Podcast Episode 188
with our guest AJ Jacobs

The Puzzler: One Man’s Quest to Solve the Most Baffling Puzzles Ever, from Crosswords to Jigsaws to the Meaning of Life


My guest today, AJ Jacobs, is a man who’s in the puzzle business. He can help you solve puzzles. He can help you live a more meaningful, happier, healthier life by cultivating something he calls the puzzle mindset. His most recent book is called The Puzzler: One Man’s Quest to Solve the Most Baffling Puzzles Ever, from crosswords to jigsaw puzzles to the meaning of life. AJ sees his life as a series of experiments in which he immerses himself in a project or lifestyle, for better or for worse. And then he writes about what he’s learned. The puzzler helps us to live with more curiosity, and more flexibility.

Show Notes

In this interview, AJ joins me to talk about how we can become more curious and less furious. We talk a lot about riddles, questions, puzzles, and new ways of looking at things in our lives that can help us not be so frustrated by them. We also talk about his work before The Puzzler. When he was a guest on this show back in 2019, he had written a book called Thanks A Thousand, in which he wanted to thank, and he embarked on a quest to thank every person who had a hand in making his morning cup of coffee, from the barista to the roaster to the truck driver to the warehouse operators to the grower.

“Curiosity is the only thing that can save the human species.”

Bonus Riddle From the Interview:

What is greater than God, but worse than the devil? Poor men have it, and rich men need it. Dead men eat it, but if you eat it, you will die.

Watch the full interview to find the answer!

This week on the School for Good Living Podcast:

  • How puzzles can help us to live better lives
  • Keeping an open mind and remaining curious
  • The benefits of pattern finding and the dangers of apophenia
  • How puzzle games can help us overcome some of the damage in society

Watch the interview on YouTube.
Listen on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, and Spotify!
Visit the AJ Jacobs guest page right here on goodliving.com!