By now you’ve probably become accustomed to our weekly Thrift Treasure series and the wonderful, and sometimes not-so-wonderful, games we bring home. 98% of our thrift purchases are board or card games! The other 2%? Puzzles! While we have been known to take a chance at a jigsaw puzzle at thrift, we’re more likely to pick up a puzzle-y game like The Uptight Spider or a 3-D challenge like the one found in the famous Tree Puzzle.
This week we happened across a small, number-based puzzle that reminded us a LOT of a game of Sudoku. At an asking price of only $1.88, it was well worth taking a chance on whether or not we’d be able to solve it! This particular entry into the True Genius line by RecentToys is called the Lo Shu Square. The Lo Shu is part of the legacy of ancient Chinese mathematical and divinatory traditions and is an important emblem in Feng Shui. I wasn’t familiar with the term previously, but this puzzle has piqued my interest and will be reading more about its history.
The premise of the Lo Shu Square puzzle is to arrange 19 sequentially numbered wooden hexagon tiles into a larger hexagon shape. Each row and column must add up to a total of 38. The original Lo Shu Square dating back to 650 BC only had rows and columns totaling fifteen! This new version is most certainly quite a bit more difficult than its ancestor!
After days of trying, we could not find a pattern to help solve the puzzle. It seems to be more trial-and-error, and probably accounts for the 4-star difficulty rating (out of four) on the front of the box. I don’t think we ever got more than halfway through the puzzle before realizing the remaining pieces would not work to complete the field of tiles. Back to the beginning we returned!
The $1.88 we spent has and will provide value for some time to come. New copies are available on Amazon for under $20. There appears to be quite a few other wooden puzzles in the True Genius line, so we’ll have to make a point of keeping our eyes open for them at thrift!
Were you familiar with the Lo Shu Square puzzle?