and removes the card inside. It is a perfect match – the 7 of Spades. AND THERE ARE NO OTHER OUTS – the card in the envelope is ALWAYS the card they choose! NO sleight-of-hand required. This literally is as easy as it gets! Based on Dai Vernon’s “More Inner Secrets of Card Magic”. Your prediction in full view the entire time matches!

Alternative endings: You can have a photo of the card posted on your Twitter feed, Instagram or other social media. Or you can WhatsApp or message them at the start and they check the message at the end.


The Trick That Can Be Explained by Mark Elsdon was first released at the world famous Blackpool Magic Festival last year, before being picked up by Murphy’s Magic.

You receive the above red paper envelope with the necessary gaff cards in Bicycle stock, along with typed instructions about the length of a double page printed A4 sheet. For the performance of this routine, you’ll need to provide your own deck of matching poker cards.

Check out this demo video to see how the best scenario plays out 🙂

Although there are no accompanying illustrations/ photographs or video tutorials (something most of us expect these days TBH especially with a price point of 30 quid), Mark Elsdon’s instructions in the print out is adequate and easy to follow. According to the creator, this works 90% of the time, making The Trick That Can Be Explained perfect for the bold performer open to risks.

I’m not entirely sure if this is marketed as a magician’s fooler, since done well in the perfect scenario, it certainly can be an impressive mind boggling closer! Likewise, I’m also not entirely sure if I agree with the creator about letting the spectator shuffle the deck (I’d just do a casual spread at the start to show the cards all fairly mixed up), or even let them handle the cards the entire time as encouraged in the last part of the instructions (in my experience, when drinks are served at events, people do have the tendency to drop cards …and you might get someone who tries to show off, inevitably heckling you). Audience management is extremely crucial!

It’s frustrating that I haven’t had a full 100% success rate pulling this off using the included gimmicks (though it is a bit higher than the 90% success rate the creator mentioned, that’s still no consolation to me) so I’m wondering if it has anything to do with dry hands or simply the weather screwing up the provided card gaffs and throwing things off.

While I can’t go into further detail without tipping off the secret workings (to be fair, the cards that arrived in the set weren’t the best “quality”; I’ll need to get a certain special something to treat the surfaces and make sure the pasteboards are in a better performance ready state), I do very much appreciate the theory and improvements behind this classic idea.

That being said however, as a worker who has to entertain large groups of people within the tight hour or two I’m engaged for at cocktails or corporate functions, I appreciate reliable sure fire close-up hits that work all the time, so I personally choose to leave the riskier routines for magic club sessions or jams with my magic buddies (most of them hobbyists). But hey, like I mentioned, that is just me.

IMHO Mark Elsdon is clearly a critical magic thinker and has put out many solid tricks and DVDs that are hits with magicians and mentalists all over the world. I personally have purchased products of his like Zenner-Tech 2.0, Stop Smoking, Strange Oblique, But Not Here, iBalance, just to name a few… So while this one in particular is not for me, I’m going to give this SIX STARS (more points if there had been online instructional videos or a matching Bicycle deck included) because I am confident that there will be plenty of performers out there who will enjoy this very much.


Magic is our passion but we are not a magic shop ? You can purchase this here![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][vc_widget_sidebar sidebar_id=”gp-standard-sidebar”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Ning Cai is a Singapore Literature Prize nominated author, who was also long listed for the Epigram Books Fiction Prize in 2016. A bestselling writer, she is also recognised for her illusionist/ escapologist stage character Magic Babe Ning, and recognised by Channel News Asia as South East Asia's first professional female magician.

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