Fought with small print. Haven't diagnosed problem.
I was fairly sure that the problem stemmed from check_flag() not trying indicies it could skip to. So, I fixed that. Just now I tried it, but learned my logic was wrong, I might sometimes save when checking? Unless it's a different branch path? I don't have time to check as this workstation will become unusable within ten minutes.
Anyway, I spent an unconscionable amount of time getting a small alphabet to print. Initially because I was being 'clever' with a self constraint, then not reasoning out what I was looking at. Satisfied with that printing.
Forgot to pipe output on this machine, so no help there.