Words are as is often stated are wonderful things and have a multitude of uses; from the sublime to the ridiculous, beneficial to the derogatory and come together in endless permutations, which all help keep the wonderfully gymnastic brain supple, limber and in good tone, which is it considered with the progress of modern science, to enable people to live a longer, happier life keeping dementia and other conditions of the mind at bay.
As the population ages this aspect of ageing is becoming a serious health issue, with the rise of Dementia related conditions on the rise and memory loss becoming more and more apparent. But how to help keep the brain in top order in the modern day of easy everything, including ease of learning, engendered by the very early use of technology is also cause for concern.
In David Astle’s latest book, Rewording the Brain he looks at the construct of the brain and how it utilises the cryptic in life to ensure mental agility can be maintained, as well as explaining how the wonderfully cryptic, cryptic crossword puzzles came about and their immense benefit to mental health.
This is all beginning to sound a little dour, to use a wonderfully descriptive word, which it is not, as in Astle’s usual lyrical style, there is also a good dose of levity injected into the text, making it entertaining as well as educational and a serious wake-up call as to the importance of maintaining good, ongoing mental health. Each of the sections is almost a book within itself dealing with specifics of brain health and wellbeing and then toning up the unused sections by getting your brain, puzzle fit.
The final and third segment is one that has been carefully constructed to help begin this essential course of getting the brain seriously engaged with this new health routine. Now the understanding of cryptic crosswords has become familiar, because the book thus far has been read, it becomes a bit like solving a very complicated crime. The puzzles begin with a relatively simple offering and increase in complexity to offer a challenge to the serious and not so serious word nerd.
Astle has even been so kind as to provide the solutions to the puzzles for those who simply get lost in the glorious riot of words doing their thing, in the form of a cryptic puzzles.
David Astle is a master of his craft and in this serious look at brain and mental health, he has presented the case for mental agility clearly and concisely, outlining benefits that doing a crossword a day can bring to ongoing mental health and welfare.
Are you up for the challenge?
|Publisher||Allen and Unwin|
|Distributor||Allen and Unwin|