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HindustanTimes Tue,23 Dec 2014

I want people to think of crosswords as works of art: Mangesh Ghogre

Alfea Shaikh, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, February 05, 2014
First Published: 12:36 IST(6/2/2014) | Last Updated: 12:43 IST(6/2/2014)
Mangesh Ghogre isn’t just another investment banker. He’s a crossword designer who has been published by top newspapers in the US. We speak to him about where his hobby originated and why he considers it an art.

What brings you to the Hindustan Times Kala Ghoda Arts Festival 2014?
A crossword is a great medium to get intellectually entertained. This festival is the perfect platform because people from all sections of society attend it. I want people to think of crosswords as works of art. 

How did you become a crossword designer?
In 1997, I had to give my GMAT exam, for which a good vocabulary is a must. Back then, we didn’t have the Internet, so I would do crosswords that were originally published in the Los Angeles Times. I started designing them because I was fed up of seeing American bylines. I read about how to construct them, and after eight or nine rejections, my first crossword was published in the Los Angeles Times.

Describe your journey so far.
After my first crossword got published, I was interviewed by many blogs. The greatest feeling was when I saw my first byline; I wanted to pay a tribute to the city, so I specially requested them to write my name as ‘Mangesh Mumbaikar Ghogre’. The New York Times hosts an annual crossword competition, and I wrote to the editor asking if I could participate. Instead, he asked me to judge it. That was a greatexperience.

What are the biggest challenges that you face?The challenge is to come up with something new for the American audience, because I don’t know their culture.Which publications have you worked for?
I’ve been published in the Los Angeles Times, New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. All these papers syndicate their crosswords to    200 other publications.

Mangesh Ghogre’s session — Between The Lines will be held on February 5, at Artists Centre, Fort, from 11.30 am.

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