put (one) off the scent

(redirected from put you off the scent)

put (one) off the scent

1. To cause an animal, especially a dog, to lose the scent of someone or some other animal, as by distracting it with other odors. I've heard that you can put dogs off the scent by crossing back and forth through a river. The hunter covered himself in elk urine to put his prey off the scent.
2. By extension, to misdirect one away from their pursuit; to steer one's investigation or suspicions in the wrong direction. The mafia accountant managed to put the authorities off the scent of the mob's money laundering for years, but they finally caught up with him after an anonymous source tipped them off. That outlier data put me off the scent for a while, but I think my research is back on track now.
See also: off, put, scent

put a dog off the scent

to distract a dog from trailing the scent of someone or an animal. The odor of a skunk put the dogs off the scent.
See also: dog, off, put, scent

put someone off the scent

Fig. to distract someone or a group from following a scent or trail. (From put a dog off the scent; the scent or trail can be purely figurative. (See also put someone off the track.) The clever maneuvers of the bandits put the sheriffs posse off the scent. The mob laundered the drug money to try to put investigators off the trail.
See also: off, put, scent

put (or throw) someone off the scent

mislead someone in the course of a search or investigation.
See also: off, put, scent, someone

put/throw somebody off the ˈscent

give somebody false information to prevent them from finding out or knowing something: I threw the police off the scent by pretending I was in Mexico City on the day of the crime.
Animals such as dogs follow the scent (= smell) of other animals, especially when hunting.
See also: off, put, scent, somebody, throw
References in classic literature ?
There are o end of rumours which I won't mention to you, for they might only put you off the scent.
Sep 23-Oct 23 LIBRA YOU need to stop being suspicious about the advice people give you, although that's probably just the sort of thing I would say to put you off the scent, isn't it?
We've put you off the scent by giving you his real name instead of his showbiz name - can you name the Corne character?
Although disappointingly back-run by Do Your Turn last week, don't let that put you off the scent.
When you are looking at official documents (or transcriptions) and you fail to find a person you are searching for, be aware that variations in spelling can put you off the scent.