Jason, I am just everlastingly grateful … it worked! You nailed it on all accounts.
I edited the db to eliminate mySQL reserved words from table names, et al. I had failed to set the character encoding in the Dynamic Connections dialog - after correcting that, results from the db now show full utf8 in the browser. For good measure, I again trashed the .dat file.
Especially, I now do not overwrite files when 'creating' with DataAssist. Instead, I always trash any prior file. When a tweak is indicated, I invoke a preset to preserve and call up prior work. For the file path, I keyboard it in.
It all worked, flawlessly.
My great appreciation. This is truly fine service, informed in the fullest depth.
Onward. Thanks! David