go back to square one


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go back to square one

To go back to the very first stage of something; to be returned to an initial starting point. We'll have to go back to square one if the government pulls our funding on this project. I lost all my data when the computer crashed, so I'm afraid I'm going back to square one.
See also: back, one, square

go back to square one

Fig. to return to the starting point. (Alludes to the squares of a board game.) It's back to square one. We have to start over. It looks like it's back to square one for you.
See also: back, one, square

be/go back to square ˈone

(also start again from square ˈone) (informal) start something again from the beginning because your first idea, plan, action, etc. has failed or has been stopped: The experiment didn’t work, so it’s back to square one, I’m afraid.This may refer to going back to the beginning or first square of a board game such as ‘snakes and ladders’.
See also: back, one, square
References in periodicals archive ?
Hillfields was not a nice place some years ago, but hard work by some people practically sorted it out, only to go back to square one.
Everything apparently will go back to square one and we, those of us left, can start off again with a clean sheet.
He said: "We asked that when another proposal is put forward we go back to square one, with full public consultation and a public inquiry.
We're going to go back to square one and find a location for ourselves,'' said Tim O'Neil, campus director for Glendale Career College.
He said: "I think we would just go back to square one.
With each new partner you have to go back to square one.
The defeat means the Scot must now go back to square one in his bid to qualify for next month's Grand Finals.
This discovery forces us to go back to square one on the whole formation of the Earth and moon.
But when we have achieved so much and moved the club forward so far, it would be in the interests of no-one to go back to square one just as we have reached square two.
I thought I'd go back to square one and once I saw him move, it was straight down the middle.
So to go back to square one after all the hard work, all the time and effort, just through a stroke of bad luck was really difficult to take.
But the club has to go back to square one for finances in the next few years and if we are in Goodison for another three to five years how patient is David Moyes going to be?
Students spokesman Nick Latham explained: "We've had to go back to square one this season and start afresh.
We don't want to go back to square one and start dropping points unnecessarily a gain.