1. Enhance vocabulary
2. Strengthen word recall and memory
3. Stimulate problem solving skills
4. Improve focus and attention
There has been a lot of debate over the years about whether or not working crossword puzzles can prevent Alzheimer’s Disease. It’s all a little confusing. Here’s the scoop: Crossword puzzles are great as a cognitive workout, but they cannot prevent Alzheimer’s Disease. Unfortunately, nothing can prevent a person from developing AD. However, doing brain stimulating activities that incorporate novelty, variety and complexity can help build your cognitive reserve and reduce the effects of dementia and AD. Any way you look at it, crossword puzzles are still a great way to sharpen your cognitive skills.
If solving crossword puzzles is part of your routine, try changing it up a little. Variety and novelty are crucial components of cognitive reserve. Look for other word puzzles like acrostics or try a book with multiple kinds of word challenges like Word Wonder. Another brainy option is Pathwords because it also incorporates a visual perception component.
If you are new to crosswords, you may be looking for ways to improve. There are many experts and many tips out there. Here are some tips that I have found helpful:
• Answer the ones you know. Don’t spend a lot of time on one you don’t know.
• Work in sections.
• Keep in mind, a clue that ends with a question mark is usually a play on words.
• Consider multiple meanings for a word.
• Doing puzzles on a regular basis starts to cue you into how a particular puzzle creator
thinks. This allows you to better understand the clues.
• If you get stuck, look up the information. Use the internet or reference guides to get info on
a clue rather than looking at the answers. You are more likely to remember the information for future puzzles if you search for that information rather than just looking at the answer key.