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Balancing Scale Brain Teaser

Balance the Scales

Allie Johnson

Do you lose your keys, forget where you stashed your sunglasses and then make a crack about how your memory isn’t what it used to be? If so, you can take steps to boost your brainpower and feel better about occasional mental misfires.

One top way to stay mentally sharp is to exercise your brain, according to Harvard Medical School. In fact, mental exercise may “activate processes that help maintain individual brain cells and stimulate communication among them.”

Top ways to get a mental workout include:

  • Acting as a mentor or teacher
  • Learning a new skill
  • Taking up a hobby
  • Volunteering for a good cause

But there’s another way to get some mental exercise that’s easy, fun and can be done at home — solve our In the Balance brain teaser. This math and logic puzzle gives you three perfectly balanced scales with different shapes on each side. A fourth scale has shapes only on the left side. You need to study the three balanced scales to figure out how many shapes are needed to balance out the last one.

Tackling brain teasers like this can jog your brain and strengthen your synapses in a fun way. This brain teaser works the parts of the brain that handle math, numbers and spatial relationships. These parts of your brain are essential for everyday tasks like budgeting, doubling a recipe and comparison shopping at the grocery store.

Oh, and here’s one more easy and fast way to improve your memory: bite your tongue when you get the urge to make a quip about your aging brain. Research shows that negative stereotypes about aging and memory can actually be self-fulfilling. Middle-aged and older people do better on memory challenges after being exposed to positive messages about aging and preserving memory.

So go ahead, believe in your brainpower and take on this brain teaser with confidence.

In the Balance Puzzle 2

How’d you do? Click here to check your work.


Did you solve the puzzle correctly? Leave a comment to let us know how you did and what you thought of this puzzle.

51 Responses to "Balance the Scales"
    • Virginia Boodhoo | August 28, 2022 at 4:22 pm

      I got it right. Love to do number puzzles. Send more please.

      • Extra Mile Staff | August 29, 2022 at 7:32 am

        Great to hear, Virginia! You can find additional puzzles here on our site.

    • Sharon E. Kutsch | May 24, 2022 at 9:06 am

      Good grief, I used to think I was good at algebra, but that was 40 yrs ago. I can’t get the answer even with all the explanations given..I am out of touch.

    • Carolyn (Kat) Sillick | May 22, 2022 at 9:01 am

      Answered correctly. great teaser!

    • Tracy Fairchild | May 11, 2022 at 3:36 pm

      Got it right, 1 green triangle. FUN!

    • Sandra Love | April 24, 2022 at 8:09 pm

      My answer to the brain teaser was correct.

    • Shirley | April 24, 2022 at 6:43 pm

      Thanks for giving this rusty brain a workout..

      • Extra Mile Staff | April 25, 2022 at 7:08 am

        We’re glad you liked it!

    • Nan | April 24, 2022 at 11:43 am

      Very Fun!!!

      • Extra Mile Staff | April 25, 2022 at 7:13 am

        We’re so glad you liked it!

      • John Stashinsky | April 25, 2022 at 8:21 am

        By inspection I knew that I had to substitute a triangle for the circle in #2. So in # 1, I calculated that 2/3 triangle = 1 circle. Then in #2 we have 2/3 triangle =one square. In #3 we have 2/3 triangle X 3 =2 triangles balances 4 diamonds. Finally in #4 it takes one triangle to balance two diamonds.

        I will be 89 in august and love to solve brain-teasers.

      • Extra Mile Staff | April 25, 2022 at 8:22 am

        We’re glad you liked the brain teaser, John! Thank you for sharing!

    • Gerrie Molnar | April 24, 2022 at 10:20 am

      I solved this puzzle in the amount of time it took me to look at all four of the scales, in other words, in less than a minute.

      Two diamonds are equal to one and one half circles or one and one half squares, and it is plain to see that one triangle is the same as one and one half circles. So the answer is one triangle. Thanks.

    • lee h leake | April 24, 2022 at 1:32 am

      I figured it out by giving each side of the scale a number value of a 100. Three squares and three circles equal 100, four diamonds equal 100, so two diamonds equal 50. Since two triangles equal three circles equal 100, and each diamond is worth 25 as four are a 100 and each triangle equals 50. It becomes a simple math problem. 50 + 25 + 25 = 100

    • Joseph Kondash Jr | April 23, 2022 at 11:08 pm

      Love Math and Logic.
      Since 1 square = 1 circle, then 3 circles = 4 diamonds or 2 triangles
      Thus 2 diamonds would = 1 triangle and scale 4 would be balanced.

    • Margarita Friedman | April 23, 2022 at 9:19 pm

      The first scale shows one triangle is 1/2… From there it is easy to follow and deduct that each diamond is 1/4. It was easy. Thank you.

    • Ann Moir | April 23, 2022 at 8:04 pm

      I had the correct answer! I like this type of puzzle, thanks for you tips and exercises!

      • Extra Mile Staff | April 25, 2022 at 7:23 am

        You’re welcome, Ann!

    • Linda Lierman | April 23, 2022 at 6:29 pm

      Recently I have been experiencing some neurological issues. There was a time when I would have been able to solve this puzzle in 2 seconds. Today it took me about 30 seconds. I’ll share this with my neurologist at my next appointment.

    • Janet | April 23, 2022 at 6:27 pm

      The square and the circle are equal.
      2 triangles = 3 circles, or 3 squares.
      4 diamonds = 3 circles, or 3 squares
      therefore 2 diamonds = 1.5 triangles
      I have a headache

    • Dennis Kalos | April 23, 2022 at 6:05 pm

      Too easy. Want more! To show my work:
      Since 1sq=1dot, then 3 sqs= 3 dots and 2 triangles
      2 triangles = 4 dimonds; therfore 2 dimonds = i am late for lunch.

    • Patty | April 23, 2022 at 5:51 pm

      I got the right answer. Thanks.

    • Mary Gilmore | April 23, 2022 at 5:51 pm

      g= green triangle, b= blue circle, r= red square and p= purple quadrilateral
      Scale 1. 2g= 3b
      Scale 2. 1r= 1b
      Scale 3. 3r= 4p If 2g = 3b and 1r=1b and 3r= 4p then 3b=4p so 2g=4p and 1g= 2p
      Scale 4. one green triangle will balance with two purple quadrilaterals.

    • Dennis Kalos | April 23, 2022 at 5:51 pm

      Too easy. Want more!

    • Mary Gilmore | April 23, 2022 at 5:47 pm

      g= green triangle, b= blue circle, r= red square and p= purple quadrilateral
      Scale 1. 2g= 3b
      Scale 2. 1r= 1b
      Scale 3. 3r= 4p If 2g = 3b and 1r=1b and 3r= 4p then 3b=4p so 2g=4p and 1g= 2p

    • Roger Hulme | April 23, 2022 at 5:02 pm

      At 82 I do not care for fractions.

      Scale 2 : 1 red = 1 blue so 3 red = 3 blue

      SCALE 1, 2 and 3: 2 green = 3 blue = 3 red = 4 purple

      ERGO 1 green = 2 purple

    • Donna | April 23, 2022 at 3:28 pm

      Loved it. It didn’t take too long to figure out using math and logic. While I enjoy puzzles like this, I know others who would think it was too hard to figure out and not understand the logic in it. Send more!!

    • Stephen P Delage | April 23, 2022 at 3:15 pm

      Took me about 5 – 10 minutes to solve in my head.

    • John E Stith | April 23, 2022 at 3:13 pm

      It was a little challenging at first, but after 2 minuets I made my decision, based on similar reasoning.

      • John E Stith | April 23, 2022 at 3:19 pm

        I used vison reason of deduction, rather than a math equation.

    • Nancy Darlene Anderson | April 23, 2022 at 12:09 pm

      I solved it thinking much as your solution indicated. I wrote down 3 circles=2 triangles and 3 squares=2 triangles and since 3 squares=4 diamonds, then only 1 triangle would equal 2 diamonds or 1/2 the weight of the 4 diamonds.

    • Kenny J Boone, Sr. | April 23, 2022 at 12:09 pm

      Step One:
      Before Beginning: (Using education techniques from back in the 50’s)
      Establish the Standard of Value (Knows):
      Move Scale Number 1 into Scale No. 2 Position–– This places Scale 2, In Scale No. 1’s Former Position.
      The Standard (the known) is as follows: 1 Block (or) Square is equivalent to 1 Dot (or) Bullet:
      The unknown objective (or) quantity required [to be determined] is a number of Triangles – thus: A Triangle equates to a whole number of 1

      Step Two: [But for switching the scales around for clarity, is actually Step 1.]
      Given: 2 Triangles = 3 Dots/Bullets Thus (by deduction): 2 ÷ 3 = 2/3rds
      Thus: 2/3rds multiplied by 3 = 2 (Triangles with a value of 1)

      Step Three: [Multiplying 3 Blocks/Squares with a value of each being 2/3rds, which equates to 2 divided by the number of Diamonds on the scale]
      Given: [The number of 2 (the value of 3 blocks) ÷ 4 (Diamonds) = a number value of .5]
      Thus: 4 Diamonds with each having a value of .5 = a combined value of 2 [.5 x 4]

      Step Four: [Multiplying the Diamond value of .5 times the number of Diamonds on the Scale (2)]
      Given: Each Diamond equates to a value of 0.5
      Thus: 2 Diamonds at a value of 0.5 multiplied by 2 (the number of diamonds on the scale) equates to the number value of 1–––
      Thus, only one Triangle is necessary to balance the scale.

    • Dale | April 23, 2022 at 12:06 pm

      1 triangle.

    • Som Karamchetty | April 23, 2022 at 11:34 am

      The official solution is correct but the logic is not appropriate.

      It should start with the scale number 4.
      The problem should be addressed by successive substitution.
      We have 2 Diamonds there on the left hand side.
      Scale 3 tells us that 4 Diamonds is equal to 3 Squares. So, 2 Diamonds will equal 3/2 Squares.
      Scale 2 tells us that one Diamond is equal to 1 Circle. So, 2 Diamonds will equal 2 Circles.
      Scale 1 tells us that 3 Circles is equal to 2 Triangles. So, 2 Diamonds will equal 1 Triangle.
      (I have been an AARP member for over 30 years.)

    • Rose Montoya | April 23, 2022 at 11:15 am

      Yes, I solved it correctly through logical thinking.

    • Georgette | April 23, 2022 at 11:07 am

      Allie this is great! My son-in-law is recovering from a brain injury. Out of concern about his memory he started taking a pill to improve his memory. This is a reminder you don’t need a pill, you just need to exercise your brain. It was easy when you read the directions and don’t complicate it with math. LOL.

      • Extra Mile Staff | April 25, 2022 at 8:11 am

        We’re glad you liked it!

    • Mary Gilmore | April 23, 2022 at 10:24 am

      g= green triangle, r= red square, b= blue circle and p= purple quadrilateral

      Scale 1: 2g=3r
      Scale 2: 1r= 1b
      Scale 3: 3r=4p. If 2g=3r and 3r=4p then 2g=4p so 1g=2p
      Scale 4: 1 green circle = 2 purple quadrilaterals

    • Mark Nippoldt | April 23, 2022 at 10:09 am

      Easy.

    • ROBERT WOODFORD | April 23, 2022 at 10:06 am

      Got it! Worked backwards from 4 diamonds divided by 2 = 3 red squares divided by 2 =1 1/2 squares etc.

      • Extra Mile Staff | April 25, 2022 at 8:30 am

        Awesome!

    • Dave | April 23, 2022 at 10:06 am

      I got the right answer right away, but can’t honestly say I would have bet the house on it!

    • Chris Masters | April 23, 2022 at 9:58 am

      Very easy for me.

    • Terry Morse | April 21, 2022 at 6:32 pm

      3 circles = 2 triangles; therefore 1 circle = 2/3 triangle
      1 square = 1 circle
      4 diamonds = 3 squares ; therefore, 1 diamond = 3/4 square

      ergo:

      2 diamonds = 6/4 squares
      6/4 squares = 6/4 circles
      6/4 circles * 2/3 triangles/circle = 12/12 triangles = 1 triangle

    • Ann Thomas | April 21, 2022 at 12:48 pm

      Got it! Good brain teaser.

      • Extra Mile Staff | April 22, 2022 at 7:34 am

        We’re glad you liked it, Ann!

    • Nancy | April 21, 2022 at 11:53 am

      Same answer, calculated differently: 3R/s = 2G/t, 3R/s = 4P/d, 2P/d = 1G/t

    • thomas lee snider | March 19, 2022 at 1:19 pm

      good algebraic problem. Love it

    • Brad Sevin | March 19, 2022 at 12:36 pm

      Enjoy these Brain Teasers. Look forward to doing more.

    • sharon milliken | March 19, 2022 at 10:50 am

      Got it! Easy!

    • Joyce Elliott | March 17, 2022 at 4:55 pm

      Solved but likely took longer than I would have at a younger age! (Age 88)

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