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The Magic of David Kwong 2 min read

The Magic of David Kwong

No matter how old I get, close-up magic will never not amaze me.

By Cary Littlejohn

I learned who David Kwong was when he did one of those in-depth explainer videos for WIRED about how a crossword puzzle is made.

Not too long ago, I subscribed to his email newsletter, Enigmatology, in which he discusses his twin passions of crosswords and magic.

Chicago Opener
“The Enigmatist” in Chicago and a brand new crossword, “Chicago Opener”!

In his latest entry, he shows off a great bit of close-up, an old trick called the "Chicago Opener." The first half of the illusion is so good on its own, but the finale is so confounding, so much fun to ponder, that I just had to shout it out here.

THEN, in a convergence of all my media inputs, Pablo Torre just interviewed Kwong on his podcast to learn more about how Kwong makes a living as an illusionist, on advising and explaining but also not breaking the unwritten rules of magic.

The Unwritten Rules of Magic
EPISODE 111: Inside the illusion industry.

I don't normally suggest watching a video version of a podcast that I recommend (though many have video versions), but this one really benefits from the video. There are a handful of tricks described, namely the very beginning of the episode when Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers gets hit with a nasty one-two punch of a trick that is honestly deserves to be seen rather than explained, and a simple how-to trick from Kwong at the end. Just a lot of fun all the way through.

For more magic-related content, check out the links in this old post from me.