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What was happening here- twice?

While working on an unrelated project I happened upon this deal, hand # 47, from the 1977 Bermuda Bowl:

West
QJ108543
Q76
8
94
North
KJ1084
A42
QJ765
East
962
532
J9753
32
South
AK7
A9
KQ106
AK108
W
N
E
S
2
3
5
P
7NT
P
P
P
D
7NT South
NS: 0 EW: 0

At the companion table, the auction was eerily similar: 2-3-5-P-5-P-7-P-P-7-P-P-7NT-all P.

I have asked a number of experts, at least one who was playing world championships around that time, what was going on, and the answers were uncertain or varied. One promising opinion (possibly by a participant through a third party) was that both pairs were playing a convention of Ira (or Ron) Rubin's by which 2 showed either a weak diamond preempt or a game force. It was further suggested that 5 showed a desire to play game opposite the weak diamond hand. 

That still leaves unclear why S would be able to drive to 7NT directly (at one table) over the reply. Could not N hold a very poor hand with seven diamonds, or a strong hand without 3 controls? (Of course the recording of auctions in the BB has not always been perfect.)

The participants were Eddie Kantar, Billy Eisenberg, Mike Passell, Fred Hamilton, Hugh Ross, John Swanson, Eric Paulsen and Paul Soloway. Some of you occasionally comment on BW. Would anyone care to clarify this auction?

THANKS!

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