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murky waters

A situation or circumstance that is foreign, unclear, or unfamiliar and which may be dangerous or difficult as a result. We're starting to get into murky waters exploiting these tax loopholes. If we aren't careful, the government may crack down on us hard! John keeps himself so closed off that I've never understood the murky waters of his emotions.
See also: murky, water

(be in/get into) murky/uncharted ˈwaters

(be in/get into) a difficult or dangerous situation that you do not know anything about: As I opened up the computer to try and fix the problem, I realized that I was getting into completely uncharted waters and decided to leave it to the experts.
Murky water is dark or dirty. If somebody is in uncharted waters, they are in an area of sea or ocean that is not known or recorded on a map.
See also: murky, uncharted, water
References in periodicals archive ?
In many respects the way before us seems murkier and far less certain.
While this story builds on suspense, the writing is murkier than need be, and the characters almost approach incredibility.
When there are technical differences between internationally recognized and widely used national standards being considered for harmonization, the waters become more turbulent and considerably murkier, adding countless numbers to the clever phrases.
After September II, Generali Foundation guest curators Alice Creischer and Andreas Siekmann were adrift in much murkier waters.
The next move becomes murkier, and those who feel strongly enough that the Fed is on the verge of a monetary policy blunder are emboldened to make their objections formal.
Murkier, however, are stories of gay people who kill: How might larger antigay conditions shape their violence?
During the course of the film, the photographer enlarges his pictures in the hope of clarifying the details but finds instead that everything just gets murkier.
The antiseptically white walls of the new galleries contrast with murkier spaces where the original concrete structure and chunky octagonal columns have been retained.
But a decade of analysis has resulted in a much different, albeit murkier, overall picture for forest birds.
Alan Heyvaert, a researcher at the University of California, Davis, has taken sediment and algae samples to discover that Tahoe's clear blue water probably became significantly murkier in the late 19th century after there was considerable logging in the area.
Recalling Ernest Hemingway's observation that the dignity of an iceberg lies in seventh-eighths of it being underwater, I sense Stepto's eyes cloud over as he watches possible answers slip away into ever deeper, murkier, silent reaches of consciousness.
Ridge claims he has the votes to pass it in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives; the outlook in the state Senate is murkier.
The will to be skeptical, on the other hand, seems to have a murkier past.
The first requirement - for personal injury - is murkier than ever.
The analysis becomes murkier when the property is subject to debt.