Puzzle #6: Identifying the faulty ball

There are many puzzles many of you would have come across which provide you a balance and ask you to identify a ball from a set of balls that is of a different weight than the rest of them. Many of you have urged me to post these problems. Unlike previous times, I am posting a set of puzzles this time, since they are all variations of each other and target different age groups. All the questions here assume that you have a traditional balance with two sides and no weights.

1. (Only for children below 8 years) – You have 3 balls, of which one is heavier than the others, and you do not know which one is heavier as they all look like. Using the balance only once, can you find out which one is heavy?

2. (For children up to 12 years) – You have 9 balls of which one is heavier. Using the balance twice, can you find out which one is the heavier ball.

3. (For Adults) – You have 12 balls, of which one is either heavier or lighter, and you do not know which of the two situations it is. Using the balance thrice, can you find out which is the faulty ball?

Happy balancing!

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