The Daily Pic: Her "appropriations" of August Sander throw a spanner in art's works.
Alison disappeared into the stable and came back with the spanner in her hand.
You won't wise him up that I threw a spanner into the machinery?
At this the man straightened himself up, dropping a spanner he had been using, and faced us; but he trembled in all his limbs.
It's the servant man looking for a spanner for your father, Miss Mary.
The boys saw the spanner fall from his upraised hand and tumble with a clatter at his feet.
He jumped at me unexpected when the spanner hit him, and I fell.
No matter how much of a twitter he was in, he should have had sense enough to see that he was throwing a spanner into the works.
If you was to put the spanner on the nuts sometimes you wouldnt get half the trouble.
Diving down the engineroom ladder, I find Mr. Crafter frantically tugging with a spanner at a refractory nut.
1630s, a tool for winding the spring of a wheel-lock firearm, from German Spanner, from spannen (see span (v.)). Meaning "wrench" is from 1790. Figurative phrase spanner in the works attested from 1921 (Wodehouse).