# Single letter chemical elements on a 2x2 grid

In the past somebody showed me the puzzle below. I remember the answer but not the entire solution. Here it goes:

On a grid of 2x2 put four single letter chemical elements. The result should have two letter elements on the horizontal, vertical and diagonal.

• So, what exactly is the question?? – Sid Aug 3 '16 at 15:34
• Well I thought there should be a element in every direction. So ltr and rtl. By now I know that's impossible. What frustrated me is that there are two possibilities depending on the direction you read the diagonal. – Peter Janssen Aug 3 '16 at 16:17

First row:

S N

Second row:

B I

The elements are:

Sn - Tin, Bi - Bismuth, Sb - Antimony, Ni - Nickel, Si - Silicon, Nb - Niobium

• I've just deleted my comment cause you spotted the diagonals :) – rhsquared Aug 3 '16 at 15:38
• +1 I saw the answer for the diagonal from upper left to lower right, but did not consider the one from lower left to upper right. – Herb Aug 3 '16 at 15:40
• How is this not accepted and the other, later one is accepted? – EKons Aug 3 '16 at 19:01
• @ΈρικΚωνσταντόπουλος both answers are correct if you reverse the reading direction of the diagonal. To me left-to-right seems more logical than top-to-bottem. Although 11 people disagree. Is there a rule of thumb when reading diagonally? I can't find anything about it on the web. – Peter Janssen Aug 3 '16 at 20:12

Taking a quick look at a period chart, the only valid answer, giving your hint is:

SB
NI

for

Antimony (Sb)
Tin (Sn)
Silicon (Si) Nickel (Ni)
Bismuth (Bi)

• @PeterJanssen There is no element with the symbol Bn – GoodDeeds Aug 3 '16 at 15:49
• It seems that there is consensus about what direction a diagonal needs to be read. – Peter Janssen Aug 3 '16 at 16:19
• Nb is niobium, which isn't explicitly listed in the elements above. – Michael Seifert Aug 3 '16 at 18:59
• How do you know this is the only answer? (The search space is pretty small, so I suppose exhaustive search would be trivial) – Alexander Aug 3 '16 at 22:47
• The original question had the letters I, s, b, and n in the hint. – Herb Aug 3 '16 at 23:27

+-+-+
|S|N|
+-+-+
|I|B|
+-+-+

S: Sulfur
Si: Silicon
Sb: Antimony
Sn: Tin
I: Iodine
In: Indium
N: Nitrogen
Ni: Nickel
Nb: Niobium
B: Boron
Bi: Bismuth

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Row entries: 2
Column entries: 2
Total entries: 4
Other entries: [CHEM_EL] 11 [CHEM_EL_L2] 7
Total: 15
Other tallies: [DUPE] 0

First row:

SC

Second row:

NO

And the elements are:

Scandium (Sc), Cesium (Cs), Nobelium (No), Tin (Sn), Cobalt (Co), Copernicium (CN -diagonal), Osmium (Os - diagonal)

• Kudos for using Cn. Wasn't named when I first heard about this puzzle. – Peter Janssen Aug 4 '16 at 19:11

• Welcome to Puzzling.SE! Please double-check the question contents and your answer to see if it is correct. Here, the elements Ci and Ic are specified, but they do not exist. – EKons Aug 3 '16 at 19:03