Thanks guys, I think it's OK now. Still don't know why the Root console (off GUI list) doesn't like my root password but Konsole thinks it is right. Oh, well, what's a Luser to expect.
Sorry my post was so confusing. It was tired out last night when the list update failed, and my memory is none too great when I'm fully awake.
The explanation for the skull gave me the nerve to go back and hit it again.
Clicking on 'repositories' in synaptic locks the machine rather than allowing the field to be edited, so I had done CTRL-ALT-ESC (with somewhat unexpected results).
Works nicely when the skull is expected. My real problem had been using Abiword to try and move the list;
although the text in Abiword shows only the list, the file starts out with '<?xml' and a lot of other garbage saying that it is an Abiword file.
I copied the text into Kwrite, saved it to /home/ag/sources.list, and finished out per Pinoc's post.
Thanks Again... looking across the room, I see that the updates have completed.