puzzle

this is a puzzle from shakuntla devi.i was unable 2 understand its solution.no clue at all.

a wholesale merchant came 2 me one day and posed his problem.everyday in his business he had to weigh amounts from one pound to one hundred and twenty-one pounds,to the nearest pound.to do this,what is the minimum number of weights he needs and how heavy should each weigh?
shilpi84Asked:
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ozoCommented:
assuming the merchant is using a balance scale, 5 weights suffice
1, 3, 9, 27, 81
Harisha M GEngineerCommented:
Hi, yes. ozo has correct answer.. I will explain it a bit..

Suppose you want to measure 1 pound...
1               x

Suppose you want to measure 2 pound...
3             1+x

Suppose you want to measure 3 pound...
3                x

Suppose you want to measure 4 pound...
3+1            x

Suppose you want to measure 5 pound...
9            3+1+x

Suppose you want to measure 6 pound...
9               3+x

....


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Harish

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shilpi84Author Commented:
can u please explain me the solution i m not able 2 understand this
Harisha M GEngineerCommented:
shilpi84, x represents the thing to be measured and the values presented are the weights and/or the thing to be put in each pan of a balance
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