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Unearthly Periodic Table

  1. Jan 18, 2010 #1

    Can you match up the unearthly elements with their earthly counterpart based on the clues???

    After about 9 hours of work I am stumped. Take a look at the following page:


    Please feel free to download as a word doc. I am trying to solve this, and I am at a brick wall. I don't even know if my answers are correct so far lol. Please give it a try. You can post on the same page with solutions (full or partial), or email me directly at:


    I will then update the solutions page on the sribd document.

    Thanks for the help and the effort :)
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 18, 2010 #2
    I think there's a hidden clue in the second line of the Puzzle. Ostogoptium (sp?) was choking you when you landed. It must be a poisonous gas! Only a few poisionous gasses in their elemental form.


  4. Jan 18, 2010 #3
    Could be... it also says Ostrogothium can form a negative ion. I am so stumped though. The only one I know for sure is Omniscientium is atomic # 34 (first page, last clue)
  5. Jan 19, 2010 #4
    Porcine has 5 valence electrons, it is followed in the periodic table by Ostrogothium, and Ostrogothium is followed by Gulleyum.

    As far as I remember, the only elements that have 5 valence electrons are those in the 5th group: nitrogen, phosphorus, arsenic, and antimony. Nitrogen is out because ostrogothium can't be oxygen, arsenic is out because it's followed by selenium and we already know that selenium (#34) is omniscientium. Assuming that identification of euphonium as iodine is correct, we get porcine = phosphorus, ostrogothium = sulphur, gulleyum = chlorine.

    The first two of your answers are incorrect. If dweezil is fluorine (I think it is), it follows from the fifth clue from the end that syrinx is argon, and therefore conwayon is potassium.

    Giblets is probably iron (the supernovae clue.)
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2010
  6. Jan 19, 2010 #5
    I think I've figured out what they mean by "energy levels" (that is an ambiguous term and the most natural explanation is ruled out by the reference of 10+ electrons in the outermost energy level of selenium). An energy level is the difference between electron structures of consecutive noble gases. So, the first level is 1s2, the second level is 2s2 2p6, etc.

    Oxyclean has ten fewer electrons in the outer level than selenium, that's six, and it's the smallest atom in the group, therefore it's oxygen.

    Szczepanskium is in the period with euphonium (iodine), and it's 7 electrons short of a full energy level, and it's an excellent conductor of electricity: silver.

    I can identify a few more, but I'll let you take over for now.
  7. Jan 19, 2010 #6
    Nice pickup on the Syrinx and Conwayon. I used clues 5 and 6 on the second page and totally ignored anything else. There are still around 10 to go. I guess I just don't understand the terms enough, such as energy levels. It kind of confuses me.

    Any other insights are MOST welcome lol.

    Thanks for your input so far.... some fantastic reasoning on your part.

    I have updated the document on scribd with your inputs and corrections.

    Last edited: Jan 19, 2010
  8. Jan 19, 2010 #7
    Is Pleistocene Hydrogen? Based on clue #5, first page.

    If Oxyclean is Oxygen, and the compound is water, then two (2) Hydrogen atoms are released for every Oxygen atom. Water decomposes by evaporation.. correct?

    So... Pleistocene = Hydrogen ?
  9. Jan 19, 2010 #8
    ok... how about this???

    If Fickel is Carbon, and...
    Shame and Fickel are in the same Period, and...
    Shame is a semi-metal.... and it says Shame is a metalloid (are they the same thing?)

    Then would Shame be Boron (5) ??
  10. Jan 19, 2010 #9
    Maybe another one....
    Second clue, first page:
    1 atom of Moron can react with 1 atom of Oxyclean to form a stable compound.

    First page, five from the bottom:
    Moron has electrons in two energy levels: That gives us:
    Lithium, Beryllium, Boron, Carbon, Nitrogen, Oxygen, Flourine, Neon

    and the following are taken (solved for):
    Lithium, Boron (I think), Carbon, Nitrogen, Oxygen, Flourine,

    That leaves just Beryllium and Neon.

    If Oxyclean is Oxygen, would Moron be Beryllium?

    It would form Beryllium Oxide ????
  11. Jan 19, 2010 #10


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    IMHO this can't be solved to the end. Tedium seems to be one of two possible elements and I think it is not possible to say which one, also Shame and Fickel are not clear - I have three versions and I can't decide which one is correct. One of them is shame=boron, but taking into account that BH3 doesn't exist, if anything it dimerizes to B2H6, I am left with two versions that are both equally plausible.

    Berylium oxide seems to be ok.

    Oh, and I don't think Euphonium is iodine :tongue2:

  12. Jan 19, 2010 #11
    Yes, I came to the same conclusions wrt. boron, carbon, hydrogen and beryllium.

    If shame is not boron, it has to be either arsenic or antimony.

    But fickel is in the same group, it can share 4 electrons. That would make it germanium and tin, respectively. And it's just before a nonmetal, which is not true for either.

    Also note that botox is copper.

    Try to make a condensed version of the clue document by substituting names of known elements and removing all clues that you've completely solved. The resulting document will be much more readable.

    Agreed. Also, Warrenium is only referred to by one clue and it has to be solved by the process of elimination, and I see two possibilities for it.

    Maybe the idea is to favor widespread, well known elements over obscure ones. (Any society that has chemistry should be familiar with calcium and silicon, but it takes a lot of expertise to discover strontium and neon.)
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2010
  13. Jan 19, 2010 #12


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    I am not sure I get you. Shame is a semi-metal or metalloid, it can bond with three hydrogen atoms, it is in the same period fickel is and fickel can share 4 electrons. As far as I can tell both pairs - Ge/As and Sn/Sb fit for fickel/shame.

    Or am I missing something?

  14. Jan 19, 2010 #13
    And the element with an atomic number that is 1 higher than fickel is a non-metal.
  15. May 3, 2011 #14
    I believe Pleistocene is Hydrogen because 'pleistocene has 1 electron on its outermost energy level'. I believe that 'energy level' basically means electron shell. So, if that is true, Pleistocene must be an Alkali Metal (any group 1 metal) or Hydrogen. 'Pleistocine is one electron short of a full energy level'. The only element possible now is Hydrogen, because for Hydrogen to have a full 'energy level' or 'shell' only one electron is needed whereas the Alkali metals need 7.
  16. May 3, 2011 #15


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    I think I have the whole thing solved, except for three things:

    1) I agree with Borek that there are two possibilities for Tedium.

    2) I can't figure out Warrenium .. the only clue is that it has electrons in fewer shells than Conwayon, but Conwayon is Potassium, and there is more than one empty spot in periods 2 and 3.

    3) I think the clue, "the element with an atomic number 1 higher than Fickel is a non-metal" needs to be changed to "the element with an atomic number 1 higher than Fickel is not a metal". Otherwise there is no way to place both Fickel and Shame.

    [EDIT: Actually I agree with Borek that the Fickel/Shame pair could be either Ge/As or Sn/Sb .. I had them as Ge/As, but I can't see any reason that has to be true .. Sn/Sb seems to fit also by all the criteria given.]

    What a cool idea for a puzzle!
    Last edited: May 3, 2011
  17. May 3, 2011 #16
    I have figured out the whole thing but won't post it unless you want me to. Warrenium is a hard one but a clue; don't just read the 'clues', read all the other bits!
  18. May 4, 2011 #17


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    Meh! Seems like the Shame-Fickel pair most likely is boron-carbon .. as Borek pointed out, this is misleading, because boron doesn't really ever bond with just 3 H-atoms .. it is bonded to 4 H atoms in diborane. My guess is that subtlety is something that catches more experienced chemists, and that students are just supposed to make the assignment based on valency arguments. Also, in that case, the clue about the element one higher in atomic number from Fickel being a non-metal is true, and that is also something that students would be expected to know.

    Still, seems like Warrenium and Tedium are ambiguous. Warrenium could be either silicon or neon. I read zelfink's hint, and I guess from that I am supposed to guess that it is silicon, because they named the element after themselves (the Warrens), and it seems unlikely that they would know about neon and not silicon? But in that case, Eth could be either helium or neon. Because the only way they could know that helium is less reactive than neon is if they know about both elements. So seems like we can't make the choice without knowing about alien psychology ;).

    I have absolutely no idea how one is supposed to assign tedium .. seems like it is probably supposed to be an alkali earth metal, but from the "forms a +2 ion" and "is not a transition metal" clues, it could also be tin. The reactivity clue (tedium is more reactive than siniscalchine) would then excludes tin, but leaves open either calcium or strontium as options.

    Another minor bone to pick with terminology ... in many places "energy level" is used when "valence shell" seems more appropriate. For example, 3d electrons belong to the n=3 energy level, but are in the same valence shell as 4s and 4p based on the aufbau principle.
  19. May 4, 2011 #18


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    Staff: Mentor

    I can't comment - I have thrown out my notes long ago (this thread is over a year old).
  20. May 5, 2011 #19
    Actually, I got Neon for Warrenium because 'they have their angry eyes on'. I thought that an element that could signify 'angry eyes' would be Neon. But I like your argument that they are more likely to know about silicon.

    As for Tedium, 'Tedium forms a +2 ion' so Tedium is in group 2 (the alkaline-Earth metals). 'Tedium is more reactive that Siniscalchine'. I figured that Tedium is probably magnesium.
  21. May 5, 2011 #20


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    If you thought that, then you have problems with your other elemental assignments ;). You also may be confused about the periodic trends for reactivity with the alkali and alkali earth metals.
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