May Puzzler - Digital Agent Blog
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May Puzzler

May Puzzler

DIGITAL AGENT ENGINEERS SOLVE COMPLEX PUZZLES FOR OUR CUSTOMERS EVERY DAY. CAN YOU SOLVE THE PUZZLE WE CREATED FOR YOU?


QUESTION:

You are given 8 identical looking balls. One of them is heavier than the rest (all the others weigh exactly the same). You are provided with a simple mechanical balance. What is the least number of uses of the balance that you need to determine the heavier ball? Also, describe the solution.

 

ANSWER:

We can find the heaviest ball using the scale only 2 times.

Place 3 of the balls on each side. If the scale is balanced, we know the heavier ball will be one of the two that haven’t been weighed. Now weigh these 2 against each other to find the heavier ball.

If the scale isn’t balanced after the first weigh, we know the heavier ball is one of the three on the heavier side. Now choose any two of these balls and weigh them against each other. If one is heavier, this is the heavier one. If they are the same, then the third ball is the heavier one.

 

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