Crux of the biscuit
I used the phrase this morning & someone said, "Just what is a biscuit's crux anyway?" Thus began the saga of looking through word & phrase origin books & internet. Haven't gone to the library yet, but I will if I have to.
All I can offer is a clue. In 1974 Frank Zappa wrote "Stink-Foot" which appeared on "Apostrophe'" which was Zappa's biggest hit album. In "Stink-Foot", the dog Fido is asked "what is your, conceptual, continuity", to which the dog replies "The crux of the biscuit is the apostrophe". The phrase "crux of the biscuit" has since been used to mean the heart of the matter.

Not being a Zappaist myself I can't explain further, but I include below a section of the lyrics to "Stink-Foot"

"Once upon a time, somebody say to me"
This is the dog talkin' now
"What is your, conceptual, continuity?"
"Well I told 'em right then", Fido said
"It should be easy to see
"The crux of the biscuit
is the apostrophe"
Well you know, the man that was talking to the dog
looked at the dog, and he said
Sort of staring in disbelief
"You can't say that"
he said
"It doesn't, and you can't, I won't, and it don't
it hasn't, it isn't, it even ain't, and it shouldn't
it couldn't"

Lewis Joplin II
I couldn't find the phrase in any of my regional slang dictionaries. Sorry.
Frank Pierce
I'd guess it's a comic melding of the terms "crux of the matter" and crust of the biscuit,

I can remember hearing older persons use the latter - "he didn't even leave me the crust of a biscuit", meaning, obviously, he left me with nothing at all, worthless or not.

Walt Kelly in Pogo was the master of such combined and twisted phrases which together reached the level of beautiful absurdity. "We have met the enemy, and not only are they ours, they may be us!"

I grew up in a Pogo-speaking family, so appreciate the reference.

Not a Zappa-tista either - I thought the phrase pre-dated that album, but you could be right.

Thanks everyone for looking - I'll report back if I find it at the library.

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