An entry in Fortnightly Topic Challenge #48: Unusual tag mix

Which famous chemist is represented by these flags? Go big or go home!

flag 1 flag 2 flag 3 flag 4
flag 5 flag 6 flag 7 flag 8
  • $\begingroup$ I can add image transcriptions to the flags for those who could use it, but that might make the puzzle too easy. Also, for puzzles like these, is it better to upload the separate images, or to combine them into one bigger image? $\endgroup$ – samm82 Feb 1 at 16:05

The answer is


The flags are

Argentina, Seychelles, Canada, Austria.
Arkansas, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Solomon Islands, P&O

These have the two letter codes


These correspond to atomic symbols for

Argon, Scandium, Calcium, Astatine,
Argon, Promethium, Antimony, Polonium.

Which have atomic numbers

18, 21, 20, 85, 18, 61, 51, 84.

These numbers don't quite correspond to letters of the alphabet but we can look at it as representing a sequence of digits which can be split up in an alternative way as follows,

18, 21, 20, 8, 5, 18, 6, 15, 18, 4.

This spells RUTHERFORD (where each number represents the position in the alphabet of the corresponding letter).

  • $\begingroup$ "Go big or go home" meant rot13(gnxr gur ynetrfg ahzore cbffvoyr gung fgvyy zncf gb n yrggre bs gur nycunorg gb fbyir gur ahzore pvcure), but I figured it wasn't super necessary. $\endgroup$ – samm82 Feb 1 at 18:26

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