Sunday, December 21, 2014

IXL 2014 Finals, 21 Dec 2014, Bangalore

And so IXL 2014 has also come to an end with Ramki Krishnan taking the honours. The Finals had a 13x13 and a 15x15 in the prelims which were to be solved in an hour. Vinoo Sanjay was amazing, in that he solved both of them without an error in 32 minutes flat. The top 6 from the 19 who attended were Vinoo Sanjay, Ramki Krishnan, Mohsin Ahmed, Arvind Ramaswamy, Kishore Rao and Abhay Phadnis (The others being Shuchismita Upadhyay, Shachii Manik, Sowmya Ramkumar, Rahmat Ali, Sohrab Azam, Dr S Venkatesh, Jose De Abreu, Padmashree Ramabhadran, Vinod Raman, Anish Madhavan, Lahar Appaiah, Vinayak Rao Ekbote and Prasenjit Sarkar)

In the final onstage round the top six had to go through a 13x13 and a 15x15 at the end of which Kishore, Arvind and Ramki were tied at 90 points each. Ramki was declared the winner as he was the first amongst the three from the preliminary round.

For more details and interviews await Shuchi's report at Crossword Unclued.

Below are some snaps.

 Kishore, Sowmya, Anish and Shuchi

 Arvind, Rishikesh and Ramki

 Prasenjit and Arvind

 Sowmya, Anish, Shuchi and Kushagra

 The lady finalists Padmashree, Shuchi, Sowmya and Shachii

 Vinoo in the foreground and Shuchi in the background trying to get a selfie with Shachii and Kishore

 Sowmya, Arvind and Ramki. Padmashree and Vinayak are also seen in the background

 Shuchi taking another selfie while trying to fit in Sowmya, Arvind and Ramki as well

 The finalists engrossed in the prelims
L to R First row - Anish, Venkatesh, Sowmya, Abhay, Arvind, Padmashree
Second row - Lahar, Vinayak, Ramki, Vinoo, Prasenjit, Sohrab, (Jose not in frame)
Third row - Mohsin, Kishore, Shuchi, Shachii, Vinod (hidden behind the column)
Last row - Rahmat Ali

Arvind, Ramki, Anish, Mohsin, Self, Kishore, Rishi, Bhargav and Shuchi after it was all over.

Ciao till IXL 2015

Sunday, November 16, 2014

An impromptu S&B gathering at Bangalore on 16 Nov 2014

An impromptu S&B gathering took place at The Humming Tree, Indaranagar Bangalore which was attended by Ajeesh, Shuchi, Anish (Maddy), Mohsin, Aakash Sridhar (Exa) and self. I for one was surprised on meeting Aakash as he turned out to be younger than Mohsin. Way to go youngsters I'm sure The Hindu Crossword will go a long way with our young setters. Some photographs attached below

Yours truly, Ajeesh, Mohsin, Anish, Aakash, Shuchi

Monday, September 15, 2014

The High of Hidden Words | OPEN Magazine

The High of Hidden Words | OPEN Magazine

Inaugral function IXL-2014 - 14 Sep 2014

I had the honour of being invited to attend the Inaugural/Launch event of IXL-2014 at the Emperor Hall of the National Sports club of India at Worli, Mumbai. 

 The dais before it was populated

Chief guest at the event was Mr UK Sinha, Chairman, SEBI. The function started with a mini 7 x 7 crossword for the invitees to the event and it was heartening to see the participation and response from them, even though some of them had a field day making guesses for a couple of the two-letter lights.
 The trophy awaiting the IXL-2014 champion

Shachii Manik one of the top ten at last years IXL (due to family commitments she could not participate in the final) was also present.

At the end of the event the special guests and those who correctly solved the 7 x 7 were presented with IXL T-shirts. 

I was surprised when a lady walked up to me immediately after the launch and asked me if I recognised her, when I gave her a blank look, she introduced herself as Nitaa Jaggi!!  Obviously the photo of hers which is there on the interview at Shuchi's site must have been taken much earlier as I could not put two and two together. 

Nita Jaggi's husband, Nitaa Jaggi, Self, Shachii Manik

Another surprise meeting was with Mangesh Sakharam Ghogre my acquaintance from the blog on the LA Times Crossword Corner blog, the blog which inspired me to set up THCC and this blog. He sets crosswords occasionally for the LA Times. Unfortunately I could not take a photograph with him.

Shall add the link to the IXL site after they add more photographs there.

On the whole had a hectic and enjoyable one day outing to Mumbai, kind courtesy Mr Vivek Singh, IXL and Extra-C 

News articles about the launch available at the undermentioned links

Friday, September 12, 2014

When Raju met CV on 06 Sep

Guess who came calling in today? CV !! We had a two-man blog get-together for about two and a half hours about????? crosswords , crosswords and crosswords !! We didn't even know how the time flew !! He is travelling to Madurai tomorrow setting off at 530am !! I admire his intrepid spirit to travel with his frail frame ! Here's A pic of us both.

A S and a B meet!

Monday, July 7, 2014

6th S&B Meet, Chennai, 06 Jul 14

Here are the snaps of a memorable afternoon spent at The Presidency Club, Chennai in  renewing old acquaintances and meeting new. Thanks to Gita for being the catalyst and thanks to Bhala for all the legwork in organising the event.

 Briefing for the photo shoot

 The above seven snaps were taken when we were acting out for the photo shoot!!

 Those who attended less Lakshmi and Ajeesh who arrived late. From L to R are
Anuradha Rao, Abhay Phadnis, AR Devanathan, CG Rishikesh, Shrikanth T, Rengaswamy Narasimhan, CG Bhargav, Gita Iyer, Padmanabhan, Sudarshan Rao, Col Deepak Gopinath, Dr D Sreenivasan, Bhalachandra Pasupathy, Vijay K, Venkatesh Prabhakar, Amrith R, Navneeth Chandrashekar

 The seven setters who attended from LtoR
Vulcan, xChequer, Arden, Gridman, Lightning, Klue Klux Klan, Afterdark

 Now that the shoot is over it's time to move in for the Wine, Cheese, Chocolates and you know what else...

 Some serious confabulations

The die-hard CW buff, she even has it hanging around her neck !!!

 Lakshmi to the right of Anuradha is pensive after missing out on the group photo

 Ajeesh at the extreme left is amused after coming in late!!

 Gridman takes centre stage explaining the CW he had brought along for us to solve. The same will appear in the next Sunday Special

 Lunch at last

The next lot of photographs were taken at Shrikanth's residence where we went to wind down with Beer, Vodka and Idlis

See the report in The Hindu at this link THE PUZZLE THAT BINDS THEM