back to the drawing board


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back to the drawing board

Revising something (such as a plan) from the beginning, typically after it has failed. That ad campaign was not as successful as we had hoped. Back to the drawing board. We need to go back to the drawing board on this project. I think it had some fundamental flaws from the start.
See also: back, board, drawing

back to the drawing board

Fig. time to start from the start; it is time to plan something over again. (Plans or schematics are drawn on a drawing board. Note the variations shown in the examples.) It didn't work. Back to the drawing board. I flunked English this semester. Well, back to the old drawing board.
See also: back, board, drawing

back to the drawing board

Also, back to square one. Back to the beginning because the current attempt was unsuccessful, as in When the town refused to fund our music program, we had to go back to the drawing board , or I've assembled this wrong side up, so it's back to square one. The first term originated during World War II, most likely from the caption of a cartoon by Peter Arno in The New Yorker magazine. It pictured a man who held a set of blueprints and was watching an airplane explode. The variant is thought to come from a board game or street game where an unlucky throw of dice or a marker sends the player back to the beginning of the course. It was popularized by British sports-casters in the 1930s, when the printed radio program included a grid with numbered squares to help listeners follow the description of a soccer game.
See also: back, board, drawing

back to the drawing board

COMMON If you have to go back to the drawing board, something which you have done has not been successful and you will have to try another idea. His government should go back to the drawing board to rethink their programme in time to return it to the Parliament by September. Failing to win means going back to the drawing board, identifying shortcomings and attempting to improve on them. Note: Drawing boards are large flat boards, on which designers or architects place their paper when drawing plans or designs.
See also: back, board, drawing

back to the drawing board

used to indicate that an idea or scheme has been unsuccessful and a new one must be devised.
An architectural or engineering project is at its earliest phase when it exists only as a plan on a drawing board .
1991 Discover Even as Humphries fine-tunes his system, however, he realizes that NASA could send him back to the drawing board.
See also: back, board, drawing

(it’s) back to the ˈdrawing board

a new plan must be prepared because an earlier one has failed: She’s refused to consider our offer, so it’s back to the drawing board, I’m afraid.
See also: back, board, drawing

back to the drawing board

Back to the beginning or the planning stage after an approach has proved unsuccessful.
See also: back, board, drawing
References in periodicals archive ?
But the fact is Galway have slipped down the pecking order in Leinster and they have to go back to the drawing board yet again.
He said: "The closure of Castle Hall has now thrown the whole Building Schools For The Future programme into complete disarray and it looks like it's back to the drawing board.
But after coming in for training yesterday he suffered the reaction and is now back to the drawing board when it comes to his recovery.
We had to keep going back to the drawing board to make the scissors more flexible,'' says Bourne.
The council went back to the drawing board after overwhelming opposition to its previous proposals in a bid, with English Partnerships, for funding to tackle perceived problems with the housing market in the former colliery communities.
Bridgend's cabinet member for education, Pete Foley, said: 'We are going back to the drawing board.
We kept going back to the drawing board to find the right solution.
Lloyd says her organization would like to see Falconbridge go back to the drawing board and come up with a solution for treating the mine effluent that does not involve discharge into the Groundhog River.
His pairing with 21-year-old Parma striker Adriano didn't work, forcing Brazil back to the drawing board for tonight's Group B game with the United States.
SEAN LONG has conceded it is back to the drawing board for Super League champions St Helens in the wake of their Valentine's Day massacre by Sydney Roosters.
Osborne said: "Our plans for the horse went out the window after he was beaten on Boxing Day and it was back to the drawing board today to see if he was still the horse we thought he was.
Back to the drawing board (or lavatory) for Wim Delvoye and Cloaca ["Eater's Digest," September 2001].
Now planners for the pounds 4 million sewage relief system have been forced to go back to the drawing board.
The treasurer sends his banker back to the drawing board.
Based on our research we discovered that there was still more we could do to deliver a website that would be of maximum service to our end users, so we went back to the drawing board.