Let $X$ be a topological space. When I call a set nowhere dense, meagre or similar without qualification, I mean that it has this property as a subset of $X$. Call a subset of $X$ *weager* (for weakly meagre) if it is the union of a chain (wrt containment) of nowhere dense sets. Using that finite unions of nowhere dense sets are nowhere dense, it is easy to see that meagre implies weager. Call $X$ an *Astaire space* (for a stronger Baire space) if every weagre subset of $X$ has empty interior. Obviously Astaire implies Baire. Two natural, but rather silly (not just because of the terminology) questions are:

Does weagre imply meagre? If not, does Baire imply Astaire?

Unsurprisingly, the 2nd (and hence also the 1st) question has a negative answer. Let $X$ be uncountable. In fact, for convenience, take $X$ to be the well-ordered set of all countable ordinals. Topologize $X$ by putting open all sets which are either empty or have countable complement. Then $X$ is a Baire space - in fact the notions countable; closed and not $X$; nowhere dense; and meagre all coincide for subsets of $X$. However, $X$ is the union of the chain of all its countable initial segments so $X$ is not an Astaire space.

The above example is somewhat unsatisfactory since the space is far from Hausdorff, but the ease with which it arose made me wonder whether my question had a positive answer even when $X = \mathbb{R}$. Adapting my example, it is at least possible to express an uncountable subset of $\mathbb{R}$ as the union of a chain of countable subsets of $\mathbb{R}$ but this is quite unhelpful because, in this context, there is no guarantee that countable implies nowhere dense, or that uncountable implies nonempty interior (or even nonmeagre for that matter). So that I don't spend too much more time today thinking about things I know nothing about and/or dreaming up silly names for concepts that probably already have much more respectable names - I pose to you the following question:

Is the real line an Astaire space? If not, are there at least weagre subsets of $\mathbb{R}$ which are not meagre?

Or, in plain English for those of you who only skimmed this nonsense:

Does there exist a chain of nowhere dense subsets of $\mathbb{R}$ whose union has nonempty interior? If not, is there such a chain whose union is not meagre?

Thank you, Michael.