To cope with darkness (problem 1) people resort to candles (solution 1), which may cause fire (problem 2) so people buy fire extinguishers (solution 2). Alternatively, people could buy fake LED candles (solution 1').

To ensure highway tolls are paid (problem 1) people need to buy vignettes and stick them on their windshield (solution 1) , which is hard to scrape off after expiring (problem 2) so people buy vignette scrapers (solution 2). Alternatively, highway tolls could be checked based on license plates (solution 1').

Are there words for solution 1 and 1'? The pattern could be called Diderot effect, but I know no words for the problems and the solutions.

Example usage:

  • "Don't bite the (buying bait, solution 1)! Choose LED candles!"
  • "LED candles are a (solution 1') for darkness."
  • I'd have to use 'ideal' in both cases, with a negator where necessary. But LED candles get through batteries too quickly, so even 'ideal' isn't ideal. Commented Nov 30, 2017 at 10:17
  • If there is, it's prolly life! Commented Dec 1, 2017 at 19:33
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  • I always say "But what are we going to do about the radioactive gorillas?"
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    Commented May 31, 2018 at 16:10

1 Answer 1


Delicate solution is the closest I can come up with - with delicate instead of volatile to avoid a chemistry term (although volatile answer could refer to a verbal solution of that kind). Pro-tem could be another option, but that has more to do with being temporary than with carrying additional risks.

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