Well after two days of trying screw drivers, nail punches, pliers, attempting to make tools, asking friends' opinions, talking to the guys at the parts store, checking the WF for generous expertise, (thanks for nothing guys) and finally, of all things, the dealership, none of which knew how to remove the cigarette lighter from the tray, and all of whom tried...I got fed up and finessed it with a finish hammer from the back side. turns out that's pretty much all there is to it. 3 or 4 good whacks, and the metal receptacle slips out of the plastic ring. there's a couple of clips that hold it in place but they release with the 2nd or 3rd whack without breaking. or at least they did this time. the new one slips in via guides and the clips snap back in place.....Just in case someone needs to know.