Crossword puzzle created by Professor George Barany featured in C&E News centennial celebration issue

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (1/23/2023) – The centennial issue of Chemistry & Engineering News (C&EN), released today, features a custom crossword puzzle by University of Minnesota Professor George Barany in collaboration with Christopher Adams and Barb Goldenberg. The puzzle, “C&EN-tennial playlist,” is a sequel to “Nine Decades of the Central Science,” the commissioned Sunday-sized 90th anniversary crossword puzzle Barany and friends created for C&EN a decade ago. Department of Chemistry Professor Ken Leopold and recently retired Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Laboratory director Letitia Yao were among the two dozen or so Barany friends who contributed to the puzzle through test solving, fact-checking, and clue suggestions.

Barany has a history in the world of professional crossword puzzle creation, with his experience in crafting crosswords going back to the late 1990s. He has collaborated with numerous crossword enthusiasts from across the country, publishing puzzles in venues such as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chronicle of Higher Education, and Wall Street Journal. This social network Barany has created around an often solitary pastime brings creative and collaborative energy to his projects, “forging community through wordplay.” Barany and his collaborator Christopher Adams both maintain their own crossword websites and work together to construct a quarterly puzzle for the Star Tribune.  On the other hand, while Barb Goldenberg has contributed to several puzzles for various family occasions and sports milestones, this is her first professionally published puzzle.

A faculty member at the University of Minnesota since 1980, Prof. Barany was named a Distinguished McKnight University Professor in 1997. He is internationally recognized for his long-standing leadership and pioneering innovations in the field of peptide synthesis methodology and for his role in the invention of revolutionary universal Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) arrays for detection of genetic diseases. He holds 38 issued U.S. patents, and was elected to the National Academy of Inventors in 2020. Over the course of his 40+ year career, Barany’s research has been described in more than 375 scientific publications and seminal review articles. Among these, he is proud to have co-authored scientific papers with his father, his brother, his wife, and his son. In July 2012, the conference room in 117/119 Smith Hall on the Twin-Cities campus was dedicated to Prof. Barany’s parents, Drs. Kate and Michael Bárány. While at UMN, Barany has mentored approximately 60 graduate and post-doctoral students and more than 100 undergraduates, as recognized by the 2015 Murray Goodman Scientific Excellence & Mentorship Award of the American Peptide Society.

Try the Barany team’s centennial crossword puzzle for yourself here (online solving) or here (downloadable single-page grid with clues). In the physical edition, the puzzle appears on page 23, and answers and additional information appear on page 39. In particular, material available online provides helpful links that explain the puzzle’s theme entries, as well as elaborating on some of the underlying cutting-edge chemistry featured throughout the puzzle.