A. N. Prahlada Rao
Rao's involvement in crossword compilation is a hobby that developed from an interest in solving both Kannada and English crosswords while a student in the mid-1970s, both in Kannada and English. He joined the Karnataka Information Department in 1983 in a public relations role and it was at that time he began to compile seriously. He now works as Public Relations Officer for Bangalore Mahanagara Palike and compiles at least 15 puzzles a week, sometimes with assistance from his wife. He specialises in themed puzzles and has a particular fondness for cinema. They have appeared in daily, weekly and fortnightly publications such as Prajavani, Samyukta Karnataka, Shakthi, Mangala, Vijaya Karnataka and Ee Sanje. He does not make a great deal of money from his efforts: in 2001, by which time he had written over 7,000 puzzles in Kannada, he said that he received around 50 rupees per puzzle, which was about 10 per cent of what he would get if he compiled English language versions. By the end of 2014 December he has composed 38,000 Crosswords and quiz puzzeles. Compilation initially took him around two hours but he had reduced that to no more than 20 minutes.
Aside from producing crosswords, Rao also sets quizzes for several publications, drawing on the same trivia and reference books that he has amassed for his compilation efforts. The front wall of his house includes a crossword grid of black and white tiles.
He has contributed his crosswords to more than 40 Kannada periodicals in the 25 years to 2016.
The first volumes of Kannada crossword puzzles compiled by Rao were launched on 14 February 2008. Three of the five Kannada crossword books are based on general knowledge, one on Kannada cinema, and another one for children.
Limca Book of Record
- Bangarada Manushya (2005), a biography of Dr. Rajakumar, a popular Kannada film actor. Also translated into English as Dr. Rajkumar: The Inimitable Actor With A Golden Voice (2008).
- Belliterey Belagidavaru (Gems of the Silver Screen) (2007), contains profiles of 115 film stars of Kannada cinema
- Vasanta Mallika (Beginning Blossoms) (2008), a CD containing nine poems that were sung by Vasantha Shashi with music composed by Puttur Narasihma Nayak.
- Nanna Daari Vibhinna Daari - Rajanikanth (2013), about the Tamil film actor Rajanikanth
- Praana Padaka (2013), contains recollections of Rajakumar's wife, Parvathamma.
- Jaitrayaatre, a translation into Kannada of the similarly-titled book written in English by K. Jairaj, an Additional Chief Secretary in the Indian Administrative Service. It documents Jairaj's experiences as an administrator over three decades and was serialised in the Kannada daily newspaper Vijaya Karnataka.
- Danivillada Dhani, a Book on B.R.Pantulu, Great Director, Produces and Actor in Kannada and Tamil, written by A.N.Prahlada Rao, published through Karnataka Chalana Chitra Academy has been released by Dr. Bharati Vishnuvardhan in November 2016 at Samsa.
In 2009, 75 books about people who had contributed to Kannada cinema were released as part of the Platinum Jubilee Kannada Cinema-75 organised by Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce. Among those books were two by Rao, being his earlier work on Rajakumar and T. S. Karibasaiah.
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