What part do
play in your life?
I mean puzzle in the broadest sense,
including both the recreational and the enigmatic,
the pastime and the obsession.
please take a look at
this and this
and the first few of
as background to my answer,
which has to do with visual thinking
puzzle: a perplexing question, a difficult problem; to be bewildered, perplexed
Etymology is unclear and disputed, but note
Dutch peuzelen 'to fiddle, potter',
and Swedish pyssla 'potter about, busy oneself'
Many of us are engaged with perplexing questions, with difficult or challenging problems, with solubility, with enigmas.
Son John at age 6 or so: "why am I me?"
The 17-syllable challenge of haiku and senryu
Puzzles solvable by deductive reasoning
What are or have been yours?
Some springboards to get you remembering:
Rubik's Cube, Scrabble and Clabbers, ciphers, anagrams, rebuses,
riddles, crosswords, sudoku, solitaire, chess, mahjong, gō, Tetris...
and of course jigsaw puzzles
(which date from the 1760s, when the cartographer and map engraver John Spilsbury
cut the map of Europe apart ['dissected'] along country boundaries).
The 'jigsaw' (a vertical reciprocating saw) was only invented in the 1880s, however.
Wikipedia tells us that
According to the Alzheimer Society of Canada,
doing jigsaw puzzles is one of many activities that can
help keep the brain active and may reduce the risk of...