The original exercise is to
Dividing both sides by $\cos20^\circ+\sin10^\circ$ leads me to the problem in the question title.
I've tried rewriting the left side in terms of $\sin10^\circ$:
but there doesn't seem to be any immediate way to simplify further. I've considered replacing $x=10^\circ$ to see if there was some observation I could make about the more general polynomial $4x^4-2x^3-3x^2-x+1$ but I don't see anything particularly useful about that. Attempting to rewrite in terms of $\cos20^\circ$ seems like it would complicate things by needlessly(?) introducing square roots.
Is there a clever application of identities to arrive at the value of $\dfrac34$? I have considered
which eliminates the cubic term in $(*)$, and I would have to show that