A puzzle that is centered around weighings and balances.

A strategy puzzle that is centered around scales, weights, and balances. Typically, in these problems one is given a set of identical-looking items (coins, stones, balls, tokens), and typically the goal is

  • to identify one item with a particular weight,

  • to divide the items into several groups with certain desired weights,

  • to verify whether the weights of the items satisfy a certain property.

with as few weighings as possible.

The underlying weighing mechanism might either be

  • a two-armed balance (with two pans): for comparing the weights of two sets of items with the possible outcomes "left pan is heavier", "left pan is lighter", "both pans have equal weight"

  • a calibrated one-armed balance (with a single pan): for learning the precise total weight of the item set in the pan

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