PERMANENT INKSTAIN FOR BRUCE ALTER

This is what you've done, each Week. I arrange the rows in reverse chronological order, because there are some Losers, and they know who they are, who check up on my points-awarding every Week.

But I would just like to reiterate that such checking up is not a problem for me. I have said many times that each Loser's enlightened self-interest is my best QA.

If you wish to see what your ink was, refer to the Master Contest List or search All Invitational Text. Remember that Types I, P, some H, and sometimes A are seen "above the Report" -- that is, if they are listed here for Week 7777, for example, they will be found in text files or images of Week 7777. Everything else will be found in a "Report" section of a file two, three, or four weeks later; 7781 in this Example.

If you see any error, please let me know, elden.carnahan@gmail.com.

Key to Ink Types:

WKTITLESYNOPSISINK TYPES
1282 Picture This Write a caption for one or more of the provided pictures. P
1218 Mess with our -- or anyone else's -- heads Reinterpret (or comment wryly on) a headline appearing in the Post (print or online or another publication dated March 9-20) by writing a bankhead, or subtitle. H
1207 Clue us in -- a reverse crossword Supply clever, funny clues to up to 25 of the 72 words and multi-word terms in the provided grid. H
1176 Let 'er RIP: Write and obit line Write a humorous line or two for someone's obituary -- either for a particular person (dead or not) or for a fictional or generic one. 3
1174 Colt following -- It's time for the grandfoals "Breed" any two of the 57 foal names that got ink this week and name the offspring to reflect both parents' names. P
1137 Be a published author! Give us a spicy title for a boring book, real or imagined. H H
1129 Right in the pampootie Write a humorous short poem (eight lines or fewer) incorporating one of the 50 provided words. P
1109 Fictoids of Columbia Tell us some humorously untrue “facts” about Washington, D.C., and the surrounding area. H
1099 Questionable journalism Take a sentence (or most of a sentence) that appears in an article in The Washington Post or on washingtonpost.com dated Nov. 20 through Dec. 1 (in print, any article from those days' papers), and make up a question that the sentence could answer. H H H
1096 Picture this Write a humorous caption for any of the provided Bob Staake cartoon. P
1065 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. P
1057 Sportin' lie Give us some fake sports trivia. H
1047 Bank shots Quote a headline appearing in The Washington Post, washingtonpost.com or another publication, print or online, dated Nov. 14 to Nov. 25, and supply a humorous "bank" headline that either misinterprets it or comments wryly on it. H H
1041 What have you got to lose? Answer a question, real or rhetorical, that appears in a song. H
1035 The Empy 500 Explain what news Bob Staake is trying to tell in any of the provided drawings. P
1015 Faux re mi Give us some humorously false trivia about music or musicians. H
1014 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. H
968 Take us for grants Come up with a proposal to the National Science Foundation or other research-funding organization for a study based on a stupid hypothesis. H
940 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). H
939 MASH 2: The Retread Combine two movie titles and describe the result. H
935 The 400 blows Write a humorous poem--choose your form--about the Virginia earthquake, Hurricane Irene or another well-known natural event. H
914 Foaling around Breed any two of 100 of the almost 400 horses eligible for this year's Triple Crown races, and name the foal. P
911 Help! Create a short humorous dialogue -- or a monologue featuring one party -- of a phone call to 911, or a call for help to someone else. H
885 Mess with our heads Take any headline, verbatim, appearing anywhere in The Post or on washingtonpost.com from Sept. 10 through Sept. 20 and reinterpret it by adding a "bank head." 3
879 Say Venn Express some sentiment in the form of a Venn diagram. H
859 Can't goods Cast a joke in one of the forms listed above. H
851 Going to the shrink Downsize the title of a book, movie or play to make it smaller or less momentous and describe it. H
850 Dead letters Write a humorous poem about someone who died in 2009. H
848 Up and addin' Compose a humorous rhopalic sentence (or multiple sentences) in which each word is one letter longer than the previous word. P
838 Picture This Provide a caption for any of these pictures. H
836 Other People's Business Describe what might happen if any of the above institutions (a) were run by an institution of your choice or (b) ran an institution of your choice. W
828 Inhuman Puns Make a pun on the name of a familiar group, organization or company, and describe it or provide a quote from it. H
801 Ask Backwards You are on "Jeopardy!" Here are the answers. You supply one or more of the questions. H
799 Send Us the Bill Come up with legislation that, given their names, two or more freshman senators or representatives might sponsor together. M
798 Dead Letters Write a humorous poem commemorating someone who died in 2008. H
792 Clue Us In Compile a set of funny alternative clues to a crossword penned by Ace Constructor Paula Gamache. H H
791 The 1K Club Supply a chain of 20 names -- they may be names of people, places, organizations, products, etc., but they must be names -- beginning and ending with "Chris Doyle." H
785 The Ballad Box Write a short, humorous song somehow relating to the presidential campaign, set to a familiar tune. H
784 Words to The Wiseacres Give us some proverbs for 21st-century life. 3
782 That's the Ticket! Explain why any of the items on the list below is qualified to be President of the United States. H H
781 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. H
776 An Act of Sunny Side Note the silver lining in some otherwise disappointing turn of events. H
759 What Kind of Foal Am I? Breed any two of the 100 horses eligible for this year's Triple Crown and provide an appropriate name for their foal. H
754 Canny Similarities Cite a humorous "uncanny similarity" between any two of the very different people listed above. H
743 Picture This Write a caption for any of these Bob Staake cartoons. H
739 Lies, All Lies Give us some humorous fictional revelation about a current or past political figure. H
737 No River, No Woods Send us a funny parody of a well-known song, with lyrics that commemorate an occasion other than Christmas or Hanukkah. H
726 Limerixicon 4 Supply a humorous limerick based on any word in the dictionary beginning with cl- through co-. M
724 Abridged Too Far Sum up a book, play or movie in a humorous rhyming verse of two to four lines. H
722 Let's Play Nopardy! We supply 12 phrases and you get to provide questions they might answer. The phrases were entries in our Week 717 contest, which asked for Googlenopes -- phrases that showed no previous hits from the Google search engine. H
719 We Har the World Come up with a creative name for a sports team for a town or city anywhere outside the United States. H
701 Untitlement Here are the covers for what just might be Bob Staake's next four books. What are they called and what are they about? H
698 Let's Get Personnel Send us some humorously creative questions that a job interviewer would ask an applicant, or some questions it might be fun to ask the interviewer. T
697 We Beg You To Differ Take any two items from the truly random provided list and explain why they are different or why they are similar. H
695 Dead Letters Write a poem about someone who died in 2006. H
690 Funnies: How Time Flies Pull Billy of "The Family Circus" -- or any of his comic strip neighbors in The Washington Post -- out of his time warp to a different age, era or place, and provide a short storyline or dialogue or caption. H M
685 Thank it Over Tell us some things to be thankful for. W
684 Backtricking Spell a word backward and define the result, somehow relating the definition to the original word. H
677 The News Gets Verse Sum up wittily in verse -- but not a limerick -- any article appearing in The Post or on washingtonpost.com from Aug. 28 through Sept. 4. H
672 Just Sign This Write a funny message for an overhead highway sign. H
666 Bedevil Us Give a mini-sermon explaining how some innocuous object or event signals the End of Days. H T
659 Tell Us a Fib Compose a six-line poem with the following number of syllables per line: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8. It must be about a person or topic currently in the news, and two successive lines must rhyme. H
652 Ask Backward You are on "Jeopardy!" Above are the answers. You supply the questions. H
651 Show Us Some Character Add a character to a book or movie and tell us what happens in it. H
639 What's the Small Idea? Do you have a senseless idea for improving the day-to-day lives of everyday Americans? 2
631 Picture This What's going on in any of these cartoons? H
617 Best the Best Write something about any famous personage that uses only the letters in his or her name. L
595 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. W
593 Take This, Job, and … Come up with some entertainingly awful things that a Job's comforter might offer. A Job's comforter is someone who seems to be offering sympathy but instead just makes the person feel worse, either intentionally or unintentionally. H
589 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. H
587 The B-List Come up with an In-Out list for 2005, or other pairings. H
566 Get Whack Type a two-word phrase into the Google search engine that produces exactly one result. H
564 Redefine Print Redefine any word from the dictionary. H
558 Set Us Right Send us conservative-leaning humor is any of the provided genres. 4
550 Spring Cleaning Suggest creative uses for things you've already used, or never will use, or other disposable household thingies, singly or in combination. H
546 A Nice Pair of Cities Choose any two or more real U.S. towns and come up with a joint endeavor they would undertake. H
529 United We Stanza Summarize in four rhyming lines of verse any famous document, theory, principle or speech. H
527 Rite of First Defusal Come up with witty or bizarre things to say to defuse the tension in awkward moments. H
513 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. H
512 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. H
511 It All Impends Tell us what is something unusual about to happen in the provided cartoons. H
506 The Battle of All Mottoes Provide a slogan for any federal department agency, department, office, etc. H
504 Life Is Snort Write a schmaltzy last line of a "Life Is Short." H
497 Ask Backward You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? H
477 A Load of Bulwer Give us the beginning of incompetently written novel. 3
459 Stock Humor Look at any of the abbreviated company names in the Nasdaq or New York Stock Exchange listings in any newspaper's business section and suggest what business the companies might be in. H
458 It's a Setup Come up with joke setups for any of the provided punch lines. H H
455 Comixing Create new comic characters by crossing two existing characters, then describe the character. I
454 Ask Backwards You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? 2
440 Picture This What is going on in these cartoons? H
437 The Telegraph Poll Tell us the beginning of a joke that badly telegraphs the punch line. H
419 Don't Spare the Rodney Come up with indications that one might not be getting no respect. I
414 No Rest for the Query Complete the provided rhetorical question by filling in the blanks. It must be a put-down. H
409 Nice Job, if You Get It Take anything that might need its image enhanced and rename it in a way the keeps its essential identity, but makes it seem nicer. I
408 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. H
401 A Matter of Degree Describe a sign of some modest change in a situation and pair it with a sign of an extreme change in that same situation. H
400 Life Is Snort Write a "Life is Short" entry in under 100 words, in the voice of a celebrity, living or dead. H
399 IT PAYS TO BE GENDEROUS Write a short film description that could persuade a woman that the guy movie he wants to see is really close to being a gal movie, or vice versa. H H
394 Life in the Blurbs Come up with a blurb used to sell a real or imagined book or movie that would be likely to have the opposite of the intended effect. H
389 Operation Overkill Present a solution to a problem that goes just a little too far. H
388 Pitches in the Dirt Come up with a sales pitch to get any surplus product off the shelves. H
387 By Jingo Come up with a joke that could be written and understood only by a Washingtonian. H
346 Greasy Kids Tough Take any news event from history, recent of ancient, large or small, and rewrite it in 100 words or fewer as it might have appeared in KidsPost. H
342 Plainly Ridiculous Take any direct quotation from any article in today's Washington Post and translate it into "plain English." 4
74 SHIRT HAPPENS In 10 words or fewer, what should the back of the "Year 2" T-shirt say? H
50 GIVE US THIS DAY There are no holidays between Presidents' Day and Memorial Day, a cheerless run of more than three months. Let's stick one in there, somewhere. The holiday should celebrate something or someone uniquely America. Tell us the date, the name of the holiday and how it should be observed. H
47 CAN YOU DO VERSE? Bad Valentine's Day poetry. Any rhyme scheme, any form of literary dysfunction. H H

MOST OF YOUR INK

Here is, I hope, most of your ink to be found in the All Invitational Text list. I have to find these with what are called regular expressions, which is a method used in a lot of programming languages to find and modify certain text strings in larger corpora. Basically I look for something like this:

"Report From Week 758"

or

"And from The Style Invitational four weeks ago . . ."

and then some text, your name, and your town, arranged in this familiar way:

"GlaxoSmithKline: I have six kids named Chesterfield, Winston, Lark, BensonHedges, Doral and Kool. If I name my new baby Nicorette, can I get a free coupon for your products? (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)"

I don't catch everything, but I believe I find 90%.

Unlike in the table to the left, I've arranged these in chronological order, so you can see how your humor matured, like a forgotten cheese deep in the walls of an old house. You started out, perhaps in Year 1, sending in riddles you sort of remembered from grade school, and now look at ya, ain't you Dorothy Parker.





[still working on this ...]