# Fill in the missing countries

In the square table below, fill in the missing countries. (The slightly different background color of the first row is not important; it's an artifact of how tables are implemented in Markdown)

Afghanistan Bosnia and
Herzegovina
France
Haiti ? Dominican Republic
Central African
Republic

Hint 1

There are two major patterns here

Hint 2

It is a Magic Square of ----

I think the missing countries are

Equatorial Guinea and Ivory Coast

The following observations led me to that conclusion:

* The country names seem to be following an alphabetic progression. If we add a country that starts with E and one that starts with I, we will have the first nine letters of the alphabet.

* If $n$ is the number of words in the country's name, there are $5-n$ countries with that many words in the grid. So for $1$-word names, there are $4$ countries, for $2$-word names, there are $3$ countries, and for $3$-word names, there are $2$ countries.

* Conclusion: Both missing countries need to have $2$-word names, and one needs to start with E and the other with I. The countries listed above are the only ones that meet those criteria.

• Wow. Very creative, But there is another hidden Major pattern @GentlePurpleRain
– DrD
Aug 24, 2018 at 22:00
• which one goes in the middle?
– JMP
Aug 26, 2018 at 1:56

The answer is mostly given in various comments so I will simply confirm it as follows:

The puzzle is a 3x3 Magic Square of numbers 1 to 9 ( adding to 15).The numbers come from the vowels in the name of the country. Each country has number of vowels with 5 (center) and 1 missing. The countries are alphabetical. So the answer is countries starting with E and I with 1 and 5 vowels They are Indonesia in the center and Egypt in the bottom row.

Partial... Looks like we need countries that

and

have 5 and 6 syllables

one could be

Ethiopia

but don't know what the second one can be....

• Yes, rot13(Fvzvyneyl vg znl or ibjry pbhagf).
– Tom
Aug 26, 2018 at 8:47
• @Tom: Ah, that's a good obesrvation! rot13(Fb vg'f Vaqbarfvn naq Rtlcg, nygubhtu gur L vf n ibjry gurer.) Aug 26, 2018 at 9:17
• @MOehm - needs a dream team GPR/jafe/M Oehm (and me:P) to meet a DEEM - looks good to include
– Tom
Aug 26, 2018 at 9:39
• From the hint, rot13(gur ibjry pbhagf sbez n zntvp fdhner). More to this than I thought - nicely arranged Deem!
– Tom
Aug 26, 2018 at 13:25
• Wow You guys have it. Why not answer?
– DrD
Aug 26, 2018 at 19:37