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A metal was misused to choke people.

Another metal was misused to destroy people's bones.

Yet another, radioactive metal was misused to act as a biological messenger.

What are these metals, and how were they misused?

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1 Answer 1

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My best guess is that the metals are

Cobalt, Hafnium, and Nobelium

and the way they were misused is with

Caps Lock.

Misused this way, instead of being metals, they became compounds with the given properties:

A metal was misused to choke people.

Co = Cobalt
CO = Carbon Monoxide, a common cause of asphyxiation

Another metal was misused to destroy people's bones.

Hf = Hafnium
HF = Hydrofluoric Acid, "readily penetrates human skin, allowing it to destroy soft tissues underneath and to decalcify bone" (source)

Yet another, radioactive metal was misused to act as a biological messenger.

No = Nobelium (synthetic element, all isotopes radioactive)
NO = Nitric Oxide, "a major messenger molecule regulating immune function and blood vessel dilatation and serving as a neurotransmitter in the brain and peripheral nervous system" (source)

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    $\begingroup$ Puzzles and answers like these make me feel low about my weak brain! Great job!! $\endgroup$
    – Techidiot
    Mar 22, 2023 at 19:58
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    $\begingroup$ @Techidiot this was definitely one of the harder solves, seeing how there are three "degrees of freedom" from to "which metal" to "how would you misuse a metal" to "how to interpet the misuse clue". Therefore the actual solution was either something super rigid like this, or nothing solvable at all, an assumption which I shamelessly abused. (Alongside ptable.com, of course) $\endgroup$
    – Bass
    Mar 23, 2023 at 4:31

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