There was no session in October so I hope to have a good turn up on Cup eve to wind up the year.
There will be no October 1st session with the convenor called away. May I suggest instead a walk in the sunshine while counting backwards from 100 to 10 in 3s, or singing a foreign song, as such activities will enliven neural pathways?
In September we covered words, reasoning, memory and visual challenges. If you can't wait until November to check the Spatial and Matrix puzzles, the answers are on pp 149-50 of Workout for a Balanced Brain which is in the computer cupboard.
We started with some mnemonics and discussed ways of improving memory retention such as clumping, pairing, associating - even humming. It is clear that techniques, like repetition and rhyming, can help, and that something not stored properly to begin with, will be quickly lost, while times- tables might stay forever (and be chanted in the same tone as we fish them out!).
Serious brain exercise was done with the Wordplay and, especially the Maslanka, sections of The Guardian's puzzle page. If you can keep up with Pedanticus your brain is in very good nick!
We eased back with a few rather corny creative puzzles which demanded lateral leaps.
Bring along any homework for checking on September 3rd
The group spent considerable time on the Wordplay section of the Guardian puzzle section. and had some little time to hone memory skills.
Nine of us started the May session with various easy & hard word puzzles including cryptic clues and finished with a memory test.
Next time we'll push word and memory skills a bit further and also sharpen left and right brain with visual shapes and sequences.
After a long break I hope for a good turn up at our May 7th session, especially as we've had two apologies and two "retirements"
We began by stretching the brain with some mirror- and non-preferred hand drawing and learnt that left handers are inconvenienced by not just scissors but chequebooks and bulky spiral spines on notebooks.
We did some tricky work on words , numbers and riddle-like lateral thinking and all took home a couple more neural links to enhance our brain power.
Those who forgot to attend will find it harder to catch up with us and might even overlook that our next session coincides with Easter so that we will meet again on May 7th!
Meanwhile I suggest you try a new puzzle, language or counting backwards in threes as you whistle a tune
It was lovely to have such a large brains trust for our initial meeting and hopefully we'll be as smart and versatile in the March gathering where there'll be another range of challenges!
Brain Games ended the year with the usual mix of challenges starting with a left-hand sketch through to solving cryptic clues
Our guest Ruth did well and we hope to have a few more joining us next year when we'll have just one session each month to fine tune our brain cells.
There were more apologies than attendees but our trio had a lovely session and I think Mardi and I now feel less bluffed by number puzzles. Thanks Deidre!
Hope to see more on Nov 6th.
PS final matchsticks puzzle required the removal of sides to form the number 27 which is of course a cube!
Try this: Take three matches and turn them into nine.
About Brain Games
It is well established that new skills can help build brain pathways with benefits for memory, confidence, happiness and even falls prevention. Brain Games offers a variety of entertaining and informative ways to challenge, inform and exercise your brain. Thus we might solve word, number, shape, picture or logic puzzles, take part in a quiz, brainstorm solutions to a dilemma, draw a picture or maybe even learn to juggle! There will be some time spent viewing DVDs or reading articles which explore such topics as illusions and trickes, dementia, brain repair, gender differences, optimism and pessimism, lateral thinking and creativity.
2018: 1st Mondays 1.30 to 3.30 pm U3A Meeting Room, Fawckner Drive.
Convenor and contact details
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