Suppose that the objects to be weighed may range from 1 to 121 pounds at 1-pound intervals: 1, 2, 3,..., 119, 120 and 121. After placing one such weight on either of two weighing pans of a pair of scales, one or more precalibrated weights are then placed in either or both pans until a balance is achieved, thus determining the weight of the object.
If the relative positions of the lever, fulcrum, and pans may not be changed, and if one may not add to the initial set of precalibrated weights, what is the minimum number of such weights that would be sufficient to bring into balance any of the 121 possible objects?
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