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blivet: /bliv'*t/ [allegedly from a World War II military term
   meaning "ten pounds of manure in a five-pound bag"] n. 1. An
   intractable problem.  2. A crucial piece of hardware that can't be
   fixed or replaced if it breaks.  3. A tool that has been hacked
   over by so many incompetent programmers that it has become an
   unmaintainable tissue of hacks.  4. An out-of-control but
   unkillable development effort.  5. An embarrassing bug that pops up
   during a customer demo.  6. In the subjargon of computer security
   specialists, a denial-of-service attack performed by hogging
   limited resources that have no access controls (for example, shared
   spool space on a multi-user system).

This term has other meanings in other technical cultures; among experimental physicists and hardware engineers of various kinds it seems to mean any random object of unknown purpose (similar to hackish use of frob). It has also been used to describe an amusing trick-the-eye drawing resembling a three-pronged fork that appears to depict a three-dimensional object until one realizes that the parts fit together in an impossible way.