Spell-check fail

We don’t know about you, but frankly, we’re a bit miffed that puzzlers have such a boring reputation. For us on the inside, we think of solving puzzles as one of the most thrilling, exciting activities out there. For the rest of the world, the only time puzzles are exciting is once every Oscar cycle when movies like Hidden Figures or The Imitation Game come out. They’re undoubtedly exciting, but it’s a real shame that the rest of the year consists of puzzlers hiding out listening to NPR and being thought of as rather quaint and old fashioned.

So, we were delighted to see this next news story making puzzles a bit naughtier for a moment. As with many papers around the US and Europe, China’s main newspaper, which is run by the Communist Party and titled “The People’s Daily”, runs a regular crossword puzzle. This year, to mark the first week of January, they decided to run a special New Year’s word search puzzle in place of the crossword. “What do you see”, asked the paper? Well, as it turned out, there were many, many interesting words to be seen.

As internet readers clicked on the puzzle, they started noticing all manner of rude words popping up, from “masturbate” to “sucker” to the classic, “testicle.” The People’s Daily didn’t release an official comment, but they were quoted in a Hong Kong newspaper as having said that they simply hadn’t had time to edit the puzzle before publication.

We aren’t going to cite the rest of the found words here, because in our opinion, that would spoil the puzzle! All it takes is a quick Google search to find the original, which was quickly removed from the paper’s official Twitter account. If you’re feeling a bit petulant, we guarantee it’s worth your while.


Happy New Year, People’s Daily!

Healthy body, healthy mind: nutritional tips for taking your puzzle game to the next level, including advice on the best juicers, exercises and mental techniques to work on

Puzzle fiends aren’t always the fittest of folks. We love our armchairs and a quiet cup of tea, rather than pounding around at the gym and pumping iron. However, we think it’s always a good idea to try to find inspiration to get up and active, now that we’ve seen so conclusively how a seated, sedentary lifestyle is shortening our lives by years and draining our potential.

Without further ado, we present Puzzle Web’s exclusive guide to getting puzzle fit! We’ve put a lot of thought into this: it’s a plan for us puzzle whizzes to achieve the greek ideal of a healthy body and healthy mind to make us even sharper puzzlers while also staying active in a way that’s consistent with our lifestyle.

The first thing to do might be the hardest: it’s cutting down on coffee and sugar. The latest brain science tells us that caffeine and sugar aren’t quite the brain stimulants we should be looking for. Instead, you should consider adding more fresh juice to your diet! Juicing will give you a rush of nutrients and enzymes, but a rush that’s actually beneficial, and not artificial. With the right balance of fruits, vegetables and leafy greens, you can cut the sugar surge as well! Trust us, try a week where you replace your midday cup of caffeine with fresh juice, after all there are many health benefits of fresh juice and tell us you don’t feel far more alert and nimble in mind and body alike! Once you get into the habit, you’ll soon find that making juice at home is a lot cheaper than buying prepared juice blends from the store. They’re also infinitely better-tasting, since they’ll be perfectly fresh. If you’re wondering where to start with home juicing, check out bestjuicer.reviews!

Now that you’ve introduced some real brain food to your diet, let’s look at how you can get your exercise quota in without having to deal with the noise and chaos of the gym. We think the absolute best type of exercise for puzzlers is a yoga class. Why? Yoga involves strength training and deep breathing, which gives you all the same benefits of lifting weights. At the same time, you’re improving your posture, which helps send even more nutrients and important signals up your spinal column to your brain. Most of all, though, yoga is a meditative form of exercise. It’s all about focusing on your body rather than your mind. That gives your mind an important break. Science has show us that those rest periods that we used to call “zoning out” are actually incredibly important. They’re when your brain actually gets around to processing all the information it absorbs over the course of the day. Think of it like this: you know those times when you’re frantically searching for something you just can’t seem to find? Then, as soon as you get distracted by something else, it turns up! That’s exactly what goes on in yoga, which is why it’s so good for puzzlers. It clears your head and gives you the space to process all your riddles in the back of your mind while you’re getting fit!

Of course, yoga isn’t for everybody. If you’re not into it, cardio exercise in any form will provide a similar head-clearing, and it’ll get your blood pumping, which is just as good for the brain as it is for the rest of your body. The more you run, the more you get fit. However, science has actually shown us that after the 20-minute threshold, you’ll already be seeing the benefits of cardio, so don’t think you have to become a marathon runner!

So, when should you exercise for maximum brain benefit? Try to squeeze in a workout at a key transition time. That’s when it’s the most important to let your brain catch up. After work or before lunch are ideal times to get moving.

Whichever exercise route you go down, you’re sure to improve your overall mental health boatloads. Research has consistently shown that people who exercise regularly (especially outside) have much higher happiness levels and lower stress than those who sit around inside all day. The happier you are, the more adept you’ll be at any puzzle!

The last big element of your healthy body/healthy mind routine is to add in lots of breaks throughout the day. Don’t worry, these don’t have to be big, long breaks. The key thing is to get up from your chair at least every half an hour, and to shake things and do a different task for 5 minutes every hour. You can use timers on your phone to keep you on track, or simply take short intervals whenever you’re feeling stale and restless. Breaks are just as important as any other health habit. In addition to being a way of changing your perspective, they’re a great way to build awareness as to when you’re slumping or getting into a rut.

Alright, puzzlers! We hope this blog inspires you to get active for all the most puzzle-appropriate reasons! To learn more about juicers, especially masticating juicers, go to http://bestjuicer.reviews/masticating-slow.

Live-action puzzles

Our favorite new trend in the puzzle world is a very non-traditional way to get your nerd fix. Live-action puzzle centers are sweeping the world, and we’re totally hooked!

If you haven’t heard about these places, they’re generally called “escape rooms” or “puzzle houses”. In either case, someone’s taken over a former warehouse or other very large building, and constructed elaborate, realistic rooms with traps, tricks, and secrets that you’ll have to discover. They’re brilliant because they let you get right into the puzzle with life-size objects, and immerse yourself in whatever story the room is themed to match.

They’re most popular as social events, which is wonderful. You can get a team of friends together, and race against the clock to pool your collective brain power and solve the puzzles in the room! Most of these activities have a ticking time element, like a bomb you have to diffuse in time, or an environmental factor like “your air will run out in 20 minutes!”.

These puzzle centers are the fastest-growing entertainment venues. At a time when bowling alleys and other more typical in-person activity centers are closing down, these life-size, immersive, and interactive puzzles are clearly the ideal way for a lot of us to spend an evening. They’re popular as team-building exercises for corporate staff, as well as for special events like birthday parties and hen-dos. Two years ago, there were three puzzle room companies in the USA. Now, there are nearly 800.

We think they’re wonderful for many reasons, but the key one is that they’ve taken something that’s been a pretty solitary activity, puzzle solving, and made it social! Most of us puzzlers shun normal social occasions, so these places are a perfect alternative to the typical birthday party or night out on the town! They’re also designed to get people who generally sit around to solve puzzles up and on their feet. They’re essentially the Pokemon Go of the brain-trainers.

We’re really excited to see where these go. They’re an important step in a growing trend to get some traditionally sedentary activities to be more active, which as we’ve noted in other posts, is scientifically proven to improve your brain function and make you better at solving the puzzle at hand! We’ve also written a brand new post about how to use juicing, exercise, and carefully-timed breaks throughout the day to sharpen your mental function and have a healthier body at the same time! Check that out before you leave!

More than any of those benefits, though, the simple fact is that live, interactive puzzles are wildly more engaging than traditional puzzles! They’re full of tension, and they provide a 3D, full-sensory escapism that we can’t think of any reason not to celebrate. Kudos to the folks who thought these up, and we hope they’re here to stay!