by Anne Maybus
There are a number of different types of word puzzle games that you can solve to keep your brain fit and healthy. Whatever your favourite, you can solve them leisurely on your own, or with a group of friends. A morning/afternoon coffee break is ideal.
Did you know that there are a number of different layouts for crosswords? According to Wisegeek “the American-style grid usually has no more than one-sixth of its squares blacked out, and most of the letters will “check” each other. This means that getting most of the clues in one direction (across or down), will automatically supply the words for the other direction. British and Australian crossword puzzles have a lattice-style grid, with the black squares placed so that only about half the letters are checked.”
There is also the cryptic crossword which involves a lot more thought while you decipher the clues. The clues need you to think laterally about the words they have used in the clue itself. Only then can you find the answer. The clue may be a two in one where you need to decipher each half to find the work. Another clue will have two clues within it which both confirm the word. For example Not seeing window covering (5) . The answer to not seeing and window covering is ‘blind’.
Codewords are fun, not to mention a mind-bending challenge. They look like a crossword puzzle with their grid layout but there are no clues to follow. Instead each letter of the alphabet has been replaced with a number. It is up to you to find out which letters have what number by deciphering the numbers on the grid. It is not as hard as it sounds because you are usually given a starting point with 2 or 3 letters already having their numerical value shown. Go through the puzzle and put the letter wherever you see its number then start to decipher the words.
Word Building Games
There are many types of word building games. Sometimes you don’t even need a puzzle grid to complete, you just need to think of words. An example of this is our Librarian’s Cat game. Get your friends together for a great vocabulary boosting session.
Word searches are another very popular choice. In this case you will see a gridded square filled with random letters. At the bottom you will have clues or words that you need to locate within the square. By looking carefully you will see words hidden in the random letters. They might go up or down the grid, diagonally or even backwards, but they are there.
Of course there are lots of other word puzzles like jumbled words, anagrams, Scrabble and more. All of these will keep your brain active. Stretch your mind and try a few new types of puzzle. You will enjoy it.