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> Are there any tricks to insert all the keys and values 
> of one table into another?
> I know you can't use unpack except on numbered index values.   
> Is my only choice a table.foreach with an insert of each value 
> from `t' into `u'?

Its better to loop over the table using pairs().  Its a bit faster (about 20%) and [unfortunately] table.foreach is deprecated as of 5.1.  This is what I had:

   function clone(t)
      local u = {}
      for k,v in pairs(t) do u[k] = v end
      return u

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