Lie Detector is a classic plot in card magic in which a magician can detect the selected card by having the spectator's purposely miscall it.
First suggested by Vincent Dalban in a letter sent to Theodore Annemann on December 5, 1934. Annemann published in Jinx January 1935 (No. 4) as a posed problem. The original plot as proposed by Dalban:
- "The member of the audience shuffles the pack of cards and then, while the performer’s back is turned he deals the cards slowly face up onto the table, each time calling aloud the name of each card as dealt. Occasionally, he deals one card and calls the name of another but whenever he does this the performer pulls him up at once. The performer seems to know when the man is telling a lie."
Lie Speller is a variation developed by Martin Gardner in the 1930s in which the spectator answers questions and is allowed to lie or tell the truth as the magician spells out the answer using the cards, the selected card ends up being the last card dealt.
- Gardner's Card Speller (Martin Gardner): Joe Berg, Here's New Magic (1937, pp. 3-4).
- Spell Me (Henry Christ): The Jinx, No. 30 (March 1937, p. 195).
- The New Spell Me (Henry Christ): The Jinx, No. 37 (October 1937, pp. 249-250).
- Newspell (Martin Gardner): The Jinx, Winter Extra (1937-1938, p. 272).
- A Novelty Spelling Mystery (Larsen and Wright): Genii, Bonus Number One (1940).
- Scarne's Lie Speller (John Scarne and Martin Gardner): John Scarne, Scarne on Card Tricks (1950, pp. 182-184).
- To Lie or Tell the Truth (Jack Avis): Pallbearers Review, Vol. 3 No. 7 (May 1968, pp. 175, 180).
- Perfect Speller (Bruce Cervon): Pallbearers Review, Vol. 4 No. 2 (December 1968, pp. 227-229).
- The Inconsistent Liar (Roy Walton): Roy Walton, The Devil's Playthings (1969, pp. 53-55).
- Roy Walton, The Complete Walton, Vol. 1 (1981, pp. 45-47).
- "Unknown" Speller (Ed Marlo): The Hierophant, No. 2 (Winter 1969, pp. 58-61).
- "Lie Detector" Speller (Simon Aronson): The Hierophant, No. 4 (Summer 1970, pp. 173-175).
- Lie Detector (Larry Jennings): Genii, Vol. 34 No. 9 (May 1970, p. 402).
- Automatic Lie Speller (Nick Trost): The New Tops, Vol. 10 Nos. 8-9 (August-September 1970, pp. 52-54).
- Liar's Fortune (Jon Racherbaumer): The Hierophant, Nos. 5-6 (Fall-Spring 1970-71)
- Jon Racherbaumer, The Legendary Hierophant (1998, pp. 360-361).
- Would I Lie To You? (J. C. Wagner): J. C. Wagner, A Few More Secrets (1981).
- Tarradiddle (Peter Duffie): Peter Duffie, Quartet (1986).
- Peter Duffie, Subtle Miracles (2004, pp. 68-74).
- Simplex Lie Speller (J. C. Wagner): Mike Maxwell, The Commercial Magic of J.C. Wagner (1987, pp. 138-140).
- Liar's Club (Alex Elmsley): Stephen Minch, Collected Works of Alex Elmsley, Vol. I (1991, pp. 284-287)
- The Best Lie Detector (Marty Kane): Apocalypse, Vol. 16 No. 2 (February 1993, pp. 2173-2174).
- Quick and Direct (Harry Lorayne): Apocalypse, Vol. 16 No. 3 (March 1993, p. 2187).
- Untitled variation (Harry Lorayne): Apocalypse, Vol. 18 No. 11 (November 1995, p. 2579).
- The Lie Detector (Ron Bauer): The New Tops, Vol. 33 No. 10 (October 1993, pp. 6-10).
- Divided We Lie (Peter Duffie): Peter Duffie, Effortless Card Magic (1997, pp. 48-49).
- The Lie Detective (Peter Duffie): Peter Duffie, Effortless Card Magic (1997, pp. 50-51).
- Lie Stebbins (Peter Duffie): Peter Duffie, Effortless Card Magic (1997, pp. 51-53).
- Lie Stebbins Plus! (Peter Duffie): Peter Duffie, Effortless Card Magic (1997, pp. 54-55).