I have to fill out introduction surveys about myself all the time. They always ask for my likes and dislikes and what hobbies I’m interested in. I always write “puzzles” down for things I like and it feels like most people overlook it at first. But when it comes up, I always have to explain what it means to like puzzles. It’s not just jigsaw puzzles or brain teasers, it’s math, logic, wordplay, problem solving; that breakthrough moment after figuring out what to do to get your answer.
I like puzzling because of the way it makes me think. It changes your mindset from ‘what is the answer’ to ‘what do I need to do to get the answer’. It’s recognizing patterns and words and using logic to find an answer. Most people first think jigsaw puzzles, where you physically take the pieces and put them together to create a bigger picture, but puzzles can be so much more than that.
Puzzling for me is that breakthrough moment when you get that last idea that makes everything make sense. When you figure out how everything goes together or fix that last mistake you had. One of the reasons I like puzzles is because they are open to multiple strategies. If you are trying one way and you keep getting stuck, you can take a step back and try solving by using process of elimination or backsolving where you try to fit the clues to the answer instead of the other way around.
One of my favorite things is actually writing puzzles. Creating puzzles is super fun because you see the puzzles in a completely different way. Instead of seeing a bunch of scrambled letters to anagram into a word, you have a word that you have to mix up. You have to consider what it would look like as a solver, which is great for solving puzzles too. If you know what the writer is thinking about, it gives you a whole new perspective while trying to solve the puzzle. I am going to write a different blog post on writing puzzles so stay tuned!