Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Health benefits or not, puzzles and games offer their own satisfaction

We may not know for sure if solving the crossword or Sudoku keeps our minds sharp. But it sure feels good to finish off that Sudoku — the one marked "Hard" — or to pencil in 48 Down, the final clue, on one of Sunday's big crosswords.

Of course, there are mornings when they get tossed, scribbled over in disgust, into the garbage.

In today's LifeTimes cover story, freelance writer Tom Valeo interviews neurologists and other medical professionals as he explores the nature of the brain and its remarkable resilience. And guess what: Brain games may indeed play a role. (We also have a Q&A with Will Shortz, the New York Times crossword editor extraordinaire.)

Your passion for puzzles is well documented, if your phone calls to the St. Petersburg Times are any indication. Perhaps you're the reader calling this morning, begging for "just one clue." Tsk, tsk.

Or maybe you're the fellow who wonders how in the world AXYDLBAAXR translates to LONGFELLOW. Or why in the world do we run THAT puzzle, it's so simple a chimp could do it. We feel your pain and share your pleasure in a puzzle well done.

Beyond puzzles in the traditional sense, today there are numerous electronic games designed to keep your neurons flexed. So you're thinking, video games? Me? No way. But handheld portable games, including Brain Age by Nintendo, offer challenges designed for brains of every age. These types of games let you chart your progress, as well as compare your scores with the rest of your family. Ask your kids or grandkids — they'll be thrilled to show you how it works. And they're fun.

After we moved almost all of our puzzles to BayLink a few months ago, one gentleman wrote that we had, with our new placement, at least temporarily upset his morning routine: He places a cup of coffee and his wife's crossword at her place at the breakfast table. Now that's the life.

What do you think?

Tell us what puzzles you like or which ones are too easy for you. Are you a penciler or do you boldly take pen to paper? Or confess — you just can't decipher the cryptoquote, can you? (A confession: What is up with that Kakuro?) We may share your input in a future issue. Write Mimi Andelman, Newsfeatures Department, St. Petersburg Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Please include your full name, age and city of residence; you may also e-mail mimi@sptimes.com; please put "Puzzles" in the subject line.

• • •

Coming in LifeTimes Oct. 28: Our annual Medicare Part D package, offering comparisons and advice on how to make the best choice for prescription drug coverage, be it traditional Medicare, a private drug plan, an HMO or some combination. The sign-up period begins Nov. 15 and closes Dec. 21.

• • •

LifeTimes is on the Web: Check out lifetimes.tampabay.com. Among the feature stories is our newly updated guide to helping you find a nursing home that's right for your family. Our map locates four- and five-star homes (the top rankings) near where you live.

Mimi Andelman can be reached at mimi@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8272.

Health benefits or not, puzzles and games offer their own satisfaction 09/29/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 3, 2010 2:07pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. James Wilder Jr. back at running back...in Canada

    Blogs

    Remember when former Plant High star and Florida State running back James Wilder Jr. announced he was switching to linebacker?

    That was short-lived, apparently.

  2. Unlicensed contractor accused of faking death triggers policy change at Pinellas construction licensing board

    Local Government

    The unlicensed contractor accused of faking his death to avoid angry homeowners has triggered an immediate change in policy at the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board.

    Last year Glenn and Judith Holland said they paid a contractor thousands of dollars to renovate their future retirement home in Seminole. But when they tried to move in on Dec. 14, they said the home was in shambles and uninhabitable. They sent a text message to contractor Marc Anthony Perez at 12:36 p.m. looking for answers. Fourteen minutes later, they got back this text: "This is Marc's daughter, dad passed away on the 7th of December in a car accident. Sorry." Turns out Perez was still alive. Now the Hollands are suing him in Pinellas-Pasco circuit court. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]
  3. What you need to know for Tuesday, June 27

    News

    Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.

    Former St. Petersburg mayor and current mayoral candidate Rick Baker, left, and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman square off tonight in a debate. [Times]
  4. Once 'angry' about Obamacare, Republican David Jolly came to see it as 'safety net'

    Blogs

    Former Congressman David Jolly, who ran against Obamacare in 2013, said in an interview Monday night that he now considers it a "safety net."

  5. Five children hospitalized after chlorine release at Tampa pool store

    Accidents

    Five children were sickened at a pool store north of Tampa on Monday after a cloud of chlorine was released, according to Hillsborough County Fire Rescue.