School-Safe Puzzle Games

Very old Chinese book puzzle

Ancient Chinese Puzzle

The layout above was taken from a famous Chinese book over 3000 years old. Can you figure out what the configuration represents? (in other words- What’s special about it?)
(Will unmask answers Friday)

20 Comments to “Very old Chinese book puzzle”

  1. Joe | Guest

    It’s a magic square. All rows, columns, and diagonals add up to 15.

  2. Lath | Guest

    The configuration represents a 3×3 square of the numbers 1-9, where each row, column, and diagonal sums to 15.

  3. xena | Guest

    It’s like a magic square. The beads are organized with 1-9 beads on each shape. Evens are red; odds are green. More significantly, if you add the numbers across each row, column or diagonal, they add to 15.

  4. Jenny | Guest

    Yin and yang

  5. Ryan | Guest

    It’s a magic square! The numbers are instead represented by the objects and the number of balls they contain:

    8 3 4
    1 5 9
    6 7 2

    Plus, it adds up to 15 along any row, column or diagonal.

  6. rajjo | Guest

    Does it got to do something with odd and even counting….

  7. broli | Guest

    Green: 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 –> odds
    Orange: 2, 4, 6, 8 –> evens

    hmm couldn’t be that simple… there must be another thing…

  8. BONNIE | Guest

    It represents numbers 1-9…odds are the green…evens are the orange

  9. Shanelly | Guest

    I see that all the orange numbers are even

    All the green numbers are odd

    And the numbers 1-9 are represented….is that really all there is to it??

    I’m thinking there’s something more…I’ll see if I can find it…

  10. BONNIE | Guest

    also…..all ways add to 15….up…down…diagonal etc..

  11. Mudit | Guest

    1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

    I love this site, but the recent puzzles have been very easy. Something difficult would be appreciated.


  12. Deejam | Guest

    1 to 9… may be for counting ..
    not sure

  13. RK | Profile

    Hello Mudit, your feedback is much appreciated.

    Its difficult to keep everyone happy with the puzzles; if all of them are very difficult, we’d lose a large percentage of readers. If we keep them all too easy, we’d lose people too.

    One idea may be to set aside one day of the week for the really hard puzzles. This way, those who are looking for a real challenge know to stop by every Wednesday (or whatever day gets designated). Any thoughts?

    also- there’s more to the above layout than the #’s 1-9 :)

  14. Shawn | Guest

    The even oranges are diagonal, pointing to the center.
    The odd greens are parallel and perpendicular, sort of forming the sides of a square.

  15. Shawn | Guest

    Aha, the number of spheres in each row, column, and diagonal add up to 15!!

  16. Misha | Guest

    The “numbers” add up to 15 in all directions.

  17. RK | Profile

    yes, it is a magic square- numbers add up to 15 in all directions

    taken from the Yih King

  18. Brian | Guest

    Besides the ultimately perplexing idea of a ” magic square ” if you look at the image side ways you will see the image of stopwatch, probably has nothing to do with it , but coincidence, maybe??

  19. NANDA | Profile


  20. soumen023 | Profile

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

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