It might be hard for the young student to see the fun in math. Up till now it has been memorize, memorize, memorize for them. This can give them a break and tease their minds. Numbers that look simple, just two digits "1" and "8." It doesn’t get any easier than this, but wow can these two numbers do some magic. Consider this magic square:

IXOHOXI

8818 | 1111 | 8188 | 1881 |

8181 | 1888 | 8811 | 1118 |

1811 | 8118 | 1181 | 8888 |

1188 | 8881 | 1818 | 8111 |

Just like every other magic square, this one adds up to 19998 in all the usual ways. Then things get bizarre. The title of this magic square is IXOHOXI. This name is the same read from right to left or left to right. It is the same upside down or right side up. It is the same in a mirror upside down or right side up, forwards or backwards. No matter how you hold it or look at it, it will always be IXOHOXI. The same is true for this magic square, no matter how you look at it, the sets of four numbers always add up to 19998. There are probably over a hundred ways to get this unique sum.

I would like to tell you the history of this magic square but the only reference I have for it is one of my old paper back math books (that is falling apart), Fun With Mathematics, by Jerome S. Meyer, published in 1961. Google and Wikipedia were no help.

If magic squares are of interest to you or young students you know, I recommend that you look at the entry titled "magic squares" in Wikipedia.

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