"(to be) back at square one"
to start again from the beginning;
to be back at the beginning
Related words and phrases:
Susan has been using her computer to work on a big project for the last two hours when suddenly her computer turns off. Susan had forgotten to save her work. When Susan restarts her computer, she discovers that all her work is gone.
Susan is back at square one.
Susan needs to begin her project again from the beginning.
Jillian's father, Scott, has just finished assembling a doll house for his daughter's birthday. There are pieces left over and the doll house is crooked and keeps falling over. The doors and windows are not operating correctly. After studying the situation and the instructions, Scott decides that he needs to take the doll house completely apart and start again ...
back at square one.
Being back at square one can be a frustrating experience.
Going back to square one can often be the only way to solve a problem.
1) But we aren't back at square one, because we've got ourselves back in with a fighting chance and a ...
2) ... produce any significant results having to do with contracts. We are back at square one almost.
3) ... any progress would be scrapped and the process back at square one.
4) ... 6-3 loss to No. 162-ranked Alla Kudryavtseva of Russia leaves her squarely back at square one.
5) ... only to see them disappear out the exit door and leave them back at square one.
6) A weak report probably leaves us back at square one from where the markets are positioned because even now, they're reluctant to ...
7) But this was a good opportunity though because everyone starts back at square one.
8) ... was working on failed to materialize, Laoutides found himself back at square one: paying bills working mostly as an extra on ...
9) Suddenly we're back at square one with no idea what to do.
10) The exact cause was not found and we were back at square one.
11) They end it, still, with those desires unfulfilled. Back at square one.
12) We're back at square one in many ways because people were using the bins to dispose of domestic waste.
13) Guess what? I'm back at square one because I don't know when you're going to be available later in ...
14) Feeling like we were back at square one, and not knowing how to start over, ...
15) ... the latter's licence application request was denied by UEFA, leaving Palermo back at square one.
16) If we pull out, we'll be back at square one. Forty years old and starting off at square one again is pretty horrible.
17) If Harrison does come back, he's ready to start back at square one, and hopefully get further than the second round of the playoffs.
18) ... but I don't want to aggravate the injury and be back at square one.
19) Moving on doesn't necessarily offer benefits: you can easily find yourself back at square one with a partner with whom you share little history.
20) In Canada, he's back at square one. His education and training are seemingly worthless.