Chemical conundrums: #whichelement

Recently a group of us started playing a game of #whichelement on Twitter. Yes I realise this is quite geeky but, hey, at least it’s not #YouDontKnowBeliebersTheMovie or #jeremykyle (if you think those sound more interesting, at the risk of alienating a reader you’re probably reading the wrong blog…)table

Not-really-coincidentally I have also recently become co-admin of a page on Facebook called Brain Teasers, Illusions and Fun (come along if you like puzzles in general).

So here’s a little tie-in; can identify the elements from the clues below? Feel free to post answers in comments. I’ll post my list of answers in a couple of days.

Which element…

  1. Has a clump of earth, or possibly an unpleasant person, in its name?
  2. Is not very entrepreneurial? (thanks @slhyde!)
  3. Is like a bicycle with no audible warning? (thanks @RobSomme!)
  4. Had a place named after it? (this one’s general knowledge)
  5. Has a policeman in its name?
  6. Has a medical test in its name?
  7. Contains a musical instrument?
  8. Sounds like it might drone a bit?
  9. Has a chicken in its name?
  10. Sounds like something a phishing email is trying to get you to fall for?
  11. Has a name that literally means ‘smell’? (more general knowledge)
  12. Could be something you use to take your dog for a walk?
  13. Is an anagram of livers?
  14. Has a bottom in its name?
  15. Has a name that sounds a lot like a famously smelly plant?
  16. Might be described as ‘container donkey ium’
  17. Has a very silly person in it?
  18. Are hayfever sufferers most worried about? (thanks @hullodave!)
  19. Might be a source of amateur dramatics?
  20. Has a name that means goblin? (general knowledge again)

3 thoughts on “Chemical conundrums: #whichelement

  1. So without extensively scouring the periodic table I’ve come up with these…
    1 SODium. 3 NoBelium. 5 copper. 8 boron. 9 rutHENium or rHENium. 12 lead. 13 silver. 14 ARSEnic (or plumBUM for the latin speakers). 16 PotAssium (I like this one, could even be for 14!) 18 polonium.
    Be interested to know the goblin element!


  2. Ooh well done! All correct so far… want to have to go at the rest? I’ll give you a clue for the goblin, it’s a transition element.


  3. Answers:

    1. sodium
    2. antimony
    3. nobelium
    4. silver (it’s Latin name was argentum, from which Argentina takes its name)
    5. copper (or copernicium)
    6. scandium
    7. lutetium
    8. boron
    9. rhenium (or ruthenium)
    10. silicon
    11. osmium
    12. lead
    13. silver
    14. arsenic
    15. germanium
    16. potassium
    17. berkelium
    18. polonium
    19. actinium
    20. cobalt


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