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Re: "snide remarks"?

Not really.
There are several people, who for a long time, have know about MacLISP's
multiple value stuff -- originally called MSETQ-CALL etc -- who are
afraid to use them.  It's not "contempt", Rich, to prod you to say
what you think is wrong with the implementation.
    But that really isn't the issue -- its one of using a modern tool when 
available;  as RPG noted in his comment, there really are two independent 
pieces of information being returned in each scheme ("optimizers" or 
SOURCE-TRANS's) so that the called function can cooperate with  loop
which is iterating over a list of actions until stabililty is reached.
Being required to cons-copy the argumen in order to signal that is like
ERRSET having to listify its answer.