muddy the water

muddy the water(s)

To introduce something, typically information, to an issue or situation that makes it less clear or more confusing. Don't muddy the waters with unrelated issues—we need to focus on this one problem. The last witness's testimony has really muddied the water for the prosecution's case against the defendant.
See also: muddy

muddy the water

Fig. to make something less clear; to make matters confusing; to create difficulty where there was none before. Things were going along quite smoothly until you came along and muddied the water. The events of the past month have muddied the water as far as our proposed joint venture is concerned.
See also: muddy, water
References in periodicals archive ?
The SNP couldn't bring themselves to acknowledge their rivals on a victory so they tried to muddy the water with questions over parliamentary process instead.
Let us conveniently set aside the Fukushima accident, and several prominent others, so as not to muddy the water. The Office for Nuclear Regulation and the Environment Agency have begun the process of generic design assessment (GDA) on the Hitachi-General Electric advanced boiling water reactor (ABWR).
Rows among Briggs' family, staff and potential investors muddy the water.
I'm not going to sit around calling robbery, trying to muddy the water. Carl came out on top and I respect him for that.
Go Gator and Muddy the Water: Writings by Zora Neale Hurston From the Federal Writers Project edited by Pamela Bordelon W.
I wouldn't want to either reward them for waiting or "muddy the water" with the idea of giving gift subs while I'm trying to get that renewal check.
But Coun Alex Watson, leader of Derwentside Council, said any survey in addition to one currently being done by the Boundary Commission would "muddy the water for the public and the Government-appointed specialists".
To further muddy the water, Arthur Andersen (of Enron disrepute) served as auditor for APP and some of its Indonesian subsidiaries during the critical years of 1997, 1998, and 1999.
Now let's muddy the water with different types of bullets.
Now we seem to be in a situation where a number of different awards is starting to muddy the water, if you pardon the pun.
To further muddy the water, there are complaints about how and when the latest inspections were conducted.
But don't let's muddy the water -racial abuse is quite distinct from other forms of insult.
But the tribunal ruled his allegations, proved unfounded after an investigation, and were intended to "muddy the water" when he realised he was to lose his job.
"You could change it from the start and completely confuse the issue and muddy the water by doing something different, when we have played ever so well and created chances.
Well-meaning people only muddy the water, let's direct any invectives towards the main target, the WRU.