When I first met my good friend Captain Pun, he invited me to dinner to meet his wife, a physics professor at the university. Over a glass of wine I inquired into her research interests.

"Let me show you!" she said, quickly scrawling the following onto a napkin:

enter image description here

"Solve the nonogram and you'll soon know what I spend all of my time studying! I'll give you a clue: you're looking for a two-word answer..."

Can you solve the nonogram to help me work out Professor Pun's area of expertise?

NB The nonogram can be solved without guessing.


2 Answers 2


Thanks to jafe for spotting this. I think the answer is

Elementary Particles

Solved nonogram

enter image description here


The image represents two periodic tables with certain elements removed with chemical symbols (in order) P, Ar, Ti, Cl, Es which spells out particles

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Kind of looks like rot13(gjb crevbqvp gnoyrf jvgu pregnva ryrzragf erzbirq)? $\endgroup$
    – Jafe
    Dec 6, 2019 at 13:45
  • $\begingroup$ @jafe Great spot! Just could not see this at all. $\endgroup$
    – hexomino
    Dec 6, 2019 at 13:52
  • $\begingroup$ Y'know what ignore all my comments I'm bad at reading $\endgroup$
    – Quintec
    Dec 6, 2019 at 13:55
  • $\begingroup$ That's the one! Well done hexomino and @jafe. +1 and the green checkmark incoming :) $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Dec 6, 2019 at 13:57

Professor Pun studies

quantum particles

The solved nonogram looks like this:

enter image description here

If you

split it in two, you get two periodic tables, with specific elements missing (highlighted in blue):

enter image description here
The missing elements are, in order, Phosphorus, Argon, Titanium, Chlorine, and Einsteinium, whose chemical symbols spell out the word P-Ar-Ti-Cl-Es. The fact that there are two period tables hints at quantum mechanics, and how it allows particles to be in two places at once, hence my final answer of "quantum particles".

I arrived at this answer independently of the commenters on hexomino's answer.

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ +1 for the solve and thought process behind your answer. Afraid there's no 'quantum' involved here (really I was looking for a pun...) - the reason I used two was merely to ensure the letters appeared in order (rather than just using one and resorting to an anagram). Well done though - I like the quantum discussion points :) $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Dec 6, 2019 at 14:28

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