light the fuse
do something that creates a tense or exciting situation
The image here is of lighting a fuse attached to gunpowder and fireworks in order to cause an explosion.
A touchpaper, which is used in the same way as a fuse, is a twist of paper impregnated with saltpetre to make it burn slowly.
1998 - Times - The rejection of global capitalism may light a touchpaper in all those countries battered by the crisis.
light the fuse :
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