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I was awakened last night to a thump on my front door. When I turned the knob, I found none other than my close friend Dmitri! Before I could begin to inquire what he needed at this late hour, he uttered this nonsense:

Eggs rotting, guns shooting: I smell hell!
Let's not eat the crust's abundant; it's toxic when pure!
Everyone knows how to buy a Coke (in 1944)!
Map-making Vespucci says his name's been misspoken!
Evil (quite Great) awaits red-headed hero (from Texas???)!
Newsflash: young male's fall ends years of strife!
Take charge, keep your eye on the battery!
Sooth us with something from Lawrence's Noiseless!

I scarcely had time to write down this moonlit lunacy before he strolled away without so much as a wink or a nod! I'm certain my friend is trying to tell me something, but my Encyclopedia collection was recently stolen!

What word was my friend trying to convey, and why did he visit at such a late hour??

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    $\begingroup$ I'm going to be disappointed if it's "elements". $\endgroup$ – Ian MacDonald Jul 10 '17 at 20:22
  • $\begingroup$ Well that certainly wouldn't require much knowledge, would it?? ;) $\endgroup$ – Luke Bickell Jul 10 '17 at 20:30
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As @IanMacDonald pointed out in a comment,

The first letters of each line spell out ELEMENTS. We can see that each line describes a chemical element. Combine their symbols.

Eggs rotting, guns shooting: I smell hell!

Sulfur (straightforward) -> S

Let's not eat the crust's abundant; it's toxic when pure!

Oxygen, the earth's crust's most abundant element -> O

Everyone knows how to buy a Coke (in 1944)!

During WWII, American nickels were make made from Manganese -> Mn

Map-making Vespucci says his name's been misspoken!

Amerigo Vespucci gave his name to America, which gave its name to Americium -> Am

Evil (quite Great) awaits red-headed hero (from Texas???)!

The red-headed hero (from Texas???) refers to Leeloo (Dallas), the Fifth Element, i.e. Boron -> B

Newsflash: young male's fall ends years of strife!

The atomic bomb "Little Boy" helped end WWII. Uranium -> U

Take charge, keep your eye on the battery!

charge + "eye on" (ion) + battery = Lithium -> Li

Sooth us with something from Lawrence's Noiseless!

Googling brought me Bill Lawrence's Noiseless guitar pickups, made from Samarium -> Sm

Together, they spell

SOMNAMBULISM, i.e. sleep-walking.

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    $\begingroup$ Oh, excellent! $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Jul 10 '17 at 21:14
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    $\begingroup$ I'll put this here rather than in my answer, since yours is clearly correct: the title is obviously a play on the line Sherlock Holmes never quite says: "Elementary, my dear Watson". $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Jul 10 '17 at 21:16
  • $\begingroup$ Excellent job! Does it help if that red-headed hero's name is Leeloo? $\endgroup$ – Luke Bickell Jul 10 '17 at 21:23
  • $\begingroup$ @LukeBickell it sure does! $\endgroup$ – kayzeroshort Jul 10 '17 at 21:29
  • $\begingroup$ @kayzeroshort nice! good job not falling for the nickel trap ;) $\endgroup$ – Luke Bickell Jul 10 '17 at 21:31
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Partial answer

Having stared at this for a while and stopped making progress, here's what I have so far.

The first letters say ELEMENTS and the friend is called Dmitri so of course each line is a clue to a chemical element:
S (sulfur) -- hydrogen sulfide is the smell of rotting eggs, gunpowder contains sulfur, one traditional depiction of the Christian hell involves a lake of molten sulfur.
O (oxygen) -- most abundant element in the earth's crust; although we need it to live, when very pure it's toxic. (And we breathe it but of course don't eat it.)
Ni (nickel) -- in 1944, a Coke cost five cents or one nickel.
Am (americium) -- named for America, which is named for Amerigo Vespucci.
???? -- I haven't figured out the "Evil..." one yet.
U (uranium) -- used in the "Little Boy" bomb dropped on Hiroshima which probably ended WW2.
Pb (lead) -- to lead is to take charge, and lead is used in e.g. car batteries.
???? -- I haven't figured out the "Sooth..." one yet.

So maybe

this leads to the name of someone called SONIA, though that PB is awkward if so. (Lots of other elements are used in batteries, but the pun on "lead" seems quite convincing.)

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  • $\begingroup$ the key to the "charge" line was the "eye on"/"ion" pun, which I believe you saw above :) $\endgroup$ – Luke Bickell Jul 10 '17 at 21:36
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, I know that now :-). $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Jul 10 '17 at 23:01
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Each line seems to refer to some element(s):

Eggs rotting, guns shooting: I smell hell!

Things that smell like Sulfur (S)

Let's not eat the crust's abundant; it's toxic when pure!

Oxygen is the most abundant element in the Earth's crust, toxic in high enough concentrations (O)

Everyone knows how to buy a Coke (in 1944)!

Coke cost a nickel for 70 years (Ni)

Map-making Vespucci says his name's been misspoken!

Americium is named after America, which is named after Amerigo (Vespucci) (Am)

Evil (quite Great) awaits red-headed hero (from Texas???)!

No clue, all I can find is about a centipede...

Newsflash: young male's fall ends years of strife!

Humpty Dumpty brought all the king's men together; his shell is made of Calcium (Ca)

Take charge, keep your eye on the battery!

Lithium rechargeable batteries (Li)

Sooth us with something from Lawrence's Noiseless!

Cobalt-Samarium noiseless pickups (Co/Sm)

All together, I have:

"Son I am...calicosm"

Clearly not there yet, but kind of stuck.

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  • $\begingroup$ Lines 3 and 6 are incorrect, and you only need half of what you got from line 8! $\endgroup$ – Luke Bickell Jul 10 '17 at 21:25

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