Wednesday, August 13, 2008

My addiction - Terry

Crossword Puzzles – Terry

I must admit to an addiction. I love doing crossword puzzles. If I miss a day, I cut out the puzzle from our local paper and keep it, in hopes of having time later to catch up. Now that our paper runs 2 different crosswords, I fall quickly behind. I save up unused crosswords and do them on airplanes. I can’t bear to throw one away unfinished.

I must also admit to being highly competitive. When I first started doing crosswords, it was after losing a 3-way race between my mother-in-law, my husband, and myself. My 83-year-old mother-in-law can still whip me royally, but my husband and I have equalized considerably. We both sit down to do the day’s crossword, saying, “We’re NOT racing!” But the first one finished still makes a very loud announcement. After much practice, I now win more than I lose! (Sorry, Ken, but it’s true!)

In checking the internet to write this piece, I came upon numerous sites discussing the benefits of playing games to keep your mind active. Here’s an excerpt from a site that provides an online crossword and sudoku puzzle, called “Mental Floss for the Brain.

Engaging in leisure activities that stimulate your brain may help you lead a longer, healthier life. These activities can even help prevent disorders like dementia, including Alzheimer's disease.
• Do Crossword puzzles
• Play Scrabble
• Play chess, checkers, cards or bingo
• Memorize a vocabulary word daily. Make a point of using the daily word in your conversation. One fun way to do this is to subscribe to the word of the day service, provided by dictionary.com for free, in which a vocabulary word is sent to your email
every day.
• Participate in some other mentally challenging games to sharpen your wits.

A recent study showed that elderly people who did crossword puzzles four times a week or more had a markedly (47 percent) decreased risk of dementia than those who did these puzzles once a week or less.

The internet is a wealth of resources for fueling the crossword addiction! Check out www.oneacross.com if you get stuck on an answer!

I feel entirely justified in my addiction!

(Photo by incurable_hippie, Flickr)

5 comments:

Annie Parsons said...

I have to say: I hate playing games - sports, board games, whatever. The only exception is a word or logic game. I love Scrabble. I love Boggle. I love crosswords and Sudoku.

So even if I'm not keeping my body in shape, now I feel VERY justified in keeping my mind in shape!

Great post!

Karla W. said...

Nintendo also got in on it. I believe they call it brain age. I've wanted to check it out for years.

I'm sure you could find widgets that put a daily crossword on your blog too. :)

christoph said...

I've just found this one here which could give you an advantage in your crossword race: http://emcons.net/dev/crossword_puzzle_solver/

Doesn't necessarily help with mental agility though... ;)

Terry McNichols said...

Christoph: This is truly amazing. I'll use it! You're right, though, it doesn't do much for increasing my mental agility, but if it helps me get on with the crossword, (and increase my winning ways)then it's a good thing, right? How did you find us?

Beth said...

Terry...I'm looking forward to your next visit so we can "not race" to finish the daily crossword together. Beth