With apologies to those of you who comment anonymously, I've had no choice but to switch to a more conventional registration system. Why? Spambots of course - trust me, you've seen only the tip of the iceberg with these spam comments. It's become a flood, intolerable, and as my only other option was to use word verification - and I despise word verification - this was the only alternative.
I simply don't have the time or patience to deal with the triple-digit spam comments I'm getting every day now, many of which slip through Blogger's spam filter and end up on the site, forcing me to delete them manually. I may try opening it up again experimentally in a few weeks, to see if perhaps the change has fooled the spammers into spamming elsewhere, but I doubt that would work for long. As the sign on my office back in the States said, "It is what it is". Thanks for understanding.