Crux

(A). A knotty point, a difficulty. Instantia crucis means a crucial test, or the point where two similar diseases crossed and showed a special feature. It does not refer to the cross, an instrument of punishment; but to the crossing of two lines, called also a node or knot; hence a trouble or difficulty. Qua te mala crux agitat? (Plautus); What evil cross distresses you? —i.e. what difficulty, what trouble are you under?

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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