Version 1.9 simply does not block spam.
When I saw that an update was available, I was reticent to download it based on the broken functionality of previous "updates."
But, I took a chance and tried it.
And it DID NOT WORK, as I suspected.
Within 24 hours the blog on which I installed v1.9 was getting spam comments, whereas with the old "copy and paste anti-spam password" versions the blog got zero spam.
Needless to say, I reverted to the previous version and am staying with it on all other blogs that I administer.
NOTE TO USERS: DO NOT UPDATE IF YOUR CURRENT VERSION IS WORKING.
I do not know what the author is trying to accomplish, but it isn't working.
The older versions worked just fine. If it ain't broke, don't try to fix it.