One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1‘a ruse to throw would-be pursuers off the scent’
ploy, stratagem, tactic, move, device, scheme, trick, gambit, cunning plan, manoeuvre, contrivance, expedient, dodge, subterfuge, machination, game, wile, smokescreen, red herring, blind
the oldest trick in the book
British informal wheeze
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