L. Peter Deutsch added the comment:

It never occurred to me that the regexp package would be so poorly designed 
that a pattern that so clearly never requires backtracking could require 
exponential time. I'll change the pattern (taking out the + has no effect on 
what strings it matches) and leave it up to others to decide whether the 
performance issue is worth addressing. And thanks for the pointer to the table 
in the Unicode standard.


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