Math Puzzles of the Month
This month we take on one of the most ancient puzzles known to mathematicians: magic squares.
According to a 3,000-year-old Chinese folktale, the emperor Yu saw a mystic symbol on the back of a tortoise that emerged from the Yellow River. This symbol, seen here, became known as the magic square. It is still found on buildings in China.
The basic idea of the magic square puzzle is very simple: Use all the numbers from 1 to 9. Arrange them in a 3 x 3 square so that every row, column, and diagonal adds up to the same number.
Put these numbers: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
into this square:
The magic square works if you do this correctly. After you try this yourself, check our solutions.