Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1500-1600
Origin: From a complicated knot tied by Gordius, king of ancient Phrygia, which Alexander the Great cut through with his sword

Gordian knot

noun
     
Gor‧di‧an knot

cut/untie the Gordian knot

to quickly solve a difficult problem by determined action:
In recent years, governments have tried to cut the Gordian knot by imposing cuts in state support to the railways.

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