sticky wicket

Cricket. the area of ground around a wicket when it is tacky because of recent rain and therefore does not allow the ball to bounce well.
Chiefly British. a situation requiring delicate treatment; an awkward situation: In telling his wife that he has to be away for a month in Cannes, he'll be batting on a sticky wicket.

1925–30 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
sticky wicket
1.  a cricket pitch that is rapidly being dried by the sun after rain and is particularly conducive to spin
2.  informal a difficult or awkward situation (esp in the phrase on a sticky wicket)

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Example sentences
The conflict between state and federal drug laws makes this a resin-sticky wicket, indeed.
And both occasionally acknowledge that without the support of their more starchy sidekicks, life would be a sticky wicket indeed.
The problem-it is obvious that this is a pretty sticky wicket.
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