It had been complaining about the \udead escape in that file; That isn't really a valid codepoint, and while Tcl accepts it as if it were, parrot (which uses ICU internally) throws an exception when trying to create a string that contains it. So, (at kbk's suggestion), I settled for now to convert any codepoints in the \udead range to \ufffd. That allowed the test to parse...
... but it then ran out of memory, as several other tests have been doing since I started running the tests again.
I've been working with chromatic to try to provide test cases to show where the memory leaks have been coming from, but I've only been going after things I could spot with valgrind. Today, someone on irc (#parrot at irc.parrot.org) posted a very small sample program that eventually ran out of memory... because the garbage collector apparently wasn't.
The small PIR example allowed chromatic to identify and fix that issue in parrot, and partcl has now reclaimed several files which had been exhausting a 1/2 gig of memory.
Current results, over 67 test files that run to completion:
Total 5145 Passed 2972 Skipped 1352 Failed 821
That's the highest number of attempted & passing tests since I started keeping track. It's an additional 1181 passing since the 8th, when I started running the spec tests again.