### Brain Teasers

# Balancing Beams

The following task involves several steps, but they are out of order. Arrange them so that a person who follows the steps exactly can perform the task:

You have three heavy beams marked A, B, and C, and want to find out which one is the heaviest. You also have a scale that tells you which of any two beams is heavier, but it does not give the specific weight of any beam. In what order must you perform the following steps to determine which beam is the heaviest, and to mark it accordingly? Assume that all three have different weights.

a) Weigh A against B.

b) Weigh B against C.

c) Weigh A against C.

d) If A is heavier, skip the next three statements.

e) If A is heavier, skip the next four statements.

f) If B is heavier, skip the next five statements.

g) Mark A "heaviest."

h) Mark B "heaviest."

i) Mark C "heaviest."

j) Skip the next statement.

k) Skip the next two statements.

l) Skip the next three statements.

m) End.

You have three heavy beams marked A, B, and C, and want to find out which one is the heaviest. You also have a scale that tells you which of any two beams is heavier, but it does not give the specific weight of any beam. In what order must you perform the following steps to determine which beam is the heaviest, and to mark it accordingly? Assume that all three have different weights.

a) Weigh A against B.

b) Weigh B against C.

c) Weigh A against C.

d) If A is heavier, skip the next three statements.

e) If A is heavier, skip the next four statements.

f) If B is heavier, skip the next five statements.

g) Mark A "heaviest."

h) Mark B "heaviest."

i) Mark C "heaviest."

j) Skip the next statement.

k) Skip the next two statements.

l) Skip the next three statements.

m) End.

### Hint

The first two steps are "a" and "d", in that order.### Answer

a) Weigh A against B.d) If A is heavier, skip the next three statements.

b) Weigh B against C.

f) If B is heavier, skip the next five statements.

k) Skip the next two statements.

c) Weigh A against C.

e) If A is heavier, skip the next four statements.

i) Mark C "heaviest."

l) Skip the next three statements.

h) Mark B "heaviest."

j) Skip the next statement.

g) Mark A "heaviest."

m) End.

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