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An Exercise In Mind Reading?

The other day while going through Claisen condensations with a student, we came upon this pretty typical problem: The student duly deprotonated the alpha carbon

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Carbonyls: 10 key concepts (Part 2)

5 more key concepts: Carbonyls make adjacent alkyl groups more acidic, the more electrophilic the carbonyl, the more acidic its alpha protons, carbonyls activate alkenes toward nucleophilic attack, reactivity of alpha beta unsaturated carbonyls is proportional to the stability of its enolate, enolates are nucleophiles.

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The Robinson Annulation

We get to the Robinson Annulation (and its mechanism!) near the middle of the post. First, we’ll first (quickly) revisit intramolecular reactions, the Aldol Condensation,

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