# The Pitiable Coder

One day, I found an odd newspaper lying on a bench called '$\large\bf\text{The Pitiable Coder}$'.

I opened it and to my delight found an entire page on puzzles! Most were easy, but there was one I couldn't solve:

$\boxed{{\sf\text{New! Introducing a new type of puzzle:}}\ \mathbb{CHEMICRYPTICS} \\\ \\\sf{\text{We aren't going to tell you how they work, that's for you to work out. Here they are:}}\\ \ \\\rm{\text{Way of an organ}\ \ \\ \\\text{Port to a rheum unit}\ \ \\ \\\text{Crunch the tunic theme}\ \ \\ \\\text{Racks a dim hour}\ \ \\ \\\text{Pay for the math annul}\ \ \\ \\\text{Night that has none}\ \ \\ \\\text{Bite off my nation}\ \ \\ \\\text{Brick up and aim cues}}\ \ \\\ \\ \ \\ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \sf{\text{We are looking for a final word, each CHEMICRYPTIC gives a letter.}\\ \ \\ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \sf\text{There is also a clue in the newspaper name.}}\ \ \\ \ \\ \tiny{\sf{\text{Note: These are not cryptic clues, but our own invention}}}\ \ \\ \ \\ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \huge{\bf{\text{Good luck!}}} \\\ \\ \ \\ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \sf\text{Coming Soon in next edition! Biocryptics and Physicryptics!} \\}\\$

• Does each clue give a word? If so, we also don't get the enumeration, do we?
– Sid
Commented Feb 9, 2017 at 17:17
• @Sid these aren't cryptic clues. And what each chemicryptic gives is down to you to find out. It may help to unlock the clue in the title Commented Feb 9, 2017 at 17:19
• chat.stackexchange.com/transcript/message/35327285#35327285 Commented Feb 9, 2017 at 17:20

Well, the first stage seems clear enough:

each clue's final word or words make an anagram of a chemical element.

So:

Way of ARGON (Ar,18)
Port to RUTHENIUM (Ru,44)
Crunch the TECHNETIUM (Tc,43)
Racks a RHODIUM (Rh,45)
Pay for the LANTHANUM (La,57)
Night that has NEON (Ne,10)
Bite off ANTIMONY (Sb,51)
Brick up the CAESIUM (Cs,55)

I am not sure yet what comes next -- maybe it involves

converting to atomic numbers and doing something clever with those, or finding words meaning "way", "port", etc., that contain or conspicuously lack the letters in the chemical symbols, or something.

In TSL chat, Sconibulus cunningly observes (and OP seems to imply this is the correct next step) that

for each clue exactly one letter is in common between the element symbol and the "definition".

And then, with a bit of a nudge from OP in TSL chat, Sid noticed that

if you take the other letter of each element symbol in order, you get RUTHLESS

which is surely the intended answer.

It happens that

you can also swap those letters into the given words to make new words: wry, pout, trunch, hacks, ply, eight, site, brisk

which (see, again, TSL chat) was deliberate but doesn't lead anywhere we haven't already been.

Incidentally,

PITIABLE CODER is an anagram of PERIODIC TABLE.

• I don't know how to add spoilers, but it seems to me that Sid's observation is incorrect
– Jan
Commented Feb 9, 2017 at 20:46
• @Jan If it was your comment (with spoilery things in it) that was here a moment ago: I think you have misunderstood something, but I'm not sure how to explain what without posting spoilery things :-) Commented Feb 9, 2017 at 20:49