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MASTER LIST OF ALL STYLE INVITATIONAL CONTESTS

Suggestions and questions are welcome and encouraged.

The Society wishes to thank Russell Beland, Chris Doyle, Kyle Hendrickson, and Pat Myers for their help in assembling the archive that is linked to from this page.

On the right you will see links to some representation of that Week's appearance in the paper:
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THEME: LET -- Letters

PUB DATEWEEKTITLESYNOPSISEVENTUAL WINNERTHEMESREPORTLINKS
July 11, 199319 A RECYCLED IDEA THAT WAS NONE TOO GOOD TO BEGIN WITH Alter a well-known phrase or name by deleting, adding or changing only one letter, and then supply a definition for what results. Joseph H. Engel
David J. Zvijac 
LET WOR  16  HTML   
June 4, 1995116 WRITE PURE POETRY Write a complete sentence using only the letters contained on the top row of a typewriter. Alternatively, you can use the letters of the first four lines of the standard eye chart. Jennifer Hart LET  113  HTML 
July 30, 1995124 SPOON-FEED US. Come up with spoonerisms, expressions based on the transposition of the initial sounds of two paired words. Steven Papier LET  121     
August 10, 1997230 TALES FROM THE CRYPTOGRAM Take any proper noun--a person, a book, a movie, whatever--and create for it an appropriate cryptogram.  Don Juran LET  227  HTML 
August 24, 1997232 PRIMAL URGES Update, for the millennium, the old "A is for Apple" reading primer. An entry must include the four letters in one of these blocks: A-D, E-H, I-L, M-P, Q-T, U-Z. Jacob Weinstein LET  229  HTML 
January 4, 1998251 QUOTH THE MAVEN Take any famous line, change it by one letter only (add, subtract or change a single letter), and reattribute it. Meredith Robinson LET  248  HTML 
March 1, 1998259 SPARE EXCHANGE, BUDDY? Take any phone number of any business or government office in the Washington area, translate the first two digits into their constituent letters and propose any appropriate one-word exchange. Elden Carnahan LET POL BUS  256  HTML 
July 12, 1998278 THE STALE INVITATIONAL Begin with a word. Add, subtract or change a single letter only, and then provide a new definition. Tom Witte LET  275  HTML 
November 29, 1998298 THE RIGHT STUFF Write a sentence, or phrase, or entire passage, using only your right hand on the keyboard. This means who may use no keys to the left of N, H, Y and 7. Barbara Collier LET  295  HTML 
December 6, 1998299 ANOTHER LEFTIST RAG Write the day's tabloid headlines with your left hand only. (This means you can use no keys to the right of 6, T, G and B.) Eric Lenning LET  296  HTML 
July 4, 1999329 THE STYLE INVITATIONAL: HELL Take the name of a person or institution. Find within it a hidden message. You may add spacing and punctuation, but you may not move letters around. Chrissy Haynes
Russell Haynes 
LET  326  HTML  
March 19, 2000341
(VIII) 
What's In a Name? Write something about any famous person that uses only the letters in his or her name. Richard Grossman LET  337  HTML 
April 15, 2001397
(LXIV) 
Sins of Omission Omit a letter or letters from a real-life sign to create a name for a new business, comically different from the original. Describe the new business or include a slogan that explains it. Selma Mathias LET  393  HTML 
July 1, 2001408
(LXXV) 
What's In a Name? Take the name of any politician, living or dead, and construct an appropriate message from the letters of the name. You may use any letter as many times as you wish, and you may insert punctuation. Chris Doyle LET POL  404  HTML 
September 2, 2001417
(LXXXIV) 
Initially Mistaken Take any name of person or thing, and construct an appropriate message using its letters, in order, as the first letters of the words of your message. Chris Doyle LET  413  HTML 
March 31, 2002447
(CXIV) 
Acronimble Take any of the provided witty statements and use the first letters in each of the words to create a brand-new, unrelated funny statement. Jennifer Nelson LET  443  HTML 
October 6, 2002474
(CXLI) 
Alphabettering Create a sentence that uses each letter the alphabet at least once but that would never be heard on the politically correct, genteel, rarified air of NPR. Milo Sauer LET  470  HTML 
June 1, 2003508 Letter Rip Take a word from the dictionary, add, change, or delete a single letter, and redefine the word. Jonathan Paul LET  504  HTML 
June 29, 2003512 Live On, Sweet, Earnest Reader Take the name of any person--living, dead, fictional--and use the letters of his name, in succession. To form the first letters of an expression appropriate to that person. Chris Doyle LET  508  HTML 
November 2, 2003530 Tri Harder Take any word, alter it in three ways--by adding a letter, by subtracting a letter and by changing a letter--and redefine all three new words. Brendan Beary LET  526  HTML 
February 15, 2004545 Put It in Reverse Spell a word backward and define it, with the definition relating in some way to the original word. Tom Witte LET  541  HTML 
June 13, 2004562 The LMNs of Style Write a funny sentence (or more) that you spell with only the sounds of the names of letters and those of numbers 1 through 9. Milo Sauer LET  558  HTML 
August 15, 2004571 A Tour de Fours Create and define a word that includes T, H, E, and S in any order. The letters must appear consecutively. Frank Mullen III LET  567  HTML   
October 10, 2004579 Another Brilliant Contest! Do Enter! Write us a sentence or phrase consisting of words beginning with consecutive letters, in the A-to-Z direction. Lawrence McGuire LET  575  HTML 
March 20, 2005602 Take a Letter -- Again Take a word, term or name that begins with A, B, C or D; either add on letter, subtract one letter, replace one letter, or transpose two letters; and define the new word. Seth Brown LET  598  HTML 
April 10, 2005605 Truly Stupendous Ideas Name two people with the same initials (the people can be living or dead, real or fictional) and explain how they are similar or different. Mark Eckenwiler DIF LET  601  HTML 
June 5, 2005613 Tour de Fours II Create and define a word that includes, consecutively, E, R, A and N. in any order. Danny Bravman LET  609  HTML  
July 3, 2005617 Best the Best Write something about any famous personage that uses only the letters in his or her name. Chris Doyle LET  613  HTML 
December 25, 2005642 It's Open Season Come up with a brand-new word and its definition. The words must begin with O, P, Q, R or S. Stephen Dudzik LET WOR  638   
January 29, 2006647 Paste Imperfect Change a headline or sentence that appears in the Post or on washingtonpost.com through Feb. 6 either by deleting up to 40 consecutive characters from it or by adding 40 consecutive characters from the same article or ad. Stephen Dudzik HEA LET  643   
April 16, 2006658 Not in the Cards Send us ideas for cards that would likely be ruled "Funny, But No" by Hallmark by F&YYY by the Empress. Randy Lee LET CUL  654    
July 9, 2006670 A Test of Character Change a word or phrase by only one letter -- substitute one letter for another, add a letter or transpose two letters -- and explain how they are different or similar. Ben Aronin LET  666   
August 6, 2006674 Limerixicon 3 Supply a humorous limerick based on any word in the dictionary (except proper nouns) beginning with ca-. Chris Doyle LIM LET  670   
August 20, 2006676 Tour de Fours III Coin and define a word containing -- with no other letters between them, but in any order you like -- the letters L, E, A and F. Fran Pryluck LET  672   
October 15, 2006684 Backtricking Spell a word backward and define the result, somehow relating the definition to the original word. Tom Witte LET  680     
January 28, 2007699 Our Greatest Hit Take a word, term or name that begins with E, F, G or H; either add one letter, subtract one letter, replace one letter, or transpose two letters; and define the new word. Brendan Beary
Barbara Turner 
LET  695   
August 25, 2007728 Tour de Fours IV Coin and define a humorous word that includes -- with no other letters between them, but in any order you like -- the letters S, A, T and R. Tom Witte LET  724   HTML 
September 29, 2007733 Just Drop It, Okay? Drop the first letter from an actual word or term to make a new word or term, and define it. Deanna Busick LET WOR  729   HTML 
January 19, 2008749 Opus 266, No. 3 Take any common word or two-word term beginning with any letter from A through H and give it a new definition. Peter Metrinko
Pie Snelson 
LET WOR  745   html 
March 22, 2008757 Gorey Thoughts From A to Z Send us some rhyming alphabet-primer couplets. Beth Baniszewski POE LET  753    html 
September 6, 2008781 Our Greatest Hit Start with a word or multi-word term that begins with I, J, K or L; either add one letter, subtract one letter, replace one letter or transpose tow adjacent letters; and define the new word. Barry Koch LET WOR  777    
October 18, 2008787 Tour de Fours V Coin and define a humorous word that includes -- with no other letters between them, but in any order -- the letters M, N and E. Tom Witte LET WOR  783    
May 2, 2009815 Wittecisms Create an original word containing -- in any order -- at least a W, and I, two T's and an E. Tom Witte LET WOR  811    
August 8, 2009829 Limerixicon 6 Supply a humorous limerick prominently featuring any English word, name or term beginning with the letters di-. Andrew Burnet LIM WOR LET  825    E 
September 5, 2009833 Our Greatest Hit Start with a real word or multi-word term or name that begins with M, N, O, or P; add one letter, subtract one letter, replace one letter or transpose two adjacent letters; and define the new word. Pam Sweeney WOR LET  829    
September 19, 2009835 Tour de Fours VI Coin and define a humorous word that includes -- with no other letters between them, but in any order -- the letters T, H, R, and E. Tom Witte LET  831    
October 17, 2009839 Overlap Dance Overlap two words that share two or more consecutive letters -- anywhere in the word, not just at the beginning or end -- into a single longer word, and define it. AND your portmanteau word must begin with a letter from A through D. Patricia Casey LET WOR  835    
December 19, 2009848 Up and addin' Compose a humorous rhopalic sentence (or multiple sentences) in which each word is one letter longer than the previous word. Chris Doyle LET WOR  844    
January 16, 2010852 Small, Let's get Write a rhopalic sentence (or fanciful newspaper headline) in which each successive word is one letter shorter. Jeffrey Contompasis LET WOR  848    html 
January 23, 2010853 It's easy as DEF Create a brand-new word of phrase that contains a block of three successive letters in the alphabet; the series must go forward in the alphabet, not backward. John Glenn LET WOR  849    html 
February 20, 2010857 All FED Up Create a brand-new word of phrase that contains a block of three successive letters in the alphabet -- but the series must go backward through the alphabet. Tom Witte LET  853    html 
May 29, 2010871 Remarquees Change a movie title by one letter (or number, if the title includes a number) and describe the new film. Gary Crockett LET MOV  867    html 
July 31, 2010880 Our greatest hit Start with a real word or multi-word term or name that begins with Q, R or S; add one letter, subtract one letter, replace one letter with another, or transpose two adjacent letters; and define the new word. Lennie Magida WOR LET  876    html 
August 7, 2010881 What's in a name? Take the name of a person or institution. Find within it a hidden message. Russell Beland LET BUS POL  877    html 
August 14, 2010882 Limerixicon VII Supply a humorous limerick prominently featuring any English word, name or term beginning with the letters dr-. Carole Lyons LIM LET  878    html 
October 9, 2010889 Tour de Fours VII Coin and define a humorous word that includes -- with no other letters between them, but in any order -- the letters P, O, L and E. Chris Doyle LET WOR  885    html 
January 23, 2011904 We move on back Move the first letter in a word or name to the end of that word and define the resulting word. Marian Carlsson
Dave Garratt 
LET WOR  900    html 
April 3, 2011913 Bring up the rear Move the last letter of an existing word or name to the front of the word, and define the new term. Kyle Bonney LET  909    html  
May 15, 2011919 Good Luck With 13 Alter a 13-letter word, phrase or name by one letter (add a letter, drop a letter, switch two letters somewhere in the word, or substitute one letter for another) and describe the result. David Ballard LET  915    html 
June 26, 2011925 A remeaning task Redefine a word in the dictionary beginning with I through O. Jamie Pazur LET WOR  921    html 
October 9, 2011940 Our type o' headline Change a headline by one letter, or switch two letters, or change spacing or punctuation, in a headline (or most of a headline) appearing on an article or ad in The Washington Post or on washingtonpost.com from Oct. 7 through Oct. 17, and elaborate on it in a "bank" headline (subhead). Kevin Dopart HEA LET  936    html 
November 27, 2011947 Tour de Fours VIII: Neologisms Come up with a new word or two-word term that includes the letter block N-O-E-L, in any order but with no other letters between them, and define it. Eric Fritz LET WOR  943    html 
February 5, 2012957 Fearful Symmetry Write a clever passage who successive words are on letter longer until the middle of the passage, and then become one letter shorter. Bird Waring LET WOR  953    html   
March 4, 2012961 The end of our rhops Write a funny passage or headline whose words all have the same number of letters. Chris Doyle LET HEA WOR  957    html   
April 8, 2012966 Inkremental change Start with any word or name, and create a series of words that change by one letter at a time, until you come up with a related word or name. Dave Zarrow WOR LET  962    html   
August 12, 2012983 Limerixicon IX Supply a humorous limerick significantly featuring any English word, name or term beginning with the letters "eq-" through "ez-". Brendan Beary LIM LET  980    html   
August 19, 2012984 Another brilliant contest Write something whose words begin with consecutive letters of the alphabet. Christopher Lamora LET      html 
October 7, 2012991 Tour de Fours IX Create a new word or two-word term containing the letter block V, O, T, and E and define it. Laurie Tompkins LET WOR  987    html   
December 9, 20121000 We now have 4 digits; you now have 7 letters Choose any word, name or two-word term beginning anywhere from T through Z; then add one letter, drop one letter, substitute one letter for another, or transpose two adjacent letters, and define the result. Jeffrey Contompasis LET WOR  996    html   
December 16, 20121001 Make us ROFL Give us a funny, original acronym. Dayna Fellows LET WOR  997    html 
February 17, 20131009 What's in a name? Write something about some person, real or fictional, using only the letters in the person's name. Matt Monitto LET  1006    html E 
April 14, 20131017 Vowel play Write a "univocalic" newspaper headline -- one that uses only one vowel throughout. Nan Reiner LET HEA  1013     E 
May 12, 20131021 'Gram theft Come up with a term by scrambling any of the letters sets in the provided list, and define it. Frank Osen LET  1017     E 
June 2, 20131024 Gorey thoughts Send us some edgy rhyming alphabet-primer couplets. The pairs are AB, CD, EF, GH, IJ, KL, MN, OP, QR, ST, UV, WX, and YZ. Jennifer Gittins-Harfst LET POE  1020   HTML   E 
October 13, 20131042 Tour de Fours X: Go SANE Create a new word or two-word term containing the letter block S-A-N-E -- in any order, but consecutively, and define it. Chris Doyle LET  1038   HTML   E 
January 12, 20141055 Oh, K! This week, to commemorate both Kevin Dopart and his 1K ink blots: Change a word, phrase of name by adding one or more K's, and define your new term. Kristen Rahman LET  1051   HTML   E 
May 11, 20141071 A pair of threes Choose two or three entities represented by a single three-letter combination at bit.ly/3letterabs and say how they are alike or different. Rob Huffman LET DIF  1067   HTML   E 
May 18, 20141072 The Tile Invitational Come up with a 5-, 6-, or 7-letter term by scrambling any of the given seven-letter ScrabbleGram sets, and define it. Brendan Beary LET  1068   HTML   E 
August 24, 20141086 Playing the dozens 1. Start with any 12-letter word, name or multi-word phrase.
2. Add one letter OR drop one letter OR substitute another letter OR switch the position of two letters to create a new term, as in the examples given.
3. Define or describe the result humorously. 
Larry Gray LET WOR  1082   HTML  E 
September 14, 20141089 It's E-Z Find-a-Word -- your own! Create a word or multi-word term that consists of adjacent letters -- in any direction or several directions -- in the provided grid, and provide a humorous definition. Mark Raffman WOR LET  1085   HTML  E 
October 19, 20141094 TAXI's the fare for Tour de Fours XI Coin a word or hyphenated term that contains the letter block T-A-X-I; the letters may be in any order, but there may be no other letters between them. Ann Martin LET WOR  1090   HTML  E 
December 28, 20141104 A pair of threes Choose two or three entities represented by a single three-letter combination beginning with E- through H- — see the links at bit.ly/abbrevs-e-h — and say how they are alike or different. Larry Gray LET  1100   HTML  E 
February 22, 20151112 Some SHARP words Coin a word or short term that includes all the letters S, H, A, R, and P. Danielle Nowlin WOR LET  1108   HTML  E 
March 22, 20151116 Punning in place Create a new term using only the letters in a place name. You don't have to use all the letters, but you can't use a letter more often than it appears in the word. Peter Jenkins LET  1112    
May 10, 20151123 The Tile Invitational III Give us a five-, six-, or seven-letter word (or two words) bu scrambling the letters of any of the provided seven-letter sets. Ricardo Rodriguez LET  1119    E 
October 18, 20151145 A DICEy situation Coin a word or multi-word term that contains the letter block D-I-C-E. Todd DeLap LET  1141    E 
November 22, 20151150 A deviant character Change the name of person or animal -- real or fictional -- by adding or subtracting one letter; substituting one letter for another; or switching the positions of two nearby letters, and describing the results. Jeff Brechlin LET  1146    E 
December 13, 20151153 Be three-paired Choose two or more entities represented by a single three-letter combination from IAA through LZZ, found at the provided link, and say how they are alike or different or have some connection. Chris Doyle LET  1149    E 
December 27, 20151155 Vowel movement Choose a title of book, movie, play or TV show; drop all the vowels (including Y when it's used as a vowel); then add your choice of vowels -- as many as you like -- to create a new work; and describe it. Chris Doyle LET  1151    E 
March 6, 20161165 B all you can B Change a word, phrase or name by adding one or more B's, and/or by replacing one or more letters with B's, and define your new term. Ivars Kuskevics LET  1161    E 
April 3, 20161169 Be caustic by acrostic Review or otherwise describe a movie, book, play or TV show (or Internet equivalent) with words whose first letters spell out the name of the work. Kurt Stahl MOV LET  1165    E 
May 15, 20161175 Good luck with 13 Make up a word whose Scrabble letter values add up to exactly 13, and define it. Duncan Stevens LET  1171    E 
August 7, 20161187 Just drop it, okay? Drop the last letter from an existing word, phrase or name and define the result. Danielle Nowlin LET  1183    E 
November 13, 20161201 Tour de Fours XIII: What's there to NOVE? Coin a word or multi-word term that contains the letter block N-O-V-E. Duncan Stevens LET  1197    E 
January 29, 20171212 The Tile Invitational IV  Give us a five-, six- or seven-letter word (or two words) by scrambling the letters of any of the provided sets and define it. William C. Kennard LET  1208    E 
May 14, 20171227 Celebrate ortho-diversity! Name and describe a new life form -- and no letter in the term may be used twice. Seth Tucker LET SCI  1223    E