soaking in CLR and using an awl to break away at the threads worked. I hope others can benefit form this, since I didn't see anyone post anywhere on the web that they had success w this.
Oh BTW, I did use my power drill with a tiny titanium coated bit to drill into the threading in various spots. I was very careful not to go too far and damage the faucet threading. Worked like a charm. I had read of ppl trying to hacksaw bits of thread in larger pipe, and couldnt do that w such a narrow/shallow area... but the drill was perfect.