Brain Games

For me, one of the difficulties of retirement is keeping my brain active. In my past life (i.e. when I worked) I struggled at least once a day on some sort of problem that required both knowledge and logic to figure out, but now I require neither. I can almost feel the little grey cells decaying each day so I’ve got to try and find things to help them grow – like Sudoku, or the New York Times Crossword, or a cryptic crossword (OK – I can never get the cryptic crossword), logic problems, etc. Pub Quizzes are more engaging and the beer an exceptional compliment to the experience.

Five more questions … just 5 more questions and we would have waltzed home victorious from Quiz Night. Alas, we landed in 4th place. We are just starting to become regulars at Geeks Who Drink in our local pub, though we have yet to come close to winning. Every week the music round lets us down – a double points round during which you hear a clip of music and have to write down the artist and the name of the song. Before we left for the quiz, my teenager prepped me with the week’s Top 40, but still I managed to forget a Taylor Swift song. The winning teams seem to have 6 people on them, whereas we are but 2, so I like to feel just a little smug about our small success … although really it is Steve who is the smart one and I have better handwriting.

The second Tuesday of each month brings the Puzzled Pint – when just the 2 of us go to this we perform miserably, frequently requesting 4-5 clues from the games master before finally figuring things out, however with just 1 or 2 more people (including teenagers) the diversity of thought and ideas on how to solve these disastrously difficult puzzles is much easier. But Steve runs with a group on Tuesday night so I think this will fall by the wayside.

So my new morning routine will now require completion of a logic problem and a Sudoku before we clean the house. You may call this an excuse not to clean, but I call it vital to my own mental health. I think I know what Steve will call it.

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