Does Isaac Asimov give enough clues in Pate de Foie Gras for the reader to figure out the series of nuclear reactions that produced the gold eggs?
According to the link above:
In a commentary on the story, Asimov wrote that it was his intention for there to be a single solution discoverable by the reader. The hint dropped in the story is the description of an experiment in which the goose's gold production goes up when it is given water enriched with oxygen-18, which would indicate a possible source of the gold produced. This was expected to imply that if the goose is maintained in a closed environment, it will convert all the oxygen-18 to gold, while still being able to breathe the predominant oxygen nuclide (oxygen-16). It will excrete all the gold in its eggs, at which point it can be expected to start producing fertile eggs.
This is not a complete explanation, because the other strange thing about the goose was that it was not radioactive at all. This means it had no Carbon-14 in its tissues. As we know -- and knew in Asimov's time -- radioactive Carbon-14 is present in all living things. (Also in dead tissue; see Radiocarbon Dating.)
My question is not how could a molecular reactor (the Goose) sustain nuclear reactions. Asimov never attempted to explain this; it is inexplicable.
My question is: did Asimov give other clues than those I have mentioned to explain how the disappearance of Carbon-14, plus a diet enriched in Oxygen-18 led to the production of Gold-197? (I'm not asking a science question, I am asking about the content of a science fiction story.)