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mundane / very ordinary

play (it) safe

not take a risk

it's (not all) plain sailing

it's not easy

behind the scenes

not in public

from scratch

from zero

lull sb into a false sense of security / give sb a false sense of security

make someone complacent

be in sb's shoes

be in sb's position

have / take a shot at/ give sth a shot


be snowed under

be very busy (especially with paperwork)

on the spot

at the time and place

on the spur of the moment


back to square one

start again from zero (with no progress made)

know where you stand

not be under any illusion


up-to-date / cutting-edge

(not by any/ by no) stretch of the imagination

not at all

a stumbling block

an obstacle (especially in negotiations)

to follow suit

to copy

red tape


stand / stick out like a sore thumb

be obviously different

have a sweet tooth

enjoy sugar etc

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