The 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 getting some wear and tear. It’s more pronounced on a physical level, but there’s also a bit of mental sluggishness, especially in the morning.

So I took a nice little routine to get my synapses working. Just as I need to stretch a bit to loosen up my squeaky knees, I find this 20 or so minutes of brain play a good way to build a little mental boost.

Here is my routine.


If you haven’t played Wordle yet, I’m not sure how to convince you, except to say that it’s a pleasant few minutes to look forward to each day. It’s like mental comfort food.

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

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

USA today Crossword

Here’s what I like about USA today Crossword: It’s in the Goldilocks crossword area. It is neither too difficult nor too easy; not too long, not too short. If you’re good at crosswords, you should be able to go through it in less than 10 minutes. By the time you finish it, your brain should be hitting its stride.

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

Letter box

This free New York Times game is one of my new favorites. You start with a square containing three letters on each side for a total of 12 letters. You are then tasked with creating a series of words, criss-crossing the square, and eventually using all 12 letters.

The catch, 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 one before it.

It is possible to solve these puzzles with two words. I only did it once, good luck!


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