hard nut to crack

(redirected from tough nut)

(a) hard nut to crack

 and (a) tough nut to crack
Fig. difficult person or problem to deal with. This problem is getting me down. It's a hard nut to crack. Tom sure is a hard nut to crack. I can't figure him out.
See also: crack, hard, nut

hard nut to crack

Also, tough nut to crack. A difficult problem; also, an individual who is difficult to deal with. For example, This assignment is a hard nut to crack, or It won't be easy getting her approval; she's a tough nut to crack. This metaphoric expression alludes to hard-shelled nuts like walnuts. [Early 1700s]
See also: crack, hard, nut
References in classic literature ?
He tries this on very much with me, but I flatter myself he has got a tough nut to crack.
ALAN PARDEW is looking forward to pitting his wits against Sam Allardyce tomorrow - but has warned that his old adversaries Sunderland will be a tough nut to crack.
However, he has far less on his plate, and with conditions to suit, he should be a tough nut to crack.
Favourite Prince Gibraltar, an unlucky-in-running third in the French Derby, looked to have all bases covered but found first Teletext a tough nut to crack before Gallante hit another gear in the Derrick Smith colours to foil Jean-Claude Rouget's hotpot.
She said she loved playing the movie's tough nut, Katniss Everdeen.
Right, Carl Froch - "a real tough nut even when he was 15", says Andy McLean
However, they have been a tough nut to crack on their own patch and they should have enough to put Atvidaberg in their place tonight.
ROBIN McBRYDE believes Scotland will be "a tough nut to crack" for Wales in today's Six Nations clash at Murrayfield.
Ali Al Asfoor found Ali Dhawani a tough nut to crack before scoring a 7-5, 6-3 victory, while Ahmed Mohammed Rasool beat Hussain Dhawani 6-1, 6-4.
Libya have a tough nut to crack Tuesday if they are to reach the final of the 9th Arab Nations Cup as they will be meeting hosts Saudi Arabia as the the runners-up with the highest score in the group matches.
Aberavon face a tough nut in One East leaders Bargoed.
It wasn't the result we wanted but Stoke are a tough nut to crack," said Carragher.
But league newcomers Lido will prove a tough nut to crack having lost just once in nine outings to surge clear of the basement zone.
Meadow settled to their task but found Ladeside a tough nut to crack before McGowan pounced with two brilliant headers to clinch victory.