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    Exactly the kind of thing that’s difficult to Google for prior art as well.

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      The best place to see prior art for this is not in terminal programs, but in tile-based video games. One example that I’m familiar with is “Chip’s Challenge”, which provided a set of “thin walls” in the tile set. These went even further than the OP, providing only three cells: wall on left, wall on bottom, and walls on left and bottom.

      Of course you see this technique mainly in games written for memory-constrained platforms. (“Chip’s Challenge” was originally written to fit in a 128kB cartridge.)

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        This was/is a pretty common way of doing things in PETSCII on the various Commodore 8-bit machines.

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          McGugan boxes…. great name! There’s likely prior art all over the place but giving I have instantly committed this to memory.