Puzzle solved – we love a brainteaser

Huddersfield puzzle compiler Philip Carter will never reveal his own IQ, but as a member of Mensa, it’s over 148, and his talent for logic and ability for lateral thinking puts him in the top two per cent of the population.

When the recent craze for sudoku took hold earlier this year, it brought with it a wave of experts espousing the health benefits of sitting in an armchair solving puzzles.

It’s something Philip has perhaps unsurprisingly been saying for years.

“It’s something you’ve got to do,” he says.

“The brain is the most important part of the body, but it’s the part we most take for granted. People go to the gym, they put moisturiser on their face, but often they forget about their brain.

“I really believe that by doing puzzles you strengthen the connection between the brain cells and the neurons. It’s about improving your mental well-being.”

While this may explain why people should do crosswords and brain teasers, it doesn’t quite shed light on why they do.

“I think it’s about taking time out,” says Philip. “There is something satisfying about filling in the final grid or solving a puzzle, and people don’t like them to be do easy, they want a challenge, but a challenge they can do sitting on the train or listening to the radio.

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