Saturday, March 01, 2008

It's The Little Things

I feel like I have neglected my brain for the past few years.

Honestly... after writing on daily deadlines for 10 years straight since finishing college... I changed careers and started writing only emails. Then I started this blog just to force myself to practice my writing (and to have some sort of audience - even if it's mostly imagined).

I swear, I find myself mispelling words that I never even doubted myself about before. It's as if my fingers don't even remember the words - regardless of what my brain claims to know!!

Some people turn to puzzles and crosswords to keep their brain sharp. I know people who have enjoyed those sort of games their entire lives. They never really appealed to me.

Then Sudoku came about. Please. I would never choose to spend extra time with numbers no matter how friendly they pretend to be!

But Mr. Burns, being the Head-Of-His-Class, Engineer, brainy type - obviously keeps his mind sharp with Sudoku, Crossword puzzles and other mind teasers. One Sunday he sat toiling over and enjoying the Post's crossword puzzle and as I made attempts to assist - I realized that Crossword clues are a venacular all their own. If I wanted to take up Crossword Puzzles, I would have to start with the Idiot's Guide just to warm up!!

The next time we found ourselves at the store, Mr. Burns picked up a couple of puzzle/mind teaser workbooks. Hmmm. They got an idiot version in there for me to work on?

The books have 8-12 different kinds of puzzles... and before long, the two of us found one type of puzzle to work on together. It's called Anagram Magic Square. Mr. Burns handles the math portion and we each contribute our specialized knowledge to solve the literary clues. Not bad. It's certainly a fun way to uncover the many interesting ways your mates' mind works. (I worry that he's just figured out that I'm not-so-bright!)

I also found another sort of puzzle that is particularly appealing to me - Laddergrams. Ooh fun!

So I found it particularly charming the other day when I got to Mr. Burns' house and he held up the puzzle book saying, "There is only one of these puzzles left in this book. (magic square) I'm saving it for us to do together. Don't do it without me."



Anonymous said...

I work with a student that does Sodoku and crossword puzzles. After helping my wife with an IQ test I can see how both of those things can keep your mind sharp.


Anth said...

Aww, that is so cute!

And er, I am one of those geeks who loves crosswords and sudoku puzzles. :)

TRS said...

Seriously! I never realized the potential to introduce vocabulary - and as Mr Burns points out - he recognizes patterns in words (like cryptograms - where you figure out a code by determining the repeating letters) It really keeps you sharp about our language.

Yes, He's adorable. Today after church and brunch, he had about 2 hours before he had to leave for the airport. He insisted on stopping to get another puzzle book - not for the plane ride... but for me to have/ play with while he's gone! He wanted to do a puzzle together before he left.

Puzzles are actually very helpful for an abstinent couple, we're learning. Ha ha.

k said...

i'm really good at number puzzles, but totally suck at word puzzles. guess that is the engineer in me!

i'm kelly said...

oh i love puzzles. they are so much fun. i'll have to look for this one in the store. thanks for the tip!

TRS said...


Laddergrams are also called Escalators in some puzzle books.

I heart them.