Thanks for the reply, Will. I did some more experiementing and finally got it to work with wget. Woot!
Here's an observation that may or may not be relevant, I'll need to go back in and test vs. lynx and curl.
wget initially failed but gave me the error message that the URL was missing. Neither lynx nor curl gave an informative error message.
I truncated the length of the URL by renaming the file on my server so that the "cron_time_setting wget url" fit on one line. Lo and behold, it worked.
My best guess is that the default editor line wraps were messing with wget, curl, lynx though crontab didn't seem to care.