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Thread: 2x2 puzzle

  1. #1
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    Jun 2005
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    2x2 puzzle

    We know that Japanese can be written either like Russian (L->R then U->D), or vertically down with the following column to the left. Normally it's clear how it was written. It becomes tricky when there are 4 characters -- it seems in comics people sometimes use one way in this case and sometimes the other, probably vertical being more common.

    I wonder if there can be any 2x2 combinations of 4 different kanji that could be read both ways -- i.e. so that in
    1 2
    3 4
    all of (1 2), (3 4), (1 3) and (2 4) could form meaningful compounds? Ideally, with 1234 and 2413 meaningful too, but maybe even without that requirement?
    I couldn't find any, but I think there should be some. Any solutions?

  2. #2
    MOG is offline
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    Mar 2006
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    Re: 2x2 puzzle

    I guess only to make compounds so that all of (1 2), (3 4), (1 3) and (2 4) could have some meanings is not so hard, and I think there are such questions both as a game and as entrance exam for some private junior high schools: in a form not to make up compounds from nothing but to fill in a blanc in which you're given the other set of kanji. But I'm afraid that there is no theoretical solutions to make up a set so that both (1234) and (2413) could form a meaningful compound. I'm not sure.

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