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Back to square one

Created date

November 10th, 2009

When Milton Bradley introduced the board game Chutes and Ladders to Americans in 1943, it was an instant classic. Based on a game played in ancient India, the version that most of us know today uses a game board on which is printed a checkered pattern of squares numbered one through 99. Throughout this pattern runs a series of winding chutes and ladders. Purely a game of chance, players take turns rolling a single die and moving their pieces with the hope of avoiding those squares that will force them down a chute and, thus, back several spaces. In time, people started associating the board's numerical sequence of squares (namely square one ) with the notion of starting something over again or going back to the beginning. "The rocket's design proved totally flawed after testing, and the scientists found themselves back at square one."