Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A Nudge Towards "Scrudge"

Last night, while I trudged through Alexander Shulgin's seminal work* PiHKAL, I came upon scrudge, a fantastic heretofore-unknown-to-me term for a very common phenomenon:

Here's the reaction Shulgin attempted:

And, in his own words (emphasis mine):
"The elephant labored and brought forth a mouse. A lot of work for a material without activity. 
I have used the term "scrudge" in this and other recipes, without defining it. With this aldehyde, as with most aldehydes where there is no ortho substituent on the benzaldehyde, the reaction progress should be carefully followed by thin-layer chromatography. As the aldehyde disappears from the reaction mixture, the nitrostyrene appears, but there is usually the development of one or more slower-moving components as seen by TLC. Such a wrong-product is called scrudge."
Scrudge just works. Not to judge, but any synthetic drudge could tell you they've experienced the same. On scrudge, I won't budge. Just look at the beautiful art inspired by just such a smudge:

Credit: Vittorio, who blogs over at Labsolutely

This post's a bit of a kludge, but I hope I've provided a nudge towards scrudge.
Feel free to use it in your next lab meeting or thesis defense!


*"Phenethylamines I Have Known and Loved"

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