artful

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artful dodger

A rogue or miscreant who avoids getting in trouble for their crimes, mischief, or bad behavior through crafty or ingenious means. Taken from the name of a clever pickpocket in Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. She's always causing mischief, but she's such an artful dodger that she always finds a way to get out of trouble.
See also: artful, dodger

(as) artful as a wagonload of monkeys

Impish or mischievous. ("Cartload" can be used instead of "wagonload.") Primarily heard in UK. Don't let those boys sit together—they're as artful as a wagonload of monkeys.
See also: artful, monkey, of, wagonload

as artful (or clever) as a wagonload (or cartload) of monkeys

extremely clever or mischievous. British informal
See also: artful, monkey, of, wagonload

Artful Dodger

a sly person, especially one involved in dubious or criminal activities. It was the nickname of Jack Dawkins, a young pickpocket in Charles Dickens's Oliver Twist. The character survives in the stage and movie musical Oliver!, which was based on the Dickens novel, but the phrase as applied to a “sneaky Pete” is now rarely if ever heard. “Dodger” in the sense of evading danger inspired the name of the Brooklyn (now Los Angeles) baseball team; in its early years in Brooklyn, the team was the “Trolley Dodgers.” Brooklyn had many streetcar lines, and to play in the streets required youngsters to dodge streetcars, and “trolley dodger” became the slang term for anyone from that borough.
See also: artful, dodger
References in periodicals archive ?
He set the scenes of his speeches as artfully as the producers of music videos arrange the visual accompaniments for songs, and in Mein Kampf he observed that the object of all propaganda was the "encroachment upon man's freedom of will.
The execution scene at the end of the ballet is artfully presented.
The architectural historian has transformed the space with antique mirrors, a Chinese carpet, artfully stacked books, a low-hanging chandelier, imported textiles, Bayard Rustin's walking sticks and stone fragments from other old brownstones in Harlem.
His essay is an eloquent prelude that artfully explains the scientific method as "nothing but the expression of the necessary mode of working of the human mind.
OTTAWA -- Corel Corporation, one of the world's leading providers of digital media software, and Sandra Magsamen, best-selling author of Living Artfully: Create The Life You Imagine and host of the public television special Living Artfully, have formed a partnership focused on helping consumers create and share striking and imaginative photo projects to better connect with friends and family.
In addition to all of the luxuries of a Glenwood residence, Hampton Court features a unique u-shaped design that is surrounded by beautifully landscaped gardens both on the exterior of the building as well as within the artfully designed courtyard that provides lush garden views from many residences.
Sunday in Bamako,'' the duo's first disc to get a global nudge, is artfully crafted for impact a continent away from the hot clubs of France.
When the flaps open, they generate an irregular pattern as though these were manually operated shutters on a medieval warehouse, or rocks artfully positioned in a vertical Zen garden.
Connecting these elements in a semicoherent way isn't impossible, but, as in There Is No Gardener, and He Is Invisible--an artfully composed pileup featuring a garden shed propped up by an ugly sculpture, drunken topiary on an orange lawn, and a pair of hands reaching out blindly for two bright-colored balls that might have fallen off another '60s painting--eventually you may feel there's no code to crack, just a roundabout of sly connotation.
Indeed, these poems are a cause for celebration, as they artfully explore the various lights and shadows of what it is to love and be loved in a modern context.
Artfully woven throughout the horrors perpetrated by one man on his family, are threads of compassion in the form of Amerindian wisdom's love of nature in both its animate and inanimate forms.
All the dishes are artfully presented, as illustrated in crisp, bright, minimalist photographs.
Olafsdottir, a photographer by trade, and Muska, who boasts a master's in anthropology, could have included more details about the events leading up to the killing, but otherwise they artfully recreate the milieu that fostered such violence.
Albeit emotionally gloomy, Woud is choreographically inventive, artfully structured, kinetically vivid, and visually rich.
Special Reserve coffees are handcrafted, artfully roasted, and limited in supply.