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(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. A: "Grandma, why do you keep yelling at us?" B: "Because you lot are artful as a wagonload of monkeys, that's why!" I know that Amanda must have been the mastermind behind this prank—she's as artful as a wagonload of monkeys.
See also: artful, monkey, of, wagonload

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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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

extremely clever or mischievous. British informal
See also: artful, monkey, of, wagonload
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price Copyright © 2011 by Steven D. Price
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References in periodicals archive ?
Getting artful can involve borrowing techniques from the arts to use in teaching, getting learners hands-on with creating artworks themselves and also engaging learners with great existing works of art, cultivating the cultural capital that comes from this in the process.
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You may remember Mark Hill as one half of Artful Dodger who stormed the charts with their garage sounds in the late 90s (but also inflicted Craig David on us).
BAE Systems added that Artful will now begin the next phase of its test and commissioning process ahead of sea trials next year.
The Artful Baker was established in 2011 by Roger Dickson in the back of a friend's shop.
Artful Dodgers, Boys Dancing project performance WARWICK ARTS CENTRE, COVENTRY MORE than 200 boys from across Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire will showcase Artful Dodgers as part of the Boys Dancing Project tomorrow.
Any crafter interested in texture, line and color and involved in using collage and altered art will find Artful Ways with Mixed Media provides a fine collection of layered projects to help teach basic techniques and encourage experimentation.
On Saturday, November 23, Southern Californians will be able to explore the works of local San Pedro artists at An Artful Holiday San Pedro.
Compiled and written by Jean Van't Hul "The Artful Parent: Simple Ways to Fill Your Family's Life with Art and Creativity--Includes over 60 Art Projects for Children Ages 1 to 8" is a 304 page compendium packed cover to cover with simple, fun, child-centered arts and crafts activities that any parent can use to foster creativity and an appreciation for art in their child.
Artful, a 7,400-tonne, 97-metre-long attack submarine, was officially named in front of thousands of guests in an event to mark the end of its build process at the Devonshire Dock Hall in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria.
Artful presenters Davina McCall and Nicky Campbell tell their prey that against all odds the programme's researchers have found the beloved relative they never thought they'd meet.
Jean Van't Hul (author); THE ARTFUL PARENT; Roost Books (Nonfiction: Family & Relationships) 21.95 ISBN: 9781590309643
Artful offers four meditations on the nature and beauty of art.