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:
Text file
Downloadable Microsoft Word version
htmlWebpage made from a Word file
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EDownloadable PDF of the e-version of the SI page

THEME: WOR -- Words

May 9, 199310 A WEEK THAT WILL LIVE IN EUPHEMY Write us a funny euphemism. Erik Johnson WOR   HTML   
June 6, 199314 COLLECTIVE INSANITY Modernize collective nouns (as in a "pride" of lions or an "exaltation" of larks), inventing snide new names for groups of things. Stuart Segal WOR  11  HTML   
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   
January 2, 199444 ADVERB PUBLICITY Write us a Tom Swiftly or two, updated for the '90s. Each must include a reference to a famous person or institution. St. Andrew's Episcopal School Mrs. Airey's English class WOR CUL  41  HTML   
May 22, 199465 DESPERATELY SEEKING HUMOR Write a personal ad. It may be for a celebrity or for anyone in need of adroit euphemism. Nick Dierman WOR  61  HTML   
September 11, 199478 SEEKING SMART MORONS Come up with an oxymoron for our times, an expression made bogus by the fact that it combines incompatible, contradictory ideas. Jessica Mathews
L. Woodall 
WOR  75  HTML   
March 19, 1995105 WHAT'S THE BIG IDEA? Come up with Good Ideas and then convert them to Bad Ideas through slight changes in wording. Ira Moskowitz WOR  102  HTML 
May 28, 1995115 THE MNEMONIC PLAGUE Come up with new mnemonic devices to remember complicated lists. Jacob Weinstein WOR  112  HTML 
December 31, 1995146 IT'S LIKE THIS Produce an A and B to complete the expression "A makes about as much sense as B." Alan Evans WOR  143  HTML 
January 7, 1996147 JUST FOR LIFFS Come up original liffs, which identify a familiar, tantalizing concept with a word to define, it pairs it with a perfectly good by underutilized words that just loafs around on maps and street signs. Dave Harstad WOR  144  HTML   
January 21, 1996149 O, NO! Come up with a palindrome, a line that reads the same backward and forward, and then use it as a punchline to a joke. Dave Ferry WOR  146  HTML 
April 7, 1996160 SEEKING WISE GUYS Come up with cool new bad-guy terms. Moe Hammond WOR  157  HTML 
May 12, 1996165 WHEEL OF TORTURE Complete any of the provided "Wheel of Fortune" phrases. Sarah Gaymon WOR  162  HTML 
October 20, 1996188 BLANKETY BLANKS Complete any of the above sentences, substituting your own phrases for the well-known omitted words. Joe Shepherd WOR  185  HTML 
April 27, 1997215 SON OF A PITCH Write lavish blurbs in 50 words or fewer so some sucker will want to pay a lot of money for the provided items. Jerry Pannullo WOR  212  HTML 
May 25, 1997219 VERBOSITY Come up with new, obnoxious, self-conscious faux verbs and use them in sentences. Russell Beland WOR  216  HTML 
June 15, 1997222 TRIP DEUCES Take the two subject listings at the top of any page of the Yellow Pages and create a dictionary definition for the compound word they form. Robin Grove WOR  219  HTML 
July 13, 1997226 GOING WITHOUT Complete some variation of the expression "An A without a B is like a C without a D." Jonathan Paul WOR  223  HTML 
September 14, 1997235 ROOTS Make up historical explanations--they should be vaguely plausible--for the etymology of any term you wish. The term should be the punch line. Sue Lin Chong HIS WOR  232  HTML 
November 23, 1997245 LIKE FUN Complete any of the provided "A is like B because" sentences. Dave Ferry WOR  242  HTML 
December 28, 1997250 OH, GREAT Complete the sentence "Wouldn't it be great if …" Barry Blyveis WOR  247  HTML 
March 29, 1998263 THE GAME OF THE NAME Propose a bad name for the provided categories. Erica Magram WOR  260  HTML  
April 19, 1998266 DEFINITELY WEIRD Take any word from the dictionary and redefine it. Jacob Weinstein WOR  263  HTML  
May 24, 1998271 YOGI BEARER Come up with new Yogi-isms, which seem to make sense, but collapse like a souffle when you poke it a little Phil Frankenfeld WOR  268  HTML 
July 26, 1998280 EXPRESSING IT NICELY Come up with colorful expressions for any of the six provided activities, to make them sound a little less tawdry. Joe Kobylski WOR  277  HTML 
September 13, 1998287 BEFORE AND AFTERMATH Begin with a real name, append to it a word, name or expression that completes the bridge, and finally define the resulting phrase. Douglas Riley WOR  284  HTML 
March 14, 1999313 THE STYLE INVITATIONAL SOUVENIR SHOP Come up with bad names for a new store at a mall. Brian Broadus WOR BUS  310  HTML 
April 25, 1999319 REVERSE PSYCHOLOGY Create an original chiasmus, an ancient literary form in which meaning is derived by pairing two words or phrases, and then reversing their order. Craig McGowan WOR  316  HTML 
February 13, 2000336
THE "STY"LE INVITATIONAL Choose any word and emphasize a single part of it, as though you were saying the word out loud with "air quotes" around the key part. Then redefine the word. You cannot alter the spelling of the word. Elden Carnahan
Tom Witte 
WOR  334, 335  HTML 
August 6, 2000361
Bad Libs Select one subject, one verb, and one object from the provided lists, and then answer the riddle you create. Edward Asher WOR JOK  357  HTML 
October 8, 2000370
No End in Sight Write the beginnings of sentences you don't want to hear the end of. Bill Chang WOR  366  HTML 
December 17, 2000380
The New-Name Offense Propose changes for the names of places and things that need it, either because there is something wrong with their name, or because another name would be so much more descriptive. Lynne Filderman WOR  376  HTML 
December 24, 2000381
Idiom Savant Take any well-known idiom, or expression, and invent an interesting derivation for it. Gordon Labow WOR  377  HTML 
January 7, 2001383
A Kinder, Gender Nation Take an noun and give us a reason or two why it should be either masculine or feminine. Jim Martin WOR  379  HTML 
April 22, 2001398
Animal Magnetism Make great literature and/or a significant expression of the human condition out of the provided randomly-selected words. Use whatever punctuation you choose and any of the words, but only those words, and use them only once. Brian Foster LIT CUL WOR  394   
June 10, 2001405
The "Sty"le Invitational Take any word--this may include people or places--put a portion of it in "air quotes" and redefine it. You may not alter the spelling. Steve Fahey WOR  401  HTML 
June 24, 2001407
Adverbiage Come up with a witticism or a joke by making a pun out of an adverb. Unlike Tom Swiftlys, your adverb must modify not a verb but an adjective. Chris Doyle JOK WOR  403  HTML 
February 24, 2002442
Titletales Take any real book or movie, change one word slightly, and describe the resulting new product. Jeffrey Martin LIT MOV WOR  438  HTML 
March 17, 2002445
Another Round of Bierce Add a few entries to Ambrose Bierce's famous "Devil's Dictionary." Mike Genz WOR  441  HTML 
August 25, 2002468
Ism This Stupid? Take any common prefix and attach it to any well-known "ism" and define the new term. Paul A. Stone WOR  464  HTML 
October 20, 2002476
Portmanteautapping Make a new word by squishing together two existing words. The constituent words must share at least two letters. Meg Sullivan WOR  472  HTML 
November 24, 2002481
Homonymphomania Create a new homonym of any existing word, and define. The new word must be spelled in such a way that is obviously pronounced identically to the original word. Michael Levy WOR  477  HTML 
January 19, 2003489
Combo, First Blood Combine two people whose names contain a common element, as in the examples above. Then describe the person, or provide a quote he or she might have uttered. Beverly Miller WOR  485  HTML 
April 6, 2003500 Ergo-Nomics Create a sillygism--a syllogism that doesn't quite work. Dan Dunn WOR  496  HTML 
July 6, 2003513 It's Delete We Can Do Come up with very bad subject lines for spam e-mail--lines that will guarantee instant deletion, sight unseen. Tom Kreitzberg WOR  509  HTML 
August 31, 2003521 Hyphen the Terrible Take the first half of any hyphenated word in today's Washington Post (or Tuesday's USA Today) and combine it with the second half of any other hyphenated word in the same story, and define the new word it produces. Jane Auerbach HYP WOR  517  HTML 
September 21, 2003524 Around Things Moving Take the title of any book or movie, rearrange the words, and explain what the new book or movie is about. Russell Beland LIT MOV WOR  520  HTML   
November 9, 2003531 Your Cynic Duties Come up with a saying that sound as if it's going to be inspirational, but winds up being cynical, misanthropic or sad. Tom McCudden WOR  527  HTML 
January 25, 2004542 Discombobulate Us Come up with both an object/situation and a neologism for it, something that Bob Levey would never have stooped to print in his column. Chris Doyle WOR  538  HTML 
April 25, 2004555 A Tsk, A Task Come up with a super-wholesome passage of 25 words or fewer that would likely be banned by the admirable, ever-vigilant site. Jane Auerbach WOR  551  HTML 
May 2, 2004556 So Zoo Us Combine any two kinds of animals, give its name and describe it. Greg Pearson WOR  552  HTML 
June 27, 2004564 Redefine Print Redefine any word from the dictionary. Chuck Smith WOR  560  HTML 
July 25, 2004568 Tome Deftness Make a pun or similar wordplay on a book title. Wayne Rodgers WOR LIT  564  HTML 
September 26, 2004577 Teledubbies Slightly change the title of a TV show, past or present, and describe it. Jack Cackler TEL WOR  573  HTML 
December 19, 2004589 Hyphen the Terrible (New Edition!) Combine the beginning of any multi-syllabic word in this week's Invitational with the end of any other multi-syllabic word in this column (or in this week's Web supplement) to coin a new word, and then define it. Jeff Brechlin HYP WOR  585  HTML 
January 30, 2005595 Listing Precariously Take the two subject listings at the top of any page of the Yellow Pages and create a dictionary definition for the compound word they form. Bruce Alter WOR  591  HTML 
February 6, 2005596 Take Her Words for It Use the words of this week's Ask Amy advice column, as a pool from which to compose your own useful (or useless) thoughts. You may ignore or change capitalization or punctuation. Bob Dalton WOR  592  HTML 
February 20, 2005598 Site Gags Come up with an appropriate name for a cafeteria--or meeting room, or an employee lounge, or some other workplace spot--for a particular institution. Robin Grove WOR BUS  594  HTML 
March 27, 2005603 Sui Genesis Take one of two of the 50 chapters of the KJV Book of Genesis and draw thou from them, using words in the order in which they appear in the original, your own passage. Michelle Stupak REL WOR  599  HTML   
May 15, 2005610 MASH Find two well-known movies, plays, or TV shows whose title have a significant word in common, combine their titles, and describe the hybrid. Paul Whittemore MOV LIT TEL WOR  606  HTML 
July 17, 2005619 WordCount Us In Write a poem of no more than four lines containing four or more consecutive words on the WordCount list. They must occur in the sentence in the order they appear on the list. Michelle Stupak POE WOR  615  HTML 
August 7, 2005622 Our Sunday Constitutional Write an new article or amendment to the Constitution, using on the words contained in the existing document (including amendments). Marty McCullen POL WOR  618  HTML 
August 14, 2005623 Try to Remember Give us an original mnemonic for any list that someone might want to remember. Chris Doyle WOR  619  HTML 
October 2, 2005630 Hyphen the Terrible Combine the beginning and end of any two multisyllabic words in this week's Invitational, and then define the compound. Chris Doyle
Tom Witte 
HYP WOR  626   
October 16, 2005632 Live On, Sweet, Earnest Reader (Inc.) Give us an original backronym for a company or product. A backronym is a fake etymology that often gets in a little dig at the subject. Jonathan Guberman WOR BUS  628   
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   
March 12, 2006653 It's the Eponymy, Stupid Coin a word or expression based on the name of a well-known person, define it, and perhaps use it in a sentence Russell Beland WOR  649   
June 4, 2006665 Your One-in-a-Million Coin the millionth words in the English language and define it. The word must end in -ion. Marty McCullen WOR  661   
July 23, 2006672 Just Sign This Write a funny message for an overhead highway sign. Lisa Younce WOR  668     
October 8, 2006683 What a Piece of Work String together words in a single scene, or two consecutive scenes, of "Hamlet" to produce on or more funny sentences, preferably unrelated to the original content. The words must appear in the order in which they appear in the play. Dennis Lindsay LIT WOR  679   
November 12, 2006688 Making Short Work Write a humorous six-word story. Michael Levy LIT WOR  684   
December 3, 2006691 Haven't Got a Clue Make all the clues in the provided crossword ooh-clever or at least ah-that's-funny, even the little words. Chris Doyle CRO WOR  687   
April 1, 2007707 What Would YOU Do? Use only the words appearing in "The Cat in the Hat" to create your own work of "literature" of no more than 75 words. Chris Doyle WOR LIT  703   
April 29, 2007711 Join Now! Hyphenate the beginning and end of any two multi-syllabic words appearing anywhere in the April 29 or May 6 Style or Sunday Arts section, and then define the compound. Dennis Lindsay HYP WOR  707   
August 12, 2007726 Limerixicon 4 Supply a humorous limerick based on any word in the dictionary beginning with cl- through co-. Chris Strolin LIM WOR  722   HTML 
September 1, 2007729 Otherwordly Visions Take any sentence in an article or ad in The Washington Post or on from Sept. 1 through Sept. 10 and translate it into "plain English." Russ Taylor WAS WOR  725   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 
December 15, 2007744 You OED Us One Make up a humorous and false definition for any of the words listed below. Bill Spencer WOR  740   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 29, 2008758 Wrong Address Using any of the words of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, in whatever order you like, create your own passage. Barry Koch HIS WOR  754    html 
April 26, 2008762 Look This Up in Your Funk & Wagnalls Supply the pair of terms listed at the top of a page of any print dictionary to indicate the first and last listings on the page, and define that hyphenated term. Pam Dalrymple WOR  758     
June 14, 2008769 Splice Work If You Can Get It Combine two words -- overlapping by at least two letters -- into what's know by polysyllabic types as a portmanteau word, and by the rest of us as mash word, and define it. Rick Haynes WOR  765    
June 28, 2008771 Groaner's Manuals Come up with a humorous name for a guide or manual for, or a book about, a particular enterprise or organization. Beverley Sharp WOR BUS  767    
July 26, 2008775 Ad-dition Combine the beginning and end of any two words appearing in any single advertisement in The Post or on, from today through Aug. 4, and then define the new word. Beth Morgan HYP WOR  771    
August 9, 2008777 Limerixicon 5 Supply a humorous limerick featuring any English word, name or term beginning with the letters da-. Chris Doyle LIM WOR  773    
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    
January 17, 2009800 Compairison Briefly define or sum up an existing word or short phrase, then change it very slightly and do the same with the result. Lawrence McGuire WOR  796    
March 14, 2009808 Take Us At Our Words Create a humorous poem or other writing using only the words contained in this week's Style Invitational column or results. Russell Beland POE WOR STY  804    
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    
May 16, 2009817 Flopflip Reverse the first half and second half of a word or name and define the result. Erik Wennstrom WOR  813    
July 18, 2009826 The Inside Word Take any word -- this may include the name of a person or place -- put a portion of it in quotation marks, and redefine the word. Mike Ostapiej WOR  822     E 
August 1, 2009828 Inhuman Puns Make a pun on the name of a familiar group, organization or company, and describe it or provide a quote from it. Craig Dykstra BUS JOK WOR  824    
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 12, 2009834 Fractured Compounds Combine two full words within any single article appearing in The Washington Post or on into a hyphenated compound word, and define or otherwise describe the result. Sylvia Betts HYP WOR  830    
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    
November 28, 2009845 Reologisms Write a description for any of 50 genuine Loser-created neologisms. Russell Beland WOR  841    
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    
December 26, 2009849 Homonymphomania Create a new homonym (or homophone) for any existing word and define it. Christopher Lamora WOR  845    
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 27, 2010858 Same OED Make up a false definition for any of the words listed below. Michael Gips WOR  854    html 
March 13, 2010860 Ten, Anyone? Humorously define or describe something or someone in exactly 10 words. Phil Frankenfeld WOR  856    html 
April 10, 2010864 Oonerspisms Spoonerize a single word or a name by transposing different part of the word (more than two adjacent letters), and define the resultant new term. Ann Martin WOR  860    html 
April 24, 2010866 Natalie Portmanteau Begin with a real name; append to it a word, name or expression so that they overlap; and finally define (humorously, of course) the resulting phrase. Malcolm Fleschner WOR  862    html 
June 5, 2010872 Har Monikers Combine the first parts of each word in a famous person's or character's name -- in order -- and define it or use it in a sentence that somehow refers to its source. Cliff Kellogg WOR  868    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 
September 18, 2010886 Look both ways Give us a new term that's a palindrome and define it. Tom Flaherty WOR  883    html 
October 2, 2010888 It's the eponymy, stupid Coin a word or expression based on the name of a well-known person, define it, and perhaps use it in a sentence Jeffrey Contompasis WOR  884    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 
October 23, 2010891 Mirror, Mirror Write a word-palindrome sentence, in which the first and last words are the same; the second and next-to-last, etc. Peter Jenkins WOR  887    html 
November 6, 2010893 Give us a hint Write a humorously witty story in 25 words or fewer. Jeffrey Contompasis WOR  889    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 
March 27, 2011912 Pair-a-phrase Lift a word that appears inside a longer word; pair it with the original word to create a phrase; and define it. Michael Reinemer WOR  908    html 
May 22, 2011920 Sarchiasm Write an original chiasmus, in which the elements of a phrase are inverted for comedic effect. John Shea WOR  916    html 
June 26, 2011925 A remeaning task Redefine a word in the dictionary beginning with I through O. Jamie Pazur LET WOR  921    html 
August 21, 2011933 Stories that count (to 56) Write a humorous story in exactly 56 words.  WOR  929    html 
September 11, 2011936 Hoho contendere Slightly alter a well-known foreign-language term and define it. Greg Deye LAN WOR  932    html 
November 20, 2011946 Another round of Bierce Write a clever definition of a word, name or multi-word term. Melissa Balmain WOR  942    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 
December 11, 2011949 Putting the SAT in satire Give us an analogy using "a is to b as x is to y." Edmund Conti WOR  946    html  
December 25, 2011951 Say that again Double a word, or use a word and its homophone, to make a phrase, and define it. Kathy Fraeman WOR  947    html   
January 22, 2012955 Twits' twist Create a phrase by combining a word or phrase with an anagram of that word or phrase, and define or describe it. Nancy Schwalb ANA WOR  951    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   
February 12, 2012958 All's Weller Write a "wellerism," a sentence that starts with a quote, often a short proverb, and goes on to include some sort of wordplay on something in the quote. Jason Russo WOR  954    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   
March 18, 2012963 The overlap dance Send us a Before & After "person" who name combines two people's names, real or fictional (okay, you can use animals' names, too), and describe the person in a funny way. Gil Glass WOR  959    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   
April 15, 2012967 Overlap dance II Create a phrase that overlaps two terms, each of two words or more, and describe the result. Mae Scanlan WOR  963    html 
June 17, 2012976 Join now! Combine the beginning and end of any two words or names in this week's Style Invitational or Style Conversational columns to make a new term, and define it. Robert Schechter HYP WOR  972    html   
July 15, 2012980 Def jam Supply a humorous definition for any of the provided Loser-penned neologisms. Paul Burnham WOR  976    html   
September 2, 2012986 Hear here! Give us a sentence or short dialogue that would be a lot funnier if a word in it were mistaken for a homophone of that word. Mark Richardson
Beverley Sharp 
WOR  982    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 
December 23, 20121002 Wring out the OED Make up a false definition from any other the listed OED words. Frank Osen WOR  998    html 
January 27, 20131007 Clue us in Come up with creative, funny clues for the words and multi-word terms in the provided grid. Barbara Turner CRO WOR  1003    html   
February 10, 20131008 Switched reels Re-arrange all the words in the title of a movie, and describe the resulting work. Roy Ashley WOR MOV  1005    html   E 
March 17, 20131013 Har monikers Write a riddle that uses a pun of a person's name in the answer. Natalie Beary JOK WOR  1009    html   E 
March 24, 20131014 Join now Combine the beginning and end, or the beginnings and ends, of any two words in single Washington Post story or ad published March 21 to April 1 into a new word or two-word phrase, and define the result. Michael Gips WAS WOR  1010     E 
April 21, 20131018 Reologisms Write a clever, funny definition for any of the Loser-concocted neologisms from Week 1014 as well as from Week 1000 that deserve better definitions than their creators offered at the time. Rob Huffman WOR  1014    html   E 
June 9, 20131025 In so many words Create an original backronym for a name or other term, especially one that's been in the news lately. Jay Cummings WOR CUL  1021   HTML   E 
July 28, 20131031 The 'Sty'le Invitational Choose any word, name, or short term; emphasize a key, suddenly pertinent part of it with quotation marks; then redefine the word. Barbara Turner WOR  1027, 1026   HTML   E 
September 1, 20131036 Just for liffs Use a real place name, from anywhere in the world, as a new term. Joel Knanishu WOR  1032   HTML   E 
September 22, 20131039 Shookespeare Combine any of the words in Hamlet's "To be, or not to be" soliloquy, in any order, to create a humorous sentence or longer passage. Craig Dykstra WOR POE  1035   HTML   E 
November 10, 20131046 Derive us crazy Offer a bogus but funny explanation of how a particular expression originated. Frank Osen HIS WOR  1042   HTML   E 
January 19, 20141056 Weather or nuts Coin a term relating to the weather, climate, etc. -- either literal or figurative -- and define it. Megan Durham WOR  1052   HTML   E 
February 9, 20141059 With parens like these … Add some words in parentheses to a well-known song title to make it funnier in some way. Mark Raffman WOR MUS  1055   HTML   E 
March 23, 20141065 The ands have it Slightly alter ANY well-known phrase in the form "A-and-B" -- it doesn't have to be Latinate/Anglo-Saxon -- and define it. Frank Osen WOR  1061   HTML   E 
April 13, 20141067 A(t)tribute to your wit Alter a well-known quote slightly and attribute it to someone else. Nan Reiner WOR  1064   HTML   E 
April 27, 20141069 It's a small, small world Write a humorous poem of no more than eight lines -- it doesn't have to rhyme -- using only the top 1,000 words on's list of the most common among 20 million words found in movie and TV scripts. Ward Kay
Mark Raffman 
POE WOR  1062, 1063, 1064, 1065   HTML   E 
June 22, 20141077 Time marches Swiftly Give us a novel Tom Swifty, playing on either an adverb or a verb (e.g., "We care about the little people, the BP chairman gushed"). Greg Arnold WOR CUL  1073   HTML   E 
July 27, 20141082 Band on the pun Alter the name of a music group or performer slightly -- not necessarily by just one letter, but enough so it's obvious what the original is -- and describe it in some way. Frank Osen MUS WOR  1078   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 
September 21, 20141090 Talk undirty to us Write a humorous poem in any form (no more than eight lines) that includes one or more of the provided words; the word must make sense in the poem in its TRUE meaning. Danielle Nowlin WOR POE  1086   HTML  E 
September 28, 20141091 Good idea! or not. Come up with a good idea and, through a small change in wording, a bad idea. Frank Osen WOR  1087   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 
November 30, 20141100 Pun and ink -- the feghoot Contrive an elaborate scenario that ends in a novel groaner pun on a familiar expression, title, etc. Kevin Dopart WOR  1096   HTML  E 
February 15, 20151111 When you riff upon a store Use a wordplay on a song title as a name or slogan for a real or imagined business. John O'Byrne WOR BUS SLO  1107   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 
June 21, 20151129 Right in the pampootie Write a humorous short poem (eight lines or fewer) incorporating one of the 50 provided words.  POE WOR  1125    E 
June 28, 20151130 Yux Redux: Play on a foreign phrase Make a word play on a foreign phrase or term (or English phrase using foreign words) and describe it. Bird Waring WOR LAN  1126    E 
July 26, 20151134 The 'Sty'le Invitational Red'ux' Put quotation marks around part of a word, name or phrase and define the result. Brendan Beary WOR  1130    E 
September 27, 20151142 Two-faced tweets Combine two well-known names into a Twitter handle, and write a tweet (no more than 140 characters and spaces) that that portmanteau person might write. Gary Crockett WOR  1138    E 
November 1, 20151147 It's E-Z find-a-word -- yours 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. Jeff Shirley WOR  1143    E 
January 31, 20161160 A remeaning task Redefine an existing word or two-word term beginning with P through Z. Frank Osen WOR  1156    E 
February 21, 20161163 Put it in reverse Spell a word, name or phrase backward and define the result in a way that relates to the original. Ellen Ryan WOR  1159    E 
April 24, 20161172 Pieces of 'Pie' Write a short passage -- an observation, a joke, a dialogue, a poem, anything -- using only words that appear in the song "American Pie". Mary Kappus WOR MUS  1168    E 
May 1, 20161173 Tinker with the recipe Slightly change the name of a food or brand of food (or something else in the food industry) and describe it, or write a slogan, jingle, etc. Jon Gearhart WOR  1169    E 
June 5, 20161178 A ______ of collective nouns Propose one or more funny new names for groups of things. Dudley Thompson WOR  1174    E 
June 12, 20161179 Blasted alphabetical contests . . .  Coin a three-word phrase whose words begin with A, B and C -- in any order -- and describe it. Chris Damm WOR  1175    E 
June 26, 20161181 Put it in Bee-verse Write a short, humorous poem using one of the 36 provided words, all from the 2016 National Spellinng Bee. Chris Doyle POE WOR  1177    E 
August 14, 20161188 Just short words, one more time Explain some concept or philosophy entirely in words of one syllable. Hildy Zampella WOR  1184    E 
August 28, 20161190 You're workin' on a chain, gang Create a chain of no more than 15 proper nouns — names of people (real or fictional), products, places, etc. — including one title of a work — in which each Chris Doyle WOR  1186    E 
September 25, 20161194 Nyetymologies: fake word origins Provide a humorously untrue explanation for the derivation of a word. Jeffrey Contompasis WOR  1190    E 
October 23, 20161198 Give it to us straight Take any sentence from an article or ad in any publication dated Oct. 20 to Oct. 31 — or from an online article dated within that period — and translate it into “plain English,” Kevin Dopart WOR  1194    E 
November 6, 20161200 The definitive dozen Supply a word, name or multi-word term along with a wry definition or description; together, the term and description must total exactly 12 words. Hildy Zampella WOR  1196    E 
February 5, 20171213 Punku Write a haiku that incorporates a pun. Jesse Frankovich POE WOR  1209    E 
February 12, 20171214 The alternaugural address  Write a humorous passage — a “quote,” an observation, a joke, a dialogue, a poem, anything — using only words that appear in Trump’s inaugural address.   WOR POL  1210    E 
February 19, 20171215 A so-so contest (How so-so is it?) Write a humorous exaggeration in the form "x is so y that …"  WOR  1211    E 
February 26, 20171216 As the word turns 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.  WOR  1212    E 
March 5, 20171217 Mergers you wrote: Combine two businesses with puns Give a clever name for a combination of two or more businesses.  BUS WOR  1213    E