Saturday, 18 November 2006

Another blast from the past

Perhaps it was the influence of the Rubik's Cube. Or perhaps it was reading Carl Sagan's Dragons of Eden book, where he discusses the evolution of intelligence, and states quite repeatedly the importance of brain stimulation at a young age which reminded me of the times I spent filling out crosswords as a child (usually with my uncle).

I had a 20% off everything Borders voucher to use this week (thanks, Fei), and so I connected the dots in my not so intelligent brain and decided to get a book of crosswords.
Jo and I spent some time evaluating the inventory at Chadstone's Borders. There were British ones that seemed easy enough but didn't have much "crosswordiness" in them, in the sense that one word didn't cross many others in its path - which is where a lot of the fun comes from, if you ask me.
Australian crosswords suffered the same symptom, plus most of them were too sports oriented (and in Australia they're into weird sports, it's not just proper football).
So we ended up picking a New York Times crosswords book. We did one yesterday at home and it was fun, and another one at the beach today. We cheat a lot with frequent gazes at the solutions, but then again so do the crossword designers with way too many puzzles you just have to be an American to know. That said, you can definitely see the grade of improvement as we're more and more in sync with the crossword.
Anyway: A very nice way to stimulate the brain while relaxing. I expect we'll use the book a lot during the upcoming holiday season. And I can't help thinking how effective crosswords are: for their cheap cost, the return in fun and stimulation is incredibly higher than most of the much more expensive (usually electronic) stuff advertisers keep pushing under our noses all the time (and especially during the Xmess season).

28 across: Think about it

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