Unlock was a personal cantrip that initiate wizards could learn.[4][5] It could open simple locks of the type that used normal keys.[1][2][3]


This cantrip conjured an invisible force in the shape of the key that would lock or unlock the targeted mechanism. It only worked on standard locks with typical keys and had no effect on combination locks or more complex designs using levers or tumblers. Magical wards, such as wizard lock, that did not affect the locking mechanism were unfazed by this cantrip, but complex wards that were designed to prevent the use of skeleton keys could be defeated by unlock.[1][2][3]


This cantrip required verbal and somatic components to cast. The caster made a motion with one hand, as if holding an invisible key and turning it in a lock. The somatic portion varied, but examples included "tick-tock-doublelock", "yah-el", or "yay-el".[1][2][3][note 1]


This cantrip was recorded in the magical tome known as Sabirine's Specular along with five others including catfeet, clean, freshen, snatch, and spark.[6][7][8][note 2]



  1. "Tick tock, double lock. Throw away the key." was a phrase said by children when promising to keep their mouth shut or not reveal a shared secret. It was accompanied by a gesture of turning an invisible key in a closed mouth. (See Gold as the Morning Sun by Sylvia Halliday, for example.) "Yale" was a well-known brand name of locks.
  2. The cantrips mentioned in Dragon #100 and Encyclopedia Magica Volume III were replaced with the cantrip spell when Pages from the Mages was published. The Wizard's Spell Compendium Volume Four describes all the 1st-edition cantrips as examples of what you could do with cantrip.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Gary Gygax (April 1982). “More Cantrips: Mini-spells for apprentice magic-users”. In Kim Mohan ed. Dragon #60 (TSR, Inc.), pp. 19–20.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Gary Gygax (August, 1985). Unearthed Arcana (1st edition). (TSR, Inc.), pp. 50–51. ISBN 0880380845.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Mark Middleton et al (September 1998). Wizard's Spell Compendium Volume Four. (TSR, Inc), p. 1059. ISBN 978-0786912094.
  4. Gary Gygax (August, 1985). Unearthed Arcana (1st edition). (TSR, Inc.), p. 45. ISBN 0880380845.
  5. Mark Middleton et al (September 1998). Wizard's Spell Compendium Volume Four. (TSR, Inc), p. 1048. ISBN 978-0786912094.
  6. Ed Greenwood (August 1985). “Pages from the Mages V”. In Kim Mohan ed. Dragon #100 (TSR, Inc.), p. 12.
  7. slade et al (June 1995). Encyclopedia Magica Volume III. (TSR, Inc.), p. 1223. ISBN 0-7869-0187-X.
  8. Ed Greenwood, Tim Beach (1995). Pages from the Mages. (TSR, Inc), p. 90. ISBN 0-7869-0183-7.
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