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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

How To Jumpstart Your Brain

By Sandra Nachlinger

After waking in the morning and eating a bowl of cereal, I have a cup of chai tea. Only then do the mists in my mind start to dissipate. But it takes a round of word games on my computer to actually clear out all the fog. Here are links to a few games that jumpstart my brain and get it going:

Make as many words as possible from sixteen letters displayed in a grid (four across, four down.) You can set the timer for sixty seconds, ninety seconds, or more. I usually opt for ninety, especially early in the morning.

Type Writer on the AARP website has four levels. On the first level, your task is to make as many four letter words as possible, using a “key” letter. You get more points if you place the letter in the highlighted space. In the second level, your words consist of five letters; six letters in the third level; ending with seven letters in the final level.

Players can choose “regular” or “master” skill level. First thing in the morning, “regular” is my choice. That’s challenging enough!
Another source of online crosswords is“Regular” and “experts” levels are options here, too.

All of these games get my brain in gear and, surprisingly, often bring long forgotten words to the surface. Just last week I remembered “ennui”—a great word I haven’t thought of in ages. An online game jarred it loose from the filing cabinet in my head.

You might want to give these word games a try to see if they activate your brain, too. But be warned. They can be addictive and can cut into time that could be spent on more productive things, like writing or reading.

Do you have a ritual to start your mornings and jumpstart your brain?

I.O.U. Sex (co-authored with Sandra Allen)



  1. Coffee starts the morning. When I need to clear my brain or when I need to do something while my an idea simmers in my brain, I play computer games. Love Bookworm, Word Twist etc. I prefer Crossword puzzles in print. I like the hard ones that take thought to complete.

  2. I definitely do coffee, but settle for solitaire of word search. something to jumpstart!

  3. Sandy, these are great. Lumosity is another, but it has a fee now. It does keep track of whether you're improving or not, which I like. Thanks for the links!

  4. Sounds like I'm not the only one who requires caffeine and brain games to start the day! Thanks to all of you for your comments.


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