Answer to the Friday Puzzle….


On Friday I set this puzzle….

What five letter chemical element is represented by this list…


If you have not tried to solve it, have a go now.  For everyone else, the answer is after the break….

The answer is Argon (R gone because it is missing in HYDOGEN)

Did you solve it? Any other solutions?


43 comments on “Answer to the Friday Puzzle….

  1. Steve Ulven says:

    I didn’t get it, but did notice the typo (though intentional). Rather clever.

  2. Noel says:

    Very cleaver Richard.
    You had me down an a different path all together.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Wow. I noticed that, but thought it was a mistake. I was looking for a pattern or something.

  4. susqueda says:

    I don’t buy it. The missing R was obvious. But the question asked “represented by this list”?. The “list” has nothing to do with the answer. On the other hand, Xenon is the only element with five letters which is made with the letters of the elements in the list, (all the others contain an “r” which seems to be forbidden) although again some of the elements of the list would be superfluous.

    Poor Loyd.

    • You have an unnecessarily restricted idea of what “represent” means.

    • lilabyrd says:

      Ah just saw the Friday puzzle….wouldn’t have gotten it….and @ susqueda I think the “list” is made up of the 6 elements given as clues and not the Periodic Table Chart in the photo or maybe I misunderstood your post…lol….

    • JimC says:

      @susqueda – I understand your point, but I think the other items in the list do serve a purpose for the puzzle. I think the reasoning is that putting a mis-spelled element in the middle of a list of correctly spelled elements makes the misspelling harder to see. It didn’t work for you, but it did for me, and I wouldn’t have got it if someone hadn’t mentioned it in the comments.

    • Susqueda says:

      @JimC. Any trick to better disguise the intended typo is welcome, and I think that you are right in that this is probably what the puzzle is all about. Still, however, I’d like to see the original wording by the great Loyd.

  5. Clair says:

    I hate cryptic crosswords 😉

  6. Cosmin Romania says:

    Had no chance in getting this right (although I noticed the missing R). Could you please post a non-English related post next time? 😀

  7. David Mathew says:

    I could have looked at this for a fortnight and I wouldn’t have got it. I gave it half a minute on Friday and decided that this one wasn’t for me. And then to find out today that it’s a play on words along the lines of ‘What do you call a blind deer? No idea!’ – aaggh! Perhaps I shouldn’t be so quick to put myself down. 🙂

  8. FlorayG says:

    I think when you have attempted a number of Richard’s puzzles they become easier. I knew straight away this wouldn’t be a chemistry puzzle so I just stared at it until the answer just ‘hit’ me. I like it.
    “What do you call a dead blind deer?”
    “Still no idea”

  9. Repton says:

    Reminds me of this one by Lewis Carroll:

    “Dreaming of apples on a wall
    And dreaming often dear
    I dreamt that if I counted all
    How many would appear?”

  10. Keith Grimes says:

    Very nice…I’m new to this Friday puzzle and I’m finding that the more I do, the better I’m getting. Not surprising really, but there is real pleasure in applying the logical twists and turns learnt in last week’s puzzle on the new one.

    Does feel like a cryptic crossword clue, I agree.

  11. M says:


    Did not see the typo. I was looking for a pattern and did not find it.

    You got me there!

  12. Daryl says:

    There is no R in the entire list. One may ask himself, “where has the R-GONE?”

  13. Joao Pedro Afonso says:

    I did see the typo, thought “R fora”, that didn’t ringed a bell although with the right number of letters, thought another puzzle for English speakers or lateral thinkers, quit at the spot. Lately, I’m too lazy.

    (Kidding, saw the type but quit without trying anything… the lazy part above is true)

  14. JohnF says:

    Whoo-hoo! Another one that I got immediately. But then… it’s only the second such that I’ve ever seen straight away AND it’s a language-related puzzle so… yeah. Anyway, still good to know how the maths nerds feel when they post their “got in 2.5 milliseconds!” responses to the maths-heavy puzzles and I’m left scratching my head in puzzlement for many hours.

  15. Bonhomme says:

    I KNEW IT! But I thought it was wrong because it was too stupid…thanks a lot for wasting my whole weekend thinking about another answer!

  16. NeonNero says:

    D’oh! I didn’t think of that. I did notice the missing R in HYDOGEN, but I just though the typo was accidental. It never occurred to me that the “typo” was part of the puzzle.

    Besides, I had a major disadvantage of not being a native English speaker.

  17. seePyou says:

    it might be a better puzzle of they were all words that had the R missing. As it is only one word has an R missing so the list is not helping but hindering as it provides four words that have no connection to the answer and/or are opposing clues as they are correctly spelled. Needless to say, me no like that.

    • No, every single word on the list lacks the letter ‘R’. Most of them lack an ‘R’ because they are words that don’t have an ‘R’ in them anyway. One of them lacks an ‘R’ because it’s misspelled. Those are two different reasons to lack an ‘R’, but they are united in the fact that they lack an ‘R’.

      All that the misspelled one does is make the absence of an ‘R’ in the list more conspicuous, and draw attention to the fact that none of the words have an ‘R’. The absence of the letter ‘R’ is a conspicuous fact about the entire list, so I would say the entire list is indeed connected to the answer.

    • JohnF says:

      If it were a list of all words with the R omitted, seePyou, then someone would complain that arsgon is not an element they can find on the standard table of elements.

      Although, if it did exist, it would be a great ingredient to include on foods for calorie-conscious people.
      “Now with 100% more ARSGON!”

    • lilabyrd says:

      @JohnF…. or it could be put on the package label : Now 100% free of ARSGON! AND then charge more money for the item.

    • lilabyrd says:

      But I must admit…. lol…I didn’t get the answer either.

  18. Jerry says:

    Clever answer. I have always liked puns and other wordplay. Using different reasoning though, I thought the answer was “Xenon” because it is the only five letter element without an “R” in it.

  19. Gus Snarp says:

    Groan. I didn’t even see the missing letter.

  20. Kjello says:

    Noticed the missing R, but “mangler R” is not an element

  21. Lazy T says:

    Where did it go?
    Was it ever there?
    It’s all too much!

  22. Marion says:

    I didn’t notice the typo so obviously thought to hard about this problem. Grr…….. never mind ther’s always next Friday!

  23. The other Matt says:

    I did not understand the Puzzle and i did not understand the solution…
    I didnt understand anything !

  24. Matt says:

    Groan. I completely did not see that typo.

  25. Grrrr says:

    Another solution would be Nitrogen, since only letters E and N occur in the list exactly 5 times, and E does not represent any element.

    Pretty lame, I know, but then I think the real solution is pretty lame too.

  26. […] Answer to the Friday Puzzle…. On Friday I set this puzzle…. […]

  27. Berber Anna says:

    I tried mathematical solutions with the numbers/weights of the elements at first, but was alerted to the linguistic nature of the puzzle by a few of the comments. Then, my first thought was ‘Xenon’ (‘see none’) because I didn’t see a solution, until I noticed the ‘typo’. Then it was obvious.

    • I’d retyped the list of elements into Notepad, and also had a Paintbrush window open with the Periodic Table pasted into it. Only problem was, in Notepad I spelt “hydrogen” correctly.

      After I’d spent forever looking for a pattern, the thought occurred to me: “If none of the elements in the list have an R in them, it could be R-Gone, i.e. argon! Let’s see. Silicon – check. Helium – check. Neon – check. Hydrogen – whoops. So that’s not right.

      Sometime around then I gave up, and started reading the comments for clues. In particular, I read the comment by Neil Beck, who wrote, “Is the spelling mistake part of the test?”, and thought to myself, “Spelling mistake? What spelling mistake? If it’s a missing ‘r’ in Hydrogen then I’ve already solved it!

      So I looked and indeed it was.

  28. JJ says:

    Crafty bugger.

  29. bletherskite says:

    I noticed the missing R right away but didn’t click to it being the solution even after reading some of the comments which seemed to be massive hints. Finally got it – forehead still smarting from the slap 😀

  30. Rachel says:

    I noticed the missing R and knew the answer was in it but I didn’t think that the answer would be a horrid pun.

  31. A lot of complaints. I wish they wouldn’t carbon about it so much.

  32. Neil fom Spain says:

    Worst Friday puzzle ever!

    A typo and a pun! Really?

  33. Barry says:

    “R Gone” is NOT represented by the list … it is only represented by HYDOGEN.

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