Enigma 1159: Measure for measure
11 July 2016
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From New Scientist #2315, 3rd November 2001 [link]
I bought a few yards of expensive material recently and I suspected that I had been short-measured. So I took it to the local trading standards officer who measured it exactly in inches. She did not tell me the exact length but she did tell me that it involved two decimal places.
She then told me what the length was to the nearest inch (where exact halves are rounded up) and this did equal the whole number of yards which I had purchased.
Also, as required by a European directive, she changed her exact measurement in inches to centimetres (1 inch = 2.54 centimetres) and she told me the length of the material to the nearest centimetre.
From the things which she told me I was in fact able to work out the exact length of the material in inches and to see that I had actually been sold slightly more material than I had asked for.
How many yards of material had I asked for?