I spy with my puzzler’s eye…

007 AcrossYou know, it occurs to me that many of the skills in the standard puzzle-solver’s arsenal would serve you well in the high-stakes cutthroat world of Hollywood-style espionage.

Now, I’m not saying that a facility with sudoku means you can avoid rockets in your Aston Martin or that mad crossword skills will help you foil a supervillain’s million-strong chocolate soldier army preparing to overwhelm Switzerland and secure their private banks for him/herself.

But there is definitely some overlap in the mental dexterity department.

Think about it. Beyond the numerous trivial bits and bobs of information that are squirreled away in the heads of puzzlers that could prove utterly essential in a pinch — the capital of Burkina Faso? Why that’s Ouagadougou! — there are plenty of spy-centric situations that call for a puzzly knack.

There’s nothing like a Rubik’s Cube to teach you patience and spatial reasoning. A facility with anagrams wordplay suggests strong alternate thinking and deduction is at work (and no doubt helps with timely quips and tension-defusing asides).

Who better than a cryptograms whiz to crack the villain’s secret code? Or a Cut the Rope/Angry Birds fan to quickly puzzle out where to throw an apple to topple a ladder that then catapults a ficus into the air that hits a nameless goon square on the noggin and who then hits the giant red release button on your cell door and sets you free?

While neutralizing a bomb with a timer steadily counting down to destruction might seem tense, it’s nothing new to the iron will and sure hand of a person who has navigated the harrowing “you’re near the top of the screen” escalation of music in a high-level game of Tetris. If your nerves can take that, you’re ready for anything.

I don’t know about you, but I’m thoroughly convinced. In fact, I might just stop the blog entry right here and start penning the whimsically thrilling adventures of Trent Puzzlington, Agent of PuzzleNation. First installment: The Rebus of Doom!

But until then, keep calm, puzzle on — the puzzle community, heck, even the world might need your services one day! — and I’ll catch you next time.

One thought on “I spy with my puzzler’s eye…

  1. Pingback: A hundred pennies for my thoughts… | PuzzleNation.com Blog

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