I read this in Word by Word by Kory Stamper:
Don’t think that Gove was a windbag: he was a New Englander and valued sparse efficiency in all things (including lexicography). So it says something that the memos are so long.
Does the latter sentence's construction have some idiomatic significance because it in itself doesn't seem to make much sense? And what does "sparse efficiency" mean in this context? Does it have something to do with New England being sparsely populated? But I'm not getting the "efficiency" part.