## Abstract

A k-plex in a latin square of order n is a selection of kn entries that includes k representatives from each row and column and k occurrences of each symbol. A 1-plex is also known as a transversal.

It is well known that if n is even then B_{n}, the addition table for the integers modulo n, possesses no transversals. We show that there are a great many latin squares that are similar to B_{n} and have no transversal. As a consequence, the number of species of transversal-free latin squares is shown to be at least n^{n3/2 (1/2−o(1))} for even n → ∞.

We also produce various constructions for latin squares that have no transversal but do have a k-plex for some odd k > 1. We prove a 2002 conjecture of the second author that for all even orders n > 4 there is a latin square of order n that contains a 3-plex but no transversal. We also show that for odd k and m ≥ 2, there exists a latin square of order 2km with a k-plex but no k′-plex for odd k′ < k.

Original language | English |
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Article number | #P2.45 |

Number of pages | 15 |

Journal | Electronic Journal of Combinatorics |

Volume | 24 |

Issue number | 2 |

Publication status | Published - 30 Jun 2017 |

## Keywords

- Latin square
- Plex
- Transversal
- Triplex