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do it with mirrors

1. To do or perform something (especially a magic trick) by using an optical illusion. Everyone was astounded when he appeared to levitate off the ground, but I'm pretty sure he just did it with mirrors.
2. To do something in a highly secretive, illusory, or inexplicable way, likened to that of a magic trick. The military operation was completely unseen, completely unnoticed by anybody, as if they did it with mirrors. The company's CEO managed to swindle his clients out of millions of dollars, doing it with mirrors so that no one would notice the disappearance of the money until it was too late.
See also: mirror

able to fog a mirror

Alive, perhaps barely. (If one holds up a mirror to one's nose or mouth, the breath will cause fog to appear.) I spent the whole day moving furniture, so I'm barely able to fog a mirror now. He'll date any woman who's able to fog a mirror.
See also: able, fog, mirror

able to fog a mirror

Fig. Inf. alive, even if just barely. (Usually jocular. Alludes to the use of a small mirror placed under the nose to tell if a person is breathing or not. (Able to can be replaced with can.) Look, I don't need an athlete to do this job! Anybody able to fog a mirror will do fine!
See also: able, fog, mirror

smoke and mirrors

deception and confusion. (Said of statements or more complicated rhetoric used to mislead people rather than inform. Alludes to the way a magician uses optical illusion to create believability while performing a trick. Fixed order.) Most people know that the politician was just using smoke and mirrors to make things look better than they really were. Her report was little more than smoke and mirrors. No one will believe any of it.
See also: and, mirror, smoke

smoke and mirrors

Smoke and mirrors are words and actions that are intended to deceive or confuse people, especially by making something seem better than it really is. The president claims that his economic plan is free of the smoke and mirrors of previous presidential budget proposals. Thousands of shareholders learned too late that the company's image of success had been created with smoke and mirrors. Note: Magicians sometimes use smoke and mirrors when they are performing tricks, in order to confuse or deceive people.
See also: and, mirror, smoke

all done with mirrors

achieved with an element of trickery.
This phrase alludes to the fact that conjuring tricks are often explained as being achieved through the skilful use of mirrors; compare with smoke and mirrors (at smoke).
See also: all, done, mirror

smoke and mirrors

the obscuring or embellishing of the truth of a situation with misleading or irrelevant information. chiefly North American
1998 Sunday Telegraph Ministers accused the Conservatives of a ‘smoke and mirrors’ con trick.
See also: and, mirror, smoke

smoke and ˈmirrors

used to describe ways of tricking people or of hiding the truth: He said the government had used smoke and mirrors to raise taxes.The commission has declared war on the smoke and mirrors of sales promotions.
See also: and, mirror, smoke

done by mirrors

and done with mirrors
mod. illusory; accomplished in a way that is purposefully deceptive. He’s not really smart. It’s all done by mirrors. The whole budgetary process is done with mirrors.
See also: done, mirror

done with mirrors

See also: done, mirror

smoke and mirrors

n. a strategy of deception and cover up. Her entire report was nothing but smoke and mirrors. Who could believe any of it?
See also: and, mirror, smoke

smoke and mirrors

Something that deceives or distorts the truth: Your explanation is nothing but smoke and mirrors.
See also: and, mirror, smoke
References in classic literature ?
If you watch, you will see the mirror first rise an inch or two and then shift an inch or two from left to right.
With his free arm, the Persian drew the young man to his chest and, suddenly, the mirror turned, in a blinding daze of cross-lights: it turned like one of those revolving doors which have lately been fixed to the entrances of most restaurants, it turned, carrying Raoul and the Persian with it and suddenly hurling them from the full light into the deepest darkness.
With rare self-possession he let his gaze drop, without appearing to have halted upon the mirror until it rested again upon the gems.
Tarzan saw him turn and glance furtively about the room, but his eyes did not rest for a sufficient time upon the mirror to note the reflection of Tarzan's watchful eyes.
From where I sat in that chair yonder I saw the reflection of it all in the mirror before me.
She is a very vain creature, and lives mostly in a room surrounded by mirrors, so that she can admire herself whichever way she looks.
Higher and higher still they flew, nearer and nearer to the stars, when suddenly the mirror shook so terribly with grinning, that it flew out of their hands and fell to the earth, where it was dashed in a hundred million and more pieces.
It was a peculiarity of this glittering, glass-panelled place that anyone entering was reflected in four or five mirrors at once; and Father Brown, without turning round, stopped in the middle of a sentence of family criticism.
Against the wrinkly mirror stood pictures of General Kitchener, William Muldoon, the Duchess of Marlborough, and Benvenuto Cellini.
It is thine own countenance, in a coarse and imperfect mirror.
Yes, well, I hain't done much prinkin' before the mirror these days--and you wouldn't, if you was flat on your back as I am
From the rooms came a constant, steady hum, as from a hive, and the rustle of movement; and while on the landing between trees they gave last touches to their hair and dresses before the mirror, they heard from the ballroom the careful, distinct notes of the fiddles of the orchestra beginning the first waltz.
Impelled by a half-feigned fear, she stole away into the kitchen bedroom where Bert had died, to study her face in the bureau mirror.
Over his armour he wore a surcoat or cassock of what seemed to be the finest cloth of gold, all bespangled with glittering mirrors like little moons, which gave him an extremely gallant and splendid appearance; above his helmet fluttered a great quantity of plumes, green, yellow, and white, and his lance, which was leaning against a tree, was very long and stout, and had a steel point more than a palm in length.
Pierre well remembered this small circular drawing room with its mirrors and little tables.