Bill Maier

Puzzles are enjoyed globally in various forms. Whether they are mathematical, logical or simply word puzzles, people enjoy spending time solving them. Not only are these puzzles competitive and challenging, they can actually change the human mind for better, all the while entertaining us.

What is a puzzle?

The word “puzzle” has been around since the 1590s when it used to mean “a perplexing question”. True to its meaning, all puzzles, no matter what their nature, are perplexing and thought provoking. Word puzzles, in all their different forms, are also similar in nature and can pose quite a challenge.

When did word puzzles emerge as games?

The first crossword puzzle dates back as far as the 19th century, in England. They were a lot different from the puzzles we are used to seeing now in that they were simple and arranged in a way that words read the same both horizontally and vertically.

The first word search puzzle didn’t appear until 1968, by an American Norman E. Gibat, who used it as an engagement technique for the audience with his publication Selenby Digest.

Word scramble was invented by Martin Naydel in 1954 and they have been popular ever since.

Similarly, many other word games are not that different from their origin forms, even though they vary in technique. While crossword is a game of knowledge, Scrabble is more based on chance and skill. Anagrams and word scramble require skill and knowledge as well as the ability to think outside the box.

Types of Word Puzzles

There are various types of word puzzles, all requiring a different set of skills and knowledge but each one of them is beneficial and equally entertaining for your brain.

  • Letter Arrangement games like Scrabble
  • Crossword puzzles where words are filled in a grid, supported by hints
  • Word search games where players locate words in a grid of letters
  • Anagram or word scramble games where player rearrange the letters to find the required word
  • Pictionary
  • Cryptogram puzzles where player has to decode text to reveal the message

Sometimes, the entire puzzle could be designed on a theme, like sports, arts, entertainment etc. Bill Maier’s Celebrity Word Scramble Hall of Fame Series is one such example of theme based word scramble puzzles with hints given in the form of anagrams and facts. He has several books in this series on the topic of Football, Arts, Entertainment and he hopes to publish more on History , American Government, Baseball etc.

Advantages of Word Puzzles

It has been proven that playing word scramble puzzles on a regular basis can be noticeably beneficial for the human mind. Here are some of the many advantages of solving word jumbles.

  • Improves memory: Word jumbles are great memory boosters and improves the recalling ability of the human mind.
  • Vocabulary gain: These puzzles can significantly increase a person’s vocabulary as well as bring in use the words they already know to refresh them in their memory.
  • Reduce risk of old age diseases: Doing brain exercises like word jumbles are known to decrease the risk of diseases related to an aging brain like Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
  • Ability to Focus: Word jumbles can enhance a person’s ability to focus on the task at hand and not to be easily distracted.

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