Saturday, July 25, 2009

The corporate world beckons

End of life as we know it ... Or is it ?? Leavin tonight to Mysore to enter the "Corporate World" . It was a good two months at home, after 4 years of college. Just had time to say bye.
Not 'goodbye', just 'bye'. I dont think that I can access blogger from there, but thankfully, blogspot has given me the super tool called "mail to blog" .. So I hope to be posting sooner rather than later ...
Adios, for now ..
Godspeed and thanks for reading ... More to follow, I promise ...


Friday, July 24, 2009

A sample crossword

A crossword I created a while back. Looking back now, most of the clues are very very simple. And the others??? Well,they're very simple. Nevertheless, I'm posting it. Have fun solving it. All comments welcome ....

Here's the link :

First Cross


Thursday, July 23, 2009

A few pointers

A few standard crossword norms to be used in clue setting and solving :

Ship --- SS
Nothing --- o
Sailor --- ab
Goggles/Glasses/Spectacles --- oo
Journalist/Editor --- ed
Soldier --- GI
Albert --- Al
Edward --- Ed
Gangster --- Al
Quiet --- sh
Left --- l
Right --- r
One --- i
Former --- ex
Accountant --- CA
East --- E
West --- W
South --- S
North --- N
The --- t ( when not used as a filler/ connector word ... How you interpret it, is of course, the question. You'll get better as you keep doing more crosswords )
Numbers --- usually Roman numeral representation ( for eg. Hundred is C etc.)
oddly --- odd letters
evenly --- even letters
regularly --- letters selected in some regular sequence  (usually 1 or 2 apart)
in/contained --- the word is contained in the parent word or is more often than not in the conjunction of  two  words
Words in the middle of the clue with Capitalized first letters --- The first letter
Proper nouns --- first letter(s) (For eg. Royal Air Force is RAF)
heartless --- word minus the middle letter
endless --- word minus the last letter
Perhaps --- er
somehow --- word, in some form, usually a part of it
hollow/within the limits(or boundaries) of --- Only first and last letters of the word
going up/backwards/turned back --- word in reverse ( for eg. 'it' turned back( or going up) is 'ti' )
girl --- usually represents a girl's name ( like eve or anna etc. )
Anagram indicators
A sort of

I'll keep adding stuff as and when I remember  or come across more ....
Pl. feel free to add others in the comment section


Lets clue !!!

Right ... So we're solving crosswords now. The next step?? Why, making clues of course. How many times have we seen the solutions in the paper the next day and felt "Oh! come on now .... That was a sad clue. Even I could have framed a better one." So whats stopping you then? Go ahead.. You'll soon find that you'll quite enjoy cluing and soon enough, you'll start cracking more crosswords simply because you will now be tuned to the mind of a cruciverbalist and will be looking at clues from the point of view of a crossword setter.

Now, creating a clue is simple enough. All you have to do is to break down a word, give its meaning and then somehow, cryptically, clue it. Sound simple enough, and it is. But the real catch is creating clues that are of an acceptable standard.

Here are a few basic ground rules :

1. Every clue, MUST have an indicator to the meaning of the solution.
2. Do NOT over complicate the clues, keep 'em simple.
3. Shorter the double definition clues, the more elegant they are.
4. Use standard abbreviations and annotations while cluing.
5. Try to keep the clues as short as possible.
6. Take care of the tense. ( If the clue indicates the past tense, the solution must be in the past tense as well.)
7. Do not use too many connector words. Use only those that are absolutely necessary. (Connector words are those that do not have any role to play in the solution but are necessary to maintain the grammar of the clue.)
8. Clearly give indicator word for anagrams.
9. Homophones must be indicated as best as possibly by placing the indicator words such as "loudly" or "overheard" close to the homophone, and not the solution. (For eg. Put a lid on the loud rooster(4) means 'cork' and not 'cock'. )
10. Avoid ambiguity. Make your clues as precise as possible.

Most importantly, HAVE FUN !!!



Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Carlito's way

He came under a cloud. Gave an all action performance. Endeared himself to the fans. Scored a fair amount of goals. Worked his socks off .... and two years later, went Blue. That's Carlos Tevez for you.

His arrival in England was nothing sort of sensational. Both he and his fellow countryman, Mascherano were signed up by West Ham in what can only be called a sensational coup. In truth, it was one of the most complicated deals in the history of the game in which both players were bizarrely, not owned by a club but by a company, or in particular, one Mr. Kia Joorabchian. After a slow start to life in the Premier League, he quite came alive in the second half of the season and helped West Ham beat the drop with some sensational performances, and a particularly stunning goal against who would turn out to be his future employers. After helping West Ham to beat the drop, he did what any player in his position would have. He answered the door when Manchester United came calling.

A two year loan deal, with an option to make the deal permanent, was signed and soon Carlos Tevez was the new number 32. His first goal for United was a super one. A diving header at the near post against Chelsea. More goals followed and he, along with Wayne Rooney and a certain number 7 were the fulcrum of the United team that went on to retain their Premier league crown and also won the Champions League (in which he scored a penalty in the shoot out in the final). All was well.

Then came what could possibly be called the beginning of the end. Berbatov was signed and was put straight into the first team. At first, it wasn't much of an impact as Ronaldo was injured and so Rooney, Tevez and Berbatov were accommodated. But soon, Ron was back and Carlos was, more often than not, relegated to the bench. His frustration was for all to see and this was compounded by the fact that Berbatov did not seem to adapt to the United playing style well either. Soon, cracks began to emerge with Carlos stating that he wasn't too happy with the situation and who could blame him!

As the season progressed, it became evident that he would, more likely than not, be plying his trade away from the theater of Dreams very soon. His last appearance for Manchester United was the Champions league final, in which he was introduced as a second half substitute. In his last few games, he performed to the hilt, as ever, and scored a few.

Then came the announcement in the summer that Carlos Tevez had declined the offer of 25 million pounds that United were offering for his services and would be moving out. Duly, he was signed by Manchester City for around the same amount and will indeed wear the number 32 jersey.

All the noise he was making was that he had not been treated with respect, and that he was not getting enough game time, hence feeling unwanted. Fair enough, until you consider his decision to join City. Apart from Tevez, they have 6 other strikers on the payroll. Now if Mark Hughes decides to rotate his squad from time to time, it'll be interesting to see what happens.

At the end of the day, Red became blue. Tevez became a cityzen. All the best mate. Lets just hope for your and everyone else's sake that you win at least as many, if not more trophies in your ENTIRE spell at City than your two glorious years at Man United...

Monday, July 06, 2009

15 of the best !

     WIMBLEDON 2004
           US OPEN 2004
          WIMBLEDON 2005
                   US OPEN 2005
        AUSTRALIAN OPEN 2006
  US OPEN 2006
     US OPEN 2007
  US OPEN 2008

Fifteen with love


Sampras' seemingly unbeatable record of 15 grand slams has been overhauled. All 4 majors have been won. The no.1 ranking has been reclaimed and all the while grace, poise and elegance has been maintained. Thats Roger Federer for you. peRFect.

If someone had told you about 10 years ago, that a Swiss would become the greatest player of all time, you would probably have laughed, and so would I. But it has happened. Not only has Roger Federer become the most successful player player in Grand Slam history, but has also done it by playing a brand of tennis that can only be described as, well, magical.

When he first burst onto the scene, it was all guns blazing. A victory over the mighty Pete Sampras at Wimbledon ( which ironically became Sampras' last match on the lawns of SW19 ). He had arrived on the scene.

The years that followed can only be described as 'The Federer Era' and there was hardly a hiccup( except in the clay of Paris, which a certain matador from Spain called his own ). Major after major came his way, and world #1 was a given.

Then came 2008. The year, I am sure that tennis fans will remember for a long long while to come. It was when Federer was dethroned as the king of England( well, of Wimbledon at least). In what was the longest final in Wimbledon history and perhaps, the greatest final ever, Rafael Nadal prevailed over Federer to add insult to the injury blows that he inflicted on Federer in the final of the French hardly a month before. And now doubts arose.

Naturally, whispers started of Federer losing it and not having anything left in him. These soon turned into full blown shouts when he lost his world #1 ranking to Nadal later that year. But just as great champions do, Federer won the US Open, albeit not playing the best tennis that he is capable of.

And this vulnerability was yet again exposed by Nadal when he beat Federer in the final of the Australian open. The scenes that ensued will certainly be fresh in the minds of all tennis fans. Federer breaking down and sobbing hysterically with Nadal, in what can only be described as one of the greatest shows of sportsmanship that the sport has ever seen, consoling him. This was probably a bit too much for Roger and soon enough, the axe was wielded and the guillotine lowered.

Yet again, as only great champions can, he rose from the ashes, to claim the one major trophy to elude him. He won the French open in some style and thus joined the pantheon of greats like Don Budge, Rod Laver, Andre Agassi and others, to be only one of a select few to hold all 4 major trophies. He had indeed come a full circle.

Then came Wimbledon and another epic final. Andy Roddick gave as good as he got and a bit more but in the end, Roger Federer had done it. He had eclipsed Pete Sampras to become THE HISTORY MAN ! The Undisputed king. Whats more, he's got his #1 ranking back.

His critics will always say that he never had the competition that other great players like Sampras or Borg had. You know what? It only seems that way because he was head and shoulders above the rest. The competition that Borg had can very well be equated to the competition that Federer had without any disrespect to the players of either eras. The difference was that while Borg and Sampras were ahead of the competition, Federer was well ahead and well, as they say, it gets quite lonely at the top.

He does not have the biggest serve; Roddick does. He does not have the best forehand; Djokovic probably does. He does not have the best backhand; Richard Gasquet does. he does not have the best physique or legs; Nadal does. But you know what? He has what it takes to be a champion, and a great one at that; probably the greatest.

 Kudos to the great man.