Bangalore hosted the grand finale of India’s premier crossword championship, Indian Crossword League 2014.
The journey of the second edition of the Indian Crossword League came to a successful and a very exciting end on Sunday, the 21st of December 2014. The IXL has been the piece-de-resistance for the best of Indian crossword minds in and outside the country for two years now, reached another level this year. With a taste of grand success last year, this year’s IXL has been much bigger.
21 finalists from across the globe came down to Bangalore to battle for the title of the next crossword champion of India.
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’s time. The Top 6 finalists were selected for the onstage grand finale round on the basis of accuracy and time. Those who made it to the next round were Vinoo Sanjay from Mumbai, Ramki Krishna from Chennai, Mohsin Ahmed from Bangalore, ArvindRamaswamy from Chennai, Kishore M. Rao from Bangalore and Abhay Phadnis from Chennai.
These 6 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/ she answered then 10 points were allotted to him/ her. If he/ she was not able to answer then the clue was passed on to the next finalist and so on. In the similar way both the crosswords were solved and the marks were tallied. The IXL is the first platform which the hithero private passion of crossword to a nerve-wracking public contest.
The on screen rounds saw some tough hustle among the top 6 finalists. Ramki smoothly sailed his way in the first round. A few easy questions helped the finalists gain quick points for eg 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 7 letter word for “Hang outside stellar body” the answer to which was MERCURY. In an extremely close fight during the last final moments of this round, Ramki managed to hold his lead till the end.
Arvind Ramaswamy came a close second and Kishore M. Rao stood third. The IXL 2013 runner up, Mohsin Ahmed came fourth this year followed by Vinoo Sanjay and Abhay Phadnis at fifth and sixth position respectively.
Two of the IXL 2014 finalists, Sowmya Ramkumar and PrasenjitSarkar came all the way from Bahrain and Singapore, respectively to participate in the finale.