What are the missing digits?

|3|2|2|  |1|8|8|  |?|2|8|
|2|4|4|  |9|2|2|  |2|5|?|

I was given this puzzle by a friend and I just can't see anyway to solve it...


There is a simple pattern which might be solution (even a silly one, but still a pattern).
The pattern is that in each section the numbers in center always have one duplicate on the left or right side of that section (e.g.: |X|Y|Y| or |X|X|Y|).

So by taking into account that fact we can say that the answer might be this:

|3|2|2| |1|8|8| |2|2|8|
|2|4|4| |9|2|2| |2|5|5|

P.S. Such questions might have multiple answers, as they are more about finding patterns. So at least this answer is one of those.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ In my opinion, the first two examples provided in the question only illustrate |X|Y|Y|, so it feels like a leap to assume |X|X|Y| is also valid based on the question marks in the third one. To me, the |2|8| in the top right seems to have been explicitly introduced to disprove the possibility of duplicated columns. Also notice that for the first two, the duplicates are vertically aligned, for the third one that isn't the case as the center column has 2 and 5. $\endgroup$ – Phylyp Jun 19 '18 at 10:04
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ It all depends on the level of sophistication used by the puzzle's author. It very well could be that this answer is "correct," and that this puzzle is simply not a good one. We're basing everything on our speculation regarding @UnableToSolve's friend's adeptness at making puzzles. $\endgroup$ – Chowzen Jun 19 '18 at 11:50
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Chowzen - quite true, that's definitely a possibility. To my casual eye, I saw a few red herrings (e.g. duplicates in the first two but not the third, the pattern of numbers lesser/greater than in the rows/columns) which make me feel it is a carefully constructed puzzle. Sorry for the delayed response, I didn't see your comment until now. $\endgroup$ – Phylyp Jun 20 '18 at 4:26

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