Yeah... just as an update, I was able to dig around in a save-state IMG file from ApplePC and view the basic file. Something is really buggy in there. I transferred the basic file to a DOS 3.3 disk image, but after looking at it it seems all the BIN support files are missing. This is quickly turning into a complicated situation.
If I can't find the source dsk from whereever this came from, it might be time to start over, if we can find a copy of that issue of Nibble.
I do have a bunch of .SHK archives of various issues of Nibble that contain all the programs, so if we're lucky we can find it in one of those if we can pin-point the issue it appeared in.