Gordian knot

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  • noun

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any very difficult problem

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an intricate knot tied by Gordius, the king of Phrygia, and cut by the sword of Alexander the Great after he heard that whoever undid it would become ruler of Asia

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References in periodicals archive ?
In other words the public expects - and will applaud - Alexander-type action that slices through Gordian knots, but it is also fearful that slicing through every problem with a blade risks exceeding what is permissible, not only as to means, but methods.
He clearly delineates contours, the parts filled in with vivid colors and often dramatically entangled in a bizarre Gordian knot.
He then dedicated his chariot to Zeus in the city Gordium and fastened it to a column with a large, complicated knot that became known as the Gordian knot.
This is as close to a Gordian knot of a problem as one can imagine," said prosecutor Graeme Cameron.
However, the scarf, even for the fashion forward, can appear to be a Gordian knot.
Bridging the gap for a happier homecoming has now taken on the complexity of a Gordian knot.
It's a fascinating Gordian knot and one that adds extra depth and humanity to the archetypal narrative of illness.
The story of the Gordian knot will be used as a metaphor in this attempt to unravel this complex/inter-woven set of various definitions.
One of the great attractions of reading or hearing Bob is seeing him cut through the Gordian knot of tangled theories or research findings.
WHAT DO YOU get when you combine a Gordian knot with a Sisyphean task?
History cannot be rewritten; the Holocaust remains both the Gordian knot that links us and an integral part of our identities.
In Kosovo, these four impediments to equal justice - corruption, organized crime, family ties and the "war hero" phenomenon - are woven through the culture, forming a Gordian knot which continues to restrict the development of the rule of law and its equal application to all members and levels of society.
The essay focuses on the 1810 Gothic melodrama The Gordian Knot, or, Causes and Effects, by Charleston writer Isaac Harby (1788-1828).
Indeed, in the tangled realm of political image-crafting, language, charisma, rhetoric, and stagecraft are joined together in the Gordian knot of authenticity, with no hope of a sword to sort them out.
It is accessible while remaining complex, balancing a contemplation of the Gordian Knot that is the history of Spanish film with a crisp and lucid argument.