I came across the following sentence from a ”A study in scarlet” by Arthur Conan Doyle:
We are at a loss as to how he came into the empty house; indeed, the whole affair is a puzzler.
I understand the meaning of at a loss idiom, both from the context that follows it and from the dictionary. I wonder if I can emphasize it using the adverbs much or quite or any appropriate adverb for this context. Would there be valid English?
We are much at a loss as to how...
We are quite at a loss as to how...
Another instance would be the use of at all. I know from the Cambridge Dictionary that it is used to make negatives and questions stronger:
He’s had no food at all.
Why the universe ever existed at all?
Given the fact that we are at a loss looks like a positive but has a negative semantic I wonder if I can say:
We are at a loss at all.