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Brain Teaser for the Frontal Lobes: Tipping the Scales

Here is a new brain teaser from puzzle master Wes Carroll.

Tipping the Scales

free brain teasers for frontal lobes

The top two scales are in perfect balance. How many diamonds will be needed to balance the bottom set?

This puzzle works your executive functions in your frontal lobes by using your pattern recognition, hypothesis testing, and logic.

Four diamonds


First add up the number of clubs in the first two scales (5). Then count how many clubs are in the bottom scale (5). The do the same with the spades, which gets you 5 and 5. There are 4 diamonds in the top two balanced scales. Therefore, it must take 4 diamonds to balance the third scale since all the other measurements are the same.


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18 Responses

  1. Jonathan says:

    How about if we just add spades to the right?

  2. Caroline says:

    Counting the number of spades is part of it, but you have to know the proportion of spades, clubs, and diamonds to each other to solve the problem.

  3. Amber says:

    This is easy if you aren’t overly smart, you just count the items and add. If you use higher mathematics, it’s probably more difficult.

  4. Jonathan says:

    I agree with Amber. If we only add more spades, we’ll need some fractions.

  5. Caroline says:

    Aside from the fractions, the question asks “How many diamonds will be needed to balance the bottom set?”. So you have to add diamonds not spades.

  6. Amber says:

    What you see on the first two balance scales is all you have to deal with, just use ’em all up and you can’t go wrong.

  7. kevin says:

    a culb is worth 7 points, a spade 3 and a diamond 5, now do the math!

  8. david says:

    Need 4 more Diamonds!

    Try to add scale #1 plus scale #2 together…


  9. NIcholas says:

    its 4 diamonds i belive look at the top one theres 1 diamond and 3 spades= 2 clubs so take three spades out of the bottom scale and take 2 clubs out and add a diamond. now theres 3 clubs and 2 spades on the bottom scale now look at the middle scale its 3 diamondsand 2 spades = 3 clubs u already have the beggining of that on the bottom scale now, just add 3 diamonds and its balanced, so in order to balance the bottom scale (with out takeing anything off) you need 4 diamonds

  10. Matty says:

    I used a series of formulas with three variables and came up with 4 diamonds. However, just adding the scales probably would have worked hahaha.
    Great work, David.

  11. Mitch says:

    I did the same as david and just added scales 1 and 2. No need for formulas lol.

    4 diamonds 🙂

  12. Lmnop says:

    Dangit. Again, I went the long way. Oh well, at least I got to practice my algebra. Haven’t used that in a while.

  13. Samir says:

    I too used higher algebra to solve the problem. I got the correct answer but it took way too long. I wonder why I didn’t think of the short method in the beginning.

  14. allstar says:

    4! i did it the long way >

  15. Audrey says:

    4. That was easy… they give you the solution for 3 clubs and for 2 clubs, all you had to do was add. It was even nice enough to give you the right number of spades.

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