I'm looking for a word to describe a solution that solves all problems, but such a solution is impractical or impossible.

For example, let this word be X: "Having a billion dollars is the X that would solve all my problems".

What candidates for X are there?


Panacea: an answer or solution for all problems or difficulties.

There is also the connotation that there is no such thing as a panacea, because such an all-encompassing solution would be impossible.

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  • +1 Mike, you squeezed this square peg into round hole quite nicely :>) At some level, the panacea effect seems to solve "all kinds of problems", but it doesn't really solve them. It's more like a mental catalyst. Did you realize that panacea was part of the popular and accepted answer of this questions forerunner? – ScotM Apr 4 '15 at 21:27
  • @ScotM, I wasn't a part of this community at the time that original question was written - so no, I hadn't realized. I did think I was fitting a square peg into a square hole though! – Mike Apr 5 '15 at 0:54
  • Hmmm.  Seven letter word, starts with “P”, has an “ACE” in the middle, and the last letter is a vowel.  @ScotM: Are you sure you aren’t thinking of placebo? – Scott Dec 12 '16 at 0:47

pipe dream

an unattainable or fanciful hope or scheme. - Google

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  • “Having a billion dollars is the pipe dream that would solve all my problems”? That doesn’t sound right … I see where you’re going with this, and it’s a fairly similar concept, but I don’t think it works very well here. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Apr 1 '15 at 9:54

In computational complexity, such problems are classified as "NP-completete". ie., We don't know if any NP problem can be solved quickly; but if we find a quick solution to one such problem, then every other NP problem can be solved quickly.

PS: This might not be the right answer in this context (language question), but nevertheless is a technically correct answer. :)

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