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magic square

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:;e14;none;1;e14;;;block;;;;no;1;139392n;42520n;;;;;eq14;comptd;;center;stack;;;;;CE5

See W. S. Andrews, Magic Squares and Cubes (2d ed. 1917, repr. 1960).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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