a tough nut to crack


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a tough nut

A person, thing, situation, or problem that is particularly difficult to understand, solve, or deal with. I've been dating Jenny for over a year, and I still think she's a tough nut to crack! Figuring out the best way to modernize our product without alienating existing customers is definitely a tough nut to crack. The spy we captured is a tough nut; he hasn't said a thing since we began the interrogation.
See also: nut, tough

a tough nut to crack

1. A difficult task to complete. Getting an A in this class will be a tough nut to crack. You want me to find more money in the budget? Ha, there's a tough nut to crack!
2. A challenging and/or unreasonable person to understand or deal with. Our super-strict principal is a tough nut to crack, so I hope Kate can convince her to let us host this event. Because our boss usually keeps to himself, I have no idea what his interests are—he's a tough nut to crack.
See also: crack, nut, tough

a tough nut to crack

or

a hard nut to crack

1. If you say that a problem is a tough nut to crack or a hard nut to crack, you mean that it is difficult to solve. The really tough nut to crack will be to persuade the older staff that change is necessary. The American market is a very hard nut to crack because it is so vast. Note: You can also just refer to a difficult problem as a tough nut or a hard nut. The tough nut for this government is undoubtedly the economy.
2. If you say that someone is a tough nut to crack or a hard nut to crack, you mean that they are difficult to defeat. Harrington has taken 17.5 points from a possible 20 in international singles, making him a tough nut to crack. Three wins and three draws prove United are a hard nut to crack.
See also: crack, nut, tough
References in periodicals archive ?
Although conceding weight to such rivals as Oscars Business and Leavethelighton, I expect the Mullins runner to prove a tough nut to crack.
County had hauled themselves within sight of Second Division safety by picking up 13 points from the last available 15 but found Chesterfield a tough nut to crack.
From what the top dogs at Rugby Police Station were saying this week, the problem is so big it's going to be a tough nut to crack.
Mighty Moss, the medium of several large wagers including one of an even pounds 15,000, found Last Option a tough nut to crack, but the latter was not helped by a mistake two out and though he rallied gamely, he was two and a half lengths adrift at the line.
England will be a tough nut to crack in Paris today, but victory will see France well on their way.
Port Talbot-based Lido, however, will be a tough nut to crack after being defeated finalists last year.
VERDICT Although there are couple of others in the field who can force it, I'd expect to see Jubilee Street set the pace here, and he could prove a tough nut to crack back over his ideal trip if he has come on for his recent reappearance over 7f at Warwick.
Blackburn Rovers will be a tough nut to crack, but it's vitally important to keep the interest going in the Cup for as long as possible as it can have a spin-off on the league.
Pepperdine had) given up 11 goals all year, so I knew they'd be a tough nut to crack.
Having proved a tough nut to crack this season, the Ancients were swept aside 5-1 at Bangor City on Tuesday night following a disappointing display.
FELICIANO LOPEZ has been a tough nut to crack in the Madrid Masters in recent seasons and is worth backing at 10-11 to beat Sebastien Grosjean in the first round, writes James Pyman.