Rube Goldberg

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Rube Goldberg

A slang term for an unnecessarily complicated solution to a problem, or a problem with a solution that is itself problematic. The term refers to a 20th-century American cartoonist who drew large machines performing simple actions for which a machine is not necessary.
References in periodicals archive ?
(13) Tim Beaver of Beaver Specialty Metals, Santa Rosa, CA, shows his "manly erector set and Rube Goldberg device," an agglomeration of all the various fittings available from Beaver.
The brutal fact of the matter is that we have what can only be described as a Rube Goldberg device for retail technology.
More often, though, Wong likes to toy with audience expectations, mercilessly extending sequences in which one thing leads to another, like interlocking pieces of a Rube Goldberg device, and somebody winds up garroted or decapitated or even worse.