It’s the Friday Puzzle!

57

UPDATE: I have just found out that this puzzle was created by the wonderful Lloyd King – see more about his work here.

What five letter chemical element is represented by this list…

SILICON
HELIUM
NEON
HYDOGEN
LEAD
OXYGEN

As ever, please do NOT post your answers, but feel free to say if you solved it and how long it took.  Answer on Monday.

57 comments on “It’s the Friday Puzzle!

  1. Frank says:

    A minute or two.

  2. Rob J says:

    A few minutes of alt tabbing between here and the embiggened picture of the table.
    Very good.

  3. Jeff says:

    I was about to ask a question about the riddle, but realized that meant I had the answer.

  4. Mikael says:

    Closer to 10 minutes. Was on right track early, tried a number of other variants before using the most obvious clue and going back from that using another observation. Really nice one!

  5. Neil Beck says:

    Is the spelling mistake part of the test?

  6. Niraj says:

    there r only 3 elements with five letter name

  7. JimC says:

    Not sure how long that took, as I slipped into the Puzzle Zone where time loses all meaning. But it was long enough to make me slightly late for work. Nice puzzle.

  8. Tom F says:

    Took about 12seconds. A few of you are spoiling it for others though, but clearly not realising it. Doh.

  9. jim says:

    man i think i am over complicating things cant get it is the table even needed?

  10. writerJames says:

    *groan* Several minutes, finally got it when I just started going through all the five-letter elements it could be and trying to justify each one.

  11. FlorayG says:

    Oh God it just hit me in the eye after staring at it for a few minutes. Groan, big time. I like the silly ones

  12. About 10 minutes, which made it all the funnier when I finally did get it.

  13. Rob says:

    Mega facepalm after getting it suddenly while my daughter was bombarding me with vector questions (maths homework). Sometimes multi-tasking helps us see the obvious.

  14. Berber Anna says:

    Dammit. Thought I had it, but the English name of the element has more than five letters. Back to the drawing board.

    • ivan says:

      You have to be thinking in English. If you aren’t fluent/thinking in English, you haven’t a chance.

    • Berber Anna says:

      I’d consider myself pretty fluent, being a translator of English (to Dutch). I’m just not aware of all the names of the not-so-common elements in English.
      But your reply suggests this is a language problem, rather than a maths one as I assumed. Hm… *rethinks*

    • Roland says:

      Berber Anna: I’m Dutch as well, but apparently my English is good enough so I found the solution after a few minutes of puzzling🙂

    • Berber Anna says:

      Quit dissing my English, people.😛 Clearly, I’m just shite at puzzling.

    • Julia says:

      Your English is probably too good, Berber. Imagine you’re an average native speaker – that should help…

  15. Carl says:

    Groan. Once I got it. Which was ages, BTW.

    I spent a long time looking at the three possible 5-letter elements trying to make them fit. Eventually I realised that there were actually four. And, sure enough, the one I’d missed was the correct one. And it was immediately obvious once I saw it. Doh!

  16. Carl says:

    BTW, Richard, It’s “Sam Loyd” not “Sam Lloyd”.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sam_Loyd

  17. LordManley says:

    Got it fast, but more by luck than design.

    A little concerned that the fact that I got it so quickly is a poor reflection on my personality.

  18. Julia says:

    d’oh at last (c. 15 minutes altogether)! I did have to look up the 5-letter elements on Wikipedia. Tom F’s clue helped, but it still took me forever to look in the right place.

  19. Roland says:

    Took me a couple of minutes, just as Jeff😉

    Cheers
    Roland

  20. ThisIsNotAPseudonym says:

    A few minutes of trying ever more complicated ways of converting the list to an element, then a ‘Doh!’ moment as I realised that the thing I’d noticed immediately was the answer.

  21. Tom says:

    After 10 minutes of drawing lines at the periodic table, thinking about atomic numbers and symbols I got the answer and cursed myself for missing the obvious.

    • Match says:

      I did the same thing but for probably half an hour.. Probably because the question is totally misleading.

  22. Sandra says:

    Absolutely no idea!!!!

  23. ruthslavid says:

    Got it, but thanks to one of the comments. Principle was obvious though. But good – and did waste some time on adding up.

  24. Berber Anna says:

    Dammit. If it is what I think it is… that’s mean!

  25. Several hours. (Been to Womad and back in between reading the puzzle and finding the solution.) Looked for geometric, arithmetic, alphabetical and other patterns of all kinds. Eventually stumbled upon the correct answer, but didn’t recognise it as the answer because of a copying error I made. Gave up, read comments, realised I’d already solved it without knowing it.

  26. Bletherskite says:

    Oh my Giddy aunt! slaps hand into forehead – hard. I’ve been back and forth with this all day (overall prob spent about 40 mins) and sussed it wasn’t going to be a scientific answer but just couldn’t see it. Then the clouds drifted from my eyes and ouch! my forehead is smarting.

  27. Nick says:

    A very silly puzzle that made me slap my forehead.
    Took about 10 mins.

  28. Marion says:

    Have looked at this for the last 20 minutes and written down all sorts of different ideas- still none the wiser and after reading the comments just know I am going to kick myself on Monday, if I don’t get the answer before then,which at this point is looking unlikely.
    Must go as no more time now, so feeling frustrated GGRRR!

  29. Rob says:

    Oh dear. What a wonderfully tricksy puzzle! Took me the best past of a day. Face, as they say, palm.

  30. Rob says:

    Best PART of a day. Doh.

  31. UXO says:

    Groan…

    Gotta say, better than average one this time though. Took me about 2 or 3 minutes before the inevitable facepalm.

  32. namowal says:

    It just hit me…
    Har de har har. 🙂

  33. […] It’s the Friday Puzzle! A nice, fun, Sam Lloyd puzzle this week….. […]

  34. Mr. D says:

    I have an answer, judging by the groans I think I’ve got the same thing as most people. Took about 7 mins and reading some of the comments before I started thinking along the right lines.

  35. Camel says:

    A couple of minutes, but very quickly after I put my “lateral thinking” head on.

  36. Michael Carradus says:

    Annoyingly i have 2 answers, both of which are plausable

  37. Anonymous says:

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA
    ohh that just brightened up my day..

  38. Jerry says:

    I came up with a five-letter element using a simple procedure, but I do not know if it was the correct one.

  39. Jerry says:

    I the misspelling of “hydrogen” as “hydogen” an error or a clue?

  40. Gene says:

    Took a few minutes trying odd ideas, then decided to be systematic and then the answer quickly hit me.

    This is a clever one.

  41. Daryl says:

    i searched for the list of elements in google to see if i could see a connection from the results…Google then proceded to slap me in the forehead in a way i didn’t expect

  42. Erik says:

    Well I can’t figure this one out at all. When people talk about elements, do they mean the Latin names or the English names? From what I can see, there are 5 elements with 5 letters.

    Xenon
    Argon
    Radon
    Boron
    Aurum

    I am completely lost. Maybe it’s because I’m not a native English speaker. Could anybody please send the solution to the attached email, as I’m dying to hear it.

  43. Noel Hawkins says:

    A solid fifteen minutes on this one

  44. Andy says:

    BIG OUCH. That hurts. I saw it and yet I didn’t see it. So I wandered off round the houses for about half an hour. Finally it came at me out the mists.

    A Zen master would approve.

  45. Anonymous says:

    I’m exstatic I worked it out. It took 3 minutes.

  46. Ron says:

    Could someone please post the answer? Monday is long past…

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