Martin (1992: 130):
An example of an idiom containing a nominal group not realising a participant was introduced among the examples relevant to [neutralised] reference above: flash in the pan fizzles. The idiom preserves the Deictic the precisely because it is collocationally frozen; the nominal group is not relevant to participant identification because "the pan" is not a participant in the text.
 This continues the confusion between clause participant and nominal group Thing. To be clear, only ranking nominal groups realise participants. Embedded nominal groups, such as those realising Qualifiers of nominal groups, do not realise participants. This is not restricted to idioms.
 To be clear, the participant in this instance is the Actor flash in the pan.
flash in the pan
The participant is realised by a nominal group whose Thing is flash:
in the pan
The Qualifier of the nominal group is realised by a prepositional phrase whose Range is realised by a nominal group whose Thing is pan:
 This is tautology presented as argument: the Deictic is preserved in the idiom because it is frozen in the idiom.
 This continues the confusion between nominal group deixis and reference. To be clear, the nominal group is not relevant to textual reference, because reference is not a system of the nominal group.
What is relevant to textual reference is that the pan includes the determiner the whose demonstrative reference is homophoric (self-specifying).
 This continues the misunderstanding of textual reference as ideational denotation.