Milestone for crosswords

Get ready to prove your mettle as, hundred years after the first crossword was created and published by Arthur Wynne in New York World in 1913, the first season of Indian Crossword League (IXL, 2013) has been launched in Patna for crossword enthusiasts in the country.

“X” denotes “cross” in the crossword-playing society (hence “IXL”). The league is an individual crossword-solving competition to be played in a round-robin format. The IXL 2013 will have eight weekly online rounds of crossword puzzles open to all the participants and an offline National Grand Finale for the top 10 performers of the online league. Prizes worth over Rs 5 lakh are to be won in this inaugural edition of IXL 2013.

A unique initiative to celebrate the 100 years of crossword, it has been organised by Extra C, an NGO.  The first known published crossword puzzle appeared on December 21, 1913, in the Sunday issue of the New York World. By the 1920s, other newspapers gradually picked up the newly discovered pastime and in a short period of 10 years, crosswords became a popular feature of all the leading journals in the United States (US). In Britain, however, crosswords became popular a decade after its birth in the US. The British crossword puzzles quickly developed their own style.

Crosswords became favourite among people who could see words puzzled together in a given geometrical pattern and were capable of twisting and turning words into word plays.

“The participants need to register themselves on in order to be a part of IXL 2013. The league is open to all the residents of India,” senior IAS officer Vivek Kumar Singh, the brain behind this unique initiative, told Deccan Herald here on Sunday.

“The crossword puzzle in the online domain will be cryptic in nature. The participant with the fastest fully correct entry will be awarded 100 points which keeps descending till the 100th correct entry, which will be awarded 1 point, in each of the weekly rounds. A leader board will be maintained, giving rankings based on the added scores of each weekly round of the players. At the end of the eight weekly rounds, the top five scoring participants will compete in an offline IXL 2013 National Grand Finale,” Singh, who is Secretary in Bihar’s Agriculture Department, said.

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