Shuchismita Upadhyay, a Bangalore resident with roots in Bihar, has made it to the top 10 of the second edition of Indian Crossword League IXL 2014, an online cryptic crossword competition.
Extra C, a civil society organisation in Patna, holds the contest. The inaugural edition of the game was organised in 2013, the centenary year of crosswords.
The top 10 scorers of the 10 online weekly rounds, which began on September 14, and the final results of which were declared on Sunday, have qualified for the grand finale to be held in Bangalore on December 21.
While Bangalore scientist Mohsin Ahmed topped the list of participants, Shuchismita clinched the second rank. “It feels great to make it to the final. I urge all those interested in crosswords never to give up if they want to excel in the field,” she told The Telegraph over the phone on Sunday, adding: “Perseverance is key to those who want to learn the art.”
The daughter of retired Bihar cadre IAS officer A.K. Upadhyay, Shuchismita, studied up to Class VI in Notre Dame Academy, Patna, after which she shifted to Delhi. At present, she works as a software engineer and also has a website on cryptic crosswords www.crosswodunclued.com through which she guides those willing to learn the finer points of cryptic crosswords.
For Mohsin, the current edition of IXL is a kind of repeat of the inaugural edition, as he had topped the list of online rounds last year as well. Having picked up the art from mother Zakeena Seethi, for the 22-year-old scientist, who works with Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro), solving crossword not only enhances one’s word power but also is a good exercise of brain.
He has a message for those who feel disappointed after failing to solve the clues. “Never give up. Look at the answer and decipher the methods used by setters in making clues. This exercise would help in learning the art,” he said.
A city-based banker, Sanjay Sinha, has secured the 29th rank, the highest among participants from Bihar, who had registered for the competition.