Word games have always been super popular — from crossword puzzles to the Jumble. But they’re really having a moment with the latest word game craze that’s swept the country: Wordle.

Wordle is a simple five-letter-word guessing game created by New York software engineer Josh Wardle. The game went viral, going from 90 users in late 2021 to millions around the world today.

If you love word games and are on social media, chances are good that you’re already obsessed with Wordle. Why? The game appeals to our competitive human nature and always leaves us wanting more since you can do only one puzzle per day, according Psychology Today.

Word games force us to rack our brains to come up with words we may seldom or never use. Sometimes, these games teach us new words and send us running to the dictionary (or our word-lookup app). Word games are fun because:

  • We get an “a-ha” moment when we hit on the right word.
  • We build our vocabulary and become better communicators.
  • And, best of all: we get to feel smart when we win.

But there are even more benefits to word games. These puzzles may actually make our minds sharper. Research shows that adults over 50 who did word puzzles frequently performed better on 14 different cognitive measures than those who played these games less often or never.

The study looked at over 19,000 healthy adults ages 50 to 90-plus and how frequently they did word puzzles, from “more than once a day” to “never.” The study then examined their results on cognitive tests that covered these mental skills:

  • Focused attention
  • Sustained attention
  • Information processing
  • Executive function
  • Episodic memory
  • Working memory

“The frequency of word puzzle use is directly related to cognitive function in adults aged 50 and over,” the researchers concluded. “Future work needs to determine whether engaging in such puzzles can favorably influence cognitive trajectory with age.”

Are you a Wordle fan who wishes you could do more than one puzzle a day and wants even more of the mental benefits of doing word puzzles frequently? We’ve got two brain teasers for you to try: Going in Circles and Switcheroo.

Up First: Going in Circles

In Going in Circles, you get two circles divided up like a pie. Some of the “slices” contain a letter, while others are blank. You need to fill in the blanks to create a word. The tricky part: the word can go in either direction, so you need to try both ways.

Going in Circles2_P

Think you’ve got it figured out? Click here to reveal the answer.

Want More? Try Switcheroo

In Switcheroo, you get a four-letter word (no, not that kind!) and the word’s numerical equivalent. You’re then given a second word, created by rearranging the letters from the first word. Your task: come up with the new number that corresponds to the second word.


How’d you do? Click here to check your answer.

Did you indulge your love of word puzzles (and exercise your brain) with Going in Circles and Switcheroo? Leave a comment and tell us how often you do word puzzles. Do you feel that doing word puzzles helps keep your cognitive skills sharp?