The
silent and thoughtful Clerk of Oxenford, of
whom it is
recorded that
"Every farthing that his friends e'er lent, In books and learning was
it
always spent," was prevailed upon to give his companions a
puzzle.

He
said, "Ofttimes of late have I given much thought to the study of those
strange talismans to ward off the plague and such evils that are yclept
magic squares, and the secret of such things is very deep and the
number
of such squares
truly
great.

But
the small riddle that I did make yester
eve for the purpose of this company is not so hard that any may not
find
it out with a little patience.

"He
then produced the square shown in
the
illustration and said that it was desired so to cut it into four pieces
(by cuts along the lines) that they would fit together again and form a
perfect magic square, in which the four columns, the four rows, and the
two long diagonals should add up 34.

It
will be found that this is a
just
sufficiently easy puzzle for most people's tastes.

See answer