In which year was the first printed reference to Tic-tac-toe?
Tic-tac-toe (American English), noughts and crosses (Commonwealth English), or Xs and Os (Irish English) is a paper-and-pencil game for two players who take turns marking the spaces in a three-by-three grid with X or O. The player who succeeds in placing three of their marks in a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal row is the winner. It is a solved game, with a forced draw assuming best play from both players. Evidence of games played on three-in-a-row boards can be traced back to ancient Egypt, where such game boards have been found on roofing tiles dating from around 1300 BC.
An early variation of tic-tac-toe was played in the Roman Empire, around the first century BC. It was called terni lapilli and instead of having any number of pieces, each player had only three; thus, they had to move them around to empty spaces to keep playing. The game's grid markings have been found chalked all over Rome.
The first print reference to a game called "tick-tack-toe" occurred in 1884, but referred to "a children's game played on a slate, consisting of trying with the eyes shut to bring the pencil down on one of the numbers of a set, the number hit being scored" "Tic-tac-toe" may also derive from "tick-tack", the name of an old version of backgammon first described in 1558. The US renaming of "noughts and crosses" to "tic-tac-toe" occurred in the 20th century.