CROSSWORDS: Why Do We Solve Puzzles?

CROSSWORDS: Why Do We Solve Puzzles? webadmin Sat, 01/15/2011 - 16:51

Summary

  • zenHumans find meaning and inspiration in finding and solving problems and challenges.
  • [Refs]: "The Possibility of More: High School Senior Chases the 'Aha!' Moment"
  • [Refs]: "Finding God in a Crossword Puzzle"
  • [Refs]: "Crosswords and Consciousness"

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CROSSWORDS: Fun; Humor; Distraction; Joy

CROSSWORDS: Fun; Humor; Distraction; Joy webadmin Fri, 03/09/2012 - 15:06

Summary

  • crossword admirersPuzzles provide opportunities for fun, wordplay, focus & distraction.
  • [Refs]: No Joke: China's Broadcasting Authority Bans Puns And Wordplay""
  • [Refs]: "Rapid Thinking Makes People Happy"
  • [Refs]: "Whence the Joy in Crosswords?"

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CROSSWORDS: Challenge; Creativity; Problem Solving

CROSSWORDS: Challenge; Creativity; Problem Solving webadmin Fri, 03/09/2012 - 15:07

Summary

  • until solve NYTCrosswords present us with complex, multi-layered patterns.
  • They've been used as an "intelligence" test and recruiting tool by code-breaking agencies, e.g., Bletchley Park [UK], NSA.
  • A uniquely human pursuit (for now) -- AI programs can't cope with the ambiguity and exceptions.
  • [Refs]: "In Crosswords, It's Man Over Machine, for Now"
  • [Refs]: "Tracing the Spark of Creative Problem-Solving"

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CROSSWORDS: Language Skills; Vocabulary

CROSSWORDS: Language Skills; Vocabulary webadmin Fri, 03/09/2012 - 15:10

Summary

  • walking dictionaryWord puzzles can exercise your vocabulary -- in multiple languages.
  • Well-designed crosswords are more than a collection of words (esp. weird 'crosswordese'), and obvious clues -- they force us to think outside (and inside) the box.
  • [Refs]: "Crosswords improve vocabulary and increase trivia knowledge"
  • [Refs]: "The Benefits Of Bilingual Spanish-English Crosswords"

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CROSSWORDS: General Knowledge; Trivia

CROSSWORDS: General Knowledge; Trivia webadmin Fri, 03/09/2012 - 15:12

Summary

  • budget politicsA fun way to learn useful information about a variety of subject areas -- and maybe even obscure facts for trivia games.
  • [Refs]: "All I know I learned from crosswords"
  • [Refs]: "Crosswords improve vocabulary and increase trivia knowledge"

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CROSSWORDS: General Health; Cognitive Fitness

CROSSWORDS: General Health; Cognitive Fitness webadmin Fri, 03/09/2012 - 15:14

Summary

  • scientists activate brainLearning a skill, playing a game or solving a new kind of problem can improve mental flexibility and brain connections.
  • Crosswords appear to aid in concentration, and ability to recognize patterns.
  • Although doing crosswords cannot prevent dementia, practicing and challenging yourself appears to add to your "cognitive reserve", possibly delaying the onset of symptoms.
  • [Refs]: "Puzzles help 'boost earning power'"
  • [Refs]: "For an Aging Brain, Looking for Ways to Keep Memory Sharp"
  • [Refs]: "Can crossword puzzles prevent dementia?"

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CROSSWORDS: Relationships

CROSSWORDS: Relationships webadmin Fri, 03/09/2012 - 15:16

Summary

  • fights obviousSolving crosswords can be a social activity: a way to meet people, play together, etc. -- or to isolate.
  • [Refs]: "Couple reveal secret to 70 years of marriage"
  • [Refs]: "Crosswords Are Like Sex"
  • [Refs]: "Doing crosswords or sudoku 'helps couples get over arguments'"
  • [Refs:Marriage Proposals]: "For Alexandria couple, wedding proposal in a crossword puzzle just fit"

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Marriage Proposals

CROSSWORDS: Fame

CROSSWORDS: Fame webadmin Fri, 03/09/2012 - 15:18

Summary

  • clintonSome seek fame by appearing in a crossword clue, publishing a crossword, winning a tournament -- or mentioning in an obituary that the deceased loved crosswords, especially doing them in ink.
  • Some already-famous people (e.g., politicians, celebrities) enjoy solving crosswords.
  • [Refs]: "The Acrosses and Downs of Crossword Celebrity"
  • [Refs]: "American Crossword Puzzle Tournament (ACPT)"
  • [Refs:Politicians]: "Pres. Bill Clinton pens NY Times' crossword puzzle"

Quotes

References

  • The Shortz Factor introducing a new measure: 'crossword-famous' -- your name is better known by regular crossword-solvers than it is by the general population: 7. URI; 6. YMA; 5. OTT; 4. ESAI; 3. ERTE; 2. RAE; 1. ERLE; 1/27/2012
  • Word Wars a look at the obsessive world of competitive Scrabble; 2004
  • Celebrities

    Politicians

    CROSSWORDS: Reasons Not to...

    CROSSWORDS: Reasons Not to... webadmin Fri, 03/09/2012 - 15:21

    Summary

    • overdoingSolving crosswords can become time-consuming, frustrating, and/or addictive.
    • [Refs]: "21 Signs You're Addicted To Crossword Puzzles"
    • [Refs]: "50 Years of Crosswords: An Addict's Tale"

    Quotes

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    Why Do You Solve Puzzles

    • -- or not?