engine

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employ a steam engine to crack a nut

To use excessive, overcomplicated, or extravagant means or force to accomplish something relatively minor or simple. With this new system of issuing licenses, the government has employed a steam engine to crack a nut: four separate departments now handle each stage of an application, when a single department could easily process applications from start to finish.
See also: crack, employ, engine, nut, steam

engine room

The main source of talent, power, or ability in a team or group, likened to the room that houses a ship's engine. Sarah is our engine room, so with her injured, I'm not sure how we'll be able to win on Saturday.
See also: engine, room
References in classic literature ?
All three engines are at work, for the sooner we have skated over this thin ice the better.
If so, he is own brother to the engine he rides upon
Save for the quiver of the engines it was as noiseless as a dream.
From the engine room companionway came the engineer and stockers, and together we leaped after the balance of the crew and into the hand-to-hand fight that was covering the wet deck with red blood.
Then he ran out upon the platform just as the engine whistled twice in the final warning that precedes the first rumbling jerk of coupling pins.
Finest engine we've got on the line, and the best driver.
All this time it had been impossible to work upon the damaged engines or the gravity-screen generators; but we had a full set of instruments upon the bridge, for Alvarez, after discovering my intentions, had fetched the reserve instruments from his own cabin, where he had hidden them.
But it just wasn't my fate, even that time I rode my engine down to the bottom of a forty-foot washout.
Rout had gone away, and Captain MacWhirr could feel against his ear the pulsation of the engines, like the beat of the ship's heart.
The stranger became silent and seemed overcome with sadness, but another blast from the whistle of the passenger engine aroused him.
That she had dropped into the last coma which would end in death, if the air supply remained unreplenished, I well knew, and so, throwing caution to the winds, I flung overboard everything but the engine and compass, even to my ornaments, and lying on my belly along the deck with one hand on the steering wheel and the other pushing the speed lever to its last notch I split the thin air of dying Mars with the speed of a meteor.
He travelled with his engine from farm to farm, from county to county, for as yet the steam threshing-machine was itinerant in this part of Wessex.
Whenever I see the movement of a locomotive I hear the whistle and see the valves opening and wheels turning; but I have no right to conclude that the whistling and the turning of wheels are the cause of the movement of the engine.
When an engine would strike a mass of blocked trucks, splitting it into fragments, as a blow annihilates a cake of ice, Jimmie's team could usually be observed high and safe, with whole wheels, on the sidewalk.
He started the engine, and with a wild burr of gas explosions the beautiful fabric darted down the launching ways and lifted into the air.