The Trick That Can Be Explained – Mark Elsdon – A Review

The Trick That Can Be Explained – Mark Elsdon – A Review

The Trick That CAN Be Explained – Mark Elsdon – A Review
Rick Carruth

Mentalism? Magic? Magic Theater?.. Mark Elsdon’s latest contribution to magic is all three. The Ad Copy reads:

“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!

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.”

My Thoughts..

Based on Dai Vernon’s famous “Trick That Cannot Be Explained”, but not, Mark Elsdon has created a well-designed effect that will definitely surprise the average spectator.
Mark thanks Chan Canasta for the inspiration and thoughts that inspired this effect.
He is a well-regarded mentalist and magician who has a large number of published effects with all the biggies.. and is the author of the Hidden Gems series of books, favored by some of the top performers in all of magic.

“The Trick That Can Be Explained” plays out like this: The performer introduces a card and a small envelope to the spectators. The card is not disclosed.. but openly placed inside the envelope and put on the table, not to be touched until the reveal.

The performer brings out a deck of cards, performs a simple overhand shuffle or two, and ask a spectator to take the deck and repeat the performer’s actions. After doing this, the spectator is asked to place the deck on the table, face down, and give the deck a cut. After completing the cut, the top card is turned over to reveal.. lets say.. a Six of Hearts. The performer flips the decks and ribbon spreads it to show there is only one Six of Hearts in the deck.

After a quick review by the magi.. the card in the envelope is removed by the spectator.. and revealed to be another Six of Hearts. The envelope is examinable.

As always.. I encourage you to go to Murphy’s and watch the trailer to get a good visual idea of this effect.

The outcome is always the same. There is virtually no chance the two cards won’t match… and this can be performed within fifteen minutes of receiving it. There is a setup, but not much. Mark supplies you with everything you need to perform TTTCBE aside from the deck.. which needs to be a standard Bicycle red-backed deck.

The effect is actually so simple it’s hard to write about it in detail. That’s not a bad thing. There are several cards supplied by Mark to make everything work, and a booklet about four pages long that explains everything you need to know.

Thankfully, there’s NO DIY for the magician to perform.. although there IS a small act you may need to perform to make the working slightly smoother. It takes about a minute and requires nothing but fingers.

This is one of those effects that WILL start an argument amongst performers. Some think they know the method – but don’t. Others know the method but don’t want to use it because it ‘may’, in their opinion, not be 100%. And others declare TTTCBE one of their favorite effects of all time.

On the surface.. this is a very nice effect for magicians to perform for a lay audience. It will fool them.. and it will work, regardless of what you read on the forums. My purpose in including this little statement is my dissatisfaction with posters who have NOT bought this effect and DO NOT know precisely how it works, yet insist on expressing their self-important opinions. Mark has included ALL the tools you need to make it work. Those folks who are concerned because they fear it ‘might’ not work 100% of the time are performers who obviously do not own, nor have ever performed, TTTCBE. Those of us who DO actually own and perform this effect don’t have that fear. Hooray for Mark and Boo to the naysayers.

“The Trick That Can Be Explained” is an ideal effect for walk-around and restaurant work. Moving from group to group or table to table gives you all the time you need to get everything in order for your next performance. The reveal can be made to differ from one table to another.. but you will need to make up a couple of gaffs after seeing what Mark does. This is minimal.

There will be those of you who will make this a staple in your act. The ending is a stunner and something you’ll want to do over and over. I hope, if you buy Mark’s effect, you’ll be one of those guys.

There is a video on Youtube, over 30 minutes in length, with Mark and Luke Dancy discussing The Trick That Can Be Explained.. Get additional insights at:

$29.95     From dealers who carry the Murphy’s Magic line of products..

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