If you have an ACS member number, please enter it here so we can link this account to your membership. (optional)

ACS values your privacy. By submitting your information, you are gaining access to C&EN and subscribing to our weekly newsletter. We use the information you provide to make your reading experience better, and we will never sell your data to third party members.


Science Communication


Find the chemistry joke in this crossword

A Newscripts you have to fill out yourself

by George Barany, special to C&EN
June 14, 2024 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 102, Issue 18


George Barany is a professor emeritus of chemistry at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. While commiserating with his friend, colleague, and fellow crossword puzzle enthusiast Ken Leopold, he was inspired to create this puzzle for Newscripts. He thanks about a dozen test solvers from his network of crossword friends, with special thanks to Dan Chall and Michael Hanko for ingenious clue suggestions.

More online

Download a blank PDF of this crossword at

Download the answer key for this crossword at


A crossword grid.
Credit: George Barany

    1. Saw
    6. Groom fastidiously
    11. Texting icon
    16. Copy
    17. Stand for a sitting
    18. Evita or Juan of Argentina
    19. With 27-Down, 48-Across, 27-Down (again!), and 81-Across, droll observation from a chemist
    21. Andean ancient
    22. The “S” in STP
    23. Companion to whiskey in “American Pie”
    25. Father figures
    26. Un número perfecto
    27. Scented hair ointment
    29. Software program, briefly
    32. It means nothing in Nicaragua
    34. Ear science
    38. Canine cap
    41. Stamp in The Collector
    43. Subject, for 12-Down
    44. Fill to the brim
    46. Pilot
    47. Hack
    48. See 19-Across
    51. Cow poke?
    53. Soft balls
    54. Captain Ahab or his ship
    57. Voucher
    58. Inquisition target
    60. Candid Camera catchword
    61. What a test tube might do during an exothermic reaction
    63. “Physician, ___ thyself”
    65. Partner of abet
    66. Go by
    68. Fiddler’s place?
    71. Final Four game
    74. Word before “top” or “dog”
    75. Like benzene to an organic chemist, or like perfume to a nonchemist
    79. Fidelio is Beethoven’s only one
    81. Rash, or see 19-Across
    83. Manages, as for oneself
    84. Spooky
    85. Burdened
    86. “Lion’s Share” fabulist
    87. Auditions (for)
    88. Borax polymer in a fun chemistry experiment for kids

  • DOWN

    1. X, Y, or Z
    2. Adroit
    3. ___ Stark (Game of Thrones protagonist)
    4. Hired hoods
    5. Radiate
    6. Views, as through a microscope
    7. ___ McNally (mapmaker)
    8. Equi equivalent
    9. DC line
    10. Monopoly moola, e.g.
    11. Prefix with gram or center
    12. Genetics pioneer Gregor
    13. Marine killer
    14. The Grapes of Wrath surname
    15. Taverns
    20. Shower
    24. Admit making a mistake
    27. See 19-Across
    28. Anonymous John or Jane
    29. Make a scene?
    30. Debate position
    31. Appears suddenly
    33. Tennessee Williams’s streetcar
    35. The “thee” in “Get thee to a nunnery”
    36. Prefix with centric or thermal
    37. Chatter
    39. Lumber
    40. Gridiron org.
    42. Minuscule, to a toddler
    45. Final event?
    47. Make final final preparations?
    49. Final report, in many a college class
    50. Sounds of hesitation, combining the symbols for elements 92, 1, and 16?
    51. Babe in Babe
    52. McCorvey in a landmark case
    55. Lilly or Broad
    56. One end of the spectrum
    58. Shakespearean or theatrical Prince
    59. Transfers to the next column to the left
    62. Creep
    64. Nonhelical element, in structural biology
    67. Binge
    69. Skips
    70. Terminal
    71. Company seat?
    72. Pointless Olympic event?
    73. “___ sana in corpore sano”
    75. LSD, in slang, ironically enough
    76. Part of a pickup line?
    77. Agenda entry
    78. Hand over
    80. Nonspeaking part in Antony and Cleopatra
    82. Old NOW cause


This article has been sent to the following recipient:

Chemistry matters. Join us to get the news you need.