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TUESDAY PUZZLE — Generally speaking, the assignment of a puzzle to a given day of the week determines its anticipated level of difficulty.

That level of difficulty, of course, is also highly dependent upon an individual solver’s wheelhouse, both in terms of general knowledge and familiarity with the different types of themes. For newer solvers, a more advanced theme might not be recognizable or solvable — especially if they are still focused on early-in-the-week puzzles — depriving them of the “aha!” moment.

I understand that the assignment of a puzzle to a day of the week is more an art than a science, so I rarely comment on it. I just wonder how newer solvers will react to Jeff Chen’s theme, which requires them to figure out not one but two things about the theme, with neither of them being beginner-level intuitive. For my money, that’s OK on a Wednesday or Thursday. But Tuesday puzzles are merely supposed to be “one harder” than Mondays, the easiest and smoothest puzzles of the week.

A programming note: I will be on vacation for a week, and you will be in the excellent hands of Caitlin Lovinger and Helen Verongos until I get back.

Your Friday Briefing

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Those forgotten in Italy’s vaccine drive

While the Italian government has said that people have a right to get vaccinated no matter their legal status, many undocumented migrants and homeless people have been unable to secure shots, putting both them and others at risk.

To book vaccination appointments, people must enter their social security numbers. But only three of Italy’s 20 regions accept the temporary numbers given to hundreds of thousands of migrants.

More than 125,000 people have died in Italy from the virus. The country’s vaccine rollout started at a sluggish pace, with strategic hiccups and a shortage of doses.

Quotable: “My heart is so weak that if I get Covid it will take me away for sure,” said one homeless immigrant, 63. “I am scared.”

Hey, Big Spender

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33A. Get to know your crossword fish! The GAR has appeared in the New York Times Crossword 221 times. It is a long, needle-nosed fish that lives in slow-moving, brackish waters.

45A. TIL (Today I Learned) about the DREADNOUGHT, a British battleship that was launched in 1906 and became the model for battleships for the next 35 years.

62A. When a business is referred to as “fly-by-night,” it means that its reputation or standing is questionable. “Fly-by-night sort?” is a play on that phrase, and the sort we are looking for is the nocturnal OWL.

1D. If you have none of the letters filled in already, just do your MOM/DAD/BRO/SIB/SIS run, and eventually, you will land on the correct answer, which is SIS.

10D. This one made me laugh. “Cash in?” means to exchange your betting chips for money. But in this puzzle, cash that comes in is REVENUE.

26D. A question for the Greek chorus: Do you consider this a dupe? (One example of a duplicate in a crossword is when a word in the clue is the same or very similar to a word in the answer and has the same etymological meaning). In this puzzle, HOME DESIGN is the answer to “Subject for House Beautiful magazine.”

While I’m not sure that it warrants any kind of demerit — honestly, we have so many other things to fuss about these days — it temporarily stopped me because of the word “house” in the clue and the word “home” in the answer. I might have used a magazine such as Architectural Digest as the example in the clue to avoid that similarity, but I’m curious as to how you feel about it.