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the plot thickens

cliché A situation or set of circumstances has become more complex, mysterious, interesting, or difficult to understand. A: "This whole time I presumed he was working for my father, but it turns out my father has never heard of him!" B: "Ooh, the plot thickens!" Now the plot thickens, as police have opened a line of inquiry into the governor's whereabouts on the date of the incident.
See also: plot, thicken

thicken up

To become or cause something to be thicker, broader, or denser. A noun or pronoun can be used between "thicken" and "up." Leave the soup on a low heat for another hour so that it thickens up a bit. If your batter is too runny, add a bit of flour to thicken it up. They've put me on a calcium supplement to help thicken up my bones.
See also: thicken, up
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

plot thickens

Things are becoming more complicated or interesting. The police assumed that the woman was murdered by her ex-husband, but he has an alibi. The plot thickens. John is supposed to be going out with Mary, but I saw him last night with Sally. The plot thickens.
See also: plot, thicken

thicken something up

 
1. to make something, such as a fluid, thicker. I have to thicken this gravy up before we can serve dinner. Please thicken up the gravy before you serve it.
2. to make something wider. See this line here? You need to thicken it up so that it shows more clearly. Try to thicken up the line a little.
See also: thicken, up
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

plot thickens, the

Circumstances are becoming very complex or mysterious. Today this term is often used ironically or half-humorously, as in His companion wasn't his wife or his partner-the plot thickens. Originally (1671) it described the plot of a play that was overly intricate, and by the late 1800s it was used for increasingly complex mysteries in detective stories.
See also: plot
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

the plot thickens

People say the plot thickens when a situation or series of events starts to become even more complicated or strange. The plot thickens when he finds diamonds worth 6m euros hidden in a box of salt in the dead man's room. At this point the plot thickened further. A link emerged between the attempt to kill the Pope and the kidnapping of the American. Note: This phrase was widely used in 19th century melodramas, or popular plays that involved extreme situations and extreme emotions, and is now used humorously
See also: plot, thicken
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

the plot thickens

the situation becomes more difficult and complex.
This expression comes from The Rehearsal ( 1671 ), a burlesque drama by George Villiers , 2nd Duke of Buckingham: ‘now the plot thickens very much upon us’.
See also: plot, thicken
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

the plot ˈthickens

(often humorous) used to say that a situation is becoming more complicated and difficult to understand: Aha, so both Karen and Steve had the day off work yesterday? The plot thickens!
See also: plot, thicken
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

thicken up

v.
1. To become thicker or denser: The gravy thickened up.
2. To cause something to become thicker or denser: I thickened the batter up by adding more flour. The cook thickened up the fudge.
See also: thicken, up
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

plot thickens, the

The situation is becoming increasingly complex. Originally the term was used to describe the plot of a play that was becoming byzantine in its complexity; it was so used by George Villiers in his 1672 comedy The Rehearsal (3.2). It was repeated by numerous writers and became particularly popular in mystery novels, from Arthur Conan Doyle’s A Study in Scarlet (1887) on. Today it is often used sarcastically or ironically of some situation that is needlessly complex but scarcely meets the description of a sinister plot.
See also: plot
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
In this study, the impact of rice cereal, which is used as a thickener for infants with dysphagia, on the osmolality of human milk and milk formula was systematically evaluated with respect to concentration and time.
Unlike starch thickeners, SimplyThick EasyMix will maintain thickness over time, even in the presence of enzymes found in saliva.
The viscosity of three solutions with 1.5, 2.5, and 3wt% nucleating agent added was changed by adding a thickener. Results show that the salt solution with higher viscosity has a relatively lower degree of supercooling.
(16.) Chen, M, Wetzel, WH, Ma, Z, Glass, JE, "Unifying Model for Understanding I HEUR Associative Thickener Influences on Waterborne Coatings HEUR Interactions with a Small Particle Latex." J.
Popular brand with standard six per cent fruit puree, thickeners, flavourings and citric acid.
Its functions include: stabilizer, thickener, gelling agent and emulsifier.
"Installing electro-mechanical drives produced significant reductions in up front capital costs and, by avoiding the need to change hydraulic fluids, they also reduce ongoing maintenance costs, The smaller footprint of the electromechanical drive also creates more space on the thickener bridge," Mr Okely said.
The mixture, with the thickener already added to the polyol portion prior to spraying, remains liquid for several seconds after the Part A and Part B components are mixed as they pass through the spray gun.
When added to human milk, this thickener induced a decrease in viscosity over time, whereas it facilitated an increase in viscosity when added to infant milk formula.
Ashland finds the combination of low-shear effective Aquaflow NLS-220/221 thickener with high-shear effective Aquaflow NHS-300 solvent free thickeners can be easily balanced to achieve the optimum balance of high-and low-shear viscosity.
The plant includes the M2500 mobile washing plant, AggMax portable logwasher and an AquaCycle thickener which facilitates the recycling of 90 percent of the water used in the washing plant.