Blinking of colloidal nanocrystal quantum dots, random intermittency in the stream of photons emitted by single particles, has long commanded the curiosity of researchers. Why does the particle suddenly shut off, and what are the pathways to quench emission? Single-particle microscopy is not the only way to approach these fundamental questions on the interaction of light and matter: time-domain sub-ensemble spectroscopies can also yield relevant information on microscopic electronic processes. We illustrate recent advances in pulsed optically detected magnetic resonance and highlight the conceptual relevance to unravelling mechanisms controlling intermittency on the single-particle level. Magnetic resonance reveals two distinct luminescence quenching channels, which appear to be related to those previously surmised from single-particle studies: a trapped charge-separated state in which the exciton is quenched by dissociation and the particle remains neutral; and a charged state of the particle in which spin-dependent Auger recombination quenches luminescence.