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All of your responses were good. All of them probably valid. Like English Spanish is a "pluricentric" languages with different ways of saying thing in different regions. I didn't realize there were so many ways one could say this in Spanish! I chose tortura because it seems to be the most "standard" but some of you proposed more imaginative and creative alternatives. Special thanks to Mayacane, but my thanks also to the rest of you who responded.
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17 mins confidence: peer agreement (net): +2
bailar un trompo en la uña
Explanation: Hello Brian,
In Mexico we use the expression "bailar un trompo en la uña", which literally means "to make a top spin on your fingernail" when we face a big challenge or something very difficult, as in your example.
I'm pretty sure there are many other options in Spanish, this is simply one that popped into my mind because it is slangish/idiomatic.
Good luck and greetings from Oso ¶:^)
P.S. I'm a real bear ¶;^)
xxxOso Native speaker of: Spanish PRO pts in pair: 9863