magic square, a square divided into parts with letters or numbers inscribed therein that, whether combined vertically, horizontally, or diagonally, form the same sum or the same word. In ancient times such squares were thought to have magic properties, perhaps connected with the stars. Magic squares have been found in such widely divergent cultures as ancient China, Egypt, and India, as well as W Europe. Example:
See W. S. Andrews, Magic Squares and Cubes (2d ed. 1917, repr. 1960).
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