The “Find The Heavier Ball” Brainteaser | No BS Job Search Advice Radio

The "Find The Heavier Ball" Brainteaser

Ep 635 You are given 12 balls, 11 are identical, one is heavier. How do you find the heavier ball in only 3 moves?


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Here's the problem. You are given 12 balls and a scale. Of the 12 balls, 11 are identical and one way slightly more. How do you find the heavier ball amongst these 12 using the scale only 3 times.

Here's the solution.

Take 5 balls and 5 balls and weigh them. If the scales are equal, you can discard the 10 balls and just weigh the other 2 to get your answer. That would be the 2nd use of the scale, in which case you have found the heavier ball into moves.

If on the other hand, the 1st weighing of 5 and 5 balls, one group is heavier, then, of the heavier group, way too against 2 (that's the 2nd use of the scale) and if they weigh the same, the 5th ball is the one that you are looking for.

If 1 of the groups of 2 balls is heavier, then take the heavier group of 2 balls and weigh them against each other (that's the 3rd use of the scale) and you'll find the heavier ball is the one that you are looking for.


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for what more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1100 episodes, “Job Search Radio,” “and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice” and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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