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The Oxford Dictionary of American Usage and Style

Bryan A. Garner

fuse, n.; fuze. 

A fuse is a wick or other combustible cord for an old-fashioned explosive. A fuze is for more high-tech explosives: it's a mechanical or electronic device used for detonations.

In a different sense, fuse refers to a component that protects an electrical circuit by preventing it from melting. Thus, the two clichés derive from the different senses of the word: blow a fuse from the electrical-component sense, and have a short fuse from the wick sense.