What do you do when you have a few minutes of down time? Waiting in a physician’s office? Waiting for a pick up order? Waiting to pick up kids or grandkids? Traveling as a passenger with windshield time? The “witching hour” between afternoon and dinner? Some of you may not have any down time. I normally don’t, but when I find myself with a few minutes I have two choices. I can peruse the headlines…which I strongly don’t recommend if you want to stay remotely sane….or I can escape for a while and play mind games….no, not those kinds of mind games. Many people do crossword puzzles or word searches and I’m told these types of games may help keep our minds sharp as we age. I’m all about that.
I started with Wordle—the word game that took the world by storm a few months ago.
I used to take it seriously, posting results daily and diligently stressing about my win streak. Now, I play it just as a pastime. If I get it, fine. If I don’t, that’s fine too. Life is too short stress about Wordles.
I have two words I always use to begin a Wordle puzzle: AISLE and MOUNT. This knocks out all the vowels (except Y) and a few popular consonants. I’ve also used the recommended ROATE…although I have my doubts if that is really a word.
Then I discovered Word Hurdle….aka, Wordle 2 but because Wordle was already a thing, I guess the developer has to change their version to Word Hurdle. This one is still a daily word puzzle but you can play a four, five, and/or a six-letter word. Again, for the five-letter word, I start with AISLE. For the six-letter word, my go-to choices are PIRATE or ERASER.
A friend of mine asked if I play Quordle. This one is tricky as you get nine tries to solve four, five-letter words at the same time. I told her I didn’t need that much stress in my life….but….[sigh]…I tried it and was hooked. I have no insight into this one except beginning with my tried and true AISLE. I don’t get all four all the time. But, I can play it again…and again…and again….
Peanut plays Sudoku and is phenomenal at it. My 87-year-old mom plays it and her mind is still sharp as a tack. As a right-brainer, I was completely confused until teenage Peanut broke it down for me. So, of course, it has now become part of my routine. My mind is not automatically wired this way so it’s forced behavior for me to get the puzzle in a reasonable amount of time (less than eight minutes). My best time with an “easy” one is five minutes, thirty seconds. I’ll probably never advance to a hard one.
So, there you have it. I don’t do these brain games for win streaks or percentages. I do them to clear my head of all the distractions and stress of the day…even if just for a few minutes.
Then I pour myself a glass of wine.