Stay Sharp with Logic Puzzles

By American Geriatrics Society (AGS), Health in Aging Foundation

Logic puzzles can take a variety of forms. They can involve words, numbers, or images, and — like all puzzles — they can be fairly easy or extremely difficult to solve.

Preparing to solve logic puzzles isn’t like preparing to solve a crossword or Sudoku puzzle. You don’t need to understand how the puzzle is constructed or what the rules are. You don’t have many specific strategies to consider. However, you should keep the following in mind:

  • As with other puzzle types, each logic puzzle has a unique answer. The puzzle constructor doesn’t intend for you to be able to solve one puzzle in multiple ways.
  • In many cases, the person writing the puzzle is intentionally veiling the answer. The way the puzzle is written may be deceptive to some degree — the degree of deception partly determines the puzzle’s level of difficulty.

Logic puzzles are a varied lot. You’ll likely find that some answers spring to mind as soon as you’ve read the puzzle; your own logic will make them seem obvious to you. But others will be much more diabolical.

If you spend a good amount of time studying one puzzle and just can’t seem to figure it out, walk away and come back later. A fresh look may be your best bet. If that fails, you may want to enlist help from a friend or family member.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the more puzzles you solve that are written by the same puzzle constructor, the better your chances of figuring out whether (and how) that person is trying to deceive you. For that reason, you should start with easy logic puzzles, even if you don’t find them very challenging.

Don’t look at the answers until you’ve given each puzzle a good effort. You want the best workout your mind can get, and sometimes that means allowing some time for frustration as you try to find the solution.