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Idioms for Problems

Fill the blanks in these idioms that relate to difficulty and failure.
Last updated: January 27, 2018
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Idiom
A whole can of worms
Spiral out of control
Catch-22
An uphill battle
One's cross to bear
Go pear-shaped
Hung out to dry
Idiom
Stir up a hornet's nest
In over one's head
A spanner in the works
On a sticky wicket
In dire straits
A stumbling block
Between a rock and a hard place
Idiom
A millstone around one's neck
Grasping at straws
Twisting in the wind
The wheels have fallen off
Up a blind alley
One's goose is cooked
Go up in smoke
+4
level 54
Aug 16, 2013
Fun and interesting quiz
+6
level 51
Sep 5, 2013
Could you also accept 'clutching' for the straw one and 'flames' for the one about smoke? thanks
+6
level 29
Sep 23, 2013
Yeah I've always heard it as "clutching at straws" too
+2
level 48
Oct 21, 2013
Ditto, I struggled with that one as I couldn't think of anything but "clutching".
+2
level 49
Nov 16, 2013
I agree with "flames".
+2
level ∞
Nov 16, 2013
Those will both work now.
+1
level 22
Jan 27, 2018
I tried 'grabbing at straws'. Could you add that?
+3
level 56
Nov 16, 2013
"IN A STICKY SITUATION"
+10
level 76
Nov 16, 2013
I was up a ____ creek without a paddle for some of these.
+1
level 81
May 29, 2014
That's the one I kept thinking of :)
+1
level 69
Aug 29, 2016
Definitely where my mind went.
+1
level 69
Jan 27, 2018
flooded
+1
level 68
Nov 16, 2013
Good quiz thanks
+1
level 71
Aug 2, 2014
Agreed!
+2
level 64
Nov 16, 2013
Great quiz. But I never heard of Go pear-shaped. ???
+2
level 52
Nov 16, 2013
Me either. Can someone explain that?
+1
level 49
Nov 16, 2013
Picture a gun barrel, or other circular object, which has melted slightly.
+1
level 72
Jan 27, 2018
To my mind is one's perfect hour-glass figure ultimately getting a bit wider around the middle, hence going pear-shaped
+3
level 41
Jan 27, 2018
It just means some object has lost its original shape or a situation has become awkward/out of control
+3
level 56
Nov 16, 2013
Could you accept "struggle" for "battle" please?
+2
level 71
Jan 27, 2018
+1 Uphill struggle is just as common. Please could you add? https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/an+uphill+struggle
+1
level 68
Jan 27, 2018
+1
+1
level ∞
Jan 27, 2018
Okay
+7
level 32
Nov 18, 2013
I tried "whoop-ass". Didn't work....
+1
level 66
Apr 9, 2015
Go up in atoms?
+4
level 35
Sep 17, 2015
UP AND AT THEM!
+1
level 75
Apr 14, 2016
I had to think about spanner to remember that it's British for "a wrench in the works". No idea what a sticky wicket is, though. Does it have to do with cricket?
+1
level 62
Jan 24, 2017
American would be more like "throw a monkey wrench in the works."
+1
level 75
Jan 28, 2018
Or the John McClane version in Die Hard, "Monkey in the wrench."
+2
level 49
Jun 15, 2016
You forgot up a creek without a paddle
+1
level 75
Jan 28, 2018
Also, on a slippery slope. Great quiz.
+2
level 64
Nov 13, 2016
Fun fact: John Lennon wrote a book called "Spaniard in the works".
+1
level 62
Jan 23, 2017
So THAT'S what that means!!!
+1
level 48
Jan 27, 2018
Could 'An Uphill Struggle' be accepted too?
+1
level 57
Jan 27, 2018
Maybe I'm overly pessimistic. I got them all with 2:46 to spare.
+1
level 67
Jan 27, 2018
"Go {belly} up" is another one I thought of, but I think some of you would then ask for a different, inappropriate, anatomical term.
+2
level 78
Aug 15, 2018
I had a very good friend who was a nurse in the Korean War and later a flight attendant. Her favorite express for when something went wrong was "it went tango uniform". Took me years to work up the courage to ask what it meant.
+1
level 41
Oct 27, 2018
Hahaha love it! A favourite one of my north-east England grandma was, it’s taken the pip (also used if someone got angry for a trivial reason) :D
+1
level 76
May 21, 2019
Generally this term is used less when you've got a problem and more when you're dead.
+1
level 67
Jan 29, 2018
Good quiz, all were quite common to me except "Twisting in the Wind'...... haven't heard that one before, I would be interested to hear where that is common.
+1
level 31
Jan 31, 2018
100% with 1.40 secs left
+2
level 35
Apr 13, 2018
I have to say, unless someone has done exceptionally well in a quiz it's extremely dull to read other people's scores or completion times.
+1
level 39
Jun 26, 2018
...even when someone has done really well...methinks there is much 'guessing' going on, which is not the same as knowing the answers...IMO
+1
level 55
Jul 31, 2018
i can only assume that "gone pear shaped," "a spanner in the works," and "on a sticky wicket" are all non-U.S. sayings? i'm American and i've never once heard any of those sayings. never. zero.
+1
level 19
Oct 27, 2018
no idea. Ive never heard of em either
+1
level 38
Feb 2, 2019
^ Nor have I.
+1
level 57
Mar 17, 2019
Oh, how the tables have turned
+1
level 76
May 21, 2019
I've heard all of these before, though "spanner in the works" is obviously extra-American as Americans would say "wrench" not "spanner." Pretty sure I've heard "sticky wicket" in the US before but the other two I think are British expressions.
+1
level 75
Jan 6, 2019
i'm not sure how a goose being ready to eat is a problem. i'd say the goose is loose is a problem, but then I'd just be making stuff up
+1
level 21
Mar 23, 2019
Hmm some of these I've never heard of. must be american...
+1
level 28
Mar 25, 2019
I prefer my version 'ones goose is loose'