(Click here to skip down to the winning neologisms that are homophones of real words)
Q. What famed institution in Hamelin, Germany, teaches the skills of the Pied Piper?
A. The High School of Music and Rats.
Q. What’s the name of the dullest metal band ever?
A. Motley Ecru.
This week’s contest was the sudden brainchild of Child Brain Gene Weingarten, who just a few days ago sent two urgent emails to the Empress with the examples above. And opposed to some of our recent contests, the concept is simple: Write a Q-A joke (or A followed by Q, if you’re into “Jeopardy!”) in which the punchline contains an anagram of one or more relevant words or names, as in those examples by Gene — who, in case you didn’t know, originated The Style Invitational and lorded over it with no byline for a decade until the E, then also anonymous, deposed him in Week 536 so he could go win Pulitzer Prizes and stuff. You may anagram multiple words, and your anagram may consist of multiple words. Note: For the joke to work, the reader is going to have to recognize which original word(s) you’ve anagrammed; we’re not going to explain the entry to death.
Submit entries at wapo.st/enter-invite-1337 (all lowercase).
Winner gets the Lose Cannon, our Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a prize that was donated to the Invite so long ago that it’s almost as old as its subject: It’s an Alexander the Great action figure, complete with helmet and sword, and brand-new as long as you’ll use that term for something that Russell Beland, then the Invite’s highest-scoring Loser, gave us around 15 years ago. Complete with lots of factoids on the back of the molded packaging (“In battle, he always led from the front; rumored to be under 5 feet tall”),
Other runners-up win our “You Gotta Play to Lose” Loser Mug or our “Whole Fools” Grossery Bag. Honorable mentions get one of our lusted-after Loser magnets, “Too-Weak Notice” or “Certificate of (de)Merit.” First Offenders receive only a smelly tree-shaped air “freshener” (FirStink for their first ink). Deadline is Monday night, July 1; results published July 21 in print, July 18 online. See general contest rules and guidelines at wapo.st/InvRules. The headline for this week’s results is by Mark Raffman; Jeff Contompasis wrote the honorable-mentions subhead. Join the lively Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at on.fb.me/invdev. “Like” the Style Invitational Ink of the Day on Facebook at bit.ly/inkofday; follow @StyleInvite on Twitter.
The Style Conversational: The Empress’s weekly online column, published late Thursday afternoon, discusses each new contest and set of results. Especially if you plan to enter, check it out at wapo.st/styleconv.
NOW HERE THIS! HOMOPHONES FROM WEEK 1333
In Week 1333 we asked you to create a homophone — a sound-alike — of an existing word or name. The Empress was fairly generous on what counted as “alike,” but still wasn’t going with, say, “Germ Annie” for Germany.
Mnuchiae: Trivial expenses, like a $15,000 flight from New York to D.C. (David Peckarsky, Tucson)
Sain’t: Sinner. (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)
SerPhDom: Trying to eke out a living as an adjunct professor. (Pete Morelewicz, Fredericksburg, Va.)
Diss, cuss: The current state of our national discourse. (Mark Richardson, Takoma Park, Md.)
Altarcation: What ensues when “the bride says “I do” and the groom says: “Uhhh . . . ” (Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)
Barbiequeue: A lineup of potential contestants for “The Bachelor” (Eva Monastersky, Mountain View, Calif., a First Offender)
Independunce Day: “And I’ll have fireworks behind me as I give my speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial!” (Duncan Stevens, Vienna, Va.)
Reprodeuce: To have twins. (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase, Md.)
No-it-all: A 2-year-old. (Pete Morelewicz)
Indescribabble: Covfefe. (Sam Mertens, Silver Spring, Md.)
Barr code: “I will support and defend the President of the United States against all enemies, real and imagined.” (Jesse Frankovich, Grand Ledge, Mich.)
Barrney: “I love you, you love me, I will lie as your AG . . .” (Duncan Stevens)
Adoltery: To give your paramour your landline number. (Barbara Turner, Takoma Park, Md.)
Anglofile: A portfolio of Trump appointees. (Bob Kruger, Rockville, Md.)
Asfault: A pothole. (Bob Kruger)
Bern out: Part with your last $27. (Bob Clifford, Brookeville, Md.)
Buyble: The holy book of the “Prosperity Gospel”: “Blessed are the moneymakers.” (Rob Huffman, Fredericksburg, Va.)
Buygones: Those you’ve gotten rid of with hush money. You hope. (Howard Walderman, Columbia, Md.)
Catasstrophe: Let’s say that Fluffy was not quite cooperative in having his temperature taken. (Dan Gibson-Reinemer, Alamoso, Colo.)
Catastrofee: You neglected to read the fine print when booking your “all-inclusive” vacation. (Maggie Haring, Leesburg, Va.)
Cemetarry: To wait. Forever. (Tom Witte, Montgomery Village, Md.)
Chatowe: Mortgaged Manor. (Brett Dimaio, Cumberland, Md., a First Offender)
Crewedly: How the losing boat was sailed in the regatta, (Marli Melton, Carmel Valley, Calif.)
Cursery: Short on substance, long on name-calling. (Jeff Loren, Seattle)
Dairy air: How you know if someone is lactose-intolerant. (Steve McClemons, Arlington, Va.)
Dear crossing: A hazard in spousal discourse. (Bill FitzPatrick, Rochester, N.Y.)
Dietribe: What fashion models have to listen to after gaining two pounds. (Chris Doyle, Denton, Tex.)
Dineosaurs: Those who still eat at Howard Johnson’s. (Tommy Thompson, Richmond, a First Offender)
Doo diligence: Always picking up after the pup. (Warren Tanabe, Annapolis, Md.)
Exersize: The weight you get up to before deciding to do something about it. (Barbara Turner)
Fidouchiary: My brother-in-law, the “financial planner.” (Lee Graham, Derwood, Md.)
Furn-itchure: “You’ve got bedbugs!” (Dave Zarrow, Reston, Va.)
Ghastley: What it feels like to be rickrolled. (Frank Osen, Pasadena, Calif.)
Ghoulash: That undead casserole at the back of the refrigerator. (Frank Osen)
Gnulyweds: Beauty and the Beast. (Ray Gallucci, Frederick, Md.)
Goldilox: The perfect, not too salty or unsalty, but just right, topping for your bagel. (Dan Helming, Trenton, N.J.)
Gold meddlist: A champion kibitzer. (Jeff Contompasis)
Hideaweigh: Spanx. (Pete Morelewicz)
Holzhour: For quite a while, 7:30 every weeknight on Channel 7. (Gregory Koch, Falls Church, Va.)
Home moaner: Recipient of a $4,000 bill to fix the AC. (Duncan Stevens)
Kinderguardin’: Where tykes practice their ABCs, their 1-2-3s and their active-shooter responses. In other words, kindergarten. (Melissa Balmain, Rochester, N.Y.)
Massagynist: Someone who thinks he can rub a woman’s shoulders without her consent. (Hildy Zampella, Alexandria, Va.)
Mixed Marshall arts: Eminem albums. (Jesse Frankovich)
Nightmayor: Dream in which a younger, smarter, better-looking candidate and his husband come to occupy the White House. — D.J.T. (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)
Ownanism: Retail therapy. (Duncan Stevens)
Phart: A phone call where something smells funny, like as an “IRS agent” asking for your bank account number. (Ben Aronin, Washington)
Philisteen: A young person who listens to crude, junky music, unlike the vastly superior music from when I was their age. (Jonathan Jensen, Baltimore)
Pistil-whip: Administer a very mild punishment. (Steve Fahey, Olney, Md.)
Plaiditude: A hoary maxim about Scots, like “Kilt is what happened to the last person who called it a skirt.” (Becky Fisher, Madison, Wis.)
Pursenal space: Don’t ever go into a woman’s handbag without asking. (Hildy Zampella)
Rapid aye movement: What Trump demands from his aides. (Chris Doyle)
RKOlogy: The search for ancient movie reels. (Steve Fahey)
Rudementary: Prone to casting juvenile insults, like calling people “loser” or “little.” (Bob Kruger)
Secs: A quickie (George Smith, Frederick, Md.)
Sinopsis: What I tell the priest at confession so as not to take all day. (Jonathan Jensen)
Slight of hand: The President’s glove size. (Gary Crockett)
Talegater: Someone who’s always responding to your anecdote with a better one of her own. (Lawrence McGuire, Waldorf, Md.)
Worsetoshear: Why they regret breeding longhaired sheep in England’s Midlands. (Ann Martin, Brentwood, Md.)
LOL-lessness: What’s wrong with my non-inking Invite entries. (Jesse Frankovich)
Stalinvitational: A humor contest in which the losers simply disappear. (Jim Holt, Washington)
Still running — deadline Monday, June 24: Our contest for double-entendres. See wapo.st/invite1336.
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