spanner


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throw a spanner in(to) the works

To disrupt, foil, or cause problems to a plan, activity, or project. Primarily heard in UK. We had everything in line for the party, but having the caterer cancel on us at the last minute really threw a spanner in the works! It'll really throw a spanner into the works if the board decides not to increase our funding for this project.
See also: spanner, throw, work

put a spanner in(to) the works

To disrupt, foil, or cause problems to a plan, activity, or project. Primarily heard in UK. We had everything in line for the party, but having the caterer cancel on us at the last minute really put a spanner in the works! It will really put a spanner into the works if the board decides not to increase our funding for this project.
See also: put, spanner, work

throw a spanner in the works

or

put a spanner in the works

BRITISH
COMMON If someone or something throws a spanner in the works or puts a spanner in the works, they cause problems which prevent something from happening in the way that it was planned. If they're suddenly going to change the arrangement, it's going to throw a spanner in the works. It is clear Britain could have put a spanner in the works of the contract. Note: You can also just talk about a spanner in the works, meaning `a problem that prevents something from happening the way that it was planned'. Another possible spanner in the works is the weather, which may prevent us from travelling on the 18th. Note: The usual American expression is throw a wrench into the works or throw a monkey wrench into the works.
See also: spanner, throw, work

a spanner in the works

an event, person, or thing that prevents the smooth or successful implementation of a plan; a drawback or impediment.
A variant, found chiefly in North American English, is a monkey wrench in the works , a monkey wrench being a spanner or wrench with adjustable jaws: to throw a spanner (or a monkey wrench ) into the works is to deliberately wreck someone's plans or activities. In his 1974 novel The Monkey Wrench Gang, Edward Abbey used this as a metaphor for systematic industrial sabotage, and monkey-wrenching is now a colloquial term for such activity.
1997 Spectator Pretty well all the newspapers…are now adversarial in tone, conceiving their basic purpose as throwing spanners in the works almost as a matter of principle.
See also: spanner, work

put/throw a ˈspanner in the works

(British English) (American English throw a (ˈmonkey) ˈwrench in the works) (informal) spoil or prevent the success of somebody’s plan, idea, etc: Let’s get this finished before the boss comes along and throws a spanner in the works.
A spanner or wrench is a metal tool used for fastening things tightly. The works are the moving parts of a machine.
See also: put, spanner, throw, work
References in periodicals archive ?
Based on her knowledge of PDSs, Kelsey, one of the boundary spanner researchers who worked in the district central office, knew the importance of teachers' being commended for their work and of others' providing them with support.
The screwdriver's shaft is stainless steel, while the handle and spanner are made of durable, military-grade Swiss polymer, Bits and Allen wrenches are of premium-grade steel, and are magnetized to help you avoid losing tiny screws.
During a break, Spanner, owner of Spanner Tree and Shrub Care in Pittstown, walked through the forest, batting away weeds and stickerbushes along a swampy path.
After the Spanner ruling, police cracked down on S/M bars and parties nationwide.
The authors describe their new technique, which they dub a fiber-optic spanner (the British term for a wrench), in a paper published today in the Optical Society's (OSA) journal Optics Letters.
When we got in we noticed a very large spanner on the driver's dashboard.
TWO heroes used a belt, ropes and a spanner to save a pensioner from bleeding to death after she was hit by a lorry.
A SERVING soldier who was badly injured while on duty in Afghanistan attacked another man with a spanner after a night out.
Artists: TesseracT, Uneven Structure, Chimp Spanner Venue: Cockpit, Leeds Review by: Andy Duckworth HEADING out for their first headlining tour, having recently undergone a change in line-up, British neo-prog up-and-comers TesseracT could be forgiven for giving a less than stellar performance, given the circumstances.
It is made with an adjustable frame so when the child outgrows it, it can simply be adapted with a spanner.
THERE is nothing more annoying when working on a car than finding you can't quite get a spanner on to a nut because of other bits and pieces around it.
POLICE want to speak to these youths after a raid at a Coventry off-licence in which a worker was threatened with a spanner.
A MARRIED dad-to-be has been cleared of attacking another man with a spanner outside a Teesside pub.
Comma says that men are keen as ever to maintain their macho image, with a further 44 per cent preferring to risk injury by putting all their weight on a spanner to move it, and another six per cent kicking it before they ask for help.
The trouble with trying to remove a battery is that nobody has yet invented a spanner that fits battery terminal clamps.