Random, Illogical Crossword Clue

Random, illogical crossword clue. A daily quick crossword puzzle question in The Dominion Post on Wednesday, 12 July 2017. 9 letters. Also appear in other New Zealand Fairfax Media newspaper like The Timaru Herald and The Press.

The answer: ARBITRARY

Arbitrariness is the quality of being “determined by chance, whim, or impulse, and not by necessity, reason, or principle”.

Arbitrary decisions are not necessarily the same as random decisions. For example, during the 1973 oil crisis, Americans were allowed to purchase gasoline only on odd-numbered days if their license plate was odd, and on even-numbered days if their license plate was even. The system was well-defined and not random in its restrictions; however, since license plate numbers are completely unrelated to a person’s fitness to purchase gasoline, it was still an arbitrary division of people. Similarly, schoolchildren are often organized by their surname in alphabetical order, a non-random yet still arbitrary method, at least in cases where surnames are irrelevant.

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