Monday, January 22, 2024

WE LOVE TO PLAY, DO YOU?

 RHYS BOWEN: First let me say I loved being part of our Reddies live last Wednesday. To know we are reaching out to so many people across the world is amazing. And I was interested to see how many other people start their day with Wordle!

I confess, I like to play. Call me Peter Pan but I have never grown up. I have been known to sit on one of the swings at the park if no one is watching. I have to remind myself that I am not twenty when I see a chain across the path and think, “I could hurdle that.”

 I once caused a sensation on an Indian beach when I found lots of hermit crabs, lined them up and then let them have a race to get back to the ocean. I looked around to see I was surrounded by a crowd of solemn Indian spectators in saris watching me as if I was performing a religious ceremony.  I can’t go to a beach without finding shells, rocks, driftwood in interesting shapes.

 I also have to have daily play to punctuate a hard working writing routine. My days always begin with Wordle, followed by Letter Boxed and Spelling Bee. I have tried Connections but it drives me crazy. My brain is just not on the same wavelength as the creator. How do I know that these four words are all the middle name of Rappers? Whereas Wordle… I’m on his wavelength. I can often do it in three tries.

 Later in the day I play Scrabble against the computer. I call him Ivan because he is so terrible. He knows all sorts of words that I can’t believe are in any dictionary. So when I put down EXTRA he will come up with XTRYZOTLY or something similar. Or even once HMM. Or GRRR.   How can they be fair? Still I insist at playing at the skilled level and occasionally I do beat him.( You’ll notice I’ve made him male).

 One thing I’m not good at is Suduku. It frustrates me because I find it hard and others zip through it, including an elderly relative I’ve always thought of as rather dim. 



And my other form of play is art. I love painting and sketching, but also making fun little craft projects, like the miniature bookstore and these mice that now adorn my small Christmas tree.(Whoops, it’s no longer a Christmas tree. It’s a winter mouse tree and will stay up as long as I need a twinkle.)


 So how about you, Reds? Do you play? And dare I ask: are you good at Suduku?

LUCY BURDETTE: I’ve done spelling bee on and off but find it frustrating. I do love Wordle and Connections, but I save them for the end of the day as a reward for working! This isn’t really a game, but I also love to play “The Hunt”, which is in the real estate section of the New York Times. Someone is looking for a condo or house, then you read about what they want and how much $$ they can spend, then 3 options are presented. You choose what you would buy, and what you think they bought. I love this! Sometimes (like today) I want to save it for later, but I can’t–it’s too tempting.

I think dancing counts as playing, right? I love dancing and loved dancing with the Reds at Crime Bake. I also love wailing on my ukulele with my neighbor and anyone else we can suck in. We’re not very good, but it’s so much fun!

HALLIE EPHRON: I’ve only recently gotten hooked on games. 

I love the NY Times Spelling Bee which I do every morning and occasionally find the Pangram and bask in being a “GENIIUS”! Also Tiles. And Connections - a new game which is challenging to the point of being annoying. 

And I can usually do the Times crossword puzzles through Wednesday. And the Boston Globe crossword puzzle every day except Sunday.Keyword in the Washington Post is fast fun. And My favorite way to waste time is to play bridge online at Bridgebase. 

(And I wonder why my next book isn’t getting written….) 

HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: A few years ago I went through a massive games stage: Wordle, Tradle (where you had to identify countries by looking at their major exports) , Artle (where you had to figure out a famous piece of art by just seeing bits of  it) and something I forget the name of where you had to identify movies by looking at one frame of video. Anyone remember?  I LOVED those, passionately, then I didn’t.

Now I’ve moved on to the New York Times Sunday Spelling Bee, where I HAVE to get the palindrome of my day is ruined.  (Somedays I get it instantly! And other times it takes the whole day but I never give up.) AND the NYT weekly news quiz. MUST DO.

The daily Bees I LOVE , but I am afraid to start usually, because I refuse to stop until I get genius, and I start hearing the responsibility clock tick.

Also in The New Yorker, there’s a “can you name that notable person in six clues in 100 seconds.  MUST do those.

Suduku. Not a chance. NO way. My brain will not do that.

JENN McKINLAY: It’s funny you should post this, Rhys. My project for January is to go through the 10,000 pictures on my Shutterfly account and curate the keepers. I am up through 2011 from my account’s beginnings in 2000. Oy! One thing I have discovered is how much playing my family has done over the years. Hub and I are both children, apparently, as we’re skateboarding, boogie boarding, zip lining, and even upside down on the monkey bars right alongside the Hooligans. It’s been great fun revisiting all of these adventures. As for puzzles, Hub is a daily sudoku and crossword person. He never misses a day. I play solitaire and wordscapes on my phone when I am sitting on a plane waiting to take off or in line at the DMV, otherwise not so much for me. I did love Wordle for a while but I just don’t have the time for it on a daily basis - too many critters to corral around here!

DEBORAH CROMBIE: Now you have got me hooked on Wordle, which I had steadfastly avoided, figuring I didn't need any more distractions. But it only takes about five minutes and it's really fun. Hank got me into Tradle for a while, too, then it dropped off my radar. I don't do the crossword regularly, because I tend to get obsessed with it and will spend the rest of the day trying to figure out the clues I didn't get.

But, like Lucy, I am addicted to Hunt in the New York Times. I can never save it for the end of the day–it's too tempting.

My grandmother loved Solitaire, and  always had a game laid out on the dressing table in her bathroom. (What a nice memory!) But I never learned to play, and I've never been tempted to try the computer version. It seems like a waste of time when you could be reading a good book (or writing one) but I have to confess that I love Bejeweled and will play it on my phone if I'm stuck somewhere and need to pass a little time.

JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: I don’t think I was much for outdoor play when I was a kid - my favorite way to pass time was to wander hither and thither and pretend I was a part of some elaborate story in my head. Now  do it professionally!

I come from a family addicted to card games, and whenever I get together with my cousins, a deck or two comes out. I also adore board games, and used to joke I had three kids so I would always have enough people to play with. We’ve had so much fun over the years with the old classics like Sorry, Monopoly, Life, and wonderful new ones like 5-Minute Dungeon and Ticket to Ride  - the only one they refuse to join me in is Clue. They say I have an unfair advantage. 

Online, I’m a sucker for Mah-Jongg Solitaire, and Debs, I have Bejeweled on my phone, too! I usually wrap up my evenings in bed with the NY Times Sunday crossword puzzle. It makes me sleepy, unlike reading, where I’m likely to stay up until all hours.

RHYS: So how about you, Reddies? What do you like to play? Who is a Suduku whiz?

132 comments:

  1. Julia, I adore Clue! My daughter and my older grandbabies will play with me when they’re here . . . also Monopoly.
    I enjoy crossword puzzles, Spelling Bee, Connections, Wordle, Letter Boxed, and Tiles, but Suduku is definitely not my game . . . .

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    1. My kids would play Clue. Girl Child was a ditz, Boy Child understood things with his mathematical brain. She would play for a while, and then get bored, and then when it was her turn, she would name out the answer. Usually she was correct. When asked how she knew, she had no idea. Drove the Boy Child crazy!

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  2. Yes to games! But no Sudoku here. It makes my brain hurt. I do Wordle every morning after all my other bloggy/check-in-with-the-world stuff is done (and then Hugh and I compare results). We always have NYT Sunday crossword puzzles going on a clipboard and hand them back and forth (he gets books of older ones and tears out one at a time for the clipboard).

    I always try to do the NPR Sunday puzzle challenge, but half the time it's too hard. Hugh and I play cribbage every afternoon. And I play solitaire with cards when I listen to radio shows like Wait Wait Don't Tell Me or The Moth Radio Hour on the weekend. I usually can win at least once in the hour.

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    1. Oh, and I always play Scrabble or Farkle when family is over, but my older son is a kind of Scrabble master, so I know I'll lose to him! I don't care. I count coming in second as a win in that case.

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    2. I’ve learned cribbage several times then forget the rules again because I don’t play for a year or so

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  3. My Dad loved Sudoku, I would look at it and my brain said no way. I like Word Find, online puzzles, Bejeweled. I love going to the beach to find shells and my husband helps me some too. I like the small ones and I find small, clear vases and arrange the shells inside and give them as gifts to my family and friends.

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    1. The only place I've ever been able to do Sudoku is when I'm on an airplane and desperate for distraction. Got to have a math brain.

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    2. That’s a great idea!

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  4. I'm a Wordle addict. I made it to 99 games "won" and then blew it on the 100th, which aggravates me to no end. I also do Word Hurdle, where I did make it to 100 games won before blowing it. For a while I was also doing quordle and octordle and blossom. But occasionally one of those will freeze my computer and make me force a restart. I took it as my computer's way of telling me to stop playing and get back to writing.

    I'm with Lucy on dancing. I have a lifetime subscription to Body Groove which is dancing geared at getting/staying healthy. So it's fun AND it gets my heart pumping.

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    1. I forgot to mention that I'm also all in on dancing! The more, the better.

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    2. Dancing sounds great on so many dimensions.

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    3. So annoying, Annette. I was up to 87 when I flew to England and somehow lost a day. I stared in horror when it went back to zero!

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  5. Every morning before the start of the day I play the following on my phone: Solitaire, TriPeaks, Spider, FreeCell, Block Puzzles and Word Wiz. That's all my brain can handle. I tried Sudoku - not for me.

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    1. Oh, is that all your brain can handle, Dru Ann?! My brain shut down partway through your list! :-) Pat S

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    2. Is there an app for FreeCell!? This was a fav for a long time! I played it on an old desktop computer with Hoyle cd game.

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  6. Yes, I am a puzzle addict and play several daily puzzles each morning without coffee (after visiting JRW) to get the brain cells working.

    I was an early player of Wordle from January 2022 but gave up last summer. There was a Canadian version of Wordle called Canuckle which was fun to play but the creators stopped the game on July 1 (Canada Day).

    Now I play NYTimes Spelling Bee and Connections each morning. I really do well playing Connections. I had a 74-day perfect streak until earlier this month but some of those categories are really obscure or pushing it.

    And I found online Murdle last December. It is like a version of the CLUE game. You have a grid with suspects, weapons and locations. You are given several clues and you have to ID: WHO, HOW and WHERE the murder takes place. murdle.com

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    1. P.S. There is also a book version of Murdle. It was the #1 best seller in the UK at Christmas time, beating out other popular books such as THE LAST TO DIE by Richard Osman.
      https://murdle.com/book/

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    2. Murdle? Going to look it up. Or maybe not...

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    3. HALLIE: HA HA, maybe it is too close to work for crime writers but I like it. I finish the mini-version in less than 5 minutes. The full version's grid can vary in complexity, so it takes me 15-25 minutes to solve the bigger game.

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    4. I hadn’t heard of this! Must try it

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    5. Today's daily Murdle had a simpler grid. I easily solved both the mini & full Murdle games.

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  7. I too love Wordle, as well as a similar game called Squareword. I always do the Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle and try to beat my time from the previous week. But I am totally addicted to Spelling Bee, often working on it off and on all day to achieve Genius status. I have just recently managed to be declared Queen Bee by finding every single word in the puzzle. What an accomplishment! Perhaps this obsession can be explained by my degree in English and career as a librarian.

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    1. Yes, it is rewarding to get Genius status in Spelling Bee, and to find 1 or 2 panagrams each day. That daily middle letter makes all the difference, though, in determining whether you reach Genius level with 25 words vs 60 words!

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  8. Mini crossword, Wordle everyday. Connectios, as frustrating as it is most day. Sometimes Tiles. Scrabble againest the computer every night.

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  9. So discouraging to read about all you players! I don't think I play anything any more. I played a lot of games as a child. Twenty-five years ago on a family vacation I asked my brother-in-law, a demon player of everything, to teach me how to play Scrabble. He replied, "No, thanks, you wouldn't give me a game." I wanted to counter with my SAT vocab score but instead merely subsided. Undoubtedly I read a book instead.

    The puzzles I entertain myself are all historical ones, i.e. "Who might have written a letter about this event and where might I find it?" Those wins are rare but extremely exciting. Selden

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    1. I realized after writing this that I do have one puzzle I do often: deciphering 18th century manuscripts. It can be tough with faded ink, blots, cursive writing with long S's, archaic language, and indiscriminate spelling. Just after posting, another 18th-century history friend sent me an email titled WORD CHALLENGE. He was transcribing a letter and had spent 45 minutes on a word that fell down a margin in a scribble and then continued on the next line; he could not get it. He sent me the document and I saw the answer immediately: "irreproachably." :) Score! We send these puzzles back and forth all the time. Strange fun to others but very satisfying for me.

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    2. Wow, that sounds fascinating to me! And with younger generations not even learning basic cursive, it will be more and more of special skill.

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    3. Jill, this has occurred to me, too. I have realized one of my strengths as a reader of old manuscripts has come from many years as a teacher figuring out dyslexic students' handwriting and spelling. Some of my favorite puzzles were the almost impenetrable letters of a CT spy reporting to the British. The letters of a NY spy reporting to the Americans weren't much better. I liked to picture the educated men on both sides puzzling over some of these reports. "WHAT is he saying?"

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    4. This sounds more exciting than Wordle! And you’d be great at Scrabble! Never listen to a man

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    5. Rhys, I laughed aloud over my lunch sandwich.

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  10. I start the day with JRW, then Wordle. Nothing else. Sudoku is fine, but I prefer words to numbers. I love your sketches Rhys. And your little mouse tree is adorable. I'm all for play at any age!

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  11. Love Wordle, and JUMBLE!
    I used to play Sudoko but lost interest.

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  12. Wordle, solitaire (with the Agatha Christie cards -- two people got me packs a year ago's Christmas). And Scrabble or Bananagrams with my partner is preferred in the evening to TV.

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  13. Selden, your brother-in-law sounds like one of our relatives, insufferable! He bragged and bragged about getting to Genius every day on the Spelling Bee when he visited here. One day he was mystified at what the pangram might be. I glanced at it, and said "It's xxxx". He said "that's not a word". I shrugged and looked it up for him. The witnessing relatives, who've put up with this for decades, later high-fived me. Of course we don't subscribe to the Games portion of the NYT, so I ONLY play it for the pangram.

    I hesitate to mention that I have a 168-game streak with Wordle, which I do after midnight and just before I go to bed. Sure as shootin', this will be the kiss of death to the streak. Connections is fun, but the cultural references can be obtuse. I used to play WORLDLE until Google stopped having Google World where you could see country boundary lines. I didn't play it for the scores, but for the geography lesson, and I miss it.

    Games like Wordle, crosswords, and Sudoku, etc. keep us mentally sharp. We can all justify it as dementia-prevention. My 94-year old mom used to do those word games where you get a list of words and a jumbled mess of letters that form them in some way. For the last few years she has done a much harder word puzzle called a Fill-In. This is a crossword grid with no numbers, and a list of words with no clues. You are meant to fill in the grid so, like a crossword, they form words in both directions. It's way harder than a crossword, although there is a key in the back of each book in case she needs a hint. Two of Mother's five sisters had dementia, and neither of them either read (another thing my mother does every day) or challenged themselves with games. Her much younger sister is also not nearly as sharp as my mom is, and I'm sure it's because of her social involvement and challenging her brain with reading and word games.

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    1. Right, I forgot about Worldle. The geographer in me enjoyed playing it so I don't know why I stopped!

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    2. Hallie, do you know the author Jim Jackson? At one point he had something like a 275-game streak! He also plays Quordle, which mystifies me.

      I also sometimes enjoy Sudoku, but I only play at easier levels, otherwise it makes me crazy. Words are so much easier.

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    3. I was up to 87 when I flew to England and somehow missed one. So annoying. And John does codewords every day. Blank crossword with numbers in every square. They give you 2 letters and you have to guess every word. It’s fun!

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  14. So is connections the one where you connect the letters? And I have never heard of bejeweled—now I am afraid to look it up for fear I’ll be hooked:-)

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    1. No, Connections has 16 words. You have to find which 4 words have something in common.
      Example: FISH: Bass, Flounder, Salmon, Trout. But you don't know what the category is.
      The connections difficulty ranges from easy (yellow words) to difficult (purple words).

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    2. Connections is random words and you have to find what they have in common. I find it annoying

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    3. I love Connections, particularly the days when I get the purple category first. It makes me feel like my brain is still there.

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  15. I like all kinds of puzzles. I do the crossword, Jumble, Cryptoquote, and Sudoku in our local paper. They only put out print editions twice a week now, but the whole week’s worth of puzzles are included in the weekend paper. They are frankly the only reason I still subscribe to it. Even the e-paper news is old by the time they publish it.
    I do the wordle every day and spelling bee. I only have access to level one of spelling bee without being a subscriber, otherwise I am sure I would be at it until I finished all the levels!
    Solitaire, Wordscapes, and Woody are time wasters I have on my phone and I waste plenty of time playing them too. I often tell myself to get off and spend the time reading a book instead.
    You all really need to give Sudoku a try! For the past several years I have included one in my Christmas letter. I actually had a recipient tell me she did it for the first time ever doing one this year. She said it was fun and not that hard! (It was a medium level difficulty puzzle.) Yea, I have a convert!

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    1. The free Spelling Bee lets me go through the “Solid” level.

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    2. I think you need a logical brain, Brenda!

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  16. Hey Reds, how do I stop being ‘Anonymous’? And Sudoku is unfathomable. Crosswords just before bed to unwind.

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    1. I tried but didn’t succeeded. Instead , I put my name at the end of my comment . Danielle

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    3. From Celia: Hi Anon, a fellow traveller in the Blogger doesn't love me category. I have followed all the information for signing in. Even started in Blogger and tried to get to JRW from there but no go. I have come to the conclusion that a) I'm an Apple user including my browser, I won't do Chrome, and B) I don't have a blog on Blogger, nor do I use any of the Google tools other than email. So I think they have banned me which is why my name is at the beginning of my comments. Oh, and I have also been thrown off JRW more times than I can say. My response is to find a work around them.

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    4. When I click on comment, it comes up with several choices of how you want to be tagged. On my computer, the fourth one down is name or something similar - after the anonymous choice. I fill in my name, and click continue or something similar, and it goes to letting me fill in the blabber. Then click publish. If my internet is working, it publishes. If not, I curse a while, and then do it again. It is a good thing our blabber is not audible.
      Good luck!

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    5. On the first screen there is an option to type your name before you make your comment. It is essentially the first “screen” and you do not need to be logged in to blogger to just type in your name. There are many software issues between Apple and Google products.

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  17. I used to LOVE Sudoku, especially the Monster Sudoku in the Sunday paper. Because it had the letters A-F as well as the numbers 1-10, it could be really challenging (especially if it was at the five star difficulty level) and required a really good eraser. Now the Monster Sudoku is gone, and I no longer get a print paper (no connection between these events). My twin still does the Sudoku and usually gets even the very hard ones.

    I went through a Wordle (and Dordle and Octordle) phase, but got tired of it. My daily games now are Keyword and On the Record (news quiz) in the Washington Post and Connections in the NYT. I have to say, the NYT took the idea from the British quiz show Only Connect, which my son and I have been watching for years. The Connecting Wall sequence of that quiz show is just like Connections, with 16 seemingly random words that the team has 2 1/2 minutes to connect and explain what the connection is. I like Connections and mostly am able to solve the puzzle, although my knowledge of pop culture is lacking. I also like the NYT weekly news quiz and Flashback, the quiz where you sort events into historical order.

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    1. I had forgotten the weekly news quiz and Flashback. I do both of those. The category in both where I always fail is sports news. I have a blank space in my mind for all professional sports information. Selden

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  18. My day starts with Spelling Bee, Worldle & Globle, Waffle, Wordle, and Nerdle. I save Connections (my new fave) for last. I played Sudoku for years, but have since reverted to mostly word games. But I do love the geography games, which have helped to fill in my mental world maps. Nerdle keeps my waning math skills alive. Fun to see how many others have adopted similar rituals!

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  19. I do Wordle after reading JRW in the morning and usually get it in three. I play Monkey Wrench at night especially if I have difficulty going to sleep. It clears my mind of other things. My favourite board game is Risk and I have to use the red dice! I enjoy Ticket to Ride. When I was growing up, we played a lot of board games and card games. I play board games with my five year old grandson. He often makes up his own version of the game! My husband’s aunt always won at Scrabble because she palmed a couple of tiles at the start of each game. We knew what she did but at age 95 no one called her on it! I love Sudoku and carry a small book of puzzles in my purse that includes easy, intermediate and difficult ones. They keep me occupied while waiting to see a doctor. I love to read mysteries best and always have a book on the go and I have to read before I go to sleep. I collect shells when I walk along beaches. Love your painting, Rhys, and your books ❤️📚

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    1. I used to play Risk with my sons and my sister. I hated it - always felt like somebody was out to get me personally. It turned out sometimes they were, with a mission like, "Take over X region." And that was my region...

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    2. Edith, yes this is me! A lot of board games are just too cut throat for my taste, especially the way my husband's family plays. I remember one Thanksgiving they were all playing Risk and I was working on Nano and determined to finish my manuscript. They all felt so sorry for me not being able to relax and play with them and had hard time believing me that I was much happier typing away on my laptop.

      It was hard not to laugh! ;-)

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    3. I love that about the aunt! She should be a character in a book!

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    4. Rhys, She was a real character 🤣

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  20. I used to do Sudoku on the ipad, and then it died and so did the game. Can’t be bothered now. My daughter is always playing something on the tablet or phone, while I think she is watching tv. Maybe she is just zoned out from the tv, I don’t know. It used to be Tetris, but I think the game now involves candy or jewels.
    What I do love is jigsaw puzzles. 500-1000 pieces, with not too much dark in the picture – they are too hard to see after the sun goes down, as somehow the lighting changes. There are several companies that I love the puzzles, as I don’t like them too hard to do, but do like good cardboard so the pieces fit properly. We have a trade system between several of us puzzle doers, and the two local libraries, so it is a free thing. Like books, there is usually a commentary on if it is a good one!
    When my mother was living with us, and she was well into Alzheimer’s, we would play Pick Two every night after supper. Usually, it was just my mother and father and myself. We had long thrown away the rules and would set new ones with every game, that became more and more challenging. (My pedantic sister could not play with us as she would have a fit every time we changed the rules.) The score didn’t matter, but the quality of the word certainly did. Meanwhile, my mother sat with us beside my father, and would shuffle through the tiles examining most of them. Then she would pick up a tile, look at it carefully, and say “Pick Two………DELUXE”. We would break up!

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    1. I like some jigsaws, others I find too frustrating

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  21. I love Wordle. Have recently started Connections which I mostly can figure out. NYTimes mini-crossword, too. On my phone I do Elevate (brain training) and Dots. That’s quite a lot of games but I limit myself time-wise~~Emily Dame

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  22. Aw, I had a nice long comment and I think it got eaten! Sorry if another post pops up later. Maybe I posted on the wrong day? If I find it, I'll delete it.
    Short response - Yes, to all sorts of word puzzles and word related games! I've cut down my addiction considerably and now I only do Connections (in loving competition with my husband). For people like me who are too cheap to play for the full version of spelling bee, there is a free version called Blossom on the Merriam Webster website that is almost as good.
    No to sudoku just for the simple reason, I find numbers boring! For better or worse, always been that way. :-)

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  23. I have to do a few puzzles every day! I've tried a lot of different ones but I continue with Ken-Ken (not as much about math as it is about combinations) and Sudoku. Some people think Sudoku is math and so they aren't interested, but it isn't about math at all. The numbers are simply characters; could be anything at all. I also do Spider Solitaire on the computer, the hardest version. I seldom win, but what a thrill when I do!

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    1. It’s logic, I think. Clearly I’m illogical

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  24. I play Scrabble with real friends twice a week and other times on my tablet. I play Words with Friends on the net with members of my family. I tried Sudoku but it is not for me. It’s exactly the contrary for my brother who loves Sudoku and can’t be interested in word’s playing.

    When my in-laws died I thought I wouldn’t want to play an other game of cards because we had played a lot but now, after decades, I think I would like to start playing it again.
    Danielle

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  25. I did Wordle for a while but got tired of it. But I do love to play games with fellow members of the El Dorado Hills (CA) Newcomers Club (a misnomer). I play Crazy Rummy, Hand and Foot (sometimes "Lodge style," which is more difficult), and Samba twice a month, and Rummikub once a month. With my family, I play a rummy game we call Aggravation (not the board game) to which we've added hands to make it harder. With that one, it helps to be drinking alcohol and trash talking each other! Of course, there are games we can play with the grandkids, one called Telestrations that is like Pictionary but everyone gets a small book where we draw things and pass them on to the next person, who guesses, then passes on to the next. It is hilarious, and the kids love participating.

    I also love to challenge myself by "playing along" with Jeopardy, which I record every night. If the answer is a name, I usually can come up with only the first name, which doesn't get you any points, but oh, well. It makes my week if I know the Final Jeopardy answer and none of the contestants does. As time permits, I might also play along with Chain Reaction, Split Second, etc.

    I have added some form of Solitaire to my phone numerous times and always deleted it because I waste enough time on the Internet. Recently I happened on an iteration of Scrabble and downloaded that one, but so far I'm avoiding it.

    As for Sudoku, nope! Nothing with numbers, please.

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    1. I play along with Jeopardy and take great delight when I know answers they don’t!

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  26. I’ve been doing the NYT crossword every morning for many years. I added Wordle when it started a few years ago, and do it with my husband most mornings. I’ve recently started Connections and attempt to do it most mornings, but, good grief it’s hard! Letter Boxed is another aggravation recently picked up. We’ll see how it goes.

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    1. Didn’t know my comment would publish anonymously, as this was my first time. I’ll be more aware next time.

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    2. Letter Boxed is now my favorite perhaps because I can do it !

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    3. Jayne, not to worry about the “anonymous”. From time to time Blogger refuses to recognize everyone. Over a year ago stopped recognizing me. So I gave in and became Anon and just sign my posts each time. Elisabeth

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  27. Sorry to ask this, but Grace could you contact me on email about a question on the Toronto library and WW2. mpatrick/at/seaside.ns.ca I can't make the Facebook thing work.

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  28. Still love games! My 8-year-old grandnephew loves board games, so we will often play Outfoxed (every single time, he guesses the correct thief when we draw the first cards), Parcheesi, Boggle, etc., together. He likes to play Wordle and there is a free version where you can adjust the number of letters per word and play as many times as you want. I play Wordle every day, as well as Spelling Bee (only the free level), Connections, and Blossom. Sometimes I'll do Sudoku at night. My brain looks for patterns, numbers or letters. Connections--I just enjoy the trying and if I lose, I don't care. Dancing--used to, hard to do now with back/hip issues.

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  29. That is Flora, above--I start my day with JRW whether I'm at home or at work, but at work I'm anon.

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  30. I’m addicted to the Spelling Bee, Wordle, and Connections! I do the Bee first, and save the other two for later in the day. One of my sisters and I share our Bee results. Both of us attain Genius almost every day. It took me a long time to catch on to the way I need to think in order to win at Connections. I’m not good on days when the game requires a knowledge of Pop culture. I belong to a Facebook group for people who play Wordle and Connections. We share our results,, good or bad! It’s a really encouraging group of people. And speaking of Connections: it was a distant relative that I follow on Facebook who told me about the group. I’ve never met her. Her mom and my dad were first cousins. I went to her mom’s wedding when I was around thirteen years old. I just love that Facebook can lead to pleasant interactions and “connections.”

    DebRo

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  31. While I cannot make heads or tails out of Sudoku because I have no idea HOW to play that game, I LOVE playing Wordle because it helps start my day. I like to play with words before I start my block of writing time for writing my Novel. I also look at the word of the day for new words too.

    My grandmother loved to play bridge. Sadly, she died before I was old enough to learn how to play bridge from her. Crosswords was a passion in my family. I remember my grandfather and his siblings would do the crosswords from the newspapers. When I was a kid, I remember the comic page having "can you spot the differences between these two pictures?".

    This is the first time I have heard of Connections.

    Diana

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  32. Coincidentally, the NPR website today has an excellent piece on having fun, and why it's so important. https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2023/02/04/1150518287/fun-play-happiness-stress-reduction

    Not sure I'm ever going to take trapeze lessons, but I really missing riding horses.

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    1. I was at club Med once where they had trapeze classes. Tempted by I was over 50!

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  33. My mother always carried a crossword puzzle book with her and worked on it whenever she was in a place where she had to wait for something such as public transportation, dr’s office, etc. She always did the daily paper puzzle. Also, if there was a place such as a sign with long words she would see how many shorter words she could make out of it.
    I used to buy puzzle books all the time, they had a variety of word and number puzzles, some with different degrees of difficulty. Sudoku was always the first one I looked for, with varying degrees of success. The books were also with me for long trips.
    I think Dell may still put out these puzzle books.t
    I don’t do any on a daily basis now but will still do any I come across in a magazine or newspaper
    and always look for the long/short opportunities or create my own.
    o

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    1. My mom always had a crossword in front of her while she watched TV and knitted at the same time! The word relax was not in her vocabulary

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  34. Perquacky-a game with letter dice that you roll out and are timed in making words of three letters or more. I used to be very good at it but haven’t played for a long time.

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    1. I used to play that when the girls were young. It was fun!

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  35. I love crossword puzzles! I do a NYTimes Sunday puzzle every day. I start my day with Wordle and Connections, because they don’t take long. Sudoku? Yes, I took it up as a challenge to myself, because I wanted to make my brain work that way. But mostly I paint in my free time, which I have a lot of, being both retired and mobility-challenged. But there’s always, always reading!

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    1. Woo, Melinda, you're more hard core than I am. I usually take several nights to complete a Sunday puzzle - and admit my book is full of half and 3/4 done crosswords where it was either too hard for me or, much less usually, too easy.

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  36. Oh, I love this post! Yes, I'm a gamer - but only at night after my work is done for the day - then I power up the Chromebook and play chrono quest, followed by quordle, then wordle, then spelling bee, then connections. I have dabbled with the crosswords, and back in the day when I lived in an area that had NYT delivery, I did the Sunday puzzles, but I don't enjoy them as much online. I also dabbled in Tradle, until I didn't, and letter boxed. I love the Jacquie Lawson advent calendars and play all of those games from December 1st until the end of January when I stop playing until spring!

    My parents were huge card players, bridge, pinochle, poker, but I never learned so solitaire and spider solitaire are the limits of my abilities. Such fun.

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    1. I wish I had taken up my mom's offer to teach me bridge back in the day, because it's apparently having a revival, and it always seemed like such a great social game. Mom had the whole set up for when she hosted her bridge club: dishes shaped like suits, napkins, etc.

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    2. Julia, I was taught to play bridge at age 11 or 12 (1970ish) when one of the players in my parents' bridge foursome had too much to drink and berated his partner (his wife) so mercilessly over her poor playing that she dropped out. My mother moved over to become his partner (she was Southern; perfect manners but steel beneath) and I was conscripted to play with my gentle Southern father. I've long since forgotten the rules but I remember feeling very proud and adult. At that time bridge was such a THING. Selden

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  37. Computer solitaire. I love TriPeaks and Pyramid. I remember using actual cards to play Pyramid when I was a kid. My cousin and I would face each other and play double solitaire. Such fun in the olden days! When I was taking a newspaper I worked the crossword every day. I tried sudoku but it just didn't grab me. I'll have to check out Wordle. Pat D

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    1. Pat, my grandmother was a big solitaire player when she couldn't get up a game with her kids or grandkids. I've sometimes wondered why people play on the computer when it's just as easy to shuffle and lay out the cards in real life!

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    2. That’s funny, Julia! I never think to get out a deck of cards! Then again, I don’t play Solitaire on the computer so it’s not the first game I would think to play. — Pat S (the “other” Pat!)

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    3. We Pats are the cool kids. Pat D

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  38. Rhys, Connections confounds me because the higher the level of difficulty (see WordPlay column) the easier time I’ve had solving it. When Connections was in Beta and the editors asked for comments, I mentioned this and that often blue and purple rows were easier for me than the green and yellow. Isn’t wonderful how brains are “wired” so differently. Elisabeth

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  39. Sudoku is torture for me, but my husband loves it: the harder, the better. Like Gillian above, I am so grateful to the NY Times for Wordle (only one a day, thank goodness, or I'd never stop) and the weekly news and history quizzes. I used to do Words with Friends (it's like Scrabble) on my phone, but when the friend I played with stopped, I stopped, too. I enjoyed that a lot, so I should get back to it. Rhys, I think your watercolor is lovely.

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    1. Thank you. I take my sketchbook whenever I go

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  40. I do Wordle and AntiWordle (try NOT to guess the five letter word) most days. I've started forgetting to do it every so often.

    I also still play Words with Friends (carstairs38 if anyone wants to play. I usually lose, but I still have fun.)

    Some friends have a monthly game day, and I love those days. And I enjoy just having fun in general. so yes, I still like to play.

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    1. And yes, I enjoy Sudoku. But I haven't done it for a long time. I have a couple of aps on my phone. I should try to do one a day.

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    2. Mark, I wish I had a regular game day (or night.) During the 2020 lockdown, when I had two daughters and Guest Son living with me, we designated Wednesday as Game Night, and I really, really enjoyed it. I'll have to put some feelers out and see if I have any friends who might be up for a once-a-month get-together.

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    3. AntiWordle?! I must got find this!

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  41. Love puzzles! Hank got me on Tradle, which I love, although I realize that I don’t have a concept of long distances in kilometers. I never realized how much gold is exported.

    My mom always did puzzles, but hated Sudoku so she would save those for me.

    I do a variety of jetpunk quizzes. My go to was naming all 196 countries in 15 minutes. Now that I’ve mastered that, I’m working on world capitals, largest cities in each US state, and the 100 most common words in the English language.

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    1. Lisa, I had never heard of Jetpunk, and now I'm going to have to pass the info along to my girls. They were both competitive in geography bees (my oldest went to the state final) and I suspect they'd enjoy those quizzes a great deal.

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  42. I love Scrabble, but my hubby is NOT a game player, so I only get to play when I get together with my daughter. We gave daughter and s-in-l a really nice Scrabble set last year. My parents were 42 fanatics (which is like bridge with dominoes, I think) but somehow it didn't take with me. However, I have lovely memories of curling up on the den sofa with a book while listening to the click of dominoes and the adults talking as they played.

    Rhys, I love your watercolor sketch, and that is my play aspiration. Maybe next time we get together you can give me lesson!

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    1. I’d love to. We’ll go somewhere fun to sketch!

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  43. I love games. I have two on my Kindle that I enjoy: June's Journey (hidden object) and Tap Color Pro ( paint by numbers). I also have subscriptions to Big Fish Games and Gamehouse. I can play any variety of games on these, but hidden object, match three, solitaire, and art games.

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  44. I do the Mini Crossword and Connections every day, after reading the blog. I’ve now gotten to where I skip the news (it’s never good or happy) portion of the NYT Morning column and go straight to the bottom where the games are. (I know, since I subscribe, I could go directly to the games, but I like to pretend I’m a well-informed person.)
    I like crossword puzzles and used to buy books of the LA Times crossword puzzles because I liked the way the creators had fun themes. I believe someone else took over about 15 years ago and changed the style which wasn’t as appealing. Now when I pick up my books of long ago (LA Times) crossword puzzles, I find the clues so outdated I can’t do them. Connections is fun, but there are many pop culture references that I am ignorant of so I hope to get them in the last category.
    Our kids (son and d-i-l) love games so when we visit, we play. They need more actual board games (we end up playing Cards Against Humanity most of the time), though.
    And as for Sudoku, I have a game board with little tiles (for your guesses) and regular sized tiles. I need to pull it out and try it again. I’m much better with word games, though.
    As others have said, I spend too much time on my electronic devices. If I’m not doing the things I “should” be doing like chores, I’m more inclined to read (which I do a fair amount of on an electronic device!). — Pat S

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  45. Every so often I go through the fifty states and their capitals to test my memory. I almost always get the states right away I usually do them alphabetically, the capitals there are usually a couple that I have to spend a little more time retrieving. My brother had a puzzle of the states so I learned the names, the shapes and the locations from that and can still visualize them.

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  46. I do like Sudoku, but I was taught strategies by students when it was a new phenomenon. There's a version that uses letters instead of numbers, but works just the same way, and another that does require math, which I don't do. I do Connections and Wordle online, and I have free cell solitaire and Stone Loops on the iPad. I used to play more board games, amending rules when the niblings were small to make it faster and more fun, and recently told a niece about how analytical and serious her dad had been when we played games as children. Fun is reason enough, but sharpening skills is a bonus.

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  47. Jeopardy fans might really enjoy a movie we recently saw called The Quiz Lady. We watched it on Hulu.

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  48. For all of the word-lovers here, the quiz below gives you an hour to name 6-letter words that begin with every letter of the alphabet and contain every letter of the alphabet (begins with a and contains a, begins with a and contains b, etc. ). Happily some British spelling works for things like casque and masque to get your Qs.

    https://www.jetpunk.com/user-quizzes/176412/name-6-letter-words-containing-each-letter-a-z

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  49. I hate it when I hit something somewhere on my computer (the key remains secret and unpredictable) and my comments disappear, but I'll try again. I don't play Wordle or Sudoku. For some unreasonable reason, I've sworn not to join the Wordle cult. Sudoku is just not in my skill set or something I want to figure out. I do play Word Cookies, and it's not silly like it sounds. You make words with 6 to 8 letters you're given to place in a block of squares, which goes alphabetically. It is actually a decent game for vocabulary, except when they throw in some obscure term, like the word for fish that only eat other fishes' young (I made this one up, of course.) I may try the Letter Boxed one someone mentioned here.

    When my husband and I fist got married, for some years, we played cards with another couple on Saturday nights. We played Spades and alternated houses, and we wonderful wives always had a yummy dessert fixed. This was in the latter 70s, but you could have thrown it back to the 50s or 60s and it be a familiar scene. I loved it, but my husband is a fiercely competitive card player (or game player), and that was not fun. He learned the fierce competitiveness from his parents, who would every weekend when he was growing up play either cards or Aggravation board game with the same couple. When we started playing Aggravation with his parents, it was cut throat. When my father-in-law passed away and we played Aggravation with my MIL and our kids as they got older, my MIL was truly hell-on-wheels. We would play the game when Philip's sister and her family came in, and her husband finally refused to play the game ever again with us, as MIL was so fierce about it. But, my kids have/had good memories of playing Aggravation with their Memaw, so from E-Bay I bought them each the old boxed version of it that Memaw had.

    I always enjoyed board games, no matter how silly (Hungry, Hungry Hipppo) or intense with my kids. Of course, as they got older, video games came into play, not so much for my daughter, but my son had X-Box and PlayStation and all that. I have never gotten into that. But another type of game Kevin played with his friends after he moved out were ones like Small World (no, not Disney). I only played it a couple of times with him, but it was a great and very involved game. He also played Dungeons and Dragons with his friends from middle school well into adulthood. He may have still been playing it with them when he died; I'm not sure about that. Then playing games with my granddaughter, who can beat me easily at most anything. I'm so glad that my daughter and son-in-law enjoy playing games, as my granddaughter has learned to love it, too. A game we have started playing the last couple of years whenever we get together is Farkle. I still have to get my granddaughter to help me with the points, but everyone there plays, and that makes it the most fun.

    One more item. I recently found a show on The History Channel called The Toys That Built America, and I love it. There are lots of episodes, but I think many of you would enjoy the ones on board games and video games (2 separate shows).

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    1. I meant to ask if any of you are familiar with the Rook card game. My parents played it, and I have an old set of Rook cards of theirs. Also, how many of you remember playing jacks on your porch or sidewalk. Or Hopscotch or jumping rope games. All fun and games these were for us. I think the favorite board game I got when I was growing up was Mouse Trap. Wish I still had it, since I'm sure it was one of the first ones.

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    2. Kathy, this reminds me of Friday night game night that I shared with my friends in our 20's. SO much fun and yes dessert was the highlight!

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    3. Kathy - yes to Rook! A favorite of my husband’s family for several years.

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    4. We definitely played hopscotch and jump rope games. Because of my lousy eyesight and poor depth perception I was terrible at them, but it was fun to watch my friends.

      Great memories, Kathy!

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    5. Yes to jacks, hopscotch, jump rope, and yard games like Red Rover and Mother May I?

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  50. I think you guys have convinced me to try Wordle..

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    1. My son convinced me. "Mom, you can only do it once a day." I perked up, started, and haven't stopped. It's now part of my morning routine.

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  51. I do Wordle, Scrabble, some other word things online. I do at least one crossword everyday. I do Sudoku, but I don’t really like it. A couple of doctors ago, she said it was a good idea to keep your brain agile—Sudoku and crosswords and Scrabble. I do prefer Scrabble in person, but there’s no one to play with.
    My family used to do game nights several times a year. And almost always on Thanksgiving and Christmas we’d do games after dinner. I miss that, and I’m not sure why it stopped. I don’t play otherwise as much anymore. I’ve had to curtail my movement for the last 3 years because I’ve had several eye surgeries. Which means a lot of moving as little as possible, not looking up for one kind, not looking down, for the other, not lifting, not running. Etc. etc. the good news is, everything is ok, I can see pretty well (with glasses), and now, he’s only monitoring the eyes. But it definitely got me out of the habit of playing.

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    1. Sorry. Didn’t sign that. Ann M

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  52. Connections is my new favorite game on th e computer, but I'm a bridge fanatic.

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    1. Whoops, that's me, Jim Collins.

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  53. My morning routine includes Wordle, Connections, NYT Mini Crossword, and Spelling Bee. I have family members who also play these and we share our scores. (Can you tell we’re a bit competitive?) I sometimes play Letter Boxed (if I have time) and Sudoku is I feel like my brain needs a change of pace to keep it young(er). All of that happens in the morning. Then I also belong to two MahJongg groups and three Bridge groups. And my husband and I like to play Gin Rummy. With our grandsons we play UNO, Phase 10, and Spoons! Now that I’m writing this all down, I wonder when I have time to read, but that’s the good thing about being retired. There’s time for all the fun things, as long as you don’t get too hung up on things like housework and cleaning out the attic. Which, of course, I don’t! 😂

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  54. My granddaughter introduce me to Wordle before it was purchased by The N Y Times. You could play past games then and it was all consuming. I loved it. Now my granddaughter and a good friend and I play daily and share our results via group phone messaging. We call our ourselves The Wordellets.
    I also play Upwords daily against several players, and that can take me through a whole morning, if I’m not careful.

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