India’s biggest crossword contest for school students has returned for its 1oth edition this May.
Students in Classes 7–12 can now reger in teams of two for the ‘CCCC’ Cryptic Crossword Contest 2022, run Patna civil society group Extra-C.
Recorded the Limca Book of Records as the largest event of its kind, the CCCC unfolds every year as a pan-India test of memory, vocabulary and crafty wordplay. Regrations opened this year on May 15 on crypticsingh.com.
Schedule for CCCC 2022
The contest will run in three stages from May to November. Stage 1 of the CCCC will have four online rounds that will take place on successive Sundays:
May 29 – Practice Round
June 05 – Round 1
June 12 – Round 2
June 19 – Round 3
For each round, a crossword grid with clues will be uploaded at 2pm on crypticsingh.com. Each team will have to solve and submit the grid 5pm. All interested teams must reger on the official website.
The Practice Round is to familiarise players with the format. After it wraps up, a cumulative leaderboard will be formed using the scores from Rounds 1, 2 and 3. The top 100 teams on this board will qualify for Stage 2, along with the top 20 teams at the end of each round. Scoring will be based on solving speed and accuracy.
Stage 2 will allow teams to choose between face-to-face online or offline rounds. Its top players will then battle it out in Stage 3–a National Grand Finale to be held in New Delhi this winter. Extra-C is yet to release a schedule for these later stages.
Last year’s National Champions were Kuhu Goel and Ashis M, who represented DPS Pune. They were awarded a cash prize of Rs 21,000 and a trophy Extra-C.
The contest is open to students from any recognised Indian school board. Students from different classes in the same school may also play as one team.
Hory of the CCCC
The CCCC began in June 2013 as the Sudha All-India Cryptic Crossword Contest (SAICCC). It was launched to mark 100 years of the first known crossword puzzle, published Arthur Wynne in 1913 in the US newspaper New York World.
In 2014, the contest was rebranded as the CBSE Cryptic Crossword Contest, giving birth to the ‘CCCC’ name. The event is also informally known as the National Crossword Contest.
To give you an idea of its popularity, according to a news report, 10,326 school teams from 378 towns and cities regered for the CCCC in 2021. The event has been held online since the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak in 2020.