this may seem simple minded but think what i am asking is whether del means (d/dx, d/dy)
or whether it means (d/dr, d/dtheta).
i suspect the reason this curl expression looks funny, is that it stands for the polar transfrom of d of the cartesian transform of a one form given in polar coords.
i.e. (d/dx,d/dy) X (Ar, Atheta) is going to look different from
(d/dr, d/dtheta) X (Ar, Atheta).
there is to me still no reason at all to bring in any stars or duals or metrics into this calculation.