OH SHIT . . . . so that's what I did wrong.
So...my 1/2 size down in the Gable experiment appears to have failed miserably. Tried them on for a second time in my office today and it's immediately apparent that they are too small...not sure what was going on the other day at Barney's. Anyway, does anyone here want them at cost before I return them? No abnormal creasing, no sole wear, etc., only tried on twice indoors and not walked in very much at that. Purchased for $489 ($532 with tax). Box/shoe marked 8 1/2 E on the TG83, has shoe bags, cloth, etc. plus extra laces that were in the box originally.
Edit: going to MoL, thanks!
For all you G&G shoe collectors that go on the MTO route, why not go bespoke? It's less than 3 pairs of MTO price for a pair of shoes that are made to your design and fit specification with much greater construction.