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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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

(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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
Before presuming the Marines absolutely gave themselves that sobriquet, however, consider this quote from Stars & Stripes on the subject: "Indeed, a Marine Corps magazine, reported in April 1918 that Germans referred to Marines as "teufel hunden," two months before Belleau Wood, according to Aquilina." The deeper you look, the murkier the waters.
Ultimately, though, the authors' self-stated goal is to "politicize the private sphere" and the book's heart Lies in these murkier waters.
The AU's position has been murkier and the organisation -- long itself the beneficiary of Gaddafi's largesse -- has declined to join calls for Gaddafi's ouster, instead accusing Western nations of undermining its own efforts to find a solution to the conflict.
To my mind, Newcastle's treatment of Chris Hughton is a far murkier story.
By HYDERABAD, April 06, 2010 (Frontier Star): As events around the wedding between Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik and tennis ace Sania Mirza get murkier by the day, the Indian sports icon's family was 'keeping all options open', including postponing the wedding, indicated a close family friend, Zee news reported on Tuesday.
By HYDERABAD, April 06, 2010 (Balochistan Times): As events around the wedding between Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik and tennis ace Sania Mirza get murkier by the day, the Indian sports icons family was keeping all options open, including postponing the wedding, indicated a close family friend, Zee news reported on Tuesday.
His past is looking murkier by the day, thanks to the arrival of Suzy who says she is his wife!
In addition to having technological systems set up properly, IHEs must also navigate the much murkier waters of interdepartmental communication if they want databases to be managed expertly.
Its provenance is murkier, with parts of the Gospel of Judas being bought and sold like carpets at an oriental bazaar, and by traders in antiquities whose prior claims to "holy relics" suggest that skepticism is desirable.
It then emerges that Peggy left no records to Kim's background, and when concerned friends begin to dig around for the truth, they uncover something far murkier.
It's a great campaign plank, but the public-policy benefits are murkier. More than two years after September 11, it's still not clear how much training and equipment is truly needed by local first responders, and measuring the benefit of federal spending isn't easy.
At National Assembly level, the picture becomes murkier. The Labour group of AMs has yet to present its submission to the Richard Commission.
Even more murkier is the future of post-Saddam Iraq.
In many respects the way before us seems murkier and far less certain.