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paint-by-numbers

adjective
  1. formulaic; showing no original thought or creativity
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Word Origin for paint-by-numbers

C20: from children's painting books in which the colours to be used are identified by numbers on the design to be painted
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

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Contemporary Examples of paint-by-numbers