**From New Scientist #1965, 18th February 1995** [link] [link]

Having a few moments to spare one Thursday, I decided to measure the dining table. This is a fairly conventional piece of furniture in dark oak, rectangular in shape, the longer side less than double the width.

It emerged that whether the surface area is expressed in square yards, square decimetres, square feet, hectares or square light-years, the first significant digit is the same. Furthermore, whether the length of the table is expressed in yards, miles, millimetres or light-hours, the first significant digit is again the same one, and this applies also to the length of the diagonal.

The length of the perimeter is an exact whole number of half-inches, the area in square centimetres is an integral number which is a perfect cube, and the speed of light in my dining room is 0.3 kilometres per microsecond.

Please ascertain the width of the table in feet, to four significant figures.

[enigma810]

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This Python program works in units of tenths of a millimetre, and then considers table with an area up to 100 square feet.

It runs in 66ms. (Internal runtime is 8.5ms).

Run:[ @replit ]Solution:The width of the table is: 2.811 feet.To the nearest millimetre the table is 857mm × 1613mm (2ft 10in × 5ft 3in), and the diagonal is 1827mm (6ft).

The ratio of length to width is 1.88.

The area of the table is 13824 cm², and 13824 = 24³.

This area can be expressed as:

where the first significant digit in each measure is 1.

The length of the table can be expressed as:

again, the first significant digit in each measure is 1.

The diagonal of the table can be expressed as:

and again, the first significant digit in each measure is 1 (although in yards the value is

veryclose to 2).It wasn’t clear to me from the puzzle text if the most significant digit had to be the same across all three groups (which as it turns out it is), so my program just requires it to be the same within each group, and there is only one solution.

And this is the only solution until we reach tables with an area over 1432 sq ft.