p. 828 — Nice to see something that isn’t known for sure in an introductory textbook (why small nucleophiles PREFER an axial attack).
p. 833 — Cyclohexane is slightly bent. How slightly?
p. 837 — The transition state is the same for both reactions (formation and destruction of an epoxide of an alkene). Shouldn’t it be said that this true for all reactions? Or am I wrong?
p. 844 — Formation of the tricyclo (0, 2, 3) system is incredibly clever.
p. 846 — The reactions forming all sorts of extra rings in the cis decalins are very clever, although you need to think about them occuring in space, probably the original thought about them occurred by drawing the rings flat and seeing what would happen when anions would form and what they would attack. Although clever, these reactions really don’t result from new concepts, just applying them to molecules in space. Ditto for endo/exo reactions. One of the attractions of organic chemistry, there really aren’t a high number of different concepts, but the cleverness arises in applying them. It’s why I find organic far easier than math which will be the subject of a future post.
p. 848 – 9 — The beautiful synthesis of the C and D rings of the steroid nucleus with the appropriate stereochemistry. One can regard a synthesis like this as a mathematical proof of a theorem, with the theorem the final product and the steps of the proof, the steps of the synthesis.