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Difference between Clear as crystal and Clear as mud

clear as crystal

1. (of water, etc.) unclouded; transparent:

  • The cave was long and wide and pervaded by cold water, clear as crystal.

2. (of a situation) very clear; easily understood:

  • I don’t know why you can’t understand the instructions—they’re as clear as crystal to me.

Note: The expression does not fully correlate in meaning with the phrase clear as a bell

1. (of sound) extremely clear:

  • When his daughter telephoned him from America he could hear her as clear as a bell.

2. = clear as crystal 2:

  • When I write something, the meaning is clear as a bell to me. When someone reads what I wrote, the interpretation may be very different.

clear as mud

1. (joc.) = clear as crystal 2:

  • It was clear as mud that Angelides was very smart. But it was also clear that he was not a politician….

2. (ironic) not at all clear:

  • I’m now giving up as I’ve wasted too much time on this and the instructions are about as clear as mud.