Well, I went ahead and ripped out the toe of one of the pointy-toed Gentleman's Fancy socks and had another try. Here are both versions, modeled on my conveniently-available-but- smaller-than-intended feet. I don't know; do you think the redesign might have made a slight difference? :)
Seriously, with the original toe, I despaired of these socks ever fitting on a man's foot. But the one with the re-done toe seems like it might actually be roomy enough. Better, much better. Phew!
What amazes me is that, by my reckoning, the re-done toe on the right has only two more rows of knitting than the original on the left. Really. That's how much the extreme tapering of the toe was affecting the size of the sock.
Further field testing with a suitable test subject confirmed the initial findings. The new high-capacity design can accommodate a reasonably typical man-foot. Now that engineering design and validation are complete, production roll-out to Fancy-two can proceed post-haste.
I have re-checked the pattern for this sock in the Knitting Vintage Socks book, looking for any possible misunderstanding or error: the number of rows, the number of stitches at each stage, the length in inches. Everything checks out. It's just simply a pointy-toed sock. And even with 20-20 hindsight, the photo just gives no earthly clue that there is anything unusual about the shape of the toe. That sock must have been blocked within an inch of its life.
In any case, the finish line is in sight. Just a little more wanton raveling, some picking up of itsy bitsy stitches, and straightforward re-knitting, with an easy mind.
For the next project, after all this time spent with colors so subdued, I have a feeling I'll be in the mood for something brighter. And speaking of subdued, playing now and then around these parts is a band called the Subdudes. I can't say I know a thing about them, since I've never gone to see them play, but I do know a great name when I see one. :)