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Last January, the Observer conscientiously explained a potentially confusing bit of Times bylinology: Patrick D. Healey, then of the Albany bureau, was an accomplished recruit from The Boston Globe, where he'd been known simply as Patrick Healy; Patrick O'Gilfoil Healy was a recent grad in the intermediate-reporting program who in college had also been known simply as Patrick Healy. They were not the same person, nor were they related. (To further complicate matters: The latter is apparently known conversationally as Jack, which is his real first name.) But the point was that with this surfeit of Pat Healys, no one at the Times had the byline Patrick Healy.

Until yesterday. And again today.

The Metro section has now twice been graced with the Patrick Healy byline — referring to the man previously known as Patrick D. — and a Nexis search shows that O'Gilfoil has published only one piece in the last three months. What gives? Did O'G. quit? Get fired? Did D. have him killed?

It's a good thing, we suppose, that the Times is now uni-Healy'd, but we'd love to know how it came to be thus. The real story is welcomed; outrageous conspiracy theories are preferred.

Byline: Healy [NYT]