# Questions tagged [weighing]

A puzzle that is centered around weighings and balances.

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### Twelve balls and a scale

You are given twelve identical-looking balls and a two-sided scale. One of the balls is of a different weight, although you don't know whether it's lighter or heavier. How can you use just three ...
4k views

### Thirty genuine and seventy fake coins

In the country Curgonia, there are many types of fake coins and only a single type of genuine coins. The weights of these coins satisfy the following conditions: All genuine coins have the same ...
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### Coin weighing with a single weighing device

You have 12 coins which each weigh either 20 grams or 10 grams. Each is labelled from 1 to 12 so you can tell the coins apart. You have one weighing device as well. At each turn you can put as many ...
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3k views

### Weigh a scale with itself

Using nothing but a pocket scale and a flat surface such as a countertop, find the total mass of the scale, including the attached metal plate and the plastic tray/cover (left). Details about the ...
• 423
5k views

### 15 Balls Sorting

This is a variant of 15 Balls Weighing. You have 15 balls of 15 different weights, but the weights are so similar you can't tell them apart by feel. The balls are also identical by any other sense ...
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4k views

### Are all balls the same weight?

There are 10 balls which come in two possible weights. Using a balance scale at most 3 times, determine whether all the balls are the same weight or not. Notes: I got this riddle from this ...
2k views

### Unknown weight of four identical objects

Four identical looking objects weigh 3oz, 5oz, 8oz and 11oz. You do not know which objects weigh what and they are too close in weight to tell by holding them. Using a balance scale, how can you ...
37k views

### What's the fewest weights you need to balance any weight from 1 to 40 pounds?

Suppose you want to create a set of weights so that any object with an integer weight from 1 to 40 pounds can be balanced on a two-sided scale by placing a certain combination of these weights onto ...
13k views

### Coin weighing problem

You are given ten stacks of golden coins, each stack consisting of ten coins and a digital scale with arbitrary precision. You know that all stacks of coins are made from gold, weighing 10 grams per ...
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1.4m views

### Brooklyn 99 riddle: Weighing Islanders [duplicate]

This one comes from this week's Brooklyn Nine-Nine episode! There is an island with 12 islanders. All of the islanders individually weigh exactly the same amount, except for one, who either weighs ...
• 341
937 views

### Unbalanced weight of boxes

You are given a traditional balance scale with two pans (no reading) and 6 boxes with the following properties: 1) the weight of each box is a positive integer number 2) if you put any number of boxes ...
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### Trapped in my Cellar

I have taken Doorknob hostage in my cellar. He is "perfectly" trapped - solid walls, solid floor, solid roof, no windows, etc. The only way out is a steel door and the only way to unlock the door is ...
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2k views

### 30 fake coins out of 99 coins

You are given 99 coins which consists of 30 fake ones. You also have a digital balance scale with perfect precision that shows how much difference between weighs you put on. For example, if you put 10 ...
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812 views

### A Dozen Golden Eggs

Twelve golden eggs are arranged on the shelf according to shell thickness with weight tags in ounces. You've been told that two of the eggs were swapped by some culprit! You must put them back again ...
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2k views

### Two genuine and two fake coins

In the country Argonia, there are only two types of coins: genuine ones and fake ones. All genuine coins have the same weight, and all fake coins have the same weight. The weight of a genuine coin is ...
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2k views

### Find the heaviest and the second heaviest coins

Each of 32 coins has a different weight. In 35 weighings on a standard balance, find the heaviest and the second heaviest coins. Clarification: Before you start to identify the heaviest and second ...
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### Fifty-two genuine and two fake coins

In the country Borgonia, there are only two types of coins: genuine ones and fake ones. All genuine coins have the same weight, and all fake coins have the same weight. The weight of a genuine coin is ...
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950 views

### Weighing in 2015 different ways

This question was inspired by something I realized while thinking about @Gamow's Weighing in 89 different ways. You have a two-pan balance and $2015$ weights, with masses $1,2,4,\ldots, 2^{2014}$. ...
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### Evaporating coins

In the country of Dalgonia, there is only one type of fake coins and only one type of genuine coins. All genuine coins have the same weight. All fake coins have the same weight. Fake coins and ...
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4k views

### 68 coins with 100 weighings

You have 68 coins of different weights. Using only a balance scale and the coins themselves, find the heaviest and lightest of the coins with only 100 comparisons. This puzzle is adapted from The ...
• 253
3k views

### Why are all numbers from 1 to 2N covered by weights with powers of 3?

This is from What's the fewest weights you need to balance any weight from 1 to 40 pounds? Suppose you want to create a set of weights so that any object with an integer weight from 1 to N pounds ...
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### 15 Distinct Weights' Sorting

There are $15$ balls. Each of them has a different weight. You want to sort them according to their weights. You have a friend who will help you with his scale to do this. At each weighing process, ...
• 151
1k views

### 10 coins, 3 of them are fake

Inspired by some great weighing puzzles here (This being one of my favorites), I just made another weighing puzzle - I'm not quite sure how difficult or easy this one is. You are given 10 coins, 7 of ...
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### Twelve balls on a scale, where one ball is lighter and another is heavier

Suppose you have twelve identical-looking balls. Ten of them are the same weight, but one is slightly lighter and one slightly heavier, in such a way that the weight of the lighter and heavier ball ...
2k views

You have 8 identical looking rods, 2 of which are radioactive, though you don't know which. You also have a box which can test for radioactivity, which can hold any number of rods. After the test, the ...
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### N balls and a scale

The question of twelve balls and a scale is probably the best-known example of the "find the ball of a different weight" problem. But does it generalize? Is there a general way to find a weighing ...
921 views

### Lots of Gold Stacks and a Balance Scale

You are given X amount of stacks of golden coins, each stack consisting of ten (10) golden coins and a digital balance scale with perfect precision that shows how much difference between weights you ...
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3k views

### Using a balance scale the minimum number of times, find the median weight person

There are 15 person with different weights. What is the least number of tries required to find the middle (median) weight person? How? The only tools you have is your brain and a balance scale with ...
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517 views

### Find the counterfeit coin

We are given ten stacks of three coins. All the three coins in one of the stacks are counterfeit. A true coin weights a whole number of grams. A false coin differs in weight from a true coin by less ...
• 275
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### Twenty-four coins

I have twenty-four identical-looking coins, but two are fake and weigh possibly different from each other, though definitely different from the remaining genuine coins. I have a weighing scale and a ...
874 views

### Determine your weight from 2 different answers from 2 weighting scales

You have 2 movable weighing scales. Their least count is 1 gram. You have tried both to find out your weight, but they give you different answers. You do not know whether both of them are ...
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305 views

### The Chess Moments

The chessboard was well balanced on the mid horizontal by some fulcrum. Black and white pieces were carefully placed on such board for equilibrium. Because the wooden pieces weights vary, their ...
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### A different kind of weighing problem

A puzzle I enjoyed, from the November 1983 issue of the American Mathematical Monthly: Problem E3023: Proposed by J. G. Mauldon (a well-known retrograde analysis chess problem composer too!) You are ...
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### 2 fake coins from a pile of 30 coins

You need to find two fake coins from a pile of 30 coins. You know that a fake coin has a different weight to a real coin, but you don't know whether it is lighter or heavier. You also know that all ...
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### Determine whether the counterfeit coin is heavier or lighter in two weighings on a standard balance

To allow new users to solve this puzzle and earn reputation points, I encourage all users whose reputation is 200 or more to not post an answer until 48 hours after this question is posted. Thank you! ...
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### 1 Fake Coin among N Amount of coins

You are given $N$ coins which consists of only $1$ fake coin. You also have a sensitive old-fashioned Pan Balance Scale. You are asked to find the fake coin in totally 5 times weighing on the Pan ...
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311 views

### Rank the Fencers

There are five fencers. Each has a particular skill level, all of which are different. When two fencers duel, the one with the higher skill level always wins. How many duels do the fencers need to ...
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667 views

### Sorting marbles based on weightings

You have 50 marbles which look all the same. However, 25 marbles have weight l and the other 25 marbles weight h with l < h. A person creates two piles and claims he has sorted all 50 marbles by ...
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417 views

### A Dozen Golden Eggs, Part 2

This is a variant of A Dozen Golden Eggs posted by TSLF, this time with the digital scale removed. You have twelve golden eggs arranged on the shelf according to shell thickness, with weight tags in ...
• 117k
689 views

### Distinct ball weights but balance on the scale

You are given eight identical-looking balls and a two-sided scale. All of the ball weights are distinct, but if you put 4 specific ones on the one side, and the rest on the other side of the scale, ...
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2k views

### Find two coins using a balance scale

You are given 20 identical coins. 18 of those coins have a weight of 10g each, 1 coin has 9g and 1 coin has 11g. You are given a traditional balance scale with two pans (no reading). What is the ...
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### Using a balance to determine any weight with a set of weights weighing powers of 3

There is a scale with an object on the left-hand side, whose mass is given in some number of units. Predictably, the task is to balance the two sides. But there is a catch: You only have this peculiar ...
• 201
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### 212 weights of 1 gram

Fredo owns a balance with two pans and 212 weights, each of 1 gram. Fredo proudly announces to Cosmo that his weight system has the following stunning property: For every integer weight $W$ with \$1\...
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666 views

### 12 coins problem but you can't understand the scale

You have 12 coins 11 are real, one is fake but you don't know if it is lighter or heavier. You have a scale that gives you output but you don't understand it (let's say it is written in a foreign ...
• 111
446 views

### Weighing in 89 different ways

On the table, there is a balance with two pans together with ten weights ofrespectively 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256 and 512 grams. Cosmo takes a coin out of his pocket, shows it to Fredo and ...
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### Is a fake coin lighter or heavier? [closed]

There are 16 coins, 3 of which are slightly heavier or lighter than the others. The counterfeit coins have the same weight but it is not known whether they are heavier or lighter than the genuine ones....
• 259
4k views

### Fewest possible weighings to determine which ball is heavier/lighter

You are given 4 balls, all equal in weight except for one that is either heavier or lighter. You are also given a two-pan balance to use. In each use of the balance you may put any number of the 4 ...
• 209
805 views

### Middle weight puzzle

There are 100 white and 101 black balls. All the balls have different weights. Balls of the same colour look the same. White balls are numbered from lighter to heavier (from 1 to 100). The same is ...
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692 views

### Simplified triple beam scale

What could possibly be simpler than a triple beam scale? (Ohaus Corp.) A simplified triple beam scale, of course: Just one identically spaced pair of notches on each beam, allowing 2 possible ...
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