I've never used smart match in production code because as this example confirms, it is not as "smart" as one might think! I stand corrected about this. I guess you have to very smart to use the "smart match". Obviously, I am not that smart.
First, when you perform @arrayA ~~ @arrayB the action you get is actually similar to ($arrayA ~~ $arrayB) && ($arrayA ~~ $arrayB) && .... So you're really getting a chain of scalar to scalar smart-matches.
Next we have to scan down the list to find something that fits the description of 'scalar ~~ scalar', while keeping in mind that the left-hand side looks like a string, and the right hand side looks like a number. Here's the obscure rule:
So you're comparing something like this: '1ringy-dingy2ringy-dingy' ~~ 1. The right-hand side is a number. So a numeric comparison will be performed. And what happens when you use "1ringy-dingy2ringy-dingy" as a number? Well, if a string starts with a number, Perl will use that number and drop the rest when performing numeric operations. So '1ringy-dingy2ringy-dingy' ~~ 1 is the same as '1ringy-dingy2ringy-dingy' == 1, which is the same as 1 == 1.