play into the hands of


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Related to play into the hands of: play into someone's hands

play (right) into the hands of (one)

To unwittingly do exactly what someone wants or needs in order for their plans or schemes to succeed. Don't waste your time investigating her husband! You're playing into the hands of the real killer! These violent, hate-filled demonstrations are playing right into the hands of the groups we're protesting against.
See also: hand, of, play

play into someone's hands

Fig. [for a person one is scheming against] to assist one in one's scheming without realizing it. John is doing exactly what I hoped he would. He's playing into my hands. John played into my hands by taking the cash he found in my desk. I caught him and had him arrested.
See also: hand, play

play into the hands of

Act so as to give an advantage to an opponent, as in The senator played right into the hands of her opponents when she backed that unpopular amendment to the tax bill . [c. 1700]
See also: hand, of, play

play into (someone's) hands

To act or behave so as to give an advantage to an opponent.
See also: hand, play
References in periodicals archive ?
He added: "Cheap, sensationalist soundbites about creating an offence of 'travelling whilst Asian' are only likely to inflame moderate Muslim opinion and thus play into the hands of the terrorist.
It collates valuable critique of Habraken's ideas -- some threatened by an undermining of the creative and professional role of architects, others by an ideology which seemed to play into the hands of big industry -- an anathema in the ideologically heady days of the '60s.
He warned Galloway - and fellow back-bencher Ian Davidson - their criticism would only play into the hands of the nationalists.
Indeed, our media's obsession with hate may even play into the hands of the evil, may breathe air into the smoldering embers of their paranoid loathing.
Tibi, a prolific scholar of Islam and Arab politics, repeatedly warns against the abuse of his argument: "we must never lose sight of the distinction between Islam and Islamic fundamentalism; any promotion of hostility to Islam itself in the guise of a clash of civilizations would unwittingly play into the hands of the fundamentalists in their efforts to antagonize the West" (p.
NEW YORK -- India and Pakistan must write their own script and should not play into the hands of anyone, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid has said as he pitched for a "direct" dialogue between the two countries to sort out differences.