cut/untie the Gordian knot

(redirected from untie the Gordian knot)

cut the Gordian knot

To solve a very challenging or daunting problem decisively. The phrase likely alludes to Gordius, the king of Phrygia, who tied a knot that an oracle proclaimed would only be cut by the future ruler of Asia. Alexander the Great allegedly cut the Gordian knot in one blow. A: "Wait, Matt already solved that impossible equation?" B: "Yes! I have no idea how he did it, but he sure cut the Gordian knot."
See also: cut, Gordian, knot

cut the Gordian knot

LITERARY
If someone cuts the Gordian knot, they deal with a difficult situation in a quick, forceful and effective way. Mr Sandler cut the Gordian knot that was strangling the market. Note: Verbs such as break, untie and untangle are sometimes used instead of cut. Which country should make the first move to untie the Gordian knot? Note: Gordian knot is used to describe a problem that is very difficult to solve. The federal deficit has become the Gordian knot of Washington. He found himself tied up in a real emotional Gordian Knot. Note: According to an ancient legend, Gordius, the king of Phrygia, tied a knot that nobody could untie. It was said that if anyone untied it, they would become the next ruler of Asia. When Alexander the Great heard this, he solved the problem by cutting through the knot with a sword.
See also: cut, Gordian, knot

cut the Gordian knot

solve or remove a problem in a direct or forceful way, rejecting gentler or more indirect methods.
The knot referred to is that with which Gordius, king of ancient Phrygia (in Asia Minor), fastened the yoke of his wagon to the pole. Its complexity was such that it gave rise to the legend that whoever could undo it would become the ruler of Asia. When Alexander the Great passed that way en route to conquer the East he is said simply to have severed the knot with his sword.
See also: cut, Gordian, knot

cut/untie the ˌGordian ˈknot

solve a very difficult or complicated problem with forceful action: Will the negotiators be able to untie the Gordian knot?This expression comes from the legend in which King Gordius tied a very complicated knot and said that whoever untied it would become the ruler of Asia. Alexander the Great cut through the knot with his sword.
See also: cut, Gordian, knot
References in periodicals archive ?
UNITED NATIONS: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has reaffirmed the world body's deep engagement in a surge of diplomacy for peace in the Middle East to "untie the Gordian knot of conflict and instability."
Improving efficiency is indeed one way to untie the Gordian knot. Engr.
It also offers the chance to support foreign direct investment and buy time while the Office of Tax Simplification seeks to untie the Gordian knot of complex legislation.
As the world gets mired in conflicts, unleashing catastrophic results for the civilian populations - be it in Syria, Libya, Iraq or elsewhere - one will need to untie the Gordian knot at the UN, reflected in the usual poker games the P5 play in the exclusivity of their club.
What has DeFazio done for the affected rural communities, or to untie the Gordian knot, in 26 years?
(1-3) Deftly avoiding a direct attempt to untie the Gordian knot, the current legislative plan is to try to cap the rate of rise of health-care costs across all expenditures in the state at about 7% or less per year.
Several consulting companies had been unable to untie the Gordian knot of processes that extended delivery time to three
Unlike Alexander the Great who solved the riddle of how to untie the Gordian Knot by slicing through it with a single stroke of his sword, we have remained reticent to destroy what it has taken us so long to build.