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 Unbalanced?- No problem (Posted on 2017-05-30)
Given a sack of sugar, an unbalanced scale, and two 5-pound weights, measure exactly 10 pounds of sugar.

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 Only 1 solution out of 4 is guaranteed to work | Comment 5 of 7 |
We have 4 "solutions" submitted so far, but only one always works.

Consider a balance beam, with two pans hanging from it.  It can be unbalanced in 3 different ways:
1) The empty pans can be different weights.  The amount needed to make the scale balanced is a constant.
2) The balance beam can be longer on one side than on the other.  The amount needed to make the scale balanced depends on the weights in the pans.
3) Both problems exist.

Jer's solution and  Hoodat's solution work only in case 1.
Daniel's solution works only in case 2.
Broll's solution has the advantage of always working, no matter how the scale is unbalanced.
To my way of thinking, broll's is the only solution.

Edited on May 30, 2017, 11:22 pm
 Posted by Steve Herman on 2017-05-30 23:16:13

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