throw a monkey wrench into
Sabotage or frustrate a project or plans, as in The boss threw a monkey wrench into our plans when he said we'd have to work Saturday. This transfer of industrial sabotage—that is, throwing a tool inside machinery—to other subjects dates from the early 1900s.
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ROME — What does it take for a Hollywood A-lister to get a private audience with Pope Francis?Pope Francis Has the Pleasure of Meeting Angelina Jolie for a Few Seconds|Barbie Latza Nadeau|January 8, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Yes, Byrd—dead four-and-a-half years now—was a Kleagle in the Ku Klux Klan.Steve Scalise and the Right’s Ridiculous Racial Blame Game|Michael Tomasky|January 2, 2015|DAILY BEAST
By the time it concluded with a sing-a-long of “XO,” Beyoncé had done the rare thing.Bow Down, Bitches: How Beyoncé Turned an Elevator Brawl Into a Perfect Year|Kevin Fallon|December 31, 2014|DAILY BEAST
In general, their presence is meant to throw you off your game by design.
In another year, stories about the strange new face of an A-list actress might draw chortles and cackles.Renée Zellweger Got a New Face—and Everyone Had An Opinion About It|Kevin O’Keeffe|December 29, 2014|DAILY BEAST
But the greatest danger I ever underwent in that kingdom was from a monkey, who belonged to one of the clerks of the kitchen.Gulliver's Travels|Jonathan Swift
If you throw away this chance, you will both richly deserve to be hanged, as I sincerely trust you will be.The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club, v. 2(of 2)|Charles Dickens
Now-a-days it is the bankrupt who flouts, and his too confiding creditors who are jeered and laughed at.Glances at Europe|Horace Greeley
He felt himself the meanest, vilest thing a-crawl upon this sinful earth, and she—dear God!St. Martin's Summer|Rafael Sabatini
All that scientific bric-a-brac in the cupboard had far better be thrown away.The Salvaging Of Civilisation|H. G. (Herbert George) Wells