To say Douglas Pearce’s music is “pro-Hitler” oversimplifies a complex and less than clean cut matter.

Source: Accidental Protégé – An Attempt To Clear The Confusion Over Death In June and Douglas Pearce

Can you explain to me what "less than clean cut matter" means in the context of the above clause? Is this part an attribute? The matter is "complex" and "less than clean cut"?

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    It means roughly "not a clearly delineated matter" or "not a black-and-white matter", i.e. a matter possessing subtleties or complexities. "hardly a clear-cut matter" would be better. Mar 1, 2017 at 15:11

1 Answer 1


First of all, "clean cut" refers to something that is simple, easy to understand, or well-defined. IE: "The murder trial was clean cut, due to video evidence of the crime."

Now, to say "less than " simply means "not very ". IE: "The polluted water was less than safe to drink"

Combining these: "...less than clean cut matter." could also be stated as "The matter isn't simple or easy to understand.", where matter refers to the idea that Pearce's music is pro-Hitler.

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