No joy. Here's what I did:
Used LOmanager to remove LO 22.214.171.124
Used LOmanager to install LO 126.96.36.199. While downloading LO-base with about 6 minutes to go, the progress dialog box disappeared. Thinking this was an indication of corruption of the LOmanager, I rebooted and removed LOmanager with Synaptic.
Use LOmanager to install LO. While downloading LO-base, the dialog box disappeared again. This time I noticed that the HD light was still flashing every few seconds, so I waited. After about another 6 minutes, the next dialog box appeared. So it seems that the install process was happening, but there was no indication on the desktop.
After the install finished, I started LO Writer and still the same problem.
Maybe I should be looking more closely at KDE 4.9.5.