This is a review of the book entitled “The Total Brain Workout: 450 Puzzles to Sharpen Your Mind, Improve Your Memory & Keep Your Brain Fit”, by Marcel Danesi, published by Amazon.com.
Date: May 24, 2021
Buy from Amazon.com
Author: Marcel Danesi
BOOST YOUR BRAIN POWER! FLEX YOUR MENTAL MUSCLES
Here is what you’ll find in this book:
(a) Brainteasers and Word Searches;
(b) Cryptograms & Optical Illusions;
(c) Sudoku & Frameworks;
(d) Logic Puzzles & Trivia Puzzles;
(e) and much more!
Did you know that different parts of your brain control different functions and that, with exercise, you can make each part of your brain stronger?
What You’ll Get Out of This Book
In The Total Brain Workout you’ll find 450 fun, challenging and absorbing puzzles designed to specifically target the core parts of your brain that control language, logic, memory, reasoning and visual perception. Each set of puzzles ranges from easy to challenging, and is presented with information on the area of your brain being targeted and the functions it controls, so you can customize your own workout to the specific areas you want to improve.
The Benefits Of This Book (from the book’s Introduction)
”Crosswords, Sudoku, Anagrams, Brain-Teasers, the list goes on! These terms are known to virtually everyone. But what you may not know if that such apparently ‘trivial amusements’ also foster brain growth by stimulating logical and creative thinking regions of the brain. Research has, in fact, come forward recently to suggest (although not prove beyond a shadow of a doubt) that puzzles sharpen the mind, improve memory and keep the brain fit throughout life, especially in later life.”
“Since the dawn of civilization, we humans have been fascinated by puzzles of all kinds.”
Puzzles And The Brain
“The brain is a marvelous organ, but, like all organs, it needs to stay in shape, so to speak. In recent years, many scientists have documented studies showing that doing puzzles enhances brain activity.”
CONTENTS OF THE BOOK
The book is divided into an Introduction, nine paragraphs with these titles and contents, and an ANSWERS section:
Verbal Thinking (word searches, jumbled words, cryptograms, odd one out, word sequences)
Visual Thinking (optical illusions, figure detection puzzles, visual sequences, stick puzzles, visualization puzzles)
Logical Thinking (IQ logic, deduction puzzles, logical comparison puzzles, liar puzzles, truth puzzles)
Reasoning (drawing and weighing puzzles, movement and crossing puzzles, kinship puzzles, verbal reasoning puzzles, miscellaneous reasoning puzzles)
Outside-the-Box Thinking (trick puzzles, insight thinking puzzles, lateral thinking puzzles, numeral conundrums, miscellaneous puzzles)
Sudoku and Other Placement Puzzles (Latin squares, warm-up puzzles, standard puzzles, placement addition puzzles, killer placement puzzles)
Brainteasers (magic squares, number patterns, cryptarithms, alphametics, miscellaneous puzzles)
Word Play (riddles, anagrams, ziggurats, word squares, word ladders)
Crosswords and Trivia (frameworks, movies, movie directors, trivia acrostics, writers)
SOME EXAMPLES OF THE BRAIN EXERCISES YOU’LL FIND IN THIS BOOK
From Chapter 2 – Visual Thinking
Example No. 6. Put a hand over the left side of the figure below. Then put your hand over the right side. What do you see? (The figure in this picture is called the “Devil’s Fork”. It is an example of an impossible figure because it seems to defy the laws of physics.)
Answer to No. 6: if you stare at the figure, you’ll see at one moment a three-pronged fork and at another a two-pronged fork. In other words, the contours of the lines in the figure do double visual duty within it.
Example No. 10. Count the number of triangles:
Answer to 10: 7
From Chapter 4 – Reasoning
Example No. 18. A boy answers the phone. He asks, “Who’s speaking?” The caller, a male, answers, “Don’t you recognize me? Your mother’s mother is my mother-in-law”. Who is the caller?
Answer to No. 18: He is the boy’s father.
From Chapter 5 – Outside the Box Thinking
Example No. 1. A bull is put on a scale. But he is so big that only 3 of his 4 legs will fit on the scale. How much do you estimate the bull weighs when he stands on all four legs?
Answer to No. 1: The bull weighs 1,000 lbs, whether it stands on all four legs of only on three.
Example No. 4. If it takes 5 minutes to boil an egg, how long will it take to boil 5 eggs?
Answer to No. 4: Five minutes. Whether you boil 1, 2, 5 or a million eggs, it takes only 5 minutes.
Example No. 8. After conducting several experiments, a professor of chemistry discovered that it took eighty minutes for a specific chemical reaction to occur when he was wearing his glasses, but that it took that same reaction an hour and twenty minutes to occur when he was not wearing them. Why?
Answer to No. 8: Eighty minutes and an hour and twenty minutes are the same.
From Chapter 8 – Word Play
Example No. 1: It flies, yet it has no wings
It can be long and short, yet it is not a measuring stick.
It can be put into a capsule, but it is not a medicine.
What is it?
(hint: the first letter is “t”)
Answer to No. 1: Time, as in “time flies”. It can be long and short, as in “It’s been a long time” and “Time is short”. It can be put into a capsule, as in “Time capsule”.
Example No. 3. Among its colors are red, blue, purple and green.
You can easily see that.
But you can’t touch it or even reach it.
What is it?
(Hint: The first letter is r.)
Answer to No. 3: A rainbow. The rainbow’s colors are red, blue, purple and green. But no one can touch or even reach a rainbow.
PROS AND CONS
There are many benefits to be derived from doing puzzles. It has been shown by many researchers that doing puzzles enhances brain activity. We are firm believers that an individual should take every opportunity to enhance his or her brain activity as often as possible. With this type of brain exercise, each part of the brain can be made stronger.
None that we can think of.
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