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60 is a composite number. 60 = 1 x 60, 2 x 30, 3 x 20, 4 x 15, 5 x 12, or 6 x 10. Factors of 60: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 12, 15, 20, 30, 60. Prime factorization: 60 = 2 x 2 x 3 x 5, which can also be written 60 = (2^2) x 3 x 5.

Sometimes 60 is a clue in the FIND THE FACTORS puzzles. Even though it has many other factors, we only use 6 x 10 for the FIND THE FACTORS 1-10 puzzles and 6 x 10 or 5 x 12 for the FIND THE FACTORS 1-12 puzzles.

When solving a level 6 puzzle, trying to place the numbers from 1 to 10 in the top row as well as the first column can be frustrating. Every single clue appears to have more than one possible answer. How can someone guess right with every single number placement? Is seeing the answer the only way to solve the puzzle?

Here is this week’s level 6 puzzle. Usually to solve a puzzle, you start with a row or column with 2 clues. There are 6 rows or columns with more than one clue, and every one of them is no help!

You can also find this and a few other puzzles in an excel file here. If you have a spreadsheet program on your computer, you can access it. If you enable editing in excel, you can type your answers directly onto the puzzle, and you can also easily print the puzzles.

“Pay no attention to the that man behind the curtain!” is a famous line from *The Wizard of Oz*. Everyone in Oz thought the Wizard was powerful enough to solve any problem. When Dorthy and her friends looked behind the curtain they discovered that he was really an ordinary man who was able to find an advantage in what other people didn’t know. It turns out that other people actually had the abilities they thought only the Wizard had. Today we will take a peek behind the curtain of a level 6 puzzle and discover that it really isn’t as intimidating as we might imagine, and that you have the ability to solve such a puzzle, too. This is what last week’s level 6 puzzle looks like from behind the curtain: Many people try to start with the row that contains the clue 4 x 8 = 32. (When I solve this puzzle, that row is actually the one I FINISH with!) Instead look at the row with no clues. If you study all the clues in the puzzle, you will notice that 6 is listed as a factor only once. If there were a clue in the row without any clues, that clue would be a multiple of 6. That hint will keep you going for several clues. It also eliminates 8 as a possible factor of 72 and ensures that 1 x 8, not 2 x 4, must used for the clue 8. Which means that 2 x 5, not 1 x 10, must be used for the clue 10 because both ones will have been used. Which means that 2 x 10, not 4 x 5, must be used for the clue 20 because the number 10 has to be used as a factor twice. Here is the completed puzzle:

Written

on 2014-02-08