Puzzle 7 A Balancing Act

Lucas Bachmann

The solution to the previous puzzle can be found here.

If you’ve missed any of the story so far, you can catch up on all of the puzzles here.

Now that the two men crossed the room without triggering an alarm, they could hear the sound of voices coming from the next room. They slowly creeped forwards, until the voices became audible:

“… got caught. This whole plan is ruined!”

“Don’t worry, we still got a lot of money out of the bank. There’s no way they’ll find us anyway.”

“Are you sure? There are some pretty smart folks in the police these days.”

“Bah, who cares, were leaving soon anyways”.

Soon? Bernoulli realised this meant backup might arrive too late. Hansel reached the same conclusion as Bernoulli, since he leaned in and whispered: “We might lose these people if we let them slip”.

“It sounds like there are three people”, Bernoulli pondered, “We probably won’t have a chance in a heads-on confrontation. It might be better to set up a trap, and hope someone gets caught.”

Bernoulli related his idea to Hansel, and they both got to work setting it up. The idea was to set a fishing net to fall and trap a poor soul below. This contraption would require careful balancing, to make sure the system is in equilibrium. In particular, one part of the plan would require balancing crates on a plank, such that disturbing it would cause the fishing net to come loose. However, there is one problem.

“All of the crates are either too heavy to lift, or they are of different weight.”

We’ll have to figure out how to split these crates into two piles, such that the sum of weights in the two piles are equal.

Scroll down for the solution…

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Solution

“Well,” declares Bernoulli “the sum of all the weights is 30kg. This means that if evenly split, each pile should contain 15kg. From this, it should be very easy to find one possible configuration, such as 10kg, 4kg and 1kg in one pile, and 7kg, 6kg and 2kg in the other.”

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