I am not sure who came up with this puzzle originally, but it is one that requires some lateral thinking to solve. And, yes, there is a solution, but please do not post it here as this puzzle is a good way to test your own way of thinking, and you cannot do that if you have the solution readily available.

Here, then, is the puzzle:

You are given twelve balls all of the same size and color. All but one are also of the same weight. The odd ball is either **slightly lighter** or **slightly heavier** than the other 11.

You are also given a balance scale. You are to find the odd ball and determine whether it lighter or heavier. You only have three weighings.