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Copyright The Washington Post Company May 22, 2005

This week's contest: The Empress has received a bit of mail of late, ranging from polite tut-tuts to RAGING ALL-CAPITAL RANTS, suggesting that perhaps we should raise the level of our discourse from the "vulgar not clever!!!!," as one recent piece of fan mail put it. All right, then: Let us return to a favorite format. You are on "Jeopardy!" Here are the sophisticated answers. You supply the questions. And we trust that your entries will display the levels of taste and maturity for which The Style Invitational is renowned.

"Le Sacre du Printemps" but not "The Sack of Rome"

6.02 x 10{2}{3} pencils

The Real



and the

Rolling Stones

The Isle of Wight and the Islets of Langerhans

Hints From Abelard

Bob II, Chapter 4, Verse 9



Guns, Butter and


Yoknapatawpha Mall

Sappho and Her Lyre

Only in the slow movement of the


The winner receives the Inker, the official Style Invitational trophy. First runner-up gets a superfantabulous prize donated by Russell Beland of Springfield as part of his obsessive effort to accumulate points in the Losers' own statistics (oh my yes, there's a serious competition going on among these people; see and click on Stats): "Star Trek" Lieutenant Barbie and Commander Ken, he in the typical '60s Enterprise garb, she in red micromini-dress, tricorder and huge spray of platinum hair. (Russell lost interest, however, because Barbie's boots lack four-inch heels.) The dolls come with pole-shaped stands; while Ken's hooks behind his back, Barbie's, well, must make her feel a bit uncomfortable.

Other runners-up win a coveted Style Invitational Loser T-shirt. Honorable mentions get one of the lusted-after Style Invitational Magnets. One prize per entrant per week. Send your entries by e- mail to or, if you really have to, by fax to 202- 334-4312. Deadline is Tuesday, May 31. Put the week number in the subject line of your e-mail, or it risks being ignored as spam. Include your name, postal address and phone number with your entry. Contests are judged on the basis of humor and originality. All entries become the property of The Washington Post. Entries may be edited for taste or content. Results will be published June 19. No purchase required for entry. Employees of The Washington Post, and their immediate relatives, are not eligible for prizes. Pseudonymous entries will be disqualified. The revised title for next week's contest is by Seth Brown of North Adams, Mass. This week's contest is adapted from an almost entirely different suggestion by Bill Spencer of Exeter, N.H. The idea below comes from Ken Gallant of Little Rock.

Note to Losers everywhere: If you find the above "Jeopardy!" answers incredibly stupid and unworkable, show us some better ones. Send your own in a separate e-mail marked "Jeopardy" in the subject line, and we will use a dozen of the least unworkable for the next Ask Backwards we do. (Of course, if your answer is printed, you won't be able to send in an entry on that one.)

Report From Week 607, in which readers were supposed to describe a historical event from a comically parochial perspective -- a self-centered, narrow viewpoint that is oblivious to the true history being made: A whole lot of entrants misunderstood what we wanted and sent in perfectly amusing jokes that either didn't quite fit this bill (e.g., "1066: English Welcome Decent Food," from Jeff Brechlin of Eagan, Minn.) or didn't remotely ("Oct. 8, 1956: Larsen Hits Showers After 97 Pitches," from Elden Carnahan of Laurel).

{diam}Third runner-up: April 12, 1955 : Iron Lung Manufacturer Regretfully Announces Layoffs (Thad Humphries, Warrenton)

{diam} Second runner-up: June 6, 1944: Local Boy Visits Normandy Area of France;

Reports Beaches There Are Crowded and Noisy (Marty McCullen, Gettysburg, Pa.)

{diam}First runner-up, the winner of the Arabic-language book "Muslims in the United States": April 14, 1912: Ocean Liner Damages Iceberg; Environmentalists Enraged (Dennis Lindsay, Seabrook)

{diam}And the winner of the Inker: 1879: Entomologists Delighted With Mr. Edison's Moth-Attracting Device (Anne Clark, Ann Arbor, Mich.)

{diam}A Chronicle of Honorable Mentions:

1403 B.C.: Red Sea Clam Diggers Report Best Day Ever (Barry Blyveis, Columbia)

A.D. 1: Census Influx Exposes Bethlehem Hotel Shortage; Some Visitors Redirected to Egypt (Vince Drayne, Chevy Chase; Fred S. Souk, Reston)

33, Jerusalem: Local Thief Spared; 2 Executed (John V.R. Williams, Rockville)

July 4, 1826: Adams, Jefferson Die on Same Day; Madison, John Quincy

Adams Have to Split 'Dead Pool'

(Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

April 15, 1865: 'Our American Cousin' Playwright Demands Full Performance After Last Night's Interruption (Art

Grinath, Takoma Park; Dave Kelsey, Fairfax)

May 8, 1869: 'Golden Spike' Driven; Government Contractors Collude to Use Extravagant Materials in Construction Project, Critics Charge

(Russell Beland, Springfield)

October 1871, Chicago: Conflagration Could Have Been Prevented by Vegetarianism, Proponents Declare (Brendan Beary, Great Mills)

1879, Menlo Park, N.J.: Cartoonists Gain New Symbol to Indicate Good Ideas (Art Grinath; Ron Jackson, Chevy Chase)

April 18, 1906, San Francisco: Realtors Report Some Houses Have Improved Views (Jane Auerbach, Los Angeles)

Aug. 15, 1914: Palindrome Writers Elated at Canal Opening (Art Grinath; Russell Beland)

Aug. 20, 1929: 10-lb. William Moulden Born at Georgetown Hospital; Stock Market Hits Record High; Both Events Promise Many Years of Happiness

(Bill Moulden, Frederick)

May 3, 1937: Dirigible Mishap Heralds Explosion in Helium Futures (Chris Doyle, Raleigh; Kimmarie Kryscnski, Brunswick, Md.)

Dec. 7, 1941: Waikiki Beach Volleyball Tourney Canceled

(Cecil J. Clark, Asheville, N.C.)

Aug. 6, 1945: Einstein Equation Verified, Physics Professors


(Dennis Lindsay, Seabrook)

11:30 a.m., May 29, 1953: Edmund Hillary Proves His Watch Works (Sylvia Betts, Vancouver, B.C.)

Nov. 24, 1963: Thousands Thrill to NFL Action as Championship Race Tightens! (Jack Cackler, Falls Church)

Dec. 3, 1967: Janitors Complain of

3-Hour Operating Room Cleanup After Dr. Barnard Performs Some Surgery

(Barry Blyveis)

June 17, 1972: At DNC Headquarters, Scotch Brand Masking Tape Holds the Door Open for History

(Bill Spencer, Exeter, N.H.)

Aug. 8, 1974: Office of Personnel Management Notes High-Level Use of 'Early Out' Option (Jeff Covel, Arlington)

April 1975: As Saigon Falls, U.S. Strip Malls Await New Cuisine

(Stephen Dudzik, Olney)

November 1975: Death of Generalissimo Inspires Writers at Fledgling Comedy Sketch Show (Stephen Dudzik)

Dec. 8, 1980: Residents of N.Y.'s Dakota Apartment House Complain of Noise on Sidewalk (Judith Cottrill, New York)

1985: Interior Decorators Tout New 'AOL' Coasters (Anne Clark)

Jan. 20, 1989: Quayle Sworn In as Vice President; Comedy Writers Begin 4-Year Stint of Working Overtime

(Russell Beland)

Nov. 12, 1989: German Graffiti Artists Distraught After 'Our Favorite Canvas' Is Demolished (Art Grinath; John V.R.

Williams; Sylvia Betts, Vancouver, B.C.)

June 14, 1994: Ford Bronco Shows Poor Gas Mileage, Even at Low Speed, SUV Opponents Note (Ned Bent, Oak Hill)

1995, Brentwood, Calif.: Product Placement Proves Success: Ford Broncos, Bruno Magli Shoes, Isotoner Gloves Report Soaring Brand Recognition (Chris Doyle)

Dec. 14, 2003: Czar Steps Down From The Style Invitational; C. Smith Returns to Heterosexual Life

(Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

Oct. 27, 2004: St. Louis Cardinals Lose World Series (Joseph Romm, Washington)

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