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January 29th is National Puzzle Day

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If you're looking for something to do today then get ready to flex your brain because it's National Puzzle Day!  There are a variety of different types of puzzles you can solve.  Let's get right into celebrating National Puzzle Day!

WHY IS THIS A HOLIDAY?  

While there isn't really a specific reason for this day to be chosen, people have been challenging their minds to solve puzzles for years so why not celebrate puzzles? It's a fun way to pass the time and it actually helps stimulate your mind.  One of the most common types of puzzles that will come to mind are jigsaw puzzles. The first jigsaw puzzle was created around the year 1760 by John Spilsbury, an engraver and map maker from London. He attached a map to a piece of wood and then sawed around each country. So the first puzzle was actually used as a way to teach geography!  Another common puzzle would be crossword puzzles. The first crossword puzzle was created way back in 1890 by Giuseppe Airoldi and was titled "Per passare il tempo.", which means "To pass the time." in Italian. It might have only been a four by four grid, but the idea eventually caught on and in 1913 Arthur Wynne, a journalist in England, created what is credited as the first crossword puzzle, in the style that we're use to seeing today.  And then of course there are Sudoku puzzles. These numeric puzzles got their start in France way back in 1892, but they weren't exactly Sudoku puzzles. In 1895 they were modified to become slightly closer to what we're use to today, but they weren't quite there yet. Fast forward to 1979 and hop on over to Indiana and you might find a puzzle called "Number Place" in Dell Magazines. This version is the first modern Sudoku puzzle that was created by Howard Garns.  But it wasn't until the mid to late 1980s that these puzzles started to become popular. A Japanese puzzle company called Nikoli started publishing them in their newspaper called the Monthly Nikolist and they really took off. The name Sudoku actually means "single number".  But there are a variety of different types of puzzles out there for you to choose from to really challenge your mind and pass the time in a fun way.

HOW TO CELEBRATE 

So how can you celebrate today?  Well, you could simply go to a local store, find a cool jigsaw puzzle and bring it home to put together with your family or friends.  You could even buy a couple small ones and compete to see who can get theirs together the fastest.  Or, if you have kids, you can use the puzzle as an educational experience.  Heck, if you're really creative you could glue a picture to some cardboard, cut it into puzzle pieces and create your own homemade jigsaw puzzle!  That would be a crafty way to create your own custom puzzle of any picture you want.  Or you could grab a newspaper and take a stab at the Sudoku or crossword puzzle in there.  Get two papers and compete against your friend to see who can complete the Sudoku puzzle the fastest.  Or get your family together and see if you can find every word in the crossword puzzle without looking anything up.   You could even create your own maze and see if your friends can solve it in a certain amount of time.  It doesn't matter what type of puzzle you decide to solve today, just have fun using your brain!





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