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Indian Crossword League gets underway, goes global

Monday, Sep 12, 2016,12:26 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

New Delhi | Seeking to infuse love for words among people, especially students, in the age of video games, the fourth edition of the Indian Crossword League (IXL) was today launched here.

This year, it will include as contestants the country’s diaspora in five cities abroad. The grand finale of the contest, which will involve a combination of online and offline crossword puzzle-solving competitions, will be held in Bengaluru in December.

“There will be 10 online rounds following which a leader board would be generated. Top 20 contestants from that list would qualify for the final showdown where top six teams after an on-the-spot written round will square off for the IXL trophy.

“Also, a contestant each from London, Toronto, Sydney, Dubai and New Jersey in the US would fly into India to participate in the finals,” IXL founder Vivek Kumar Singh said.

The launch took place in the presence of several eminent personalities at the Civil Services Officers’ Institute (CSOI) in Chanakyapuri area. The IXL trophy was also unveiled on the occasion by Nasscom President R Chandrasekhar.

“Crosswords are not just about wordplay and cryptic clues.
I see them as great stress busters and a tool to help grow our incisive reasoning. So, if you see a sweating man at an airport or a shouting person stuck in a traffic jam, chances are he or she is not a crossword solver,” Chandrasekhar said.

Singh, also a senior bureaucrat in Bihar, said the IXL was founded in 1913 to mark 100 years of crosswords and to pay tribute to Arthur Wynne, who is credited with publishing the first crossword in ‘New York World’ newspaper.

“Last year, we added Toronto and New Jersey to the contest on an experimental basis. We got a positive response from the diaspora. So this is also the official global launch of the competition,” he added.

Gopa Sabharwal, Vice Chancellor of Nalanda University, said, “It was heartening to see crossword being celebrated by people of all ages. Though technology may have changed our lives in many ways, it has not yet heralded the death of crosswords.”

Col (retd) Deepak Gopinath, winner of the inaugural edition, said, “A contest like this throws up so many surprises. The second postion was bagged by a person from ISRO. His was 21, while I was 61.”

The first CSOI Crossword Challenge was also launched on the occasion.

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