Things I'm trying to convey

  • The solution is something simple and convenient (i.e. doesn't require a lot of effort, hence not "overkill" or "overengineering")

  • The solution does something that has an impact greater than the actual problem, but this impact also happens to solve the problem

  • A subtle sense of laziness for choosing this solution, because it's so convenient and solves the problem in such a blunt way

An example of a situation that may be described this way:

  • You have a pimple, and wear a face mask to cover it (a mask is an easy solution, and covering your entire face is more than what's necessary. you could put in a bit more effort with makeup/cosmetics to also solve the problem)

I'm not sure if an idiom/phrase/word exists for this idea. I feel that I've read something expressing this sentiment before, but I can't for the life of me remember what it is.

I've seen phrases like "hitting a nail with a sledgehammer" or "killing a fly with a bomb" but I feel those aren't quite it. They don't have that kind of "lazy choice" feel that I'm looking for.

  • I doubt such an expression exists. The nearest I could think of would that it would be an ‘indirect solution’. But tell me: why is such a word or expression needed? Brexit?
    – Tuffy
    Commented Mar 18, 2019 at 8:27
  • Using a mask doesn't seem like the laziest option to me. To me, the laziest option (and perhaps the best one in this example, if not in general) is to just not do anything about it at all. Putting on a mask seems like a lot of work in its own right. (And if the real problem is that you don't want to be noticed, wearing a mask doesn't accomplish that. It makes the situation worse.) Commented Mar 18, 2019 at 8:28
  • Two birds with one stone?
    – Ricky
    Commented Mar 18, 2019 at 8:33
  • Really bad example since the solution of wearing a mask it nutty. You seem to be looking for something that refers to a solution that is not precisely targeted which has broad (but beneficial) effect.
    – TimR
    Commented Mar 18, 2019 at 9:53
  • 1
    "Expedient" is good. Or "pragmatic"? Or "broad brush"? Or "simplistic"?
    – user323578
    Commented Apr 17, 2019 at 13:13

2 Answers 2


You could consider a compound with 'broad', e.g broad-spectrum solution or broad-stroke/broad-brush approach.

From Yourdictionary

broad-spectrum is something that is effective in a wide variety of ways.

An example of broad-spectrum is an antibiotic such as penicillin.

From a book entitled Nannoinovation

There was no broad-spectrum solution that could be used to attack all viruses.

You are applying the KISS principle.

KISS, a backronym for "keep it simple, stupid", is a design principle noted by the U.S. Navy in 1960. The KISS principle states that most systems work best if they are kept simple rather than made complicated; therefore, simplicity should be a key goal in design, and unnecessary complexity should be avoided. The phrase has been associated with aircraft engineer Kelly Johnson. — Wikipedia

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