1452 Poinsettia Plant Mystery

Merry Christmas, Everybody!

The poinsettia plant has a reputation for being poisonous, but it has never been a part of a whodunnit, and it never will. Poinsettias actually aren’t poisonous.

Multiplication tables might also have a reputation for being deadly, but they aren’t either, except maybe this one. Can you use logic to solve this puzzle without it killing you?

To solve the puzzle, you will need some multiplication facts that you probably DON’T have memorized. They can be found in the table below. Be careful! The more often a clue appears, the more trouble it can be:

Notice that the number 60 appears EIGHT times in that table. Lucky for you, it doesn’t appear even once in today’s puzzle!

Now I’d like to factor the puzzle number, 1452. Here are a few facts about that number:

1 + 4 + 5 + 2 = 12, which is divisible by 3, so 1452 is divisible by 3.
1 – 4 + 5 – 2 = 0, which is divisible by 11, so 1452 is divisible by 11.

  • 1452 is a composite number.
  • Prime factorization: 1452 = 2 × 2 × 3 × 11 × 11, which can be written 1452 = 2² × 3 × 11²
  • 1452 has at least one exponent greater than 1 in its prime factorization so √1452 can be simplified. Taking the factor pair from the factor pair table below with the largest square number factor, we get √1452 = (√484)(√3) = 22√3
  • The exponents in the prime factorization are 2, 1, and 2. Adding one to each exponent and multiplying we get (2 + 1)(1 + 1)(2 + 1) = 3 × 2 × 3 = 18. Therefore 1452 has exactly 18 factors.
  • The factors of 1452 are outlined with their factor pair partners in the graphic below.

To commemorate the season, here’s a factor tree for 1452:

Have a very happy holiday!

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