HI thanks for the comments:
I thought that the wildcard width="*" was valid...width=' what ever's left '. Was it ever valid?
Blasted netscrape nadulator, will go and rename all my css's i guess.
Layout: I am aware that the layout is quite complicated but sadly I couldn't see any other way to do it. The side menu, dynamically created, originally had 3 or 4 possible indentation levels. I will have a look at re-jigging it now that it is only 2 levels deep. Lots of nesting.....probably the cause - if only i were allowed to use layers :)