James Blish's "One-Shot" (short story, Cold War, free): A good gambler's gut feeling can have other uses too!
In many ways, it's a typical Blish story - good start, interesting middle that builds up anticipation, & then a somewhat dull ending. Some of his stories have cool concepts too, but this is not among them.
Story summary."Polish freighter Ludmilla" has dropped something into the waters after entering the New York City harbor. Those on-board the ship, including crew, had no knowledge of it; it was done completely automatically by someone who had rigged the ship. Communists are hinted at as culprits.
Colonel Harry Anderton, the Harbor Defense chief, has a problem at hand. He must know what was dropped - it may be a bomb, or something harmless. But waters here are full of junk, & he may not have enough time.
So he signs on the team of Dr Andy Harris at CIA ("Civilian Intelligence Associates"!). Harris will, in turn, enlist the services of a well known & very successful professional gambler - 'Abner Longmans ("One-Shot") Braun'.
While Harris' team of Dr Joan Hadamard & Clark Cheyney is on the job of remotely working with crew at site to locate the "egg", time is really running out. So Harris has appealed to Braun's _hunch_! Is the object a bomb or not? Braun is supposed to crystal graze!
It was interesting till this point. I was hoping something interesting will come out. There was a twist - but it was a dud.
Fact sheet.First published: Astounding Science Fiction, August 1955.
Download full text from Project Gutenberg/Manybooks/Feedbooks/Munseys.
Listed among the stories from John Campbell's Astounding/Analog.
Related: All stories about US/USSR Cold War.