Nobel Laureate Crossword Puzzle 1920 - 1930

Nobel Prize Crossword Puzzle 1920 - 1930 preview image

Co-authored by Thomas Manning*, Paige Bland*

*Valdosta State University, Valdosta, GA

The 1920’s started with a long shadow of destruction from World War 1 and ended with the start of the Great Depression in 1929. The majority of the decade was characterized by a large migration of people living on farms to cities; and a new music and dance wave edged on by the increased popularity of the radio. This freedom of choice transcended to Science fiction such as the Made Planet by Murray Leinster (1920) to the Master Mind of Mars by Edgar Burroughs (1928). Sci Fi at that time often converted current events (i.e. WW1) into symbols such as the destruction of civilization by different forces. There has always been a connection between young students being inspired by Sci Fi and their career choice.

This decade also saw the large-scale implementation of cars, trucks, airplanes, motion pictures, etc. into society. Along with those new products there was an increase in students entering STEM fields and new job markets being created that had never existed. The ability to mass produce products for society made the world smaller and the demand for new concepts and inventions in science and technology a priority. Mass production also resulted in engineers and scientists from different fields working closely; from producing metallic iron from iron ore to using arsenic on a large scale as a pesticide in agriculture to new medications. By the end of the 1920's, the experimental discovery of the neutron was not achieved, and the first large scale production and distribution of an antibiotic (penicillin) was still more than a decade away. 


Here you will find 


The Nobel Prize is awarded every year in six disciplines; Chemistry, Physics, Medicine and Physiology, Literature, Peace, and Economics. Alfred Nobel, active as an inventor and businessperson, left a will in 1895, to acknowledge "those who, during the preceding year, have conferred the greatest benefit to humankind." Scientists can typically spend years or even decades developing their projects that can advance humanity. Once the concept or event has been brought into the public’s view, its impact is evaluated. The announcements of the year’s recipients take place in the fall of each year, with a ceremony held in Sweden typically in early December. The award includes a gold medallion, a diploma, and a significant monetary award. Awards are often correlated with popularity, as many Nobel Awards winners have been known to shape our society, from Watson and Cricks double helix structure of DNA and Marie Curie's work with radioactivity, to Jennifer Anne Soudan and Emmanuelle Charpentier work with CRISPR and Carolyn Bertozzi, Morten Meldal and Barry Sharpless (his 2nd Nobel Prize) for their work with click chemistry. We are working on a series of puzzles that will provide some introductory material on every Nobel Prize awarded from 1901 to 2022. In addition, some key concepts in the Nobel Award in medicine and physics with strong links to various areas of chemistry will also be included. These will range from Watson and Cricks model of DNA to the Bohr model of the atom.

Our first educational puzzle submitted to ChemEd X was developed during the pandemic and focused on infectious diseases (see Using an Abbreviation Puzzle as a Method to Familiarize Students with Infectious Diseases)1. It allows players to learn something about over 150 infectious diseases using a strategic method.

Recently we developed a novel puzzle that allows students to think strategically while familiarizing themselves with the elements and their symbols from the periodic table (see Turning Element Abbreviations into a Strategic Exercise). Read this post for more information about the educational benefits of using puzzles.


This series of puzzles can be completed individually or in groups, and it can be used in a classroom setting or given as homework. And don’t forget, there are always a few parents and other family members that might enjoy the activity. 

Nobel Prizes 1920 - 1930


2. Vitamin B6 is called ______ and helps form red blood cells.

3. In 1924 the Nobel Prize in chemistry was not awarded. The previous decade witnessed a World War that impacted all levels of society. The roaring 20's was a period of increased wealth, a mass migration from farms to cities, the introduction of new music (jazz) and dances (the _____), and the inception of prohibition.

7. In a mass spectromter (MS), ions are generated using an _____ field and focused with a magnetic field. A neutral species, atomic or molecular, cannot be focused or aimed at the MS detector with a magnetic field.

9. In 1921 Albert Einstein won the Nobel Prize in Physics for the ____________effect. He is more famous for his work developing Special Relativity and could have also won it for this work with Brownian motion. Einstein was a theortical physicist.

12. The 1923 Nobel Prize for Chemistry was awarded to Fritz Pregl for his work with developing methods associated with quantitative ______ micro-analysis.

14. Related to 1930 Nobel Prize in Chemistry; Hemin is a ______ containing a ferric iron (Fe(III)) ion linked to a chloride ion. Porphyrins are essential for the function of hemoglobin.

17. Yeasts are _______, single-celled microorganisms that are part of the fungus kingdom. _______ cells have a nucleus and are in animals, plants, and fungi.

22. In 1923 Frederick Banting and John Macleod won the Nobel Prize for Physiology/Medicine for the discovery of ______.

26. ______235 and _______238 can be detected by mass spectrometry because they have different m/z ratios, but in many cases they will have the same charge (+1).

27. The 1929 Nobel Prize for Physics was awarded to Louis de ____  for the discovery of the wave nature of electrons. In his 1924 PhD thesis, de ______ outlined the wave nature of electrons. He also suggested all particles has wave properties.

28. Vitamin K prevents blood cells from sticking together, also called ________.

30. In 1925 the Nobel was awarded for the development and fundamental understanding of _____. The prize was awarded to Richard Adolf Zsigmondy.

32. Insulin is synthesized by a ______ , and controls the glucose concentration in your serum.

33. In 1912 approximately 15 % of U.S. households had ______; by 1925, it jumped to over 60 %. The widespread distribution of power helped the chemical industry immensely.

34. Arthur _____ was a co-recipient of the 1929 Nobel Prize in chemistry. Some of his work was on glycolysis reactions in yeast. Glycolysis is a pathway that transforms glucose into pyruvate.

35. Pregls techniques could measure the mass percent of arbon, chlorine, hydrogen, nitrogen, and sulfur in samples very accurately and precisely. He also developed a______ that could measure masses at the microgram level (note, there were no electronics in the 1920's). 



1. The sterols are a group of naturally occurring unsaturated steroid ______ with many of them being waxy solids.

2. de Broglie Equation has a constant symbolized by and "h" and has the units Joules seconds.  "h" is the ______ constant.

4. Vitamin D is also called the ______ vitamin.  Vit. D is synthesized in the body when skin is exposed to the sun. Typically 15 minutes of sunshine 3 times a week produces enough Vit D.

5. The 1927 Nobel Prize in chemistry was centered on the chemical composition of ____ acids. Heinrich Otto Wieland was the recipient.

6. ______ is a disorder that occurs when there is a increase of natural chemicals that produce porphyrin.

8. m/z or mass/____ is used as a unit in mass spectrometry.  For example, water molecule has a mass of 18 g/mol and would need a +1 charge to be detected in a mass spec. This is achieved by knocking an electron from the water molecule:  H2O+ electrical field ==> H2O+

10. Soddy, the 1921 Nobel Laureate, was one of several scientists credited with the discovery of the element  ________ in 1917.  Its elemental symbol is Pa. It is an actinide and its longest lived isotope Pa-231, has a half-life of 32,000 years.

11. Today mass spectrometers are used as a detector, while LC or liquid ________ is the method of separation in a LC-MS.

13. In 1921 Frederick _____ was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work with isotopes and radioactivity. He worked at Oxford, which is in England.

15. A ____ consists of minut, insoluble particles that are evenly dispersed and suspended in another substance. An example of this is milk with protein and fat aggregates suspended in the liquid phase.

16. Vitamin D is a group of fat-soluble ________. They increase  absorption of Ca, Mg, and phosphate in the GI tract. The most important Vitamin D's are D3 and D2.

18. LC-MS is widely used in many fields of science and technology as a chemical identification technique.  Groups of molecules such as herbicides, pesticides, dyes, polymers, genetic (DNA, RNA), proteins, carboyslates, fatty acids, elements, and _______ are widely studied both qualatitively and quantitvely by LC-MS.

19. Hans Karl August Simon von Euler-Chelpin was a co-recipient of the 1929 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for setting a foundation that resulted in the understanding of the processes occuring in _____ related to the supply of energy.

20. The theory of relativity  has two components; Special relativity and general relativity.  They were first proposed in 1905 and published in 1915. Special relativity applies to systems where ______ is not considered.

21. Adolf  Windaus won the 1928 Nobel Prize in chemistry for his work with ______.  His work included the synthesis of vitamin D.

23. Francis W. Aston was awarded the Nobel chemistry prize in 1922 primarily for his invention of the mass ______.  It measures the mass to charge ratio using a magnetic field operated at very low pressures (i.e. < 0.000001 atm's).

24. Fritz Pregl outlined his work in monographs entitled Die quantitative ______ (s).  These were several hundred pages long and attracted attention internationally.

25. The 1927 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1927 was awarded for a treatment of ______, a mosquito borne disease. Julius Wagner-Jauregg was the recipient. During World War 2, 1/2 million US tropps in the Pacific and SE Asia theaters were infected with the parasitic disease.

29. Manne Siegbahn won the 1925 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work with  _____spectra and their generation and interaction with atoms.  As a region x-rays have less energy than gamma rays, and more energy than UV, Visible and IR light (aka electromagnetic radiation).

31. The 1930 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Hans Fischer for his work with _______ (aka Hemin) and chlorophyll.



Provide students with blank puzzle and clues. Note there are two versions available. Both versions include clues but the more advanced version does not include a word bank.