You have transformed your text box. Hold down alt-key and reapply the paraagraph style again. Or delete overrides.
I did both - reapplied and cleared overrrides. The type is still small.
I did create this page size as an alternate template, and it's a smaller page size than the original page size spec'd when I opened the doc. But all pages + templates were blank when I created the alternate master. Not utilizing liquid layout to shrink something already there, just creating a new, blank master. And when I place these text boxes in the larger master page, it's still shrinking the text. This is probably the root of the problem, but I still don't understand the how or why. Weird.
I'm feeling like my only way forward is to rebuild the whole doc.
How did you set up your paragraph styles? Maybe that the paragraph style is so as you see it and the larger type is scaled? When you put the text tool into the frames, in which paragraph do you see the + sign attached to the paragraph style's name?
BTW: Normally I experience huge problems with docment set up in different threadet frames, which are not aligned to margin guides or column guides. Wouldn't it be better for you, to set up your master page with properly margins, and put the text in a very single frame and you style properties to adjust distance and inset?
The plus sign is in the originating (small/scaled) text, not in the newly created, larger text.
The text boxes aren't part of the master pages at all. Master pages just have guides and folios.
I'm sure the problem comes from the fact that I made an alternate page size w/in the same doc. I didn't think it would affect anything, as the pages were all blank. But that's the only thing I've done differently than the other millions of indesign docs I've created.
Thanks for your help / brainstorms.