The situation: Beside the relevant inventory in the Merck index, organic-chemistry.org lists 243 name reactions (as counted on 08-Feb-2018), the compilation by Kurti and Czako includes "250 selections" (to quote K.C. Nicolaou's introduction), Li's general reference on the topic "covers over 320 classical as well as contemporary name reactions" yet he equally compiled name reactions relevant to heterocyclic compounds to mention a few possible sources. There may be a significant overlap of content, though. The discern of nucleophile and electrophile, as pointed out here, or sometimes anthromorphisms like

"What would you do if *you* were an electron"

(Grossmann book) to ease drawing mechanisms are ackowledged, too.

The question: But, isn't there a more condensed list consisting of maybe 50 to 100 organic name reactions most often used reliably in small molecule organic chemistry? As one possibility for "reliable" I think of reactions potentially used on larger scale (kg-lab, or journals like Org. Process Res. Dev.) or the ones suggested by computers in the course of an automated retrosynthetic analysis.

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    $\begingroup$ Even though I admit I like the question, I doubt there is a "Leeloo" for "Leeloominaï Lekatariba Lamina-Tchaï Ekbat De Sebat" of all name reactions. Probably defining a field, or how small the "small molecules" are (I suspect you use a definition used by crystallographers) might be helpful. $\endgroup$
    – andselisk
    Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 22:26
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    $\begingroup$ @andselisk Frankly, "Leeloo" is new for me and quite to the contrary, rather than collecting all reactions (as if Diderot and d'Alembert were re-born chemists ...) I speculated e.g. Org. Process Rev. Dev. as primary literature already were surveyed like "a typical issue / volume of reactions published consists of 20% reductive amination, 10% Michael/Knoevenagel/Perkin, 5% esterification, 2% Finkelstein, etc.". Org. Syn. seems to me less suitable here. Eventually, "small organic molecule", correct, influenced by crystallography, excludes here typical polymers, proteïn / DNA / RNA. $\endgroup$
    – Buttonwood
    Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 23:10


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