I pulled out 34A Helpfully pushy person: NUDGER because I had put in NUDNIK, even though it didn’t really make sense that a nudnik would be helpful. Ultimately, that nagging feeling that a nudnik wasn’t helpful turned out to be accurate, and nudger–a word that apparently merits a red squiggly–was the word that does fit. So there you have it: Red squiggly words are well incorporated in the New York Times Crossword Puzzle. Yay.
There was (no) theme today.
13A *Stay in power: RESIGN -> RE(S)IGN -> REIGN + S.
23A *Hold on to: HEAVE -> H(E)AVE -> HAVE + E.
26A *Done openly: COVERT -> (C)OVERT -> OVERT + C.
37A *Changing gradually: REVOLUTIONARY -> (R)EVOLUTIONARY -> EVOLUTIONARY + R.
50A *Doesn’t eat: FEASTS -> F(E)ASTS -> FASTS + E.
54A *On this spot: THERE -> (T)HERE -> HERE + T.
66A When revealed in this puzzle, it reverses the meanings of the answers to the starred clues: SECRET. The letters that make the answers opposite make them secret? It’s weird, but fine.
Finished this one in 15:36.
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