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When a fraction is used as part of a compound adjective it is conventionally hyphenated: e.g. a quarter-million pounds.

And when a whole number and a fraction are used together, it is conventional to not include a hyphen between the whole number and fraction: one and seven-eights rather than one-and-seven-eighths

But my question is what is conventional for hyphenating whole numbers and fractions when they form a compound adjective and precede a noun? Is it, if you will forgive the absurdity of the example, a sixteen and one-quarter centimetre cake, a sixteen-and-one-quarter centimetre cake, or a sixteen-and-one-quarter-centimetre cake?

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    My question is why wouldn't the nearest centimetre be accurate enough when measuring a cake? But anyway, I would hyphenate it as a sixteen-and-one-quarter-centimetre cake.
    – nnnnnn
    Jun 7, 2020 at 10:48

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