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Students tackle online crossword to beat lockdown boredom

Additional Chief Secretary Vivek Singh, left, and President Ram Nath Kovind presenting a certificate to a winner of the ACAD crossword. Photo: Special arrangement

Additional Chief Secretary Vivek Singh, left, and President Ram Nath Kovind presenting a certificate to a winner of the ACAD crossword. Photo: Special arrangement  

A-Clue-A-Day (ACAD) is a year-long competition that runs between January and October and top contestants are declared every month. The winners receive surprise gifts and prizes sent to their schools.

At a time when the entire country is under a lockdown to fight COVID-19, a free online crossword is helping student’s cope with boredom.

“Students across the country are beating lockdown blues by cracking clues,” said Vivek Singh, the brain behind the online crossword. “They’re having fun, of course of a cerebral kind,” he added.

Mr. Singh, a Bihar cadre 1989-batch IAS officer currently posted as Additional Chief Secretary, Revenue and Land Reforms, is also the author of a book on crosswords — Understanding Cryptic Crosswords: A Step by Step Guide.

The students from 40 States and Union Territories have a common platform where they challenge their intellect every day to crack cryptic clues on ACAD (A-Clue-A-Day) and ACAD-plus.

Both these daily cryptic crossword challenges are hosted on www.crypticsingh.com. The registration is free and one may join a contest at any stage.

The top honours for the month of March went to students from Chennai, Patna, Puducherry and New Delhi.

While Sarthak Sanjeev of Don Bosco Academy, Patna, is at the top of the ACAD list of contestants, Samriddhi S. S. Iyengar of Kendriya Vidyalaya No. 1, JIPMER campus, Puducherry, occupies the second position. Another student from Patna, Adya Singh of Notre Dame Academy, is at the 3rd position.

Samriddhi has twin honours. She also tops the list of performers for ACAD-plus, which has tougher clues. Vijval Ekbote of The Mother’s International School, Delhi, is at No. 2 in ACAD-plus.

ACAD is a year-long competition that runs between January and October and top contestants are declared every month. The winners receive surprise gifts and prizes sent to their schools.

While ACAD is through its seventh edition, ACAD-plus is witnessing its inaugural edition. It is meant for those schoolchildren who want to move on to the next level of cryptic clues solving and also for students of colleges and other institutions of higher education.

Explaining how it works, Mr. Singh said: “One clue is posted online at 3.30 p.m. every day and answers accepted till 3 p.m. the following day. One has to register on the website free of cost, get a password and log in to the website while entering the password, then look at the clue of the day and submit the answer”.

“A Champions’ Gallery is also formed on the basis of cumulative scores and top participants receive surprise gifts and Letters of Recognition. Besides, one can also look at the answer to the previous day’s clue”, he said.

“It’s basically fun playing the crossword online,” said Adya Singh of Notre Dame Academy. “My friends too participate in the game everyday and we all enjoy it,” he added.

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 12:15:12 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/students-tackle-online-crossword-to-beat-lockdown-boredom/article31272059.ece

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