Crossing their words

December 14, 2010 12:00 am | Updated 04:00 am IST

Event Members of The Hindu Crossword Corner have an unbelievable passion for the daily grid

I f the hundreds of puns and word riddles that were batted around as a part of normal conversation is not testament enough, one retired journalist explaining to a retired banker how to navigate Orkut so that they can solve Crossword puzzles online should do the trick. The group had gathered from cities spanning the south of India and they had just one priority — to meet the people who shared their passion.

These men and women were all part of the Hindu Crossword Corner, a blog started by Colonel Deepak Gopinath and has a following of over 150 members. At the Hindu Crossword Corner one will find by 8.30 am the answers to the day's Hindu Crossword along with clues to how the answers have been derived. This was the second meeting of the group, the first was held in Chennai earlier this year.

For all of us who look at the crossword as a coded message from an alien entity, these men have broken it down to simple logic. There are seven setters who set the Hindu Crossword, one of whom was present at the gathering. “How long you take to solve a crossword depends on your familiarity with the style of the setter,” explains Rishikesh, a former journalist and the mentioned setter, who had come in from Chennai.

Rishikesh was the setter responsible for the 9999 {+t} {+h} and the 10,000 {+t} {+h} Hindu Crosswords, both of which were Ninas. For the crossword uninformed, the Nina is a special feature of the crossword grid, where a word or phrase is hidden within a pattern of cells in a completed grid. Among the older men, were surprisingly a couple of young techies, Vinod and Suchismita who are a part of the blog as well. While Vinod is a crossword aficionado since a young age, Suchi is the owner of a couple of very successful blogs as well.

The men also confess to the occasional cheating, “There are three levels of cheating — one where we refer to the dictionary, then another where we refer to Google, then of course the Colonels' blog,” says Kishore, a chartered accountant, before he quickly adds that it is most fun when you get the answers using logic.

The Hindu Crossword has forged friendships among these men and women, and their equations with each other go beyond the crossword and their discussions include family, politics and of course the ubiquitous pun. “The best thing about the Hindu Crossword is the local flavour as the setters are Indian,” says Colonel Gopinath.


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