"Unlike the cryptic social and professional mazes of real life, puzzles are reassuringly soluble; but like any serious problem, they require more than mere intellect to crack.
“It’s imagination, it’s inference, it’s guessing; and much of it is happening subconsciously,” said Marcel Danesi, a professor of anthropology at the University of Toronto and the author of “The Puzzle Instinct: The Meaning of Puzzles in Human Life.”
“It’s all about you, using your own mind, without any method or schema, to restore order from chaos,” Dr. Danesi said. “And once you have, you can sit back and say, ‘Hey, the rest of my life may be a disaster, but at least I have a solution.’ ” "
– NYT, "Searching the Brain for the Spark of Creative Problem-Solving," (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/07/science/07brain.html?src=me&ref=general)