I figured out that yes, it is special characters that is squirreling everything. But I couldn't find it, as it was a double-space! Crazyness. So yes, I am going to try to strip the code from the description and possibly the name, and see where that gets us.
So, I hope this helps someone else: If you use iRite, it WILL insert a special character if you double-space!
Thanks so much for your help, I hope I don't have to ask you how to strip them!