Best word games to train your brain every day

I’m in my mid-40s – not technically old by relative standards, but I’m definitely experiencing some wear and tear. It’s more pronounced on the physical side, but there’s also a bit of mental sluggishness, especially in the morning.

So I did a fun routine to get my synapses firing. Just as I have to stretch a bit to get my creaky knees limber, I find these 20 minutes or so of brain gaming a good way to build a little mental momentum.

Here’s my routine.


If you haven’t played Wordle by now, I’m not exactly sure how to convince you, other than saying it’s a nice few minutes to look forward to every day. It’s like mental comfort food.

As you may already know, the aim is to guess a five letter word. Each time you make a guess, the correct letters are revealed: yellow if they are correct but in the wrong place in the word; green if they are correct and in their correct place. You have to guess six times to get the word.

Please play it. Join us. And if you’re tired of Wordle but like the idea, or can’t get enough of Wordle, check out these great alternatives.

USA Today Crossword

Here’s what I love about the USA Today crossword: It’s in the Goldilocks zone of crosswords. It’s not too hard, not too easy; not too long, not too short. If you’re good at crossword puzzles, you should be able to zoom through them in less than 10 minutes. By the time you’ve completed it, your brain should be up and running.

I do a lot of crossword puzzles and I keep coming back to this one.


This New York Times free game is one of my new favorites. You’ll start with a square with three letters along each side for a total of 12 letters. Next, you need to create a series of words, cross the square and finally use all 12 letters.

The downside, however, is that you can’t connect letters on the same side of the square: each subsequent letter must come from a different side than the previous one.

It is possible to solve these puzzles in two words. I’ve only done it once – good luck!

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