The only problem I've seen with text being bold & italics is in comments. There doesn't seem to be a problem otherwise.
With the word 'text' above, I used 3 asterisks (*) surrounding the word.
Here, I have used the font menu options above the editor.
Am I missing something?
I see what you're saying. *strong*text will not bold 'strong'. Three asterisks on either side will bold, but then you are left with hanging (*) on either side. The parser does appear to have an inner Twilight Zone when it comes to this markdown.