The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will start the Cryptic Crossword Contest-2014 from next month to help students improve their vocabulary, reasoning, lateral thinking and analytical abilities.
Students from classes 9 to 12 are allowed to participate in the competition which will be conducted in two phases.
The city round of the competition to be held across the country will begin from Ranchi on July 16, whereas, in Chandigarh, this round will be held on September 6.
According to the board circular issued to all its affiliated schools, the schools located within the city as well as in the vicinity can participate in the competition.
At the city level, each team of two students will have to solve a written cryptic crossword puzzle in 30 minutes. The winner and the first runner-up teams will receive certificates and prizes and they will move to the quarterfinal round on words that will begin in Delhi from December.
In the quarterfinal, selected teams from the city round will be asked to write a cryptic crossword puzzle to be solved in 30 minutes.
From this level, eight teams representing each CBSE region, along with eight other highest ranking teams, will qualify for the semifinal.
In the semifinal, the 16 qualifying teams, placed in four groups of four teams each, will participate in four separate, on-stage cryptic crossword contests of 60 minutes based on a power-point format and compete for the finals.
The team that wins at the national level will be awarded a prize of `25000 each with trophies and certificates. Rs 15000 cash award each for first runner-up and Rs 10,000 each for teams on the third and fourth positions have been announced.
CBSE officials said samples of the cryptic crossword contest formats could be accessed on: www.crypticsingh.com.
Second-class rail fare for two students and one school escort will be reimbursed to the teams competing in the national round. RJ Khanderao, regional director of the CBSE, asked school heads to ensure participation of their students in the exciting contest.
How do crossword puzzles help students
Crossword puzzles help students improve their vocabulary, reasoning, lateral thinking and analytical abilities. Deciphering solutions from the given clues helps young minds develop other cognitive skills like making inferences, evaluating alternatives and drawing conclusions.
Learning becomes more enjoyable as different mental faculties are challenged. Most importantly, solving a crossword puzzle results in a sense of personal achievement which is vital for personality development. Crossword is also an interesting and effective educational tool for students and teachers alike.