“Drop the crossword puzzle and go outside, you old nerds, before your brains fall out through your ears,” said the Wall Street Journal and Daily Mail. All right, I’m paraphrasing, but only slightly. Many news outlets ran with a study published in the latest Neurology which indicated that exercise had clear benefits for brain health after retirement, whereas such mental activities as crosswords had none. The study contradicts other relatively recent studies, and without direct access to all the scientific literature involved, I cannot say whether Alan J. Gow’s methodology was better than those of his predecessors.
The better reports on the study avoid making it an either-or choice. What everyone agrees upon is that physical, mental and social activity form a balanced diet, not only for the brain but for a fulfilling life.
Okay, this is not the first interview you’ve likely read of Will Shortz, nor is it even the first to appear in this young weekly feature. But it does have an interesting new angle, focusing on his formidable collection of crossword memorabilia (and his attitude about retirement).
The news blackout Shortz engineered for last week’s Sunday NYT contest puzzle seems to have been total– no bloggers I could find posted answers to it before the 10/23 6 pm deadline. After the previous week’s early giveaway of last Thursday’s Tetris-themed NYT, it’s nice to know that some secrets can still be kept. A full tally of contest winners is here.
Solve your problems like a crossword puzzle, answer the easiest first, then you will have a clue how to solve the difficult. (Spiritual Truths)