Fun Ways to Celebrate National Puzzle Day

This National Puzzle Day, January 29th, break out that crossword puzzle or Sudoku book. This is the day to work your way through brain teasers and get your friends and family involved. While National Puzzle Day is hardly an official holiday, it stirs up excitement in puzzle addicts across the US. Here's how you can celebrate:

  • Get the most complicated jigsaw puzzle you can find, and invite friends over to solve it as a group.
  • Watch puzzle-crazy movies, like Wordplay, a documentary about the editor of the New York Times crossword, and Word Wars, about the world of competitive Scrabble.
  • If you haven't already, try the latest hot puzzle game, Sudoku, which has taken on various forms over time. It sprang from the mind of mathematician Leonhard Euler in 1783, was called "Number Place" in the US in the 1970s, earned the name "Sudoku" in Japan in the 1980s and became an international craze in 2005.
  • Head over to online puzzle sites like puzzles.com, thinks.com, websudoku.com and brainbashers.com, and try out some new games.
  • Remind your friends of a classic puzzle by giving away Rubik's Cubes, which were invented in 1974 by Hungarian architecture professor Erno Rubik.
  • Help your child through a simple puzzle, which can be a valuable educational tool. The jigsaw puzzle was originally meant to help kids learn. John Spilsbury created the first jigsaw puzzle in 1760 by attaching a map to a piece of wood and cutting around the borders of the countries. You can see a picture of this jigsaw at the Web site for the British Library.

All these activities aren't just a way to pass the time: They can help you train your brain, brush up on your math skills and look at the world in a whole new way.

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