Blooming Business

Difficulty ● ● ◐ ○ ○

Puzzle Notes

Dear Crossword Nation Subscribers, 

Greetings to you and yours! 

While walking up Broadway this week I noticed a long line of people queued up immediately south of 114th Street. It was a frigid week, but folks waited patiently in the ever-growing line. 

This must be important. Was it a queue for COVID testing? Or has a new vaccination center opened? I moved closer to investigate.

Aaah, mystery solved. The line terminated at the door of Mondel's Chocolates -- a tiny Morningside Heights shop where new Columbia students pack on the "Freshman 15" courtesy of: fruit-shaped marzipan candies, hand-dipped almond bark (milk or dark chocolate) and pecan turtles. And though the Columbia students aren't on campus this year, Mondel's has survived COVID due to a loyal neighborhood customer base and a thriving mail order business.

A certain crossword puzzlemaker may have packed on the COVID 15 by way of pecan turtles.

Happily, the long line represented an annual February tradition of pre-Valentine's Day candy purchases at Mondel's -- a refreshing touch of much-needed normality.

This week's puzzle is a garden-variety diversion that dovetails nicely with yesterday's Valentine's Day celebration and a side order of chocolate truffles. The stars of today's show have had a busy week. Let's show them some love!

Welcome to Week 507 of Crossword Nation. We cordially invite you to solve "Blooming Business" as your diversion of the day.

Be well and happy, Dear Ones. May the pecan turtles be with you.

Cruciverbally yours,


Solvers of The New Yorker Crossword: For a "challenging" (that's how the editors describe it) diversion, please try my latest puzzle in The New Yorker.

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Happy solving and be well!

Liz Gorski