PE, I've been thinking of the extinction dye as necessary for creating a thin relief, but does it also enhance acutance? I can see how that would be an added benefit!
Dewey, thanks for sharing that about the Calgon. Do you recall (roughly) at what concentration it was used? The chemical I was told helped with fogged highlights is sodium-hexametaphosphate, which also appears to be a water softener.
105mm on 35mm must have made for a tall enlarger. Did you also use wet-mount carriers and the like? The surgical precision of dye-transfer labs is somewhat intimidating to me. I hope I can get by with slightly less.
I plan to get into densitometry soon and really make sense of the system as a whole.