In the final chapters of The Wastelands the ka-tet is forced to solve a riddle to be able to start Blaine Mono. The riddle is asked by the train itself.

While I understand the sieve of Eratosthenes as the method of quickly finding all prime numbers on the list and why they had to be entered backwards I have no idea how Susannah knew that she is supposed to look for the prime numbers in the first place. It seems to me that it was nothing in the riddle that would suggest that.

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    For those of us who haven't read The Dark Tower series, would you consider sharing the actual riddle or at least a link to where it can be found? – Duane Dibbley Jun 26 '17 at 22:50

@Duane Dibbley Thanks to your comment I found the answer myself. The riddle asked by Blaine was You'll have to prime the pump to get me going and my pump goes backwards. Obviously a wordplay on prime.

I didn't read the book in original and didn't know the riddle in English, while the wordplay is completely lost in translation.

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    +1 for reminding us all that sometimes things get lost in translation. – gowenfawr Jun 28 '17 at 10:42

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