One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1‘a knotty legal problem’
complex, complicated, involved, intricate, convoluted, Byzantine, tangled, tortuous
difficult, hard, thorny, taxing, awkward, tricky, problematic, troublesome, perplexing, baffling, mystifying, obscure, unfathomable, unanswerable, insoluble, impenetrable
formal involute, involuted
2‘knotty roots of gorse bushes’
gnarled, knotted, knurled, nodular, knobbly, lumpy, bumpy, rugged, rough, coarse
rare nodulous, nodose
3‘a knotty piece of thread’
knotted, tangled, tangly, twisted, entangled, ravelled, snarled, matted
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