Posted by Ed Stansell on September 22, 2002 at
I couldn't find that phrase listed. The meaning , I think, is
self evident. A needle would be quite lost in even a small amount of hay. Given
its shape and reflective qualities; it would surely be near impossible in a haystack.
As to the origin or date; I wouldn't venture a guess. I think it's used often
enough to be added to your list.