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Same issue, search did not return any results even though it seemed to be working just yesterday. Magento 1.4.2, under 1000 products.
Re-index did not work.
Flush cache did not work.
Products and categories were properly configured, search had been working and mysteriously broke.
However, opening and saving a product without changing anything DID make that product visible to search.
Go to catalog > manage products, search for all enabled products marked “catalog, search” to get all the products, select all, actions > change status > enabled, then save. Presto chango it worked for me.