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If you embed blanks in the passphrase by using them within quotes, they will be considered part of the passphrase and will no longer match a passphrase that doesn't have the blanks. I'd suggest looking at the information in your router to find the equivalent hex key and using that to connect instead.
This will give you the hex key that you can connect with instead.
Also, I'm using a non-compliant length passphrase here with NetworkManager. The limitation you're running into is with iwconfig -- if you use a tool like wicd or NetworkManager you should be able to connect using your existing passphrase.
You may have tried this for academic reasons, but otherwise, wicd or network-manager are highly recommended.
I'm assuming this person tried using iwconfig and fussing about with the wpa_supplicant.conf file after reading AlienBOB's Wiki page on "Configuring your network in Slackware." I was intending to finish reading it, but let me know if it's out of date and I needn't bother. I can connect to my LAN wirelessly only when running KDE. For some reason my system doesn't connect when I boot into the CLI. I'm guessing I messed up one of the files referenced in the Wiki.