In last month’s issue, I presented a puzzle involving a city directory. It was particularly tough. I won’t pretend otherwise. To put it in New York Times crossword terms, it was definitely a Saturday puzzle, the toughest of the week. If you missed it or forgot some of the details, take a minute to revisit it so the solution makes the most sense.
Here are highlights the key elements of the puzzle:
- the subject was William Brown (abt. 1763–1827) of New York City
- he married 27 February 1785 at Trinity Church, New York City, Mary Ball.
- their children were William, Richard, John, Benjamin Moore, Samuel Provoost, Nathaniel Marston, Eliza, James, and Mary
- his parents and siblings were unknown
- his occupation was unknown
Who was William Brown? An exercise with city directories both created an initially unseen problem and, ultimately, solved that problem. What clue in that exercise did I initially miss?
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