Friday, September 30, 2011

Logically Speaking, That Is Quite Puzzling

I like doing puzzles. However, I am very particular as to the kind of puzzles that I like to do.

I'm not a big fan of crossword puzzles because that requires the kind of minutia knowledge that I'm not really exposed to on a daily basis anymore. Nor do I like cryptograms or anagrams or even Sudoku for pretty much the same reason. I definitely don't like find-a-word or anything related to that because I don't find it stimulating or challenging enough.

However, much I like to be challenged in my writing, I do like to be challenged in my pursuit of games of armchair leisure. Which is why I like doing logic puzzles and word/number crosspatches.

Doing logic puzzles satisfies the mental restlessness that my mild OCD/ADD inflicts on my psyche from time to time. In addition to solving super micro-flash fiction stories (one short paragraph), the logic problems themselves are great for when you need to resharpen your focus on something that can be overly tedious or brain draining.

Take writing for example. Not just the stuff that you produce as a creative outlet, be it fiction, poetry, haiku, or whatever, but also the stuff that you may have to produce on a daily basis for work.

Logic puzzles can be a great way to stimulate another part of your brain and give the writing part a welcome respite from the pressure of trying to create something out of nothing that makes sense.

The same principle applies for word/number crosspatches. A crosspatch puzzle is simply a blank puzzle that looks like a spider web (most of the time) that hiccuped with a list of words or numbers to work with. The challenge is to make all of the words/numbers fit into the puzzle and unlike Sudoku where you have a few number to start with, crosspatches quite often doesn't give you anything to start with.

Because you have to make all the words/numbers fit, one of the challenges is finding the proper pattern and combination of words/numbers. So again, you're looking at such a stimulating exercise for the brain that more often than not, allows you to get that second wind to complete your particular task at hand.

What are some of your favorite puzzles that stimulate your brain and get you back on track?


  1. I do Jumbles from time to time and my wife loves crosswords. So we are a puzzle family I guess.

  2. David: That's pretty kewl.

    I've done Jumbles from time to time as well. They used to carry a real difficult series in my local paper, but then changed it to something that wasn't as challenging.

    As for crosswords, I must admit that I do take a stab at them every now and again, usually at lunch time at work.

  3. I don't do any, well apart from jigsaws occasionally. I'm very visual, and I find a complex jigsaw very enjoyable. Or a basic one if I just want something completely mindless to do.

  4. Joe: Completely forgot about jigsaw puzzles. Did quite a few those in the preceeding years and it was one of the few things that my and I had in common for leisure activities.

    Great way to stimulate the brain cells.

  5. I like doing all sorts of things, whatever comes up in my wings, actual puzzles do fine as well. But also rhyming all the time can satisfy my ocd or induce a sort of hell..haha

  6. Pat: Kewl Beans! :D

    I admire people who can put together an excellent rhyme or two (or three or more). It definitely can become you're very own personal happy place with leanings towards sulfur city from time to time.

  7. I depend on my photographs for blog post inspiration. After reading your post here, it got me to thinking that my photos, really, are the puzzle for me. I have to look at them and study the image and messages in it to piece together the thought of the post.

  8. Joanne: Sounds like the ultimate jigsaw puzzle.

    I went through a little of that with my picture blog whenever I had to come up with a series title for a group of photos. Having to think of a title and what I wanted to say for each picture was definitely a brain puzzle indeed.

  9. R: Absolutely. Great way to occupy the brain when you're taking a necessary break from dealing with general public.

  10. I don't think I am a puzzle person, but when I attend interviews we are asked puzzles :'( Being a software engineer conditional, analytical, logical puzzles are something we have to live with, but I am not a software developer so, its still ok with my pea sized brain.

    I have tried hands on sudoku, the easiest one and I liked it.


  11. Lana loves Logic puzzles. I used to routinely play a lot of chess puzzles, but I haven't done that in a while. I love chess as a game, though, and it's very logical and puzzling.

  12. Chintan: I was never able to get into Suduko. No matter how many times I would pick up the paper and study it, it simply wouldn't click.

    Charles: Chess is very kewl. Haven't played it in decades, mostly because I couldn't find anyone that would want to spend that kind of time on a game.

    I do know that when I was in middle school I played in a chess club. Set a club record for most losses in season. :D

  13. I do quite enough problem-solving at work to keep my brain stimulated, so I have not often felt the need to turn to puzzles. However, I did go through a Sudoku phase for a while, when it first came out.

  14. Sudoku doesn't require any minutia knowledge. It is actually a long logic puzzle.

  15. I always liked Jumbles. I will tackle a crossword puzzle once in a while. Sorry that I haven't been around. It's been a crazy few weeks with school starting. I got poison ivy too - no fun. Glad to be back and visiting again. - Kelly

  16. S.R.: I have very little in the way of problem solving at work nowadays, simply because every problem that crops up I've already seen mulitple variations of previously. About the only real puzzle phase that I went through was in the mid-90's when I had subscriptions to a couple of logic puzzle magazines. Those lasted about two years or so.

    Bearman: I agree it is a long logic puzzle, but I simply can't seem to wrap my brain around it. I have a tendency to lose it right when I'm reading the instructions on how to solve it.

    Kelly: Welcome back stranger!

    I've done jumbles from time to time as well. I usually can get the main list of words but often get stumped at trying to come up with the overall phrase from the letters circled.

  17. Hey - I was out of town Friday and just saw this. I like to play Mahjong and Hearts on an old laptop computer that I use just for that. It keeps me busy when I watch TV. Sometimes I just listen to TV and play Mahjong, but when I need to mostly watch a show or movie, I play Hearts, since it isn't timed.

    I have tried Sudoku, but just can't do it - I have a math resistant gene and that's probably why. :)

  18. Lynn: That sounds pretty cool. Never got into Mahjong and I couldn't quite wrap my head around Hearts no matter how many times I was shown, and this from a person who learned how to play Pinochle. Go figure.


Go on, give me your best shot. I can take it. If I couldn't, I wouldn't have created this wonderful little blog that you decided to grace with your presence today.

About that comment moderation thingy: While yes, it does say up above I can take it, I only use it to prevent the occasional miscreant from leaving thoughtless and/or clueless comments.

So remember, all of your comments are greatly appreciated and all answers will be given that personal touch that you come to expect and enjoy.

G. B. Miller

The Legal Disclaimer

All the content that you see here, except for the posting of links that refer to other off-blog stories, is (c) 2008-17 by G.B. Miller. Nothing in whole or in part may be used without the express written permission of myself. If you wish to use any part of what you see here, please contact me at