OK, I'm at wit's end. I've validated my XML sitemap using 4 online tools-- even the W3C validator. I got a clean pass on all of them.
I saw where Google didn't always like the <lastmod> tags, so I removed those. No effect. But they accepted the <lastmod> tags in the other sitemap.
All the &'s are escaped using entity codes. (Yep, screwed that up once before when carelessly saving into ASCII out of Notepad). The sitemap is where it belongs and where I told G to find it. But resubmits don't help.
This sitemap uses the same coding that a sister domain uses. Google has no problem with it, but they don't like my new one.
Does anybody know of any gotchas that I may have overlooked?