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Hustlers, Hoaxsters, Pranksters, Jokesters and Ricky Jay

918 ratings | 163500 views
A documentary about the life and work of sleight-of-hand artist Ricky Jay, with appearances by Ricky Jay, David Mamet and Steve Martin.
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Text Comments (136)
Anthony Navarro (1 month ago)
3:09 is badass
Apathy (5 months ago)
amazing guy, scary.
plissken151 (11 months ago)
Ricky Jay is the most under utilized actor/ magician/ amazing individual of all time. He's a freakin' genius.
Who Cares (1 year ago)
This video,from the beginning to the end presents all of the sides of Ricky. As Zinman said there are 3 Ricky Jay's.The card shuffling is probably one of the best things I can think of in the video.Second thing is the cups and balls. My personal belief is that Ricky is the best cups and balls performer live to this day. Third is the drama at the end, along with the look which comes up after yelling to Peter (you've just fucked with the wrong person) at 42:35
skrillex guetta (1 year ago)
I have watched this video about a hundred times, and I am still not board. Damn!
Grozny Entertainment (1 year ago)
I love his tricks, just can't stand what he says. Full of shit subjects
Jesus Moreno (1 year ago)
I think I figured it out he has to be palming the 8, then when he cuts he puts it there, also I figured out the trick works also with 3 queens, 3 sevens, and 4 nines, you have the expectator shuffle then you cut the deal a card each then cut again then deal the rest it gives you a winning hand every time without palming
joemikejake (1 year ago)
The combination of precision and speed is a joy to watch. His hand motions are perfect. And then... there's that look into the camera when he's done with you. Man, I love this guy and his work.
Kim E (1 year ago)
What is the name of the first trick?
dustin fringe (1 year ago)
Kim E Arbitrary
Amy Amiss (2 years ago)
Good god that dude is creepy and dark
Kozzzmozzz7 (2 years ago)
02:27 wow!
Jason Minns (2 years ago)
"...Houses and even clothing." I love the order of importance, while discussing the losses at the cup and balls game.
Brian Esposito (2 years ago)
Oh, dear goodness, people! The attitude in the last segment is all part of the con! This is apparent, and I have no expertise. The con is often based on emotional manipulation of which part may be intimidation.
Randy Strauss (2 years ago)
I know how the trick is done during the "Correctly Constructed Drama" and I've done it a few times. Not one time have I done it as well as Ricky Jay. Brilliant.
kana-dama Official (1 year ago)
youre looking at it in the wrong way. hes switching cards always look at his hands and his misdirects whatever card he switches with will make him win the 10 cards are specifically chosen to give his switch a win.
Robert Lupia (1 year ago)
i know the trick is forcing the 8 to assure a hand that will always lose no matter what, but how the hell do you get them to always take the 8 card when everything is out of your control?
Juggling Dingus (2 years ago)
my only hope, is to hear him speak of any subject at his choosing
Andrew Scott (2 years ago)
He's an actor. The end is an act. Ricky Jay is the real deal and a great performer. Thinking the end is in any way indicative of him is just ignorant.
Sea Hawks (1 year ago)
One of the most natural performers I've ever seen, though he is kind of awkward, but thats the good stuff.
kana-dama Official (1 year ago)
hes an actor hes been appearing in movies and sitcoms. the last trick is a demonstration of a hustle the title itself says "Correctly Constructed Drama" he inflicts confusion by spiking emotion. with this he cloaks his trick. leaving no room for the "victim" to question him or the rules however when the camera pans away ricky is switching cards out from his left hand pocket. the 10 cards are chosen specifically so that the permutation of whatever card he takes and switches with gives him the upper hand.
Andrew Scott (1 year ago)
Decker 187, Ricky Jay is an actor and this is just one of many things he's in. My point was that this clip doesn't in any way represent what he is like in real life. He's playing a part here. Simple as that. http://m.imdb.com/name/nm0419633/filmotype/actor?ref_=m_nmfm_1
PackDipSpit (2 years ago)
ricky jay is so good he doesn't die he simply disappears into thin air never to be seen again.
Nathan Morris (2 years ago)
I'd like to know what the story was the day of "A Correctly Structured Drama".
Randy Sager (1 year ago)
I have only met Ricky once he was very nice when I met him. This was many years ago mind you. Keep in mind that since he rejects being around most of the magic comminity doesn't not make him rude or an asshole. Nor does the fact that he isn't open with teaching others magic other than a select few. There isn't anything wrong with him being that way. Granted maybe he has turned into an ass I don't know as I said I have only met him once and he was fine back then.
Randy Sager (2 years ago)
Not much to tell other than Ricky is playing the part of a hustler.
Ben Linicke (3 years ago)
Peter at the end is so smart, Yeah!:D
Colin Leech (3 years ago)
Uh
TristanDeCunha (3 years ago)
wow, nice little crooning voice he has
DavenH (4 years ago)
Lol what a loud prick he is at the end. Needs a stiff backhand to the jowls.
youschtube (1 year ago)
Idiots! That was a fucking PLAY. ACTING, LOOK IT UP TWATS.
IceDragon978 (2 years ago)
that was part of the act.
randall2020 (3 years ago)
The real prick is the bozo director at the end who says that Rickey stole from them.
DavenH (3 years ago)
+Randy Sager Makes sense.
Randy Sager (3 years ago)
He was playing a part. The part of a con man. It's title is  A well Structured Drama. Which it is.   It was all an act.     But  it isn't far from what a con man would do and react in the real world. 
DavenH (4 years ago)
Ricky Jay has many luckiest days of his life on which he is well on his way.
Mitchell Leary (4 years ago)
Ricky Jay is all the great things people have written here.  He is also above using Bee or any boderless deck of cards.  A monkey could deal seconds with a Bee deck.  I know this because I used to do it when I was 10...and fooled people to boot.  This next statement might hurt some egos, but Ricky does use a gaffed deck which he makes himself, then re-seals it back in the box.  The deck uses everything from short corners to belly strippers and crimps.  It's marked by sight, sound and touch, etc.  The absolute low moment in Ricky's career was when he placed the deck on Leno's desk after a demonstration.  Leno reached for it and Ricky made the mistake of grabbing it away first.  This cost his reputation big time.  It couldn't have been worse than if he were using a trick deck he bought at the state fair.  Just disgraceful and not something people forget.  And for the record, I'm NOT a magician and therefor not bound by any secracy oath.  I own about 40K worth of magic left to me by my grandfather (4000 magic books alone, many extremely expensive...3 copies of the Harbin book which go for around $4K each).  I've auctioned off the big stuff but am keeping the library.  I love reading this stuff.
MP (1 year ago)
I wouldn't make a reach for any magician's equipment without permission, just out of respect. It's simple courtesy.
ispumpkinking (3 years ago)
+Randy Sager I'm glad you agree. People grabbing my cards without asking is a pet peeve of mine. It goes all the way back to my first live and up-close performance. (BTW, I don't consider myself a professional by any means, just a fan of the trade and a student of its history). My first public "show" was at a club meeting at college. With a group of 10 friends and about 25 other family/faculty/students (not huge, i know, but it was still an audience), my second act required that I lift three cards. A FORMER friend, who had seen the trick before and was trying to guess the secret, swore I was palming cards. He decided to steal some of the spotlight when I had him participating in the trick by suddenly slapping my off hand, hoping to catch me palming a card. Prick knocked loose one of my hidden lift cards in my primary hand and ruined the trick. Nothing major, but that shook me up more than I thought possible. I tried to play it off with a laugh and a few flourishes, and when I tried to spring the cards I lost about a dozen to the floor. After that, I was so nervous/embarassed that I couldn't hardly complete a fan. I felt totally incompetent as if my three years (at that time) of practicing were completely insufficinet to do anything. Sweaty and trembling fingers made the rest of the act difficult, slow, and nearly impossible to appear casual. It is amazing how little it takes to throw off your rhythm and rattle your confidence. I should have been more resilient, I suppose, but it was my first showing and it wasn't advertised or anything, just a "fun" semi-impromptu thing that I was pressured into by my friends. I still think about that incident to this day. Crazy, huh? Anyway, I think that's why I especially hate when people get handsy during a performance.
Randy Sager (3 years ago)
+ispumpkinking  Very well said.  I would add that not every magician wishes to give out their decks after each performance.   Michael Skinner did but he was given an endless supply of playing cards  by Steven Wynn who was Mike's boss.  They weren't just cards from the Golden Nugget either. Sometimes Mike used Tally Ho's  or other deck that was very nice to use.    You are very right  it is rude for a spectator to just grab one of our props be it  gaffed or not. 
ispumpkinking (3 years ago)
+Mitchell Leary Just because he didn't want Leno pawing through his deck doesn't mean he was using a gimmicked or modified deck. Many tricks require a specific card order or arrangement, that doesn't mean its a modified deck. For someone claiming to have a library of "magic" in their possession, I am surprised you would make such a leap of assumptions. Second, I have seen him use borderless cards in his performances. A lot of the greats did from time to time.  Besides, it is rude to grab for a magician's body or props. That shows Leno's unprofessionalism, not Ricky Jay's.
Randy Sager (3 years ago)
+Jeremy Brown  Also some as you call the "good magicians" don't use gaffs at all. They are what we call purists. The purists  shun gaffs as much as they would getting the flu or other such illness. There is nothing wrong with taking that route.   Again Ricky does use gaffs here and there. But only a very small  percentage of the time.  The rest is  all due to the work that he has put into  what he does.  Riffle Shuffle work. The false deals, etc...   Even when a gaff is used  his skills also come into play.   
JMC33 (4 years ago)
Ricky Jay is the man for sure.. I loved the Showdown.. Even when those guys saw the cards they could have won... but odds are not in the favor but.... I cant believe they didnt learn it after the 1st  2 games. that was awesome to see and learn , now im going to use it...
Shroomeryslearyfan (4 years ago)
Why was he so pissed off when he was playing those people at the end? 
BHAKTI BROPHY (2 months ago)
Shroomeryslearyfan That piece was titled "Correctly Structured Drama", it was part of the act. No one could think straight in the presence of that energy, vis. drama.
MP (1 year ago)
It's all an act. Sounds like it was written by Mamet too.
MWcrazyhorse (3 years ago)
+Barney Smith Thanks for the explanation. In other words he hustled them for a few hundred bucks ;-) Gotta make a living and since noone would be letting him into a casino (I am just assuming here).
Daniel Smith (4 years ago)
I think it was maybe to keep them unbalanced. Its a real simple trick when you know how it works. And he was playing so many hands with them, he didn't want them to notice. Basically there is one poison card, that isn't duplicated in the group of 10. Example K 999 777 QQQ Usually a high one like a King or something. So when you give them the choice (like toward the end), they will want to keep it.  All you have to do is make sure that poison card isn't in your hand, and you will win. Notice that if you have the King, your best possible hand is QQQ, and the opponent will have a full house.  Also if something really fucked up and they gave him the card, he could have gone ballistic, and demanded someone new, before the cards were shown and he actually lost.  Gotta to keep up appearances after-all :D The man is a genius, and has gone to extreme lengths to do some truly amazing things. More power to him. 
Alli (4 years ago)
The chest was not in the cut there where ten cards 3 three pire and one ramdom card who ever get the ramdom card loses that's how it's done
Tye Wolfe (4 years ago)
Whatever the ten card poker controversy, it's not hard to figure out after several hands, so I found it fun to watch. I didn't know magicians went on tilt, but the guy was not being a cooperative participant. Gambling is part of the trick, but it is not important to it.
vannburen (4 years ago)
13 thumbs down ??? fucking losers that shit in their beds..... Ricky Jay is the best
xXTHeReALmaNXx (4 years ago)
Haha I live in ``Nürnberg``
Michael Roper (2 years ago)
It's Nuremberg, which is quite far from Cologne, but a short step to Thuringia :)
Mike Hawk (4 years ago)
This video is fake! 29:15 He walks down then walks up again!
10 hour Lumpi (1 year ago)
Fake? Must be a failure in the matrix. No serious man, its just a joke. It shpould make you think about the story and make it look cool.
John Smith (2 years ago)
+ngzbblax Maybe the cameramen thought him describing an act while going downstairs was a good thing so he was made to walk back up and continue the rest of the story while walking down the stairs.....
Markus - (3 years ago)
+ngzbblax lol thats actually pretty weird
Mark Grandlouis (4 years ago)
At first i thought he was on some wicked speed or coke..but then at the very end i got the sense that he might have been reacting in frustration at some people's persistent hounding to play him...finally he just said "fuck it let's do this!"
M.A. (4 years ago)
Dont play poker against Ricky, lol
aaron holder (4 years ago)
Peter knew the trick was in the cut. Smart men dont play cards with Ricky Jay. You expect to be cheated. I would gladly pay 100$ for a personal show though. :)
DrNawMai (9 months ago)
+aaron holder All the world is a stage. so isn't it wise to be always in show mode?
aaron holder (1 year ago)
I think from the context of them filming, that Ricky would be in show mode. Of course, I wouldn't expect him to cheat, if we were playing poker at my house or a casino without a film crew. I think he's a respectable man, but from what interviews I've seen with him, I would have to conclude that he is almost always in show mode and would probably rather show you some magic than play poker. Just my 2 cents though. I definitely think he is 1 of the best card manipulators to have ever lived, so that alone demands respect, wether he wins the national poker tour or not.
10 hour Lumpi (1 year ago)
Do you have any recourses, from magician to magician?
bcfblack (3 years ago)
I don't know who was invited to play, but I assume it was set up. Ricky has too much composure to just pop off in an ordinary situation, especially if it's being recorded. Not to say there was a script, but with a title like "A Correctly Structured Drama" it's not a big jump to assume it was, well.. structured a bit before someone pressed record. Also, he is definitely "cheating." If you look at the hands dealt it's clear he's using a classic ten card plot where he only has to control one of the ten cards. He does control it, and would have much more trouble doing so if he didn't get a chance to cut etc. I agree that, in a real scenario, it's rude to assume a magician is a cheater just because they could be, but I don't think that's what's going on here. Ricky is putting on a show and the people getting on his case are at least as much a part of the vibe as Ricky acting angry with them.
ispumpkinking (3 years ago)
+aaron holder Why would you expect to get cheated? You act like someone has to cheat just because they're capable of cheating. Hell, I would be happy to play a game of poker with Ricky... IF he said he was going to play poker and not put on a performance/exhibition, I would not expect him to cheat unless it was part of a show of some sort. Now, he as a person seems very insecure despite his great skill, so, with him, I might be a little dubious even with his promise, especialy if he started to lose, but I would expect integrity from any magician if they agreed to play poker. Perhaps even moreso than a regular player since they know they can win (via) cheating if they wished. If they're wanting to play poker, it's usually because they're bored (and getting cheap wins isn't much of a thrill or fun). I think that is exactly why Ricky got so pissed. I think a group of people (probably VIPs from an audience or something) were each awarded a chance to play a hand or two of poker with him. When he walked in to play, the first guy immediately started calling him out instead of listening to the game, acting/assuming that Ricky was going to cheat him and was trying to steal his money. The game did he a gimmick of sort (mathemetical), but it's not like he was blatantly cheating. From that assumption onward, Ricky was like "fine, fuck it, lets play and bet, mofos." Cheating, as his performances often discussed, is not the same thing as hustling. Calling someone a cheater is offensive, even if they're capable of doing so. Ricky wasn't there to do magic; he was going to play a specific 10-card showdown poker game. no sleight of hand. No gaffes. The guy assumed right away that Ricky was going to do something unscrupulous to gain the upper hand. As Ricky said, "We're playing poker! Fine, I won't even touch the cards." I also believe Ricky is socially challenged (proabbly extreme social anxiety), which is why he became so nervous, sweaty, and jittery at the slight from the other person. From personal experience, I took great personal offense when one of my poker pals kept asking me if I was doing "sleights" to win during a friendly poker-night poker game. Hell, 4/5 hands I wasn't even dealing, but he was so paranoid because I could cheat that he assumed I must. Why? A magician cannot have honor or integrity? Such assumptions are offensive. It's okay to make sure the rules are clear (are we playing poker or doing magic tricks?), but that's different than making unclaimed accusations.
sirbrad4 (4 years ago)
Why is Ricky so mad that he is winning lol.
sirbrad4 (4 years ago)
I open all my cards like that.
humanity6fl9 (4 years ago)
ricky jay has eyes on the tips of his fingers.
Archaic Artisan (4 years ago)
That guy Peter was a complete ass and played the victim. I can understand why Ricky was so upset and rightfully so. Props to Ricky for finishing the scene at all.
Archaic Artisan (4 years ago)
19:20. Guy walks down the staircase only to turn around and go up the escalator. Lol!
StarWoors (4 years ago)
That's what I was thinking!
Typical Cat (4 years ago)
i would love to meet this man. He has inspired my life and if anyone has any information on him i'd appreciate it. Thank you.
ezpkns34 (5 years ago)
All I will say is this: he's luck he wasn't alive in the 17th century or he would've been burned at the stake
Sigurista (5 years ago)
The title is "A correctly structured drama". So what do you think?
Nick Falletta (5 years ago)
he sounds like jerry garcia
Ella Quainton (5 years ago)
sorry i didnt mean to disrespect. My apologies
MagicDr (5 years ago)
With a lot of money
MagicDr (5 years ago)
It's called the J**as card. Either way, I didn't ask for a method. Also, don't post methods online
Ella Quainton (5 years ago)
i think they revealed it on scamschool, there is a bad card which whichever player has the rotten card loses. Here ill try to explain as best as i can. There are three sets of three of a kind and a indifferent high card. whoever gets the indefferent high card loses, no matter what. But what i think ricky does is he leaves the indefferent card on top and being amazing sees through the other players shuffling where it goes. Do you sort of get it, obviously he does it better than anybody
Marc Anderson (5 years ago)
Was that huge loss of composure an act or was it genuine? If it was real he sure made an ass of himself.
bugoobiga (5 years ago)
at the end, when he's all pissed off at everyone, that looks like darwin ortiz's mexican poker
Eliezer Pennywhistler (5 years ago)
You have a major case of poverty of imagination.
Eliezer Pennywhistler (5 years ago)
That's not what he says. But feel free to believe anything you want.
kristopher brown (5 years ago)
I think his been schooled by many different teachers
MagicDr (5 years ago)
In the part named, "A Correctly Structured Drama", I'm trying to figure out if it's an act. The targets certainly do not seem like actors, but Ricky Jay seems a little too agitated
youschtube (1 year ago)
MagicDr Drama. Act. You are retarded.
MagicDr (5 years ago)
The secret is even more impressive
Eliezer Pennywhistler (5 years ago)
Oh yeah. He is a successful author, too. He is very famous in the country he lives and works in. What more do you want? Your country is full of problems, innit? Anyway, you got that BBC doc on Mr. Jay. Go to MagicBunny for the link. Pay him to perform if you want him there more often. The movie "DECEPTIVE PRACTICE: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay" is now playing in thirteen cities around the US. He was recently on The Simpons, 60 Minutes and in Wired Magazine.
Maximum Joy (5 years ago)
naming all his professions doesn't make him more famous. what i'm saying is that he's almost 'cult classic', especially here in the UK - no one knows who he is.
Eliezer Pennywhistler (5 years ago)
By practicing them. What did you think?
Eliezer Pennywhistler (5 years ago)
How much more famous could he get? As an actor, he is known for his roles in the films Heist, Boogie Nights, and Magnolia, as well as on the acclaimed HBO series Deadwood. He is a consultant. A performer. A lecturer. A Broadway star. A collector and historian of note. He has several documentaries about him, INCLUDING THIS ONE. WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT FROM HIM?
Maximum Joy (5 years ago)
this video should have millions of views and ricky jay should be much more famous than this.
LeninsBoyToy44 (5 years ago)
The priest: Bob Neale described Ricky perfectly.
Niklas Tähtinen (5 years ago)
Ricky's presentation of this effect is absolutely great. For those who study magic: It must be effect called The Deans Poker Deal from the book : Scarne on Card Tricks, with little variation of handling. Absolutely a real gem. :)
kristopher brown (5 years ago)
where did he learn all these skills?
Katalyzt (5 years ago)
Along with all the other skills that Ricky Jay listed when he was describing Matthew Buchinger he failed to mention that Buchinger was also an accomplished artist. And the self-portrait that was engraved by Buchinger(Position 11:28 – 11:37) is so detailed that if you were to examine the picture close up, then you would see different biblical verses embedded in the hair. Buchinger had more dexterity than most people ever realized which probably enhanced his sleight of [hand] skills. Katalyzt
Wthompson747 (5 years ago)
at the end, 40:00, he appears to make the deck three 7s, three 9s, three queens and one eight. As long as the sucker gets the eight, there is no way he can win. Ricky will have full house vs trips, trips vs two pair two pair vs one pair. Ricky only has to watch and control the eight. That is why he has to control the cut and why once the sucker has the eight he doesn't care how the cards are dealt out. Being angry must just be to confuse and fluster the mark.
Bigfoot (5 years ago)
Why is he so stressed haha. Fucking boss
technoway (5 years ago)
Occamskatana, knowing, and doing in front of a live audience so well it gets you both recognized as a master and on television are different things. Lots of people "know." Very few "do."
Wyatt Nite (5 years ago)
I'm a fan of Ricky Jay, but I kinda get what you mean. Check out Richard Turner, he is exceptional
OccamsKatana (5 years ago)
I respectfully disagree. Your personal lack of talent or dedication cannot serve as a marker for the rest of us. Although I share your opinion that he is extremely smooth, he has never done a trick I didnt understand the mechanics of, And his smoothness is not something I find unreachable at all. Sorry but, I dont know what you have been doing the past 20 years, but Ive only been into magic for around 5 years.
surfdigby (5 years ago)
When he caught the 3 between the 4 and 5, I thought "That's a great finish". But no, he had to keep going, and going, and going until he'd presented the entire deck.
magicelliotth (5 years ago)
I would LOVE to have dinner with this man.
datboidoja (5 years ago)
47:35 HA HA HA pair of seven pair of nines you lose and im out of here that shit is killer
datboidoja (5 years ago)
42:00 ha ha ha ha "get somebody wit money" HA HA HA ricky jay YOUR A BOSS
SpikeWolfwood (5 years ago)
The card manipulation that he does at the beginning is so beautiful it hurts. I've dabbled as an amateur / hobbyist close up magician since I was a child (roughly 20 years at this point) and though I consider my knowledge to be respectable and my skill to be at the very least passable in most circles, I can never conceive of being as silky smooth as that opening demonstration. I have a great love for magic, but that level of skill is a mark of someone whose life IS magic.
Jeremy (5 years ago)
He wasn't actually stressed out, he acted over-the-top angry because the trick relies on allowing him to have the last cut, and one of the participants was trying to undo that. It is a classic con-artist tactic, to act overly aggressive toward anyone savvy enough to ruin the con. Most people will back down in the face of that.
Jason Vetter (5 years ago)
Thank you for this video.
022171 (5 years ago)
40:39 classic. that's the wrong question to ask ricky jay.
seleroan (5 years ago)
I'm not sure how the end of that first trick goes, but I know that the initial elimination sequence was far from random. It was designed to keep the top few cards in play.
Dustin Dunbar (5 years ago)
Amazing, sly, deceptive, talented and gnarley.
John Doe (5 years ago)
I got here from a new yorker article on a profile of Ricky.
Joni Hanski (5 years ago)
have you been practicing almost every day for the past 20+ years of your life?
Shammon Nomad (5 years ago)
Master. Simply superb.
Jimmycrow1980 (6 years ago)
Excellent.I am sitting here with my cards in hand watching a legend. Damn my hands why can't they do what Ricky can do,lol
Bradley Rohrer (6 years ago)
I see these fuzzy videos and think "Oh! Right! I can select a higher quality" And then I become very, VERY sad as I realize that this is at least 20 years old, and so, fuzzy of it's own accord. But thank you for posting this.
Dustin Dunbar (6 years ago)
Ricky is awesome when he is mad lmao, pretty intimidating lol.
ElPayasoMalo (6 years ago)
So he is so awesome that he can cheat you out of hundreds of dollars in a ten card game of poker in which not only does he not even touch the cards, he allows you to shuffle, deal, see the cards before they are dealt and choose who gets what card after seeing them? He wins after all of that? That is certainly impressive.
Jessecole3 (6 years ago)
ahahahah so intense!
Chad Beckwith (6 years ago)
That was in the section titled "A correctly structured drama." Probably just part of "the act."
skepticalphysicist (6 years ago)
Why was he so stressed out at 39:35 ?
Andrew Morrison (6 years ago)
Thanks for posting. What an interesting talented man.
Funny Cowboy Dance (6 years ago)
Fuck yeah. Thanks for uploading this.
matt prueter (6 years ago)
Brilliant.

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