A number of folks noticed that our searchlet had stopped working correctly a few days ago. This happened because we introduced an old bug into the code when we made other changes and fixes to the site. Sorry about that! We've now found and fixed the bug, and rolled out the fix yesterday. If you're still experiencing bugs with the searchlet, please let us know!
Oh, and we've been dealing with the spam issue as well, and our indexes have recovered their timeliness; as we discussed at the Web Spam Summit last week, this isn't the end of the problem, but we're working on a number of strategies to help keep link and blog spam to a minimum.
BTW, many thinks to everyone who came to the spam squashing summit - it was a huge success, and looks like some great things are going to come out of it, including better communication amongst developers and users in the industry.