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Related to crack open: fall through the cracks
1. To open something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "crack" and "open." It's too hot in here—can we crack open a window? We cracked open a bottle of wine to celebrate finishing our first year of grad school.
2. To break open. A noun or pronoun can be used between "crack" and "open." The earthquake cracked the highway wide open.
3. To expose something scandalous or deceptive. A noun or pronoun can be used between "crack" and "open." That company's stock price plummeted after the media cracked open the CEO's embezzlement scandal. An anonymous tip to the police is what cracked the theft ring wide open.
crack something(wide) open
1. Lit. to crack or split something. An incredible eruption cracked the volcano wide open.
2. Fig. to expose and reveal some great wrongdoing. The police cracked the drug ring wide open. The newspaper story cracked the trouble at city hall wide open.
[for something brittle] to break or split open. The egg cracked open and a chick worked its way out. The side of the mountain cracked open and molten lava flowed out.