BENGALURU: In this war of words, Chennai beat reigning champs Bengaluru on Sunday. The Tamil Nadu capital bagged the first two places at the second edition of the Indian Crossword League, which organizers claim is only growing in popularity. In the inaugural edition last year, Bengaluru was crowned the Crossword City after three of its citizens grabbed the first three places.
Kishore M Rao, 53, from Bengaluru, retained his third place from last year, while Moshin Ahmed, 22, the youngest participant and first runner-up in 2013, slipped to the sixth place. The first two places were bagged by Ramki Krishnan, 48, and a techie with Flextronics, Aravind Ramaswamy, both from Chennai.
Last year’s winner, 63-year-old Col (retd) Deepak Gopinath did not participate and was more involved in organizing the event.
Claiming that the league has been a piece-de-resistance for the best of Indian crossword minds, the organizers said the event reached a new level this year and the popularity is only set to grow. All three winners this year entered the finals through wildcard entries for topping one weekly chart, while 18 other finalists had scored top points through out. “In that sense I feel lucky to have made it to the finals,” Ramki said, adding that the online crossword of The Guardian and leading Indian newspapers TOI and ET helped him crack the competition.
Aravind, the first runner-up, said he was thrilled as he had not even participated in the first three rounds and yet managed to make it to the finals. There were 10 rounds before the finals. “All of us had the same scores at the end of the finals. We were ranked based on our earlier submission time, which is also fair given how we entered the finals,” Kishore said.