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13.03.2018

Bangalore’s most intense nerds may need a blood pressure check for this, but for the rest of us, here’s a fun thing to do tonight. Unlike venerated quizzing circles looking for the next ‘God’ of some arcane subject, PuzzledPint is a trivia event for proud filthy casuals. Want to hear something even worse? It comes from hipster haven Portland.
 
Co-founder Karthik Balakrishnan wasn’t in Portland when the idea struck him – he stumbled into a PuzzledPint event in New York City – and probably wasn’t thinking about how to ‘put fundae’ when he had the idea to bring it to Bangalore in cohort with his friends Harish V and Nemo. PuzzledPint is about bonding over brain-teasers and head-scratchers, but it isn’t neurotic or clubby; the guiding ethos of these events is that they be fun and accessible. It won’t be a showdown for earnest first-benchers – just an excuse to meet and mingle while indulging in some easy but well-tested wordplay and logic-based games.
 
 “Along with Harish and Nemo, I figured we could rally up a decent crowd from just amongst our friends. So why shouldn’t it appeal to the rest of Bangalore?” says Karthik, veteran of game-oriented events, who has organised 70+ boardgame nights with ReRoll Bangalore.
 
Do Not Pass, Go
 
PuzzledPint events now take place in over 60 cities around the world, so it’s likely you’ve stumbled onto a group of people furiously folding, cutting, scribbling, or kibitzing a puzzle when you drifted into a local bar somewhere or the other. You get to meet fellow nerds, form a team if you didn’t arrive with one, and solve puzzles over drinks and chakna for the next few hours.

It’s low on participant effort, activity-driven, and collegial. PuzzledPint is also a non-commercial hobbyist endeavour, so it’s free to attend (you just cover what you consume at the venue).
 
Held on the second Tuesday of every month, each PuzzledPint event usually has a theme (popular ones from months prior include everything from Stranger Things to Stargate), but in-depth knowledge of geek culture is not a requirement. That’s the beauty of it, we think. Though new to the ‘ooru, PuzzledPint is almost quintessentially Bangalore. Champs of the school and college circuit flock to the quizzing and pub trivia nights taking place in the city, but these can be intimidating for someone who isn’t ready to star in Brahman Naman just yet. PuzzledPint makes for a good starter vehicle for us lesser mortals - a way to earn puzzling chops and find a team (or just make a friend) with whom to go to future nerd olympics.
 
You can find out exactly where in the city India’s first PuzzledPint will be held when you solve the very first puzzle to unearth the mystery location. (You could also just go straight to the solution in the Hints section, but we aren’t snitching.) The event is an evening tailor-made for closet Sudoku experts and those who actually solve those riddles your uncle claims appeared in the last IIT-JEE and insists on forwarding to the family group chat.
 
If this is starting to sound a lot like those entrance exam coaching classes you were forced into around graduation, fear not: the hosts are not going to be recommending problem sets and management bestsellers anytime soon. Armed with handy hints, they are eager to help you arrive at your very own aha! moment.

Karthik insists that first timers at PuzzledPint will have as good a time as regulars to other quizzing events. Tonight, we will be distracting ourselves with from weekday mundanity with a fruity cocktail and a renewed (if misguided) faith in our ability to crack the CAT’s reasoning section if given a chance.
 
Getting there: Solve the puzzle (or peep the solution) here to figure out where the event is taking place. PuzzledPint will take place every second Tuesday, somewhere in Bangalore.
 
Sushmita Sundaram enjoys writing about funny people and odd things. Follow her on Twitter at @sushmitas.

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