a blanket of crystals

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Senior Member
Cantonese, Hong Kong
The windshield still held most of its dirty glass. It had spider-webbed into a blanket of crystals. But on the passenger side the windshield held a hole.

Source: The Old Man and the Wasteland By Nick Cole

Background: A man was investigating a car that had been trapped dead for many years.

Would you please explain the highligted sentence? Does "it" refers to the windshield? There were spider webs on some glass?
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    It does refer to the windshield, redgiant. Broken windshields often display cracks that look something like spiderwebs. A "blanket of crystals" means the windshield is no longer solid. The film that holds the glass together when it is broken is now holding pieces of broken glass that look like crystals.


    Senior Member

    Is it then, past perfect tense?
    Otherwise, the sentence seems to have something missing to me.

    It had spider-webbed into a blanket of crystals.

    or in semantic structure, does it have this meaning?

    It had spider / webbed into a blanket of crystals

    then, it sounds like a spider actually did make an web

    how would you form the basic meaning relation with the sentence?
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    "Spiderweb" is an unusual verb, irani11. I would only expect to find it in a work of fiction or some other text where readers can expect to find unusual verbs.

    Here, "spiderweb" is a verb that means "crack in such a fashion that the cracks look like spiderwebs". You might well read for another ten years without seeing that verb again. :) Of course, "had spiderwebbed" is in the past perfect.
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