Dr. Freddy had an Ask Me Anything post recently. Here's part of his response to my question -- you'll have to go over there to read my NSFW* question, and the punch line:
There was this project which involved a super-active compound, according to the primary and cell assays, and met stab data were decent... So far however, they had only been able to isolate 6 of the enantiomers, so my assignment came to be to find the missing 2. Prio 1 and whatever they like to call it.
I drew the compound on paper and started staring at it. That is my modus operandi. I stare problems down, if necessary for days. (I think it was Einstein who said something like: it’s not that I’m smarter than most people, I just tend to stay with problems longer.) After almost a full working day — my brain is pretty slow in 3D space — it suddenly struck me. A C2-symmetry element! There could only be 4 enantiomers!Seriously, the story gets better. Go over there and read it.
*I used a technical term for a project that is not going well. The Navy calls it a Charlie Fox, I believe.