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in reply to array refernce as hash value

It's possible, but it's not doing what you think it is (as use warnings will show you).

$ perl -Mwarnings -e '%h = { foo => [ 1 .. 3] }' Reference found where even-sized list expected at -e line 1.

You have the wrong kind of brackets. You want:

my %hash = ( key1 => [a1_ref,a1_ref], key2 => [a3_ref,a4_ref] );

Having created your data structure, Data::Dumper will be invaluable for exploring it and perldsc is full of information about how to get values out of it.

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