Kobus Named Head of Puzzlers Group As Convention Ends

Puzzle Convention - AI Stock Photo

Camden Courier-Post – Feburary 24, 1936

‘Nedmac’ (Spell It Backwards) Elected; Wife Retires as Vice President



Joseph F. Kobus, retired Camden merchant, was elected president of the National Puzzlers League, Inc. at the closing session yesterday of its 105th semi-annual convention.

The convention opened Saturday in the Hotel Walt Whitman.

The new president, husband of City Commissioner Mary W. Kobus, was one of the earliest members of the organization, founded in 1883. His nom-de-plume in puzzledom is Nedmac.

Mrs. Kobus, retiring first vice president, is H. S. Law in the world of cryptograms, “flats” and “posers.”

Others elected were: R. P. Woodman (Macropod) of North Quicy, Mass., to succeed Mrs. Kobus; Mrs. G. H. Ropes (Evero), of Detroit, Mich., second vice president; Lewis Trent (C. Saw), of New York, secretary for his 26th consecutive term; John Q. Boyer (Primrose), of Baltimore, treasurer; Rufus T. Strohm (Arty Ess), of Scranton, Pa., official editor, and J. H. Wickham (Wick O’Cincy), of Cincinnati, OH., trustee.

Following the business session about 50 members participated in a prize puzzle contest in the junior ball room of the hotel and the M.M.M. (Minute Men of Mystery), a social organization within the league, held a dinner meeting.

C. Saw Gets Bowl.

A silver bowl was presented to C. Saw as a testimonial to his 25 years’ service as secretary of the league. He was lauded in a presentation speech by the retiring president, Charles Jacobson (Oedi pus) of Whitestone, L. I.

In the puzzle contest a special prize for solution of a cryptogram in 1 was won by “Live Devil,” who is William Lutwiniak, of Jersey City, a youthful member of the league.

The cryptogram was submitted by a New York detective fiction magazine.

Mrs. Kobus, who was chairman of the convention reception committee, introduced several members as speakers on a broadcast program from Station WCAM in the morning.

They were Robert Anderson (Fort Sumter), of Jersey City, a charter member, Jacobson Boyer, who spoke on cryptograms, and Louis C. Macaran, (Zoroaster) of Stonehurst, Pa.

Organization Recalled

Anderson recalled the organization of the league by a group of young men who met in Pythagoras Hall, on Canal Street, New York City, July 4, 1883. The hall has since been razed to make way for the Williamsburg Bridge over the East River. He said that of the 36 present about 10 survive. After the meeting, he said, the members celebrated by walking across Brooklyn Bridge, which had been opened only a few weeks before.

At yesterday’s business session David Shulman, (Ab Struse), of New York City, proposed that the league officially endorse as proper words for use in puzzledom “ismer” and “poorich.”

“lsmer” was suggested by George H. Pryor (Miss Fitts) of Baltimore and “poorich” by Boyer (Primorse), the former to indicate one who is given to an “ism” as, for instance, a “braintruster,” the latter to indicate that both poor and rich are not always to be sharply differentiated but may have interests in common.

The suggestion was referred to the educational committee, of which Boyer is chairman. He revealed later he had been instrumental in having the word “carefree” placed in Standard and other dictionaries when he discovered several years ago that the word, though in common usage, had never been listed by lexicographers.

It is the rule in puzzledom that in building up word forms no word can be used that is not in a recognized dictionary or is not officially endorsed by the league if newly coined.

Boston was selected for the 106th convention which will be held September 5, 6 and 7.


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