## A Multiplication Based Logic Puzzle

### 27 and There Are Polar Bears Round The Icehole

27 is a composite number. 27 = 1 x 27, or 3 x 9. Factors of 27: 1, 3, 9, 27. Prime factorization: 27 = 3 x 3 x 3, which can also be written 27 = 3³.

When 27 is a clue in the FIND THE FACTORS puzzles, the factors are always 3 and 9.

This is a fun puzzle to try on kids or adults. How many polar bears are around an ice-fishing hole? Get out your Yahtzee dice and see who can figure out the pattern of the riddle.

It’s good to know that something you’ve done has stuck with someone; out of the blue I had a call from someone I hadn’t seen for ten years or more.  “Hello Alan, can you remind me about the Polar Bears?”

So here’s the activity that Gaynor wanted to talk about.

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I roll five dice:

“There are six polar bears round the ice-hole.”

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Again:

“There are two polar bears round the ice-hole.”

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Once more:

“There are no polar bears round the ice-hole.”

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It’s much the best fun to do this informally when you can test out all sorts of ideas, but I’ll have to tell you that the colours of the dice don’t matter, nor their size, nor their positions.  (Generally speaking, I’ll use five dice, but we could use a different number.)  We’re left with just one factor to consider, that it’s the numbers showing on…

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