So I tried the obvious and. . . it worked!
# apt-get install ncurses-devNotice that
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
Note, selecting 'libncurses5-dev' instead of 'ncurses-dev'
The following extra packages will be installed:
The following NEW packages will be installed:
0 upgraded, 2 newly installed, 0 to remove and 38 not upgraded.
Need to get 508 kB of archives.
apt-getcorrects the bogus package name I gave it (ncurses-dev) to the real package name, libncurses5-dev. Neat.