For Pulkit Khare, a class X student of Tagore Public School, Allahabad, Chennai would be a distant place. But he made it to the city and hogged all the limelight at the offline A-Clue-A –Day (ACAD) finals. The venue was hotel Ambassador Pallava, Egmore, the date December 27, 2015.
Pulkit who has been doing consistently well in this online challenge for school students, bagged the ACAD trophy. Rohit Sreekumar, another class X student from from Kendriya Vidyalaya, Coimbatore, was at the second spot.
The Chief Guest on the occasion was Mr Mohan Chunkath, Additional Chief Secretary, Tamil Nadu, and a crossword buff himself. He was one of the finalists of the Indian Crossword League (IXL) 2015 which concluded in Bengaluru on December 25.
Mr C G Rishikesh aka Chaturvasi, a renowned crossword setter, was the City Host. Also present on the occasion was the IXL winner for the second consecutive time Mr Ramki Krishnan.
ACAD is a daily online crossword challenge for school students conducted on Extra-C’s website crypticsingh.com. The second edition of this contest was launched by the then Bihar education minister P K Shahi on April 10, 2015 at DPS Patna.
It involves cracking a fresh clue everyday which is uploaded on the site at 3.30 pm. The answers have to be uploaded by 3 pm the following day. Depending on the clues solved over a period of time, a Champions’ Gallery is formed and top of the board contestants are given prizes and letters of appreciation from the organisers.
The organisers had this year decided to organise an offline final to zero in on the best among school students excelling in crosswords. The top names on the Champions’ Gallery converged on the Tamil Nadu capital to claim the ACAD Champion trophy. The event was also a gesture from the organisers to pay tribute to the residents of Chennai who withstood the fury of one of the worst floods in history with an undying spirit.
Prior to the Chennai finals, at the top of the Champions’ Gallery was Aneerooth, a student of Srimathi Sundaravalli Memorial School, Chennai. Close on his heels was Rohit. Vendhanarayan K and Sajitha J from the same school gave him company among the top 10. Divya Vaid, a member of the second runners-up team from The Mother’s International, New Delhi, at the CBSE Cryptic Crossword Contest 2015 Grand Finale, was at the 9th position on the Champions’ Gallery.
The objective behind the event is to tap hidden crossword talent among young students and popularise the mind game which helps in developing lateral thinking, ability to draw inference and an enhanced vocabulary among other benefits.