Thanks Chris for going ahead with the extra answer tests. I would agree that we send powerful messages to students through the tools we create. We've all seen and experienced terrible code that hinders learning. I appreciate your careful scrutiny of newly added features and modifications.
In regard to adding "[number][spaces][letters]", my vote would be to go with a newly added "insert stars and condone spaces" option to allow for greater flexibility. There always seems to arise that one unique situation we fail to anticipate.