IRE is often the answer to the crossword clue
[Wrath], [Fury] or [Spleen]

IRE: Easy, pal. [It’s madness] to lose your head over this [Mood while hopping?]

Dealing with IRE is natural in crosswords, and not just because tough clues can test our [Testiness]. IRE also happens to be one of crosswords’ most common answers.

I guess you could say [It’s all the rage].

Oddly, it was the solvers who weren’t not up to the task who found themselves in [Pique condition?].

IRE if often seen as [Fury], [Anger], or [Wrath]. Quaintly, it might be [Ill will]. Politely, [It’s past displeasure]. In modern parlance, it’s [Annoyance plus].

[Wrath I feel almost constantly]

Caleb Madison, Buzzfeed – March 2, 2016

As a verb, “to IRE” is to [Tick off] or [Tee off] someone. Crosswords exemplify the point to a tee when they use those clues, which work equally well for similar answers like BUG, IRK, or VEX.

Among the clues for IRE that can [Provoke] the most [High dudgeon] in solvers are:

  • [Bile]
  • [Spleen]
  • [Choler]
  • [Steam]
  • [Heat source?]
  • [Bring to a boil?]
  • [Dander]
  • [Passion]
  • [Soreness]
  • [Hot stuff]
  • [Memo starter]
  • [Burning sensation?]

[What’s not a good fit?]

Brendan Emmett Quigley, New York Times, March 22, 2020

IRE: a crossword answer that can [Cross state] borders

The [Apoplectic state] might seem to resemble Texas as a [Big red state?] or Florida as a [Hot state] or a [Stormy state], or perhaps even as a [Mad state].

Blarney Castle in County CORK [Cab stopper?], in IRE [Emerald Isle: Abbr.] via L.O.C.

But IRE turns out to be in fact a geographic state when it’s an abbreviation for the [Cork loc.] that lets IRE land for [Land starter?].

[What controversial cartoonists draw?]

Brian Thomas, The Puzzle Society, November 17, 2018

Fill-in-the-blank quote clues can be a pleasant way to inject a little poetry into a solve. My favorites for IRE are:

Perhaps the most warped clue for IRE is one that might take a moment to unpack: [Slight reaction?]

[Slight reaction?]

Byron Walden, New York Sun, February 15, 2008

The clue turns on “slight” being read not as an adjective but as a noun meaning an “insult” or “affront.”

That’s pretty sharp. But no matter how good a pun for IRE is, it’s probably still [Bad humor].