December 2019


How did you do? The winner of the munificent Magick Enterprises voucher got nine out of ten.

1. What magic word is derived from a Latin phrase spoken during the most sacred moment of the Catholic Mass.

Answer: Hocus Pocus. From “Hoc est corpus meum”, meaning “This is my body.” Spoken during the consecration of the Host.

2. Who is the Egyptian goddess of magic?

Answer: Isis. She is also the goddess of marriage, healing, and protection. Isis is the wife and sister of Osiris and the mother and sister of Horus. (Relationships between the Egytian deities tend to be a little complicated.) When Osiris was murdered and dismembered by his evil brother Typhon (usually identified with Set) she magically resurrected him by reattaching his limbs.

3. The 1785 translation of 1001 Nights from French into English gave us a popular phrase used to unlock closed and hidden doorways. Which phrase is it?

Answer: Open Sesame. “Open sesame” comes to us from a translation of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. It was the incantation used by Ali Baba to open his hidden cave of treasure.

4. This magician was awarded longest contract ever given to a Las Vegas performer, even Elvis!

Answer: Lance Burton made a career as a magician, from 1979 to 2010. (I was there when he won the FISM Grand Prix in Lausanne in 1982.) After some TV work in California, Burton moved to Las Vegas and began appearing in various clubs. In 1994 he signed a 13-year contract to perform at the Monte Carlo Resort on the Las Vegas Strip. The resort built a special theatre for him in which he performed over 5,000 shows and earned about 110-million dollars during his tenure there. His contract was extended until 2015 but he retired in 2010.

5. In the Harry Potter series, this governing body is led by Cornelius Fudge through the fifth book.

Answer: The Ministry of Magic.

6. In the tarot each card of the Major Arcana has its own number. The Wheel of Fortune, for example, is generally associated with the number ten. Which card is is traditionally linked to the number one?

Answer: The Magician.

7. Where would you wear a Swami Gimmick?

Answer: This device is normally worn on the thumb.

8. In a famous illusion the magician’s assistant is shackled, put in a bag and locked inside a box or trunk. The magician stands on top of the box and raises a curtain. Then instantly the magician and assistant change places. What is the original name of this illusion?

Answer: Metamorphosis.

9. Which famous magician performed at The Egyptian Hall and was the first Honorary President of the Sheffield Circle of Magicians?

Answer: David Devant.

10. As I’m sure you all know, next year is the Sheffield Circle of Magicians’ centenary year. The first meeting was held in 1920. But in which month?

Answer: May.

Tiebreaker: The inaugural meeting of the Sheffield Circle of Magicians took place in May 1920. But on what date? (If no exact date is given, the nearest takes the prize.)

Answer: 18 May.

The ever-popular Christmas Magic Quiz featured at last week’s Sheffield Circle Christmas Social. Here are the questions for those who missed it (no Googling please!):

1. What magic word is derived from a Latin phrase spoken during the most sacred moment of the Catholic Mass.

2. Who is the Egyptian goddess of magic?

3. The 1785 translation of 1001 Nights from French into English gave us a popular phrase used to unlock closed and hidden doorways. What’s the phrase?

4. This magician was awarded longest contract ever given to a Las Vegas performer, even longer than Elvis!

5. In the Harry Potter series, this governing body is led by Cornelius Fudge through the fifth book.

6. In the tarot each card of the Major Arcana has its own number. The Wheel of Fortune, for example, is generally associated with the number ten. Which card is is traditionally linked to the number one?

7. Where would you wear a Swami Gimmick?

8. In a famous illusion the magician’s assistant is shackled, put in a bag and locked inside a box or trunk. The magician stands on top of the box and raises a curtain. Then instantly the magician and assistant change places. What was the original name of this illusion?

9. Which famous magician performed at The Egyptian Hall and was the first Honorary President of the Sheffield Circle of Magicians?

10. As I’m sure you all know, next year is the Sheffield Circle of Magicians’ centenary year. The first meeting was held in 1920. But in which month?

Tiebreaker: The inaugural meeting of the Sheffield Circle of Magicians took place in [*******] 1920. But on what date? (If no exact date is given, the nearest takes the prize.)

In a closely-run contest first prize of a £10 Magick token went to Julie Hall with nine correct answers! (And no, she hadn’t seen the questions before.) Luke Robson was runner-up with eight. How well did you do?

Answers next week.