Dec. 21, 1913, is a date to remember for word geeks like me; that was the day the first crossword puzzle appeared in an American newspaper. Millions of people still are starting their days with crossword puzzles 95 years later. Several studies have found that people who exercise their brains regularly—by doing crossword puzzles or other types of puzzle games—are less likely to develop dementia later in life. Crossword puzzles also boost your vocabulary (Where else can you use aerie and dado?) and teach you obscure facts that allow you to dominate any trivia game. Whether you're trying to pass time on the bus ride to work, relaxing at home with the Sunday paper and a cup of coffee, or avoiding your office duties by puzzling online, a crossword puzzle is a simple and highly effective way to distract yourself from the hassles of everyday life and flex your mental muscles at the same time.