What I had in mind was betacode. I had started off using the Athenian font (from MS, I think), but since it doesn't seem to support accents, I was thinking of switching to SPIonic, using betacode - based on the recommendations in this forum. (My word list isn't very long yet, so I can switch without too much effort.)
I was sorting the Athenian font with a simple formula that looked at just the first two letters of a word. I'd need something more elaborate for betacode, skipping over the characters used to represent accents.