• Laura

Pencil, Paper and You

What could be nicer than curling up with a puzzle book and a newly-sharpened pencil? Not much, we think, so we’ve made a series of three relaxing books to help stressed-out solvers unwind and untangle some satisfying puzzles.

When lockdown hit in March 2020, a lot of us suddenly found ourselves with free time on our hands, and plenty of need from some distracting and de-stressing activities. Designed to be completed with just a pencil (and maybe a nice cosy blanket), Paper, Pencil and You comes in three editions: Focus, Calm and Mindfulness. Each of the books is framed around one of these soothing goals, and all puzzles are gauged to provide a gentle workout for your brain, encouraging solvers to tackle one small problem at a time.

‘Focus’ is the perfect book for anyone needing a little distraction from their everyday life, especially when the day involves looking at a screen for what feels like hours on end. It offers puzzlers a chance to think inside the box, matching up pairs of identical images and spotting the odd-one-out, alongside familiar logic puzzles such as sudoku.

‘Calm’ is just as satisfying, filled with puzzles which allow you to join up loops, spot hidden words and challenge yourself to a gentle ‘no four-in-a-row’ contest. There’s nothing quite as calming as filling in a logic puzzle, knowing that you’re building on your deductions to reach a fun and fulfilling conclusion.

‘Mindfulness’ explores the benefits of mapping out the workings of a puzzle as a whole to help you engage with all the moving parts and pinpoint the inner mechanisms. Solvers can arrange trees and tents in a sensible formation, spot anagrammed word pairs, and close off a partially-complete network of fences.

All three of the books encourage lateral and visual thinking, with abstract brainteasers introduced alongside more well-known logic puzzles. There’s a great amount of variety in the puzzle types across the three books, and each puzzle is explained in a simple way in order to avoid ‘information overload’.

All three books are out now, and you can click on the links to find copies of Calm, Focus and Mindfulness. We hope they bring some much-needed relaxation to a very unusual year. Thanks for reading, and happy solving!