Chennaite is crossword champion of India

The master wordsmith

Chennaite is crossword champion of India

Ramki Krishnan from Chennai has emerged the new crossword champion of India. He was declared winner of the Indian Crossword League (IXL) 2014 finals held in the City on Sunday.

As many as 21 finalists from across the globe arrived in Bengaluru to battle for the title of the next crossword champion of India. Arvind Ramaswamy, also from Chennai, came a close second while Bengalurean Kishore M Rao stood third.

The IXL 2013 runner-up, Bengalurean Mohsin Ahmed, came fourth this year followed by Mumbaikar Vinoo Sanjay and Chennaite Abhay Phadnis at fifth and sixth position, respectively, according to Kushagra Singh, director (Legal and PR) of the IXL.
The grand finale was held in two phases: the knockout written prelims and the onstage grand finale.

The written round consisted of two sets of crossword puzzles to be solved within an hour. The top six finalists were selected for the onstage grand finale round on the basis of accuracy and time.

The six participants were called on stage for the next round. The round had two crosswords projected on the screen simultaneously. Each participant was given a clue to answer. If he or she gave correct answers, then 10 points were allotted to them.

If unable to answer, then the clue was passed on to the next finalist and so on. In a similar way, both the crosswords were solved and the marks tallied.
The on-screen rounds saw some tough tussle among the six finalists. Krishnan smoothly sailed in the first round. A few easy questions helped the finalists gain quick points.

For example, clue 9 ACROSS was “Extreme jerky ride (4)” the answer to which was DIRE which is the anagram of RIDE. Some questions took even the finalists to bite their nails, like a seven-letter word for “Hang outside stellar body” the answer to which was MERCURY. In an extremely close fight during the final moments of this round, Krishnan managed to hold his lead till the end, Singh said.

Two of the IXL 2014 finalists, Sowmya Ramkumar and Prasenjit Sarkar, from Bahrain and Singapore respectively, also participated in the finale. The IXL has been ideated and conceptualised by Vivek Kumar Singh, Principal Secretary, Forest and Environment, Bihar.

“The IXL is our attempt to popularise the culture of crosswords in India and we shall come up with a bigger and better version of the IXL next year,”  Singh said in a statement.

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