Re(1): All in all IP: 184.108.40.206 Posted on November 21, 2016 at 01:01:09 PM by David Harris
We were asked to highlight four letters rather than cells; the word 'contiguous' was conspicuously absent; and HARE could be formed in a straight line from the H of VEHMIC, the A of QUARTO/SEA ICE (within the SEARCH AREA) and the RE formed from OUTLEARN and JETSAM - as has been pointed out, using knight's moves, or perhaps hare's leaps. That seems to me to conform to the instruction at least as well as, and more neatly than, what was apparently required.
Solvers shouldn't be penalized for jumping the wrong way when when there's a glaring ambiguity or a dearth of confirmatory evidence for one solution over another. It fits with the generally vague and often silly nature of these treasure hunts - or even the 'clues' on the old TV game show '3-2-1' - but it's not up to what I expect from a Listener crossword, and I'm happy to stand with those above crying 'foul'.
PS A Magpie puzzle by Ferret on the same theme last year was much more intricate and difficult to fathom, but in the end much, much fairer. Replies: