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It is scientific writing. To do A, we have a smart way than the brute force way. Namely, we can do B first and then do C, in the end A is done.

How to describe this scenario?

We can do it in a round way?

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  • Work backwards? Circumvent? I appreciate that you wanted to simplify this for our understanding, but it might be a little too simplified for us to give you the answer you're looking for. Jan 18, 2017 at 10:20
  • If you clarify your question, I'd like to know two things: (1) Did you mean "We have a smart way, then the brute force way." Or, "We have a smarter way than the brute force way." It's hard to tell from the way you've written it. Also, (2) Is "doing B first and then doing C" the smart way, or the brute force way?
    – J.R.
    Jan 18, 2017 at 10:42

3 Answers 3

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I think maybe you're looking for

Do it in a roundabout way.

Adjectively, this is defined as:

roundabout (adj.) Indirect, circuitous or circumlocutionary; that does not do something in a direct way;

roundabout (adj.) not direct, simple, or short.

I think this works better than round for what you are trying to say.

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"In his classic book Strategy, famous military historian Lidell Hart detailed the “indirect” approach to war. ... Instead of a brute force direct attack to overwhelm the enemy, the victors always chose to battle indirectly. When forced to fight, the indirect strategy involves using surprise, intelligence, logic, and human nature to exploit the enemy’s weaknesses."
Steve W. Martin "Win More Sales with an Indirect Strategy" Harvard Business Review, May 6, 2014

(The book The strategy of indirect approach was first published in 1941.)

This strategy is exactly what you are talking about. An indirect approach can turn a difficult frontal attack into a series of easier and more winnable tasks, often involving a flanking movement to come at the opposition (the problem) from a different direction.

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The technique of

divide and conquer

may be what you are describing, essentially it is taking a large task that needs to be done and breaking it into smaller tasks.

In your example, A would be your large task, and B and C would be your smaller tasks. Both B and C are necessary to complete A, and they are usually order dependent, B must precede C.

Either B or C may be elegant solutions to your problem without being brute force.

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