Gordian knot


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Gordian knot

A complicated problem that can only be solved with creative or unorthodox thinking. In Greek and Roman mythology, King Gordian tied such a complex knot that only Alexander the Great was able to loosen it by cutting it with his sword. Trying to remove the gum from my daughter's hair turned into quite the Gordian knot. Ultimately, it was just easier to cut the tangled mess out of her hair. The coding problem looked like a Gordian knot until we realized we could bypass it altogether with a different approach.
See also: Gordian, knot

Gordian knot

A difficult problem that can be solved by an unexpected and simple method. According to an old Greek legend, a poor peasant named Gordius appeared in the public square of Phrygia in an ox cart. Since an oracle had prophesized that the future king would ride into town in a wagon, Gordius was made ruler. In gratitude, Gordius dedicated his ox cart to Zeus and tied the cart to a pole with a highly intricate knot, whereupon an oracle foretold that whosoever untied the knot would rule all of Asia. Although many tried in vain to untie the knot, it took Alexander the Great to do so, which he did with one cut of his sword. That might not have been the method that Gordius or the oracle had in mind, but it was good enough to enable Alexander to conquer most of Asia as well as a large chunk of the rest of the known world.
See also: Gordian, knot
References in periodicals archive ?
It can seem like a Gordian knot to those charged with implementing it.
While Takeyh has far from untangled the Gordian knot of Iran-U.
But then Baker and Hamilton, being shrewd diplomats-cum-politicians, know that there is no Gordian knot to cut, bringing peace to the Middle East at one diplomatic stroke.
We have cut the Gordian Knot, so the current issue is Volume 42, Number 1, and is dated Winter, 2007.
Several consulting companies had been unable to untie the Gordian knot of processes that extended delivery time to three
MacKenzie explains that in many process-oriented organizations, "intricate patterns of effective behavior have grown around lessons of success and failure, creating a Gordian Knot of Corporate Normalcy.
The Parent report on education did not try to cut the Gordian knot of religious affiliation of schools; it retained the official religious-based boards of education I and schools while limiting the authority of the bishops over the teaching of religion.
Resolute diplomacy combined with efforts to gain the understanding of the public are required to undo the Gordian knot entangling the nuclear development issue and the abduction problem.
We are lying when we tell ourselves that strong men with guns can cut through the Gordian knot of all our social ills and make the world right.
Response: The new school mathematics and the age-old dilemma of diversity: Cutting or untying the gordian knot.
Hacking our way through the Gordian knot of Middle East politics will require more than the blunt instrument of military force.
This cutting of the Gordian knot is repudiated by Professor Rudebusch.
The whole question of electronic privacy is like a Gordian knot," Casti said.
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on Tuesday cut the Gordian knot by sacking his foreign minister of nine months, Makiko Tanaka.
It is perhaps impossible to unravel this Gordian knot of influences and expectations, but it is just this complexity that has made Archiprix so intriguing a barometer of the Dutch architectural climate.