36 is a composite number, and it is 6 squared. 36 = 1 x 36, 2 x 18, 3 x 12, 4 x 9, or 6 x 6. Factors of 36: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 12, 18, 36. Prime factorization: 36 = 2 x 2 x 3 x 3, which can also be written 36 = (2^2) x (3^2).

Since √36 = 6, a whole number, 36 is a perfect square.

When 36 is a clue in the FIND THE FACTORS 1 – 10 puzzles, use either 4 x 9 or 6 x 6. When 36 is a clue in the FIND THE FACTORS 1 – 12 puzzles, use either 3 x 12, 4 x 9 or 6 x 6. Only one of those combinations will work for any particular puzzle.

A fellow blogger issued a challenge for her readers to write a puzzling story or tell a story about a puzzle using exactly six words. I’m choosing to give puzzle directions today using these six words:

**Without guessing, logically decide puzzle’s factors.**

It was a fun challenge. Her blog has a 6 word story written by Ernest Hemingway as well as a few written by other bloggers.

This week’s puzzles are also available 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.

Here are the factors for last week’s level 5 snowflake puzzle:

There was more than one way to logically decide the snowflake puzzle’s factors. Some sets of clues needed to be avoided in the beginning: (**18, 6**) because both can be factored by 2, 3, and 6; (**60, 40**) because each can be factored by 5 and 10; and (**16, 8**) because both can be factored by 2, 4, and 8.

The column with 5 clues was a good place to start the puzzle after we narrowed down the common factor that would work for all the clues. The table below shows a way to find all the factors from 1 to 12 using logic without guessing and checking:

**Related article:**

http://drieskewrites.wordpress.com/2014/01/22/six-word-story-challenge-puzzle/

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