## A Multiplication Based Logic Puzzle

### 317 and Candies from Mikulás

• 317 is a prime number.
• Prime factorization: 317 is prime.
• The exponent of prime number 317 is 1. Adding 1 to that exponent we get (1 + 1) = 2. Therefore 317 has exactly 2 factors.
• Factors of 317: 1, 317
• Factor pairs: 317 = 1 x 317
• 317 has no square factors that allow its square root to be simplified. √317 ≈ 17.804

How do we know that 317 is a prime number? If 317 were not a prime number, then it would be divisible by at least one prime number less than or equal to √317 ≈ 17.804. Since 317 cannot be divided evenly by 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, or 17, we know that 317 is a prime number.

Today is Mikulás or St. Nickolas’s name day in Hungary. Children woke up to find various candies such as the candy cane below in their shined shoes this morning.

Print the puzzles or type the factors on this excel file: 12 Factors 2014-12-01

My grandson left this note to Mikulás last night.

Köszönöm Mikulás” means “Thank you, St. Nickolas.” My grandson was thrilled with the candies and amused by the virgács that he found in his shoes this Mikulás morning .

### 312 and Virgács

Today might not be the 312th day of the year, but here’s a fun fact about the number 312:

• 312 is a composite number.
• Prime factorization: 312 = 2 x 2 x 2 x 3 x 13, which can be written 312 = (2^3) x 3 x 13
• The exponents in the prime factorization are 3, 1, and 1. Adding one to each and multiplying we get (3 + 1)(1 + 1)(1 + 1) = 4 x 2 x 2 = 16. Therefore 312 has exactly 16 factors.
• Factors of 312: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 12, 13, 24, 26, 39, 52, 78, 104, 156, 312
• Factor pairs: 312 = 1 x 312, 2 x 156, 3 x 104, 4 x 78, 6 x 52, 8 x 39, 12 x 26, or 13 x 24
• Taking the factor pair with the largest square number factor, we get √312 = (√4)(√78) = 2√78 ≈ 17.664

The night of December 5th, Mikulás, or St. Nickolas, will visit homes in Hungary, some neighboring countries, and even a few houses in the United States.  Children who have been good will awaken to find their shoes filled with little treats such as candy, fruit or nuts. Since all children are occasionally a little bit naughty, they will also find virgács, a small collection of twigs that have been spray-painted gold and decoratively bound together.  Virgács are not sold in the United States, so St Nickolas will be making some himself using the bristles from a natural broom.  The finished product should look like this:

This puzzle is meant to be reminiscent of the virgács my children’s ancestors probably received each year on St Nickolas Day.
Print the puzzles or type the factors on this excel file: 12 Factors 2014-12-01
A Logical Approach to FIND THE FACTORS: Find the column or row with two clues and find their common factor. Write the corresponding factors in the factor column (1st column) and factor row (top row).  Because this is a level three puzzle, you have now written a factor at the top of the factor column. Continue to work from the top of the factor column to the bottom, finding factors and filling in the factor column and the factor row one cell at a time as you go.