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He was the quintessential newsman: cynical at times, but unrelentingly curious and full of life, and often hilariously funny in a sandpaper-dry kind of way.

Could you tell me please what it means?

Does it mean:

His laughting made noise like lustle of rubbing a surface with sandpaper.

The fuller text:

When I began my career in journalism—I was a reporter at a national magazine in those days—there was a man I’ll call Claus Schmidt. He was in his mid-fi fties, and to my impressionable eyes, he was the quintessential newsman: cynical at times, but unrelentingly curious and full of life, and often hilariously funny in a sandpaper-dry kind of way. He churned out hard-hitting cover stories and features with a speed and elegance I could only dream of. It always astounded me that he was never promoted to managing editor.

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"Dry" means he is funny in a specific way, which is quite hard to explain, actually. It is a fast, unexpected and often witty response.

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