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Week 230 : Tales From the Cryptogram


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Copyright The Washington Post Company Aug 10, 1997

Men in Black = Two Do Gibes

Pee-wee Herman = Boo-hoo, Police!

Citizen Kane = Repeats Most

Ted Kennedy = Sin Fibbing

Al Gore = To Yawn

Jay Leno = Ape Chin

This Week's Contest was proposed by Fred Dawson of Beltsville, who wins a hideous necktie from the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. When we first considered Fred's idea, we thought it idiotic. Then we began noodling with it, and pretty soon, before we knew it, days had gone by, our family had left us, we had gone to the bathroom in our pants, etc. Here it is: Take any proper noun -- a person, a book, a movie, whatever -- and create for it an appropriate cryptogram. The rules of a cryptogram are that you must rewrite the original name substituting one letter for another, keeping the spaces where they are. If a letter repeats in the original name, its corresponding letter must repeat in the same place in the new name. In each cryptogram, a letter can only represent one other letter. A letter cannot represent itself. For example, "sex" can become "fun," but it cannot become "Hef." First-prize winner gets Dopey, Sleepy, Sneezy, Doc, Bashful, Happy and Grumpy, basically a giant bag o'dwarfs, celebrating some of the most beloved figures of American folk art. They were manufactured in the People's Republic of China. They are worth $20.

Runners-up, as always, receive the coveted Style Invitational Loser's T-shirt. Honorable Mentions get the mildly sought-after Style Invitational bumper sticker. Winners will be selected on the basis of humor and originality. Mail your entries to The Style Invitational, Week 230, c/o The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071, fax them to 202-334-4312 or submit them via Internet to this address: losers@access.digex.net. Internet users: Please indicate the week number in the "subject" field. Entries must be received on or before Monday, Aug. 18. Please include your address and phone number. Winners will be announced three weeks from today. "Russ ... Russ Beland of Gaithersburg," she moaned, her hungry lips exploring his ear, "employees of The Washington Post, and members of their immediate families are not eligible for prizes." Next week: Sherlockian ear credit. Editors reserve the right to alter entries for taste, humor or appropriateness.

Report from Week 227,

in which you were asked to commemorate the demise of Joe Camel by coming up with similarly ill-advised or tasteless spokescharacters. Several people suggested ideas that were actually good, the best of which was by Jonathan Paul of Garrett Park. Jonathan proposed that Jiffy Lube create the "Eminence Grease," a wise if somewhat oily father figure of the automotive service industry. Some ideas were clever but did not quite meet the requirements of the contest: Paul Laporte and Lee Mayer of Washington proposed that Beck's Beer run its own version of the "milk mustache" ads, only with beer foam, and the mustache would resemble Hitler's.

Third Runner-Up: "Digit," for the American Cancer Society. He is a large cartoon finger who is always wagging at us, scolding us to get regular prostate exams

(Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

Second Runner-Up: Montezuma,

for Taco Bell. (Charlie Steinhice, Chattanooga)

First Runner-Up: Woody the Trojan Horse, for Trojan condoms. (John B. Allen, Charlottsville)

And the Winner of an autographed copy of this drawing:

Cheez-Its of Nazareth, for Cheez-Its brand crackers.

(Dave Ferry, Leesburg)

Honorable Mentions:

In a naked plea for Asian money, a dragon replaces the donkey for the Democratic National Committee. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

Molassa the Tectonic Plate, for Metrobus. (Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park)

The Thirst Nazi, for Sprite's "Obey your thirst" campaign. Catchphrase: "Sip heil!"

(John B. Allen, Charlottsville)

Mephisto, a dancing pentagram, for Procter & Gamble. (Anthony Sebro, Washington)

Shylock, for Sovran Bank: ("So, you need a loan, nu?") (David Genser, Arlington)

Yoshi the Samurai, for Nips Candy. (Dave Ferry, Leesburg)

Bun, a dead rabbit, for EPT home pregnancy tests. Basically, it just lies there. (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

Buddy the Beaver, for Weyerhauser. ("Cutting down trees is natural!") (Mike Genz, La Plata)

Chompy, a big fat alligator, urging you to fly ValuJet. (Russ Beland, Springfield)

Moody, the reclusive eighth dwarf, for Prozac. (John B. Allen, Charlottsville)

Squirmy the Gerbil, for Preparation H.

(Jessica Steinhice, Washington)

Twenty-man, with XX on his shirt, for Dos Equis. He is 20, and keeps trying to buy beer underage. (Russ Beland, Springfield)

Itchy and Scratchy for Monistat-7

(Gary Patishnock, Laurel; Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

Nick O'Teen for Marlboro.Teenage Gen-X-er with baggy pants, backward baseball cap, cigarette in mouth and a wicked slouch.

(David Genser, Arlington)

Elmo the Bull with Mad Cow Disease, for Krazy Glue. (Art Grinath, Takoma Park)

Sexus for Lexus, a cartoon phallus. "She'll love your Lexus because she knows it's different from other cars because it costs so much." (Barry Blyveis, Columbia)

Chief Chopitoff, for Supercuts. A rampaging Indian running around scalping people. (Douglas Bailey, Vernon, N.Y.)

That Senor Wences character, made from his hand, for Pee-wee's next movie. (Peyton Coyner, Afton)

Jack the Hammer, for Bayer Aspirin. He TALKS REAL LOUD. (Art Grinath, Takoma Park)

Crusty the Glob, for Heinz Ketchup, a maroon inedible coating around the neck of the bottle. (Sue Lin Chong, Washington)

Next Week: Make My Day


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