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nuts and bolts, the

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The essential or basic aspects of something, as in They have lofty goals but don't specify the nuts and bolts of how to achieve them. This expression alludes to basic working components of machinery. [Mid-1900s]

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We have a challenge that will make you blush: do you know the many words and ways to describe the opposite of red?
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Which of the following colors is used to symbolize AIR?
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

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