Going bananas for chemistry...

First I have standards, and my yearbook likely starts with why I'm part of AVEN. In the end, I name four art galleries that have a sweet founder.

My parents were introduced by a fisher named for Myrtle; one was alcoholic, the other is commonly known by (but wrongly) Ginerva.

What is my favourite chemical flavouring?

  • $\begingroup$ Nice incorporation of cryptic clue on a passage! $\endgroup$
    – justhalf
    Aug 31, 2021 at 10:36

1 Answer 1


Your favourite chemical flavouring is:

ISOAMYL ACETATE, which is used to provide banana flavours in many food products (hence the title).

Its name can be derived from the first paragraph:

First I have standards = ISO

and my yearbook likely starts = AMYL (cryptic clue style wordplay for initial letters)

with why I'm part of AVEN = ACE (short for 'asexual' - AVEN is the Asexual Visibility and Education Network).

In the end, I name four art galleries that have a sweet founder. = TATE, a network of galleries founded by sugar magnate Henry Tate of Tate & Lyle.

The second paragraph describes its chemical origins:

Isoamyl acetate is formed in a process known as Fischer(-Speier) esterification ('Fischer' sounds like 'fisher', while the Biblical queen Esther (sounds like 'ester') was born with the name Hadassah, which means 'Myrtle'). Its two raw components are isoamyl alcohol ('an alcoholic') and glacial acetic acid, which is the main component of VINEGAR (i.e. 'wrongly GINERVA', cryptic clue style wordplay for an anagram).


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