Well, duh ... having not yet driven the FF due to the blown engine, I didn't know the shifter knob needs to be turned slightly to go into reverse according to the Owner's Manual. But since the console is still off, I only have the knob loosely installed and can't twist it. So maybe the cables are properly adjusted; I'm not working on the car today, however, so I don't know for sure.
Fixed Up a white 2001 P-code SE Sedan
including rebuilding the SPI (see my threads)