Competition Success Review #5: CodeWars 2008

[10th November, 2008]

Mridul- “Code Wars ki website khol.”

[There’s a calender with a 15 circled on it]

Me- “Nahi ja sakte yaar. 16 ko Mega Event hai.”


[13th November 2008]

Mridul- “Arjun ne bataya ki Code Wars cancel ho gaya. Koi sponsor nahi hai.”

Me- “Sahi hai na. Nahi jaane ka regret toh nahi hoga.”


Mridul- “Code Wars ki website khol. Arjun ne bataya 21st November ko hai. NIIT sponsor hai.”

Go. No go. Go.

That’s how agonizing it was, to go to Code Wars. I was in Manali with friends last time, and missed it. Wanted to go this time. Badly.

So finally, its on. We are going to Code Wars. I’m really looking forward to Ankur’s quiz. Heard about it from Vivek in WarP. Sounds like a really tough quiz. So this time its a really stripped down symposium of only 5 events. WebD and DI are online, and Arjun has made some mind-blowing rules which ensures people didn’t cheat. Like providing the PSDs, and involving any number of participants in the team. Entries are to be submitted online. WebD topic is Anda Beta restaurant [for which Shikhar instantly designed a logo] and DI topic is Eric Cartman for President. God knows when VK will get over 42, Eric Cartman, the Simpsons and “reading  between the lines”. Don’t mistake God for Shikhar.

21st arrives, and I’m ready to miss my Computer practical test. I would have got full anyway. So we reach, and it begins [after leaving shoes outside the wooden audi].

Me and Mridul leave for quiz, Shikhar and Mudit for Surprise Event [which could be onion chopping], Arpit and Tapas for encryption, and Aayush and Mayank for programming.

Ankur is there. Looking short. Shorter than me! Blue T-shirt, heavily trimmed hair. Seemed barber-ic. Distributes papers to everyone. We have some 20 minutes.

Tough, but good paper. We topped with 8 from 20. Don’t know about Mridul, but I could have got Pierre Omidiyar (founder of eBay. I bet this question was lifted from Download: The True Story of the Internet). There was a good question which is my personal favourite.

Which was the first OS Microsoft’s Office ran on?

Ans: MacOS X

See? Its not Mac OS X, it only MacOS. I read it in iCon. Mridul made a mistake, but I corrected him.

Last question was the usual nine-by-six.

As I told you, we qualified. And so did DPS Dwarka, St. Xavier’s, Kalka, DPS RKP and another school. New Era didn’t qualify! Yay! Not that I don’t like any healthy competition, but its like one major threat eliminated.

We stay in the room for the crossword, which is HUGE! Some 50+ clues, all brain twisting. There were some which we could have easily got. I kick myself now for many. Look at these for example:

Renders the whole world

I thought Maya, but this was five letters. The answer was Dunia, but we didn’t get this.


We didn’t get this, and the answer was Maya. 😦

Freely flowing MP3 codecs…but not like beer

It was Fluendo, which helps you buy media codecs for a big price – 0.00 EUR. I had a post about this in Google Reader, which I received a day before. Only if I had read it…

Three-pronged Evil engine (Hint: submarine-launched ballistic missile)

C’mon, it was Trident! And I did make a post about IE on my blog, and Jimi Hendrix told me about Trident. I didn’t remember it then 😦

What Lindsay Lohan had in Freaky Friday

GarageBand. It was the whole damn reason I wanted to install Mac OS X.

Lost in translation

I thought AltaVista, but it was BabelFish.

We didn’t get this either, and the answer was AltaVista. Lots of !@#$% there!

We got about 11, which could have been 18; way above Jimi Hendrix, who got 14. We were third here, and we could have been first. Of course, we came third because of me. He he. Mridul couldn’t have done it without me at all. Actually, I could have got all those by myself, but I brought him along for company. You see, others will feel bad if this ninth class kid walks away with all the prizes.

While walking back to the audi, we encounter Lord Vader

“Crossword mein kitne aaye?”


“Sahi hai, yaar. Hume sirf 7 aaye.”

“Abbe aur aa sakte the…”

And the list goes to him too.

During refreshments, Tapas and Arpit tell us about the N-Crypton, which was fabulous. This was my personal favourite:

Time. Ctrl+S Ctrl+S Ctrl+S Ctrl+S Ctrl+S Ctrl+S Ctrl+S Ctrl+S Ctrl+S

Get it? “A stitch in time saves nine” Ruddy brilliant, I say. Our team didn’t get this.

98 blue screens paved the way for the new  ___________   of green bars.


Now, its back to the audi. We go on for the quiz on the stage. And Ankur. Is. Running. Windows. Vista. And. The. Quiz. Is. In. PowerPoint. 2007. Unbelievable. Whatever happened to Linux (“My preciousssss”)?

And no I am told later, that crashed, and GQ had to shift to Uncle Bill’s OS. Aww 😦

The quiz not so good in the beginning. Montfort is not leading at 15, and both answers were given by me.

Who is Sean Miller?

It struck me suddenly.

“Isn’t he the guy who comes in Microsoft’s I Am A PC Ads, that fat guy?”

It was right. Smart thinking, eh?

“How does Firefox’s AwesomeBar work?”

“It actually indexes the titles of web pages from Google, and relates them…”

I started off, with some inputs from Mridul. We formed a crude answer to win half of Ankur’s heart. 5 points.

And then the dry run started. No points in sight. At all.

And then, Mridul Kapoor begins the show of the night.

“What is Unix time?”

“Its epoch. Seconds elapsed since 1st Jan 1970.”

“Charles Geschke … PostScript … Identify the company.”


“… Harry Potter…”

“Richard Stallman”

Bang bang bang. 30 points. And Mridul didn’t even read the entire last question. Just read the first line and “Richard Stallman”. How he got these so well? Must be my presence. I know i train well 😀

Then a weird question about a temple where lappies are blessed.

Then the AV round. I see a picture I’ve remembered for months…

I get all jumpy and excited. I’ve been waiting for this question for a year! My on-stage excitement is evident. It comes to me.

“Jade Raymond”

“Okay… So?”

“She er… was the developer for Assassin’s Creed, at Ubisoft. People at newsgroups discussed that she was, er… hot”

“Well, I’ll give it to you; she tried to sell the game on her looks.”

Well, so we get this one. Now the thing is, St. Xavier’s offered an awesome fight. They were actually second before this, but we overtook them and were second with 5 points. Then there’s the last question of the quiz. There’s a video of a person doing a jig against a purple background. It St. Xavier’s chance

“Er… Yahoo?”

“Well, it is. Yahoo! wear purple campaign.”


We lost, 3rd 😦 But they were awesome. Too good, I say.

We came first in N-Crypton, and second in WebD for Anda Beta. Nothing in surprise event.

Surprise event was not about chopping onions. It was typing the entire Lorem Ipsum with the fewest mistakes (tracked by a clever program). It was tough, eh? Nice brains, whoever made it.

We also won the overall trophy. Yay! VK won G@teway, and Montfort won CodeWars. Tit for tat.

While receiving the trophy, the principal said

“Ye trophy football wali se chhoti hai na?”

Awww 😦 But I’m not so materialistic (which is also the reason why I don’t own a graphics card), and so its the sentiments I carried with that huge trophy.

On the way back, Shikhar snapped open the crown of the trophy and said in a Vivek Nair style

“It gives you an empty feeeeling to win the overall, and not any individual.”

Refer to the official Converge Clan blog for more.



  1. Ankur Banerjee · February 15, 2009

    Awesome review! Gonna bookmark it! 😀

    1. The rules for the WebD / DI event were (mostly) made by yours truly.
    2. We planned something else for WebD, but changed it towards the end.
    3. Pierre Omidayar wasn’t lifted from Download…, but yes, I did watch it and I recommend it to quizzers as a quick brush-up on the basics.
    4. Many teams messed up and wrote Mac OS X instead of Mac OS. 😐
    5. Wow. Real tough luck in the crossword. Maybe it was because of the limited amount of time that you had.

    And Ankur. Is. Running. Windows. Vista. And. The. Quiz. Is. In. PowerPoint. 2007. Unbelievable. Whatever happened to Linux (”My preciousssss”)?

    Heh. 🙂 I know, it saddens me too. kept blanking my slides to white text on a white background even when I wanted it to be white on the gradient-black.
    7. The Microsoft guy is Sean Siler.
    8. “I see a picture I’ve remembered for months…” LOL. 😉
    8. “Ye trophy football wali se chhoti hai na?” I can’t believe he actually said that on stage.

    Awesome post. I’d been waiting for this one since you started the CSR series. 🙂 You remembered all the questions you answered too!

  2. Pingback: TCS IT Wiz 2008 » Needlessly Messianic
  3. Mridul Kapoor · February 15, 2009

    Right on target this time as well!
    Awesome post
    And it’s nice that you recall

    ” How he got these so well? Must be my presence. I know i train well 😀 ”

    I thought you forgot about this and all other supremacy facts after Access 2008..


  4. Prashanth Kanduri · February 15, 2009

    Hehehe, this time, the Code Wars quizzing trophy was mine. I wish you luck with winning this, and the BIG thing, the TCS IT Wiz next year for sure. My so-called time (read: self proclaimed- reign) at school has now come to an end. The torch is now on your hand to NOT allow the DPS-gang to hold authority over Delhi…
    PS – I reached 20 mins late to the crossword, thanks to an unproductive N-Crypton. And well, I regretted over my own scores. I couldn’t even read many questions…
    Good luck again…
    PPS – You read my recent 2000 word post ENTIRELY? 😛

  5. Aditya · February 16, 2009

    @Ankur Banerjee: Yes, both Mridul and I heard the Principal saying that to a woman. And what was the meaning of “GOOGglePLEX Pardon our French”? The suspense is killing me!

  6. arjun · February 16, 2009

    in the end the clue held no meaning, because computers in the surprise event lab 256mb of ram. go figure.
    (inconvenience regretted)

  7. Aditya · February 16, 2009

    @arjun: Please. Do not play games, I need an answer!

  8. Ankur Banerjee · February 16, 2009

    @Aditya: It is what Arjun says it is.

  9. Aditya · February 16, 2009

    So what if they have 256 MB of RAM? What does that mean? Is it something like you’re telling us that PCs of this low RAM will be given?

  10. Ankur Banerjee · February 16, 2009

    @Aditya: You’re on completely the wrong track. The solution is really simple.

  11. Aditya · February 16, 2009

    @Ankur Banerjee: FIne, I give up. I can’t concentrate on this. Just give me the answer!

  12. Ankur Banerjee · February 16, 2009

    @Aditya: OK, I’ll tell you. (Otherwise you’ll be so engrossed in this that you’ll screw up your exams.) Or maybe I won’t. What do you say, Arjun?

  13. arjun · February 16, 2009

    go straight man, not on a hyperbola!
    and i don’t think you need the answer when you’ve already made a post about it.

  14. Ankur Banerjee · February 16, 2009

    @Aditya: Hear hear, Arjun’s words. The solution is so breathtakingly simple and elegant…that…it’ll move you to tears at the sheer beauty of it.

  15. prateekv · March 4, 2009

    @ Aditya – Great Post. Frankly, it was really disappointing to have not qualified for the Finals. But then we messed up as we wrote Mac OS X instead of Mac OS. We also missed 6×9=42!! Well, but still we would not have been a threat to you in the finals as I did not know many answers. Infact the level in the Finals was quite high – Prashanth, ur team and St Xavier’s were brilliant. Though I would definitely have done better than Amity and DPS Dwarka!

    The Crossword was nice, and it was good to finish 2nd. We could definitely have got more than 15 here….But in a crossword, this is always bound to happen!!! I think there should have been more time for this event, but then I know it was a one-day event and would have been a tough task to allow more time.

    • Aditya · March 5, 2009

      Yes, there should’ve been more time. Especially for Crossword. It was huge!

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