Puzzles – They are fun. They are entertaining. They teach. They stimulate. They even relax us. Yet for some, they are a total waste of time. But are they?
My mother was an avid crossword puzzle aficionado; she worked the New York Times crossword puzzle on a daily basis. I have become increasingly convinced that her amazing and enduring verbal skills were honed by these daily exercises. And, as she entertained herself, she entertained so many others who were drawn in to her pursuit of the right words.
I, however, am at a loss with crosswords. My passion is the “Jumble,” a word puzzle in the daily paper. I challenge myself to solve it in English, and thence, translate the words into Spanish, the latter a language I have struggled to master over the last many years that I have resided in Tucson. What a painless way to augment that vocabulary.
Jigsaw puzzles – the Spanish call them “rompecabezas” or “broken heads,” perhaps rightly so?! They are mind-boggling to many, myself included. Jigsaw puzzles are my husband, Bob’s, passion. Whether 200 or 1500 pieces, they are a challenge he delights in. Their colors and shapes are both visual and tactile pleasures to him. And, importantly, they allow him, at least temporarily, to escape the cares of the day.
So, although puzzles will not provide us the solutions to the enigma we call life, they will be relished by the majority and scorned by the minority. The choice is yours. Come join us.