featuring guest authors; crafting tips and projects; recipes from food editor and sleuthing sidekick Cloris McWerther; and decorating, travel, fashion, health, beauty, and finance tips from the rest of the American Woman editors.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Today we welcome back Camille Minichino, retired physicist turned writer, who’s filling in for our health, finance, and decorating editors today. Read on to learn how she’s covering all those areas in one guest post.

Camille has 3 releases this spring: A re-issue of
The Hydrogen Murder as an e-book; the second in the Professor Sophie Knowles Mysteries, The Probability of Murder (writing as Ada Madison); and the sixth in the Miniature Mysteries, Mix-Up in Miniature (writing as Margaret Grace.) Learn more about Camille at her website-- AP
Playful Research
It's wonderful to be back on Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers.
The Wednesday schedule is perfect for me, because I can talk about finance, health, and decorating with a single topic: puzzles!
Finance: my games and puzzle books budget is bigger than my chocolate budget, and that's saying something.
Health: the best medical journals say that, just as ingesting omega 6 oils is good for your body, doing puzzles and brain teasers is the best thing for your mind. They tell us that the number of connections in our brains is the same as the number of leaves in the rain forest (I know who counted the neural connections; I don't know who counted the leaves), and we need to keep them active. Good enough for me.
As for decorating, puzzles make up a major portion of our décor. They're all over the house (see photo at left,) and the best completed ones have a permanent place on our walls. One of those pictured is a solved cryptoquote:
"Accept that some days you're the pigeon and some days you're the statue."
Besides keeping our minds active, we get wisdom for the ages!
It made sense, then, that on the road to turning every aspect of my life into a mystery series, I've created Professor Sophie Knowles, a college math teacher and avid puzzler, who makes up puzzles for magazines. So now I have another excuse to surf the 'net for riddles, word play, number games, and brain teasers.
Doing puzzles and working out brainteasers and riddles is addictive. I challenge you to go to http://www.sharpbrains.com/teasers/ and not hang around for awhile.
You can test your divided attention skills by making sure the red ball doesn't hit the blue wall, while at the same time ensuring that the orange ball hits the orange wall. You can exercise your brain by naming two objects for every letter in your complete name, or by looking around you and finding 3 red things that will fit in your pocket and 4 blue things that won't.
There's a lot of discussion these days about transfer of skills—are today's gamer-kids perfecting hand/eye coordination and learning valuable strategizing tips that will serve them well in a future career? Some say yes; others say yes, if they make a career of gaming. It's too soon to tell.
Has my lifelong puzzle making and solving made me smarter or mentally more healthy?
I can't tell!
But I do know that I'm having a lot of fun.
You can share in the fun at Sophie's puzzle page, where she posts a new challenge every first Tuesday of the month at http://www.minichino.com/puzzles/?p=278.
Here's a special one for you today, however. Solve these word pictures, or "droodles," and win a prize! To get you started, the first one is solved for you.
Answer: you are out of control.
2. LOV
4. O ER T O (this one is included in "The Square Root of Murder")
5. ORSEMAN (this one is included in "The Probability of Murder")
7. GR 12" AVE

Send your answers to camille.minichino@gmail.com by Friday March 23 at noon PST for a puzzle-related prize.

Thanks for joining us today, Camille, and not only reminding us how important it is to keep our minds sharp, but giving us some fun ways to do so. -- AP


Shirley said...

I love mind puzzles. But yours have me stumped. I've also heard that doing things with the opposite hand will also keep your brain sharp.

Camille Minichino said...

Yes, and varying a routine, Shirley. (Tell that to my routine-manic engineer husband!)

Barbara Graham said...

These are devious, Camille, I'll probably have to ask you for help when I see you next week at LCC. I hope you don't kick me off your panel for exhibiting brazen stupidity.

Camille Minichino said...

I won't tell you how I'd do if I didn't have the answer book!

Jean Henry Mead said...

I'm not a puzzle solver but I love your books, Camille. Keep on writing them!

jenny milchman said...

I so admire puzzle people!

Camille Minichino said...

Thanks for having me, Anastasia. You have wonderful friends!


Always a pleasure to have you join us, Camille! I hope someone is able to solve all those word puzzles.

Marian Allen said...

Love the puzzles! I do cryptic crosswords, so these really pleased me. That isn't to say I GOT them. lol!

Marian Allen
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Jane R said...

I love to work various puzzles but I must admit that there are many that I can't complete. That doesn't stop me though and I'm always ready for a new challenge. Thanks for the interesting post and the website links.

Camille Minichino said...

Announcing a winner: Marian Allen solved all but one and a prize will be on the way to her!


Congratulations to Marian, the brainiest among us, apparently. I'm still trying to figure out some of Camille's puzzles.

Camille Minichino said...

Since the "game" is over, I should post the answers:

You are out of control
2. LOV
Endless love
Scrambled EGGS
4. O ER T O
Painless operation (stick the P A I N in the spaces!)
Headless horseman
6. GR 12" AVE
One foot in the grave