Article Title

Elemental Crossword


Mark J. P. Wolf


With a little bit of imagination, the Periodic Table of Elements can be seen as a rather strange and inelegant crossword puzzle, which is asymmetrical in form and contains such bizarre words like "RbSrYZrNbMoTcRuRhPd" and HLiNaKCuRbAgCaAuFr". After major readjustments, here is a crossword puzzle that solves some of those problems. Each square of the solution contains an element, which, when combined, completes a real word. Some elements are used more often than others, of course, and some are not used at all. One of the interesting things about this crossword is that it is not always clear from the boxes how many letters are in any given word, since most elements contain two letters. The same word, for example, can be constructed in more than one way, or even appear in different lengths (for example, "catches" could be "Ca-Tc-He-S", "Ca-Tc-H-Es", "C-At-C-He-S", or "C-At-C-H-Es"). In case you don't have a Periodic Table of Elements handy, here are all 103 named elements, in order, over half of which appear in the puzzle.