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Posted in Family and Friends, You | January 2014

A puzzling way to spend the day

There is no need to feel guilty about sitting down to enjoy your daily crossword, or whiling away a wintery afternoon with a jigsaw puzzle. That’s because puzzles aren’t just fun—they can be good for you too! According to an article on, studies have shown that activities that stimulate the brain can help make our brains sharper and possibly less susceptible to dementia in our later years—and that includes doing puzzles.

More good news? There is actually a day set aside to immerse yourself in the pleasure of all things puzzling. January 29 is National Puzzle Day, which makes it the perfect day to sit and solve a sudoku, jigsaw puzzle, tangram, word search, anagram—or even a Rubik’s Cube.

If you want to make the most of this fabulously fun celebration, we have a few ideas to inspire you.

  • Puzzles often tend to be solitary pursuits, but they don’t have to be. Invite a fun-loving friend or two over to help you put together a jigsaw puzzle on January 29. This is a great activity to do with children or grandchildren too. Serve puzzle sandwiches (sandwiches cut into simple puzzle piece shapes) for a cute snack. If you want to get super creative and you’re handy with a spatula and icing, try assembling a “puzzle cake” and really wow your guests.
  • Challenge your friends to a puzzle tournament. Choose the winners based on the accuracy and speed with which they solve whatever puzzle you’ve chosen to feature. Make a night of it by having a potluck dinner. Check out Taste of Home for a huge selection of potluck recipes.
  • Donate new jigsaw puzzles or a selection of puzzle books to a nursing home or children’s hospital in time for National Puzzle Day.
  • Sign up to compete in the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament held in New York City, March 7-9, 2014 . If you can’t attend in person, you can still challenge yourself by solving online the puzzles the attendees are solving in person. Visit The American Crossword Puzzle Tournament ACPT Online Solving page for more information and to register. You can also play by mail, if you’d prefer.
  • Step out of your comfort zone and try a brand new kind of puzzle. The more you challenge your brain, the better. Pick up a bunch of inexpensive puzzles or puzzle books at the dollar store and hand them out to friends and coworkers—or even strangers.
  • Have a browse through the fascinating Puzzle Museum online and see, among other things, a picture of a dexterity puzzle that may possibly be the world’s oldest mechanical puzzle, dating back to 2550 BC – 2250 BC.

If you want to get warmed up and get your juices flowing in advance of the big day, why not put together a free jigsaw puzzle online? Visit and choose from a huge selection of themed puzzles from 60 pieces to over 400 that you can solve right on your computer.

Happy puzzling!

410565 CAN/US (04/15)


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