Every January 29, people around the United States are invited to test their minds with a puzzle or two. National Puzzle Day is an excellent excuse to get out your favorite puzzle and work on your mental fitness, since puzzles are a great way to stay mentally fit! Luckily, puzzles go way beyond the classic jigsaw, because we know, they’re not for everyone. Not only does this open up the puzzles you can enjoy, it gives you a myriad of ways to get your hands on one. So, no matter where you are or what you’re doing, you can probably fit in a puzzle to celebrate National Puzzle Day and work out your brain a bit!
The classic version of a puzzle we know and love, jigsaws are made up of little pieces with edges that snap together in a specific order to make a larger picture. The first jigsaw emerged in 1767 as a wooden educational toy to teach geography. Ever since then, jigsaws have remained popular while becoming easier to make and less expensive. Today, jigsaw puzzles vary in difficulty (ranging in number of pieces) and content (some are landscapes while others are famous paintings, to name a few examples).
Now, you can go to websites like TheJigsawPuzzles.com, JigSawPlanet.com, or even WashingtonPost.com to find free jigsaw puzzles online!
Finding yourself a jigsaw puzzle these days couldn’t be simpler. Not only are there a host book stores and game shops that sell puzzles, you can order them online via companies like Amazon. The modern age has influenced puzzles too. Now, you can go to websites like TheJigsawPuzzles.com, JigSawPlanet.com, or even WashingtonPost.com to find free jigsaw puzzles online!
Word puzzles have been around in some form since time immemorial. As long as people have been speaking, they’ve been telling riddles or quizzing each other to pass the time. Word puzzles aren’t just riddles, though. In fact, this type of puzzle encompasses everything from word searches, to word jumbles, to anagram puzzles. The most famous of these, however, is crossword puzzles, which have graced local newspapers since 1913. Since then, they’ve become staples in our newspapers!
Word puzzles are perhaps the easiest puzzles to enjoy on National Puzzle Day. If you are subscribed to your local newspaper, you may have a crossword puzzle delivered to you that morning. You can also purchase a word puzzle book online, like on Amazon. The internet is also your friend, with many major publishers and specialty websites sharing free word puzzles online. There are also phone games and applications that can give you access to hours of word puzzles that you can take with you!
A surprisingly popular genre of puzzle is the math puzzle. Often, they’ll be reflected as math problems that are more about logic than math skills. In a sense, they’re almost like riddles that use math to give you the answer. There’s another type of math puzzle that has taken the world by storm, though. Sudoku, originally from Switzerland, became an international craze in the 2000s. Puzzlers try to use numbers 1 through 9 in a row without repeating them within a 9x9 grid. Even though it doesn’t take any math knowledge, it’s harder than you think!
Puzzlers try to use numbers 1 through 9 in a row without repeating them within a 9x9 grid.
Much like crossword puzzles, sudoku puzzles are available free in most newspapers, which makes them easy to do. That said, if one or two per publication isn’t enough, there are entire sudoku books out there that you can buy in a book store or online. You can also find a number of free sudoku websites to satiate your appetite for puzzling, like Sudoku.com, Websudoku.com, and Sudoku.game.
We’ve sort of tiptoed into this category already in this article, but puzzles have gone modern in a big way. Puzzle games rely on logic and problem solving to propel you to the next level. Nowadays, you can still enjoy a puzzle, but one that’s set up as a video game were puzzles — think Tetris! As gaming systems became more powerful, puzzle games grew more complex, with many including stories and characters to keep you engaged as you solve puzzles.
You don’t need to head to the arcade to enjoy a puzzle game, though. Today, you can get one on your computer, on a home console, or even on your phone, where thousands of puzzle games are available for free! Some are even multiplayer, making them perfect to share with a loved one or friend.
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Puzzles are an excellent way to have fun while exercising your brain. With National Puzzle Day here, there’s no time like the present to break out your favorite puzzle or to try a new one! Happy puzzling!