**Quote:**

If x, y, and z are positive integers, what is the greatest prime factor of the product xyz?

(1) The greatest common factor of x, y, and z is 7.

(2) The lowest common multiple of x, y, and z is 84.

Target question: What is the greatest prime factor of the product xyz?Let's first clarify what the target question is asking.

It's essentially saying that, if we find the prime factorization of xyz, we want to determine the biggest prime number in this factorization.

Example: 120 = (2)(2)(2)(3)(

5). Here, the biggest prime factor is

5 Statement 1: The greatest common factor of x, y, and z is 7 There are several conflicting sets of values that meet this condition. Here are two:

Case a: x = 7, y = 7 and z = 7, in which case xyz = (7)(7)(

7), which means

the greatest prime factor of the product xyz is 7Case b: x = 7, y = 7 and z = 77, in which case xyz = (7)(7)(77) = (7)(7)(7)(

11), which means

the greatest prime factor of the product xyz is 11Since we cannot answer the

target question with certainty, statement 1 is NOT SUFFICIENT

Statement 2: The lowest common multiple (LCM) of x, y, and z is 84. This tells us that 84 is a multiple x, 84 is a multiple y, and 84 is a multiple z

Notice that 84 = (2)(2)(3)(7)

If 84 is the LOWEST common multiple (LCM), none of the numbers (x, y or z) can have a number bigger than 7 in their prime factorization.

Also, at least one of the numbers (x, y or z) must have a 7 in its prime factorization (otherwise the LCM would not have a 7 in its prime factorization).

All of this tells us that the prime factorization of xyz includes at least one 7 AND it does not include any primes greater than 7.

So, we can be certain that

the greatest prime factor of the product xyz is 7Answer = B

Cheers,

Brent

_________________

Brent Hanneson – Founder of gmatprepnow.com