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Students eager to go down-&-across

Rack your brains, polish your vocabulary skills and get set for the CBSE Cryptic Crossword Contest 2014 (CCCC 2014).

Over 400 schools from across the country, including 30 from the state, have registered for the contest due to start on July 16. Meant for students of classes IX to XII, each school can send one team with two members. The event is being organised by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and Extra C, a city-based civil society initiative, has been given the responsibility of coordinating the event. Apart from CBSE schools, those affiliated to other boards too can participate in the event.

The biggest-ever inter-school crossword contest, CCCC 2014 would be conducted in two phases — city and national rounds from July to December 2014. The city-level contest would be conducted in 34 cities across the country, including Patna, Gaya and Bhagalpur on July 25, 26 and 28.

“The response of the schools has so far been very encouraging. We are hoping to receive more entries with a few days left for registration for the event,” said Extra C director (legal) Kushagra Singh on Sunday. He said the most encouraging part of the registration process was that schools from across the country, from Srinagar to Kochi, have registered for the event.

Some of the prominent schools sending their teams are DPS RK Puram, New Delhi, Maharaja Sawai Man Singh Vidyalaya, Jaipur, Bhavans Vidya Mandir, Kochi, and St Xavier’s Collegiate School, Calcutta, among others.

To make the event a grand success, an advisory council comprising IIM alumni and IAS officers has been put in place for conducting the event. Bipul Kiran Singh, Pramath Raj Sinha and Nikesh Sinha (all IIM alumni) and Rahul Singh, Rajit Punhani and Sunil Barthwal (all IAS officers) are members of the council.

Senior IAS officer Vivek Kumar Singh who has a book on cryptic crossword to his credit would be in the role of chief mentor for the event.

Colonel (retired) Deepak Gopinath, who won the Indian Crossword League 2013, the first ever online competition of cryptic crossword, would be one of the members of an expert committee set up to keep tabs on the quality of questions being asked in the event.

The final of the CCCC 2014 would be held in New Delhi in December this year. The national winners of the contest would bag prizes worth Rs 25,000 each with trophies and certificates, the national runners-up would be awarded prizes worth Rs 15,000 with trophies and certificates and the national finalists (3rd and 4th) position holders would get prizes worth Rs 10,000.