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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

employ (someone) as (something)

To employ someone in a particular role or job. I thought they were going to employ me as a file clerk, but because they needed help with data entry, I wound up doing that instead.
See also: employ

employ (someone) for (something)

To employ someone in a particular role or job. I thought they were just going to employ me for filing, but because they needed help with data entry, I wound up doing that instead.
See also: employ

employ (someone) in (something)

To employ someone to work in a certain area. I applied for the job as file clerk, but they employed me in data entry instead.
See also: employ

employ someone as something

to pay someone to work in some capacity. I employed Fred as a personal secretary for about three months. Can you employ me as a stock clerk?
See also: employ

employ someone for something

to hire someone for a particular purpose. I employ him for special chores around the factory. Kelly employed Walter for emergency repairs on the night shift.
See also: employ

employ someone in something

to pay someone to work in a particular type of work. I employ Tom in machine maintenance. Laura is employed in accounting.
See also: employ
References in periodicals archive ?
John O'Connell, director of the TaxPayers' Alliance pressure group, said: "Any politician using taxpayers' money to employ a relative must be completely open about who is being paid, how much and for what.
TRICIA MARWICK Employs her son as an assistant KENNETH GIBSON Employs his wife as a policy advisor WILLIE COFFEY Employs his sister as an assistant
Mark Pritchard (Con The *Wrekin) employs his wife Sondra Pritchard as an office manager.
In a few cases, referring agencies sent persons to Project Employ shortly after the HIV diagnosis was made in conjunction with an AIDS defining illness.
ThyssenKrupp Elevator, the largest manufacturer of elevator products in North America, employs approximately 8,800 workers in the U.
They included Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, MP for Redditch, who employs her husband Richard Timney as a researcher and parliamentary assistant.
This arrangement proved so effective, both in employing blind people and providing the government with quality merchandise, that other disability organizations sought to amend the Act to employ people with other kinds of disabilities.
Furthermore, over 83% said they never used cold calls to seek new clients and, among those who did employ this practice, over one-half (57%) reported them as not very successful.
With its global headquarters in Munich, Siemens AG and its subsidiaries employ 475,000 people in 190 countries.
MORE than 100 MPs have declared that they employ relatives at the taxpayers' expense.
The $1,000 titanium-body camera features include an equivalent 35-105mm zoom lens, plus a 4x digital zoom; and employ a SD memory card.
Within that figure 405,000 are employed in large companies, where a number employ more than 1,000 including the likes of Corus and Admiral Motor Insurance.
When the issue of possible civil and criminal sanctions arises during an audit, the IRS may employ indirect methods and direct evidence from information returns or third parties' records to establish the existence of underreported income for either criminal or civil fraud or nonfraud civil cases.
Coinciding with the 16 September delivery of the first generally available models of the new IBM 2094 System z9(tm) 109 (z9-109) mainframe, INNOVATION is announcing FDRCRYPT, the first encryption backup utility specifically designed for the IBM z/OS environment; will transparently employ the new CP Assist for Cryptographic Function (CPACF) Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) hardware feature for both data encryption and decryption on all z9-109 models.