I discovered a very handy project on Codeplex recently, The SharePoint Search Service Tool. To quote their own site:
“The SharePoint Search Service Tool is a rich web service client that allows a developer to explore the scopes and managed properties of a given SharePoint Search SSP, build queries in either Keyword or SQL Syntax, submit those queries and examine the raw web service results. This tool can be useful in troubleshooting and verifying the behavior and configuration of a SharePoint environment.
The SharePoint Search Service Tool is an evolution of a tool that used to be available back on GotDotNet moons ago that was called the MOSSQueryTool. Because the tool has been enhanced and should work with all SharePoint Search products, it has been renamed for its initial public release.”
Right now it is at V1.1 and is well worth a look see: http://www.codeplex.com/SharePointSearchServ