Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Hindu Crossword Crosses The 10000 Mark

The Hindu Crossword has five magnificent digits in its serial number today. THC no. 10,000 has been published.

The Hindu was the first English newspaper in India to introduce an original crossword. While other Indian mainstream publications (HT, TOI, The Statesman, Indian Express, etc.) carry syndicated crosswords from overseas, The Hindu's crossword has been created since 1971 by its own team of setters. The local flavour in THC is one of its biggest attractions for Indian solvers. It is a comfort to deal with towns we know, slang we recognise and homophones we can decipher without having to resort to dictionaries. No surprise that, for all its flaws, no other crossword published in India has a following as huge and passionate as The Hindu's.

A lot of my learning about cryptic crosswords has been through The Hindu Crossword and the Orkut forum which solves this crossword. I am deeply thankful to both.

I wish The Hindu Crossword lots of success and many more such milestones.

Quiz: How well do you know The Hindu Crossword?

Answer these multiple choice questions and see how well you know your daily brain-tickler. Enjoy the quiz, share it with your friends and tell us how you fared - but don't give away the answers!

The Hindu Crossword Quiz

If you haven't seen these articles about The Hindu Crossword setters before, read on:

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Amrith said...

Here's to tens of thousands more :)


Krishnan said...

A momentous landmark indeed for all the CW fans. Congratulations to The Hindu. Got to thank you and Col. Gopinath for your wonderful blogs.

VJ said...

Nice trivia. Could score only 50% :(

Congratulations to The Hindu and blogs that follow its crossword.

And special thanks to this awesome blog. It's easily one of the best sites to learn about cryptic crosswords. Keep up the good work!!

Deepak Gopinath said...

Nice Quiz Shuchi

Shuchi said...

Thanks! Good to know you all enjoyed the quiz.

Only three so far had 100% right, of 52 responses. Most got Q2 wrong. Are you one of the perfect scorers, Colonel? CVasi is sure to be one.

Enjoyed the 10K special puzzle. What serendipity that it was Gridman's turn on the day.

Chaturvasi said...

As one who has been following the crossword keenly from No. 1 and as one who has provided inputs for columns/blogs on the feature, I did not participate in this quiz.

Shuchi said...

Oh. Bhargav, in that case? It isn't important, the quiz was meant for fun and not as a serious exercise but I was just curious!

Radha Janakiraman Gulati said...

Can you provide a list of individuals who have contributed by creating the crosswords for The Hindu?
I recall my father, Sri M Janakiraman, for some period, probably in the 70s,had his cryptic crosswords published by the Hindu. I would like to get confirmation of that.

Chaturvasi said...

I have known THC from No. 1 so I can give some inputs.
I am afraid a complete list of THC setters since its inception cannot be provided. At present, there are nearly 20 setters. If you visit the blog
, locate Blog archives on the Left sidebar, select Feb or Jan and look, you will get the pseudonyms of the setters.
The real names of most of these are known to the regulars because they have come out in the open.It is for you to glean as I am not sure if I am authorised to disclose the identities.
Now, to the question if Sri M Janakiraman set puzzles for TH.
In the late 70s or early 80s (and for several decades later too), THC was published anonymously. So there is no question of an outsider knowing the names of setters unless the information came from other channels.
For example, it is now well-known that the very first setter was Adm R, D, Katari. You may have seen the article on him in this blog.
Even during that time I knew this because my brother-in-law, a Rear AdmiraR, told me about Adm Katari. This I kept privately.
During that time I used to write letters to TH making some points or other about THC. I got replies with the setters' comment but the typed letter never revealing the identity of the person.
After some decades inveterate and keen solvers like myself detected different hands (from the style of clueing) and that must be the time when the Adm, to keep up the supplies going, must have invited some colleagues of his in Secunderabad to join the team. I would not have known the names of some of these latter-day setters had I not joined TH group in 1986. I do know some names but as they are not in the public domain.
As for Sri Janakiraman, I can say I was not aware of the name.
But if he is a Former defence officer, if he had lived in Secunderabad and was meeting the Admiral and if crosswords had come up in their conversations, it is quite likely that he too had been drawn into the setters team when puzzles were published anonymously.