Play a semiotical game of Greimas Puzzle

You may know what is semiotics (as simple as I can put it, it is a study of sign systems and their meaning), but I am sure you do not know what is a Greimas Puzzle.

And now here is a very short story time for you, how I as university student invented or created a game of Greimas Puzzle.

Sven Anderson, inventor of the game

Academically speaking there is no puzzle that is called Greimas Puzzle. But there is one very famous semiotical method, known as semiotical square or Greimas square, after its creator. The semiotical square itself is based on the square of oppositions that is known in philosophy as the basis of formal logic. So, I asked myself, why not use the semiotical method as the basis of a game.

After winning the Vega fund competition with Brandlyse, I came up with an idea to create a simple game with emoticons or numbers, or if you wish, with words.  Firstly, I tried to explain the game in many ways, but there was always a problem to stay truthful to the original semiotical method. After many try-outs, I concluded that I should lose the methodological and terminological approach and try to explain the game through rules that you as a player need to use to play the game. Below, you can see the game of Greimas Puzzle. To play the game you don’t have to know anything about the semiotical method, but even then, some simple rules should be placed down.

How to play the game?

Rule number 1: All the emoticons are symbolized by big letters like A, B, C etc.

Rule number 2: All positive emoticons are marked with plus sign, and all negative emoticons are marked with minus sign.

Rule number 3: All paired emoticons are for example A and -A or B and -B.

Rule number 4: There are two levels on the game field. Emoticons on the second level are made by first level emoticons.

Rule number 5: Emoticons on first level must be horizontally like each other, for example A and B.

Rule number 6: Emoticons on first level must be vertically each other derivates, for example A and -B.

Rule number 7: Emoticons on first level must be diagonally each other contradictions, for example A and -A.

Rule number 8: You must find all emoticons and put them on the right squares.

Rule number 9: There can be two solutions for the game.

Your first game of Greimas Puzzle

Below, you’ll find the very first Greimas Puzzle game field that awaits for your attention.

Greimass Puzzle game field

Here are the emoticons you should know to play the game. These are you clues.


You can find the correct solutions below (scroll down).



















Solution 1

Solution 2

Copyright disclaimer: All emoticons are taken from

Sven Anderson is a master’s student of Semiotics and Cultural Studies at the University of Tartu. You can read his blog here.

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