Bromo-DragonFLY (BDF) and many of its analogues are misused as recreational drugs due to their potency as psychoactive substances. To date, none of the published routes to these designer amphetamines have exploited a ketone intermediate. It is well known that benzyl methyl ketone (BMK) can be employed as a precursor in the synthesis of amphetamine. Similarly, it is reasonable to assume that ketone precursors may potentially be utilized in the clandestine synthesis of BDF and its homologues. This paper describes the multifaceted synthesis of novel precursor ketones structurally related to BDF, namely benzodifuranyl propanone 16, its tetrahydrobenzodifuranyl homologue 8, and their brominated analogues 12 and 20. Their characterization by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (H-1-NMR), carbon nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (C-13-NMR), high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), gas chromatography (GC) and mass spectrometry (MS) is also described. Copyright (C) 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.