Someone who read my post on gibberellic acid and its relationship to brewing was nice enough to send me a copy of the Corey papers I mentioned (JACS 1978, p.8031 and 8034). Thanks.
I was struck by one of the statements made. In explaining why gibberellic acid was so hard to make they mentioned that "a singularly diabolical placement and density of functionality serves to thwart all but the most sophisticated of approaches." I love the use of the word "diabolical." It fits perfectly.
Without going into the details of the synthesis, rest assured the paper details sophisticated approaches.