This is particularly interesting in light of his background.
His mother was one of the founders of Yeshiva of Flatbush, but prior to that, she was basically your regular cadre type of communist, and even till the end, she was far more interested in higher classical education than Gemara.
His father in law was one of the illuyim of Kamenitz, an absolute baki in Shas and Rishonim, as I can personally attest, whose experience during and after the war left him with a broken spirit, and who became a shochet and spent most of his days far from his family and his community. He was proud of his son in law, who is a precious soul and yarei shamayim, but I'm pretty sure he never discussed one word of Gemara with him.
Now, here's the rest of the story. A few days ago, he got a call from an attorney from Israel who is in Chicago for a few months to get an MA in Taxation from Northwestern. She wanted to know if she could hitch a ride downtown with him, since he goes to his office every day. He agreed, and the next morning he picked her up and they had a nice conversation on the way to work. He asked her how she spends her time away from work, and she told him that she gives a Daf Yomi shiur, and has given it for seven years. Coincidentally, before she began saying the shiur, she was given a bechina to determine her ability to say a shiur, and, obviously, she passed. The bochen turned out to have been a classmate of my friend's from Yeshiva of Flatbush.
Hmmmm. She says she has given a daf yomi for the entire cycle. So what does my friend ask her? He asks her, "I would really appreciate it if you could explain a Gemara I've been having trouble understanding. Could you explain to me the sugya of אין מפגלין בחצי מתיר?"
So she answered, "Ah, אין מפגלין בחצי מתיר. Yes, it is a sugya in Menachot, on daf Yud Zayin Amud Aleph, and it refers to someone who was bringing a Korban Mincha, and he had Kavanat Pigul when he brought the Kometz but not when he brought the Levona. Since both are matirim, each avoda is a חצי מתיר."
No hesitation, no ambiguity, like an arrow straight to the mark. Now, knowing pashut pshat in the Gemara, even in all of Shas, means you're a yad'an, and it has no shaichus to being a talmid chacham, just as saying Tehillim- even if you know what the words mean- does not make you a Bible Scholar. But still.......
On the same topic, Mazal Tov to my cousin Avigayil. She, too, has been giving a Daf Yomi shiur for a couple of years at Yeshiva/Midrasha, the women's branch of the Yeshiva in Gush Eztion, run by Rav Aharon Lichtenstein"s daughter, and is going for a degree in Talmud at Bar Ilan.