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Knowledge of Princeton History Tested in Crossword Challenge

Ellen Gilbert

Herbert W. Hobler, a member of the 1783 Committee, may not be on Will Shortz’s list of crossword puzzle creators for The New York Times, but with the puzzle below he is challenging Town Topics readers to complete the first of four puzzles that will appear here in the coming months.

The clues to this and the puzzles that follow all relate to the events of 1783, when, from the end of June to the beginning of November, Princeton served as the nation’s capital. In response to a revolt among Pennsylvania military forces, Congress fled from Philadelphia where it had been meeting to this then-quiet village that was home to a few hundred residents and the College of New Jersey, now Princeton University.

This little-known chapter in American history will be remembered with cultural and educational programming coordinated by the 1783 Committee, at the very sites where history was made 225 years ago. There will be historic re-enactments, art exhibitions, music and dance performances, and more.

Mr. Hobler, who does crossword puzzles every day, is a newcomer to their creation. He reported that he was undaunted when his wife pointed out that “there’s a pattern you’re supposed to follow.” He’s just eager to promote some of the upcoming activities, he said.

“We think that crossword puzzles are an appropriate way to remind people — or have them learn for the first time — about the people and places that were part of that time in our local history,” said Martha Leigh Wolf, executive director for Morven Museum and Garden and Chair of the 1783 Committee.

For more information on 1783 history and events, see

To see the puzzle and its answers go to pages 13 and 49 respectively of this week's paper.

Good luck!

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