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close only counts in horseshoes (and hand grenades)

Being nearly successful or accurate is not the same as being successful or accurate; being close to achieving something does not provide any benefit. It doesn't matter that we only lost the game by two points—we still lost! And close only counts in horseshoes. A: "You should be proud that you came so close to being valedictorian." B: "Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades."
See also: close, count, hand, horseshoe

Close only counts in horseshoes (and hand grenades).

Prov. Coming close but not succeeding is not good enough. I came close to winning the election, but close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.
See also: close, count, horseshoe
References in periodicals archive ?
Callan recruits 64 teams to play horseshoes, and the competitors often make silly uniforms as part of the fun.
In the early 1970s, pitching horseshoes gained popularity and took over as the company's primary product.
Stuart Phillip Buxton climbed up a wooden pole in a field at the back of the Toyota factory on the Deeside Industrial Estate, to retrieve two horseshoes on May 18 last year.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA) has patented and produces and sells horseshoes made from a special polyurethane polymer sold by Alliance Polymers & Services LLC (APS), North America's largest distributor and technical resource of BASF's Elastollan brand of thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPUs) used by Nanoflex.
The Horseshoes in Nuneaton is now back in business after spending several years as The Lancet and eventually being boarded up.
In 1990, he offered Dr Henry Schofield a job as his "bat man", and he soon discovered that while lesser horseshoes had no shortage of caves, mines and even dungeons, to hibernate in during winter, they struggled to find summer accommodation.
Now more space has been opened up, 600 lesser horseshoes hang upside down at their bat heaven.
a game in which horseshoes are tossed at a stake in the ground
Horseshoes and horseshoe nails never cross our minds--unless we happen to own a horse.
Lucky Horseshoes A Tale from the Iris the Dragon Series By Gayle Grass
Pub of the week: The Three Horseshoes, Moulton, near Barry.
SYLMAR - It all began with too many horseshoes cluttering up Ambrose Meyer's back yard.
Great historical events do often seem to hinge on trifles like the shape of Cleopatra's nose, and certainly the outcome of many a battle has been influenced by random factors like horseshoes, the direction of the sun, or the state of someone's digestion.
Horseshoes are an ever present on the bar's fireplace.