Crossword Phrases

An ever-growing, browsable database of phrases and multi-word expressions arranged by enumeration (letter pattern) for UK style crosswords. 
 
Particularly useful for Jumbo and Prize crosswords. Great inspiration for crossword setters! Crossword solvers might proceed as follows:
 
Anglophobic tigress discovered by the Large Hadron Collider? (5,5,8)
 
...look up the 5,5,8 entries by clicking on the "16 - 20 Letters" link below, then on the 18a tab, and scroll down  - everything is laid out in numeric then alphabetical order. There you find: Higgs Boson Particle. (It's an anagram of 'anglophobic tigress'.)
 
From 3 to 31 letters.
Double nouns (including plurals), phrasal verbs (including inflections), proverbs, quotations, mottoes, people and places, literature, the performing arts, sport, common expressions, colloquialisms, idioms ...over 800 categories of information have been mined for this database, as well as thousands of answers from old crosswords. All entries have been selected by a human, not computer-generated.

To proceed, select the total number of letters in a phrase or multiple-word expression:

 
Hyphens are always treated as spaces (i.e. commas in the enumeration). Apostrophes are omitted, so if the answer is "St Vitus's dance" and it is enumerated in the clue as (2,5'1,5), you'll find it here as "St Vituss dance" under (2,6,5).
Last update: 10 December 2014 (600 new entries).

There is now a single word Proper Case list too - see link on the side panel.
 
You come across some interesting and amusing coincidences while looking through phrases arranged by enumeration. There's a list below where the meanings either complement or contradict each other.  My favourite is under 10,2,10.   9,2,3,4 is also very topical.  Numerologists might make something of all this!

1,4,4,3,4 a bolt from the blue   4,11,5 Lady Chatterleys lover
  a gift from the gods   slow comfortable screw
1,5,2,3,7 a cloud on the horizon 5,2,4,2,3,6 first in line to the throne
  a spell of bad weather   suits me down to the ground
1,6,2,1,8 a chance in a thousand 5,3,1,4 going for a song
  a needle in a haystack   taken for a ride
2,1,3,2,6 do a lot of damage 5,3,4,2,2,6 judge not lest ye be judged
  in a fit of temper   rules are made to be broken
2,2,3,4,3 do it the hard way 5,3,4,3,5 every Tom Dick and Harry
  in at the deep end   stand out from the crowd
2,2,7,3 et in Arcadia ego 5,3,5 speak the truth
  of no earthly use   spill the beans
2,3 ex con 5,3,5,2,3,5 cross the floor of the house
  ex cop   leave the scene of the crime
2,3,3,3,4,2,3 if its all the same to you 5,3,7,2 extol the virtues of
  if its not too much to ask   stick two fingers up
2,3,4,2,3,3 in the back of the net 5,4,3,3 brush with the law
  on the edge of the box   crime does not pay
2,4,2,1,4 as slim as a wand   phone nine one one
  as thin as a rake   under lock and key
2,5,2,4,2,2 I'd stake my life on it 5,4,6,5 crash bang wallop thump
  It makes no odds to me   throw ones weight about
2,5,3,8 go forth and multiply 5,4,7 drown ones sorrows
  up close and personal   empty ones bladder
2,6,3,3 ay theres the rub 5,5,2,3,7 first thing in the morning
  it drives you mad   throw light on the subject
3,2,3,4,2,5 all is not what it seems 5,5,4 going great guns
  fly in the face of facts   going going gone
3,2,3,9 out of the spotlight 5,6,8 Large Hadron Collider
  sit on the sidelines   split second decision
3,2,4,8 all on your lonesome 5,7 Peter Capaldi
  set up home together   Peter Cushing
3,3,2,4 the die is cast   Peter Davison
  the end is nigh 5,7,1,5 going through a phase
3,3,3,5,4 not for the first time   Rebel without a Cause
  the boy who cried wolf 5,7,3 world without end
3,3,5,2,4 get the shock of ones life   worth waiting for
  see the error of ones ways 5,8 Welsh Assembly
3,3,5,2,6 its not going to happen   white elephant
  put the world to rights   windy rhetoric
3,3,9,3,5 not all sweetness and light 5,8,11 broad spectrum antibiotics
  the end justifies the means   every possible combination
3,4,2,1,5 any port in a storm 5,9 muddy underfoot
  The Lady is a tramp   music festivals
3,4,2,3,5 the sign of the cross 6,1,3 caught a bus
  the sins of the flesh   hailed a cab
3,4,3,3,3 get what you pay for 6,1,4,2,6 answer a call of nature
  the rate for the job   heaved a sigh of relief
3,4,3,4,4 for ever and ever amen 6,1,7,4 desert a sinking ship
  God does not play dice   offers a helping hand
3,4,5,2,6 led from start to finish 6,2,4 Prince of Wales
  The Pied Piper of Hamlyn   purple in grain
3,4,5,6 get rich quick scheme 6,2,8,2 refuse to consider it
  one born every minute   theres no escaping it
3,4,6,6 bet your bottom dollar 6,2,10 Houses of Parliament
  the last chance saloon   joined up government
3,4,8 the cats whiskers 6,2,11 Mother of Parliaments
  the dogs bollocks   nation of shopkeepers
3,4,11 too much information   Palace of Westminster
  use your imagination 6,3,5,4 scored the first goal
3,5,2,2 get ready to go   struck the first blow
  the chase is on 6,3,8 effing and blinding
3,5,2,3,4 get ahead of the game   family get together
  rob Peter to pay Paul 6,4,2 gently does it
3,5,2,3,5 the truth is out there   hammer away at
  two sides to the story 6,4,2,4 lowest form of life
3,5,8 the great unwashed   travel back in time
  the moral majority 6,4,3,3 patchy mist and fog
3,6,2,2 get around to it   search high and low
  not enough to do 6,4,3,5 turned back the clock
3,6,2,9 the centre of attention   voices from the grave
  the finger of suspicion 6,4,4 inject some pace
3,6,2,11 The Mother of Parliaments   Kendal mint cake
  The Palace of Westminster 6,4,4,4 escape with ones life
3,6,3,3 the gloves are off   fasten ones seat belt
  the knives are out 6,4,6,5 Angels with Broken Wings
3,7,4 The Selfish Gene   depart this mortal realm
  The Missing Link 6,4,4,5 better safe than sorry
3,7,6 The Mounted Police   fasten your seat belts
  The Perfect Murder 6,5,6 proven track record
3,7,6 two pronged attack   silver medal winner
  war against terror 6,8 French mistress
4,1,4,3,2,2 make a good job of it   frilly knickers
  make a pigs ear of it 6,10,4 become acquainted with
4,1,5,7 beat a hasty retreat   social networking site
  make a quick getaway 7,3,4,2,7 Against the laws of physics
4,1,8,4 take a backward step   Nothing can come of nothing
  take a downward turn 7,3,6 predict the future
4,1,8,6 have a criminal record   prepare the ground
  make a citizens arrest 7,3,6,5 receive the wooden spoon
4,1,9,4 lead a sheltered life   rewrite the record books
  play a dangerous game 7,4,1,6 painted into a corner
4,2,1,4,4,7 golf is a good walk spoiled   shunted into a siding
  when in a hole stop digging 7,4,2,6 Newtons Laws of Motion
4,2,3,4,4 life in the fast lane   Nothing left to chance
  make up for lost time 7,5,3 Mexican stand off
4,2,3,5 last in the queue   penalty shoot out
  late to the party 7,5,7 nuclear power station
4,2,3,8 play to the audience   weapons grade uranium
  rise to the occasion 7,6 mammary glands
  take up the gauntlet   Marilyn Monroe
4,2,5,4,2 come to terms with it 7,10 literal mindedness
  lose no sleep over it   logical positivism
4,2,8,7 have an attitude problem 8,1,4 shooting a line
  lack of parental control   spinning a yarn
4,3,4,2,4 don’t try this at home 8,1,4,5 fighting a lost cause
  draw the line at that   flogging a dead horse
4,3,4,2,4 lose the will to live 8,1,6 Category A prison
  make the most of life   Category B prison
4,3,5,2,6 body and blood of Christ   Category C prison
  puts the world to rights   Category D prison
4,3,5,3,3 give the devil his due   compound a felony
  take the money and run 8,2,5 proceeds of crime
4,3,6,4 kill the fatted calf   property is theft
  lean and hungry look 8,2,5 schedule of works
4,3,6,7 cold and frosty morning   shortage of staff
  keep the engine running 8,3,5 Scotland the Brave
4,3,8 tout for business   scrimped and saved
  used car salesman 8,3,5 shoulder the blame
4,3,8,3 burn the midnight oil   sidestep the issue
  make the polluter pay 8,3,7 battered and bruised
4,4,1,6 back into a corner   bloodied but unbowed
  hold over a barrel 8,4 Immanuel Kant
  make life a misery   immortal soul
4,4,2,3,4,4 live life in the fast lane 8,5,4,5 fiddling while Rome burns
  what time do you call this   whatever takes your fancy
4,4,3,11 know ones own limitations 8,6,5 American client state
  some room for improvement   handling stolen goods
4,4,4,2,3,6 have both feet on the ground 8,7 credible witness
  have ones head in the clouds   criminal offence
4,4,4 look like hell 8,13 auditory hallucination
  look ones best   multiple personalities
4,4,5 cast iron alibi   paranoid schizophrenia
  sure fire thing 9,2,3,4 mortgaged to the hilt
4,4,5,3,4,4 wipe that smile off your face   overdrawn at the bank
  wash your mouth out with soap 9,2,3,5 gentlemen of the press
4,4,5,4,4 make ones dream come true   possessed by the devil
  turn base metal into gold   preaching to the choir
4,4,8 tall dark stranger 9,2,3,5 stretched to the limit
  whet ones appetite   teetering on the brink
4,5,2,3,4 sail close to the wind 9,2,3,6 injurious to the health
  stay ahead of the game   pretender to the throne
4,5,4,8 dont count your chickens 9,4 pregnancy test
  here today gone tomorrow   premature baby
4,5,7 here comes trouble 9,7 attempted suicide
  high speed pursuit   attention seeking
4,5,8 calm under pressure 10,2,3 casualties of war
  can't think straight   Walmington on Sea
4,6,3,6 Eats Shoots and Leaves 10,2,10 Archbishop of Canterbury
  Here endeth the lesson   everything in moderation
4,7,4 full frontal nude 10,3,4 guaranteed for life
  give oneself airs   overegging the cake
4,7,4,2,4 make someone feel at home 10,7 unswerving loyalty
  pump someone full of lead   unwavering support
4,7,5 anti wrinkle cream 11,2,3 brotherhood of man
  full frontal nudes   declaration of war
4,9,6 self inflicted wounds 13,8,4 consciousness altering drug
  semi automatic weapon     International monetary fund
© Ben Iscatus 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015.
 
A real understanding of cryptic crossword-solving can be gained at Big Dave's site:  http://bigdave44.co.uk/
 
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