Crossword Genius

So to speak Italian in response, knight wanted guide's backing (2,2,4)


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as it were

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'so to speak' is the definition.

I don't understand the remainder of the clue.

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(Other definitions for as it were that I've seen before include "Seemingly" , "you might say" , "In sort of" , "Historically ungrammatical" , "As if it was actually so" .)

I've seen this clue in The Telegraph.
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