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 ?
Some of the overlapping strands woven into the Gordian knot of antimicrobial resistance are myriad mutations and adaptations of various infectious organisms, lack of development of new antimicrobial agents, modern agricultural practice, and ineffective antibiotic stewardship.
Although, as I will show, The Gordian Knot diverges sharply from its British source text, Harby does not make any open attempt to Americanize the story.
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.
We have cut the Gordian Knot, so the current issue is Volume 42, Number 1, and is dated Winter, 2007.
The point of the Gordian knot myth was that it could not be untied.
The Gordian knot for claim staff is how to manage those costs without compromising outcomes, said Kevin Quinley, risk manager for Medmarc and author of Claims' Risk Management column.
The entanglements of campaign contributions are indeed so twisted and thorny that they appear to be a modern equivalent of the legendary Gordian Knot.
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.
When vid distrib Facets untied the legal Gordian knot that had kept "The Decalogue" largely out of general U.
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.