Originally Posted by doreenjoy
I do them a few times a week, but never the hard ones. Anything after Wednesday is pure frustration.
I had an operation a few years ago that affected my memory, and it helps if I do several different kinds of puzzles -- crosswords, the dreaded dull sudoku, memory games like Concentration, and other logic puzzles. Anything that helps the wracked brain build new connections. According to my neurologist, playing a variety of different logic and memory games helps more than sticking with one kind.
Without a doubt it is felt, and a lot of research has shown that for a number of brain trauma and disease states, the longer and more often the person can work on problem solving as well as creative things like drawing, painting, poetry, writing or even building things, household repairs and heck, even photography Not snap shots but planing shots, understanding the lighting and all that schtuff, all will help with slow down degradation of memory pathways or in a lot of cases actually aid the brain in building new pathways to preserve or improve cognitive abilities. The more exercise you give both halves of your brain, they better...
So, it's great to read someone is proving the theory correct. I say theory simply because everything is theory when it is so young as is our understanding of how the brain works, let alone what things like memory, intuition and such really are.
BTW, for the most part I "think" my brain is mostly still intact, despite my efforts to thwart my bodies efforts to keep it running as advertized...hehehehe...but I know some weeks I skip Thursday and those pure evil Friday puzzles in the NYT...hahhahaha...so, you are FAR from alone.
If you did not know it, Jon Stewart is a HUGE NYT puzzle guy. The portion of the movie Wordplay where he discusses how he spends all day working on the puzzle is super funny and, reminded my better half of how I approach and, as I mentioned before, question the genetic heritage of Will Shortz...it's a very interesting documentary but also is far from the dry thing so many people feel it would be.
I for one find it amazing that anyone who reads has such fear and/or disdain for doing crossword puzzles. They are one of the best tools around for, as you say, improving memory and keeping your mind agile. Also, I can think of no other way to build your vocabulary or, may the gawds forbid, actually LEARN something because to figure out a clue you need to research a clue. I do not feel that is "cheating" the purpose of doing the puzzles is to LEARN and if you really do not know something, after giving it an honest shot, look the darned thing up. I try and take as round about a route as possible in order to sneak up on the answer. It added even more fun to solving them.
I also find, doing them gives me a wonderful distraction from stresses or work.
Kudos to your neuro for encouraging you to attempt as many puzzles as possible. And even the Sudoku puzzles are GREAT because it still requires analytical/problem solving. If you don't always know the algorithm for solving it, a Rubik's cube is a GREAT puzzle because there is a specific way to solve them, and it takes thought and concentration to find it on your own. But it's the sort of thing that once you know the real secret to solving the cube, the method will come to you and is purely mechanical.
I can offer a hint if you want...nothing huge, well, actually it is, but to a lot of people it's too simple to be the foundation to solving the darned beast.