Yesterday, for the first time ever, I actually thought: "Hey, I should write an elisp function for this."(!) And I did.
I wonder, though, where the forum for asking really, really basic (e)lisp questions is. My problems are usually that I don't know what functions are available - for instance "How do I remove quote-chars from a string?" Not something I'm likely to ask on any gnus-list, even if it was remotely related.