PERMANENT INKSTAIN FOR RUSSELL BELAND

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
1295 Really, now? A matter of degree. Tell us an indication to some problem, followed by an even more dire sign. H
1289 Fake gnus: bogus animal trivia Tell us a fictoid -- a humorously false "fact" -- about the nonhuman animal kingdom. H H
1288 Your resukts may vary Write a funny disclaimer or warning for some product or service. 4 H
1284 Same difference Explain how any two of the items in the provided list are similar, different or otherwise linked. H
1243 We bid you: No T-R-U-M-P Coin a new term, or choose an existing one, whose letters do not include a T, R, U, M, or P, and write a humorous definition. H
1228 That movie is SO about you Name someone who was the "secret inspiration" for a certain movie. H
1223 Post again out to mislead public! Write a humorously sensationalistic, misleading headline on an otherwise mundane article or ad published in The Post or elsewhere from April 13 to April 24. H
1138 Show us your touché Offer an elegantly snide (and original) of anyone living or dead. H
1059 With parens like these … Add some words in parentheses to a well-known song title to make it funnier in some way. H
1034 What's to like? Supply an original joke of the form "I like my [your choice] the way I like my [something else of your choice]: [some clever, funny parallel]." H
1016 Foaling around Breed any two of the horses nominated for this year's Triple Crown races and give the foal a name humorously reflecting the names of the parents. H
1011 Top these! Try your hand at any of the contests mentioned in this look back. H H H H H
1008 Switched reels Re-arrange all the words in the title of a movie, and describe the resulting work. H H
1003 Just do it Use a well-known advertising slogan for a different company, organization or product to humorous effect. H
992 Mittsterpiece Theatre Suppose public-TV shows, past or present, were turned out onto the open market to make a living on commercial TV. Tell us what would happen. H
989 On the double Come up with a double or multiple profession, and explain how each job complements the other(s). H
987 Bank shots Take any headline, verbatim, appearing anywhere in The Washington Post or on washingtonpost.com from Sept. 6 through Sept. 17 and reinterpret it by adding a "bank head," or subtitle. H
986 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. L
971 Double booking Come up with a double book with a humorous connection; the first title must be an actual book, while the other may be your own fictitious title or a second real book. H
965 Foaling around Breed any two of the horses in this year's Triple Crown races and name their foal. H
962 Questionable journalism Take any sentence (or a major part of it) that appears in the Post or in an article on washingtonpost.com anytime from now through March 19 and supply a question it could answer. H I
947 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. P
937 Staake it to him Write a caption for any of the five pages or details pictured from some of Bob's more than 50 picture books. H
928 Play feature Use the title of a movie as the answer to a riddle or other question. H
925 A remeaning task Redefine a word in the dictionary beginning with I through O. L
924 Doomed to repeat it Create "Unreal Facts" about history. H
923 Chemical Wordfare Create a new chemical element or other chemical term. H
920 Sarchiasm Write an original chiasmus, in which the elements of a phrase are inverted for comedic effect. 3
918 Colt Following Breed any two "foals" in today's results, or one foal with one of the real horse names used in today's entries--and name the "grandfoal." The name may not exceed 18 characters, including spaces, and your entry shouldn't remotely duplicate any of today's results. H H
916 Bank shots Take any headline, verbatim, appearing anywhere in The Post or on washingtonpost.com from April 22 through May and reinterpret it by adding a "bank head," or subtitle. H
915 Picture this Write a caption for any of the cartoons pictured here. 4
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 T W
909 Reprizing Suggest humorous uses for one or more of the items above, alone or in combination. H P
908 Recast away Fire an actor or actress from a movie or TV show, past or present, and offer a replacement for the role. H
907 Naming rite Come up with a creative, somehow fitting sponsor for some public facility or part of one. P
906 Your mug here Give us a new design for the Loser Mug. H M
904 We move on back Move the first letter in a word or name to the end of that word and define the resulting word. H H
900 Dear us! Submit a "Dear Blank" letter to us instead. H P
898 Pre-current events Predict some humorous news event that would happen in 2011. H
897 Catch their drift Take any sentence from an article of ad in The Washington Post or washingtonpost.com from Dec. 3 to Dec. 13 and translate it into "plain English." H H
896 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. H
895 Picture this Supply a caption for any of these cartoons. H
894 Look Back in Inker Enter any Style Invitational from Week 841 through Week 890 (except for Week 844). 3 H H H
893 Give us a hint Write a humorously witty story in 25 words or fewer. P
892 Get a move on Change the location of something for humorous effect. Provide an explanation if you wish. H H H
888 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 2 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." H H H
884 Rekindling the spork Combine two devices or other products to make a new one. H H M
883 Same difference Choose any two items from the list above and explain why they are alike or are different from each other. H
881 What's in a name? Take the name of a person or institution. Find within it a hidden message. H H H W
880 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. H
879 Say Venn Express some sentiment in the form of a Venn diagram. H H H H W
878 Safety in blunders Tell us a way to make the nation more secure. H
875 Fail Us Give us a funny Learn From My Fail-type lesson, 30 words or fewer, true or not, in your own words or attributed to a famous personage. 2 H H H
872 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. H
870 Let's play Nopardy Describe any of the above phrases in the form of a question. H H H H W
869 Clue us in Send us funny, clever clues for any of the words already in this grid. P
868 Count the ways Give us some musings of a technical wonk. 2 H H
867 Back in the saddle Breed any two of the foals in today's results -- OR one foal with one of the actual horses used in today's entries, and name the grandfoal. H I
866 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. H
865 No Googlenopes left Come up with a humorous Googlenope. H H H H N
863 It's Post time Breed any two of 100 of the almost 400 horses eligible for this year's Triple Crown races, and name the foal. H H P
862 Be cheerful Send us a cheer or fight song for any pro sports team or any national team. H
860 Ten, Anyone? Humorously define or describe something or someone in exactly 10 words. H H H M
859 Can't goods Cast a joke in one of the forms listed above. H H
858 Same OED Make up a false definition for any of the words listed below. H I
854 What's not to liken? Produce one or more similes in any of the following categories. 2 H H
853 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. H
852 Small, Let's get Write a rhopalic sentence (or fanciful newspaper headline) in which each successive word is one letter shorter. H L
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 W
850 Dead letters Write a humorous poem about someone who died in 2009. H H I
847 Questionable journalism Find any sentence (or a substantive part of a sentence) that appears in The Post or in an article on washingtonpost.com from Dec. 11 through Dec. 21 and come up with a question it might answer. 2 H H H H H H H H
846 Season's gratings Write a brief (50 words or fewer) holiday letter from a personage from past or present, or from fiction. H P
845 Reologisms Write a description for any of 50 genuine Loser-created neologisms. H W
844 Healthy choice Enter any Style Invitational from Week 790 through Week 840, except for Week 793 and Week 798. H H
843 Prefrains Provide a sentence or two of lead-in to the first line of a well-known book, poem, or song. P
842 Ask backwards Here are your 12 possible answers. Tell us your joke in the form of a question, please. H
840 Frittering away the neurons Give us some more colorfully useful phrases; they don't have to be in the X'ing-the-Y form. H H H H
839 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. L
838 Picture This Provide a caption for any of these pictures. H 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. H H
835 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. H
834 Fractured Compounds Combine two full words within any single article appearing in The Washington Post or on washingtonpost.com into a hyphenated compound word, and define or otherwise describe the result. 4 A H H I
833 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. H
832 Clue Us In You supply one or more clues for the words in a filled-in grid. H
831 A Big To-Do Name a "bucket list" item for a well-known real or fictional character. 2 H
830 Mess With Our Heads Take any headline, verbatim, appearing anywhere in The Post or on washingtonpost.com from Aug. 14 through Aug. 24 and reinterpret it by adding a "bank head," or subtitle. H H H H
829 Limerixicon 6 Supply a humorous limerick prominently featuring any English word, name or term beginning with the letters di-. P
827 Caller Idiot Name a real product or company and supply a stupid question or complaint for the consumer hotline person. H P
824 Jestinations Give us a slogan for any city or town. H H
823 Wryku Compose a humorous (or at least wry or clever) haiku. H
822 For Real Folks Suggest some attractions for a Festival of Real American Folklife. H
821 Spit the Difference How are any of the items on the list above alike or different? H H H H
820 Be Mister Language Person Supply a Mister Language Person-type question and answer. H
819 Art Re-View These objects are not what they seem to be, at first glance. They are something else entirely. What are they? H
818 Name the Day Cite an actual holiday or one of those silly commemorative days, weeks or months for which you can find previous evidence, and supply a snarky description or slogan. H H H H H I T
817 Flopflip Reverse the first half and second half of a word or name and define the result. L P P T
816 Googillions Come up with an original phrase that generates at least 1 million listings on a Google search. L
815 Wittecisms Create an original word containing -- in any order -- at least a W, and I, two T's and an E. H H H H I
814 There Will Be Bloodline Breed any two of the winning "offspring" included in this week's results, and name their foal. H H T
813 Aw, Shocks Give us a humorous example of the "shocking -- not." 2 H H H
812 Rx-Related Humor Offer up some entirely false medical or psychological "fact." H H
811 Rock-Bottom Lines Tell us a sign that the economy couldn't get worse. H
810 What Kind of Foal Am I? Breed any two of the more than 400 horses eligible for this year's Triple Crown races and provide an appropriate name for their foal. H
809 Unkindest Cutlines Supply cutlines, or captions, for any of these newspaper photos. H
808 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. H W
806 DQ Very Much Give us a phrase or sentence that would nip a potential relationship in the bud (or elsewhere). H
805 Brand Eccchs Give us an original name in any of the above categories (not an actual badly named product). H I
804 Our Type o' Joke Change a headline by one letter, or switch two letters, in a headline (or most of a headline) appearing on an article or ad in The Washington Post or on washingtonpost.com between Feb. 14 and 23, and elaborate on it in a "bank" headline (subhead) or a brief first sentence of an article that would run under it. H H
803 The Pepys Show Write a humorous diary or journal entry for someone, famous or not, for any point in history. H I
802 Dreck TV Suggest a new cable TV channel, with a description or example of its programming. 2 H H
801 Ask Backwards You are on "Jeopardy!" Here are the answers. You supply one or more of the questions. H H
800 Compairison Briefly define or sum up an existing word or short phrase, then change it very slightly and do the same with the result. H
798 Dead Letters Write a humorous poem commemorating someone who died in 2008. M
797 Be Resolute Make a humorous resolution for some particular person or institution to accomplish next year. H H H H H I
795 Stimulate Us Tell us what the government ought to be spending our money on. H H T
794 Ripped Off From the Headlines Send us some Onion-type headlines. H H H
793 Take The Fifth Enter any Style Invitational contest from Week 725 through Week 789. Each entry must include the word "five" of "fifth" or something fiveish, or -- depending on your favorite anniversary tradition -- something involving (a) wood or (b) silverware. H H
792 Clue Us In Compile a set of funny alternative clues to a crossword penned by Ace Constructor Paula Gamache. 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." 3 H
790 If Only! Explain how the world would be different had some event not occurred. 3 H H I
788 The Back End of a Bulwer Give us a comically terrible ending of a novel. H
787 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. H
786 Top of the Staake So get your thoughts provoked for No. Umpteen of our cartoon caption contest. P T
783 The Shill Game Name a celebrity or fictional character to endorse a real product or company. H H
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
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 H
780 Location, Location, Location Say how you know you're in a particular place. H I
779 Gripe for the Picking Rant about any issue that wouldn't make your top 100 for airing in The Post. H M
778 Tied Games Combine any two sports or nonathletic activities into a single sport or game. H H M
777 Limerixicon 5 Supply a humorous limerick featuring any English word, name or term beginning with the letters da-. P
776 An Act of Sunny Side Note the silver lining in some otherwise disappointing turn of events. 4 H H H
774 Tour De Forks Supply a name for a restaurant dish named after someone (or some product or organization) and describe it. H H H
773 Always Looking for Sects Coin a religion or belief system and tell us its basic tenet or distinguishing characteristic. H H
772 Make It Simile, Stupid Translate a sentence or two of literature or other good writing so that "Los Angeles residents under 40" can appreciate it. H H
771 Groaner's Manuals Come up with a humorous name for a guide or manual for, or a book about, a particular enterprise or organization. H H
770 A Knack for Anachronism Take a famous historical moment, literary passage, or movie scene and place it in an entirely different age. H H H
768 The Events Described Herein Are Entirely Fictitious Come up with fictitious movie trivia. H H H P W
767 Questionable Journalism Find any sentence (or a substantive part of a sentence) that appears in the Post or in an article on washingtonpost.com from May 31 through June 9 and come up with a question it might answer. 2 H H H H H
766 Think to Shudder Come up with scenarios that are even more awkward (and more imaginative) than the wincers mentioned above. H H
763 Another Time Around the Track Breed any two of the winning "offspring" included in this week's results, and name THEIR foal. H
761 Strip Mining Supply the text for any or all three of these Bob Staake comic strips. 4 T
760 Whacksy Buildup Describe any of these Googlewhacks in the form of a question, "Jeopardy"-style. H H M
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 H H H
758 Wrong Address Using any of the words of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, in whatever order you like, create your own passage. I I
756 Mess With Our Heads Take any headline, verbatim, appearing anywhere in The Post or on washingtonpost.com from March 15 through 24 and reinterpret it by adding a "bank head," or subtitle. H H H P
755 Take Another 'Whack Send us a phrase of two or more words that produces exactly one Web page on the Google search engine and describe the phrase. H H
754 Canny Similarities Cite a humorous "uncanny similarity" between any two of the very different people listed above. H H H H H H M
752 The Might-Mates Right Fill out any of these five "you just might" joke-templates. H M
751 Strike Gold Slightly change the name of an existing or former TV show to create a program that can scab the writers' strike. H H H H H H
749 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. 4 H H H
748 Dead Letters Write a humorous poem about a well-known personage who died in 2007. T
747 Boeing Us Silly Suggest some comical ways to improve air travel, either in general or for yourself. H I
746 We Err The World Give us a motto or short slogan for any country in the world. H
745 Hurry Up and Slow Down! Suggest particular ways that would slow life down, or ways that would speed it up. H
744 You OED Us One Make up a humorous and false definition for any of the words listed below. 4 I
743 Picture This Write a caption for any of these Bob Staake cartoons. H
742 Clue Us In Give us a whole new set of clues to a crossword puzzle penned by Ace Constructor Paula Gamache. H H H
741 Well, What Do You Know? Tell us what Major Life Lessons can be derived from any of these venues or situations. H H H I
740 Give Us a Hint Offer clues in various situations that something isn't working out well. H H H I
739 Lies, All Lies Give us some humorous fictional revelation about a current or past political figure. H H
738 So What's To Liken? Take any two items from the utterly random list above and explain how they are different or how they are similar. A H H M P
736 So, Should I Drive Like Your Brother? Ask a car-related question that would make the Car Guys crack up. If you're not into cars, you can also post a question for advice columnist Ask Amy or etiquette columnist Miss Manners. H I
735 Look Back in Inker Enter any Style Invitational contest from Week 680 through Week 731. H H H H H M
734 Turnaround Time Write a rhyming couplet containing two words that are anagrams of each other. H
732 The Chain Gang Supply a chain of 25 names -- they may be names of people, places, organizations, products, etc., but they must be names -- beginning and ending with "George W. Bush." H H H H T
731 Doo Process Describe for us a wildly inefficient and ridiculous way to produce or prepare an ordinary dish or beverage. 3 H
730 Time-Wastes For Everyman Describe activities that make entering The Style Invitational seem like a constructive use of one's time. 3 H H H H H H
729 Otherwordly Visions Take any sentence in an article or ad in The Washington Post or on washingtonpost.com from Sept. 1 through Sept. 10 and translate it into "plain English." 2 H H N
728 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. 2 H
727 We Get a C-Section Tell us some pros and cons of moving The Style Invitational to the Saturday Style section; or write us up some free promo-ad copying announcing the move. H
723 Name Your Poison Create a name and recipe for a cocktail and, if you like, describe when it might be served. 2 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
721 Know Your Market For any of the provided photos, supply two captions: one that would appeal to The Style Invitational and one that would appear to the Harrisburg Patriot-News. H H H I M
720 The Course of Humor Events Sum up a historical event in a two-line rhyme or other clever and pithy epigram. H H I L T
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 H H
718 Put Our Heads Together Create a new, funny headline from the words of any headlines appearing anywhere in a single day's Washington Post (or on washingtonpost.com) H H I
717 Pitch Us a No-Hitter Send us some genuine Googlenopes. A Googlenope is a phrase or very brief sentence that, entered into the Google search engine with quotation marks around it, produces no hits. H
715 Your Mug Here Send us an idea for a slogan for the back of the new Loser T-shirt. H W
714 Amalgamated Steal Merge two or more company or product names into a new, ORIGINAL company or product. H H T
713 Painings Name and interpret any of the provided paintings by Fred Dawson. H
712 Another Time Around the Track Breed any two of the winning "offspring" included in the results of Week 708, and name THEIR foal. 1 H H
711 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. H H H
709 A Return Engagement Come up with some novel change to the tax code: a tax on something ought to be taxed, a credit for something that should be rewarded, what the $3 should go to instead of presidential campaigns, etc. H T
708 What Kind of Foal Am I? Breed any two from a list of 100 of the horses eligible for this year's Triple Crown races and provide an appropriate name for their foal. A H H H H H H H P
707 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. H H
706 Questionable Journalism Take any sentence that appears in The Post or in an article on washingtonpost.com from March 24 through April 2 and come up with a question it could answer. H H H W
705 Simile Outrageous Come up with funny analogies, perhaps with some 21st-century references. 3 H H H H H
704 Another Game of Tag Create vanity plates for well-known people, real or fictional. H H H
703 Freak Trade Agreements Think of one thing to trade for another, and supply a short and funny explanation. 3 H
702 Unreal Facts Come up with a comically false factoid. 2 H H H H H H H H H H H H
700 Stump Us Come up with someone's slogan for the 2008 presidential campaign. H H H I
699 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. H H H 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. W
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 H H H
696 Send Us the Bill Come up legislation the newly-elected members of Congress might sponsor together. H H
694 Hopelessly Ever After Offer up a gloomy interpretation of any ungloomy piece of writing. H
693 Everything Being Sequel Give a brief scenario for the sequel to a well-known movie. 3 H H I
692 Reinkernation Enter any Style Invitational contest from Week 640 through Week 688. Every entry must include the word "three" or "third" or a creative variation. H H H I
691 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. 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. P
685 Thank it Over Tell us some things to be thankful for. H I
684 Backtricking Spell a word backward and define the result, somehow relating the definition to the original word. H
679 Ask Backwards Here are the answers. You supply the questions to as many as you dare. P
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
676 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. H H
675 Cut Us Some Slack Come up with humorous ways to be lazy. H
673 Mess With Our Heads Take any headline, verbatim, appearing anywhere in The Washington Post or on Washingtonpost.com from July 30 through Aug. 7 and reinterpret it by adding either a "bank headline," or subtitle, or the first sentence of an article that might appear under it. H H H
672 Just Sign This Write a funny message for an overhead highway sign. H H
671 Join Now! Hyphenate the beginning and end of any two multi-syllabic words appearing anywhere in the July 16 Style or Sunday Arts section, and then define the compound. H
670 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. H
669 Huddled Messes Suggest some bad advice for new arrivals to this country (legal or illegal). H H H L
668 Cut From the Chase Write an original John-Bunnell-style wrap-up to a crime story -- or one for a more minor transgression. H H
667 Questionable Journalism Take any sentence that appears in The Post or in an article on washingtonpost.com anytime from now through June 26 and supply a question it could answer. 3 H H H H H H H
665 Your One-in-a-Million Coin the millionth words in the English language and define it. The word must end in -ion. H N
664 A Thousand Times?! No! Come up with a new signature line for Russell Beland's -- or anyone else's -- e-mails. A I
663 Worth at Least a Dozen Words Interpret any of the provided cartoons as you see fit in a caption. H H
661 Name Any Good Movies Lately? Give us a funny new title for an existing movie. H H H H H
660 Foaling Down: The Next Generation Breed any two of the winning "offspring" included in this week's results, and name THEIR foal. 2 H H H H H I
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 H L
658 Not in the Cards Send us ideas for cards that would likely be ruled "FBN" (Funny, But No) by Hallmark but F&YYY by the Empress. H
656 It's Post Time Breed any two from a list of 100 of the more than 400 3-year-old racehorses nominated for this year's Triple Crown races, and name their hypothetical foal. The foal's name cannot exceed 18 characters and spaces combined. H H H H H H
655 Laughing Inside Take any article appearing in The Washington Post or online on washingtonpost.com from today through April 3 -- the more serious and/or mundane its headline, the better -- and write a funny poem or other passage using only words that appear in that article. H P
654 It Plays to Recycle Come up with funny ways to recycle things, people, writing (except for your old Invitational entries) or ideas. 3 H H H H L
653 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 H W
652 Ask Backward You are on "Jeopardy!" Above are the answers. You supply the questions. H H
651 Show Us Some Character Add a character to a book or movie and tell us what happens in it. H H I
650 King Us Give us a scenario for a horror novel based on an anyday item. H H H W
648 Caller IDiot Name a product or company and supply a stupid question to ask the consumer hotline person. 1 H H H
647 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. H H H H I P
646 Warped Perspectives Tell us how two different types of people, animals, organizations, etc., would interpret any of the provided cartoons. A H I
645 A Hearty Har Har Write up a Valentine's sentiment to any personage, or to someone in some generic category. H
643 The Post's Mortems Give us a rhyming poem about some notable who died in 2005. H
641 Dreck of All Trades Come up with a business that combines two or more disparate products or services, and tell us its name and/or something else funny about it. H H H H
640 Whassa Motto Wid You? Give us a slogan or motto for any of the states, the District or the U.S. Territories. 2 H H H I
639 What's the Small Idea? Do you have a senseless idea for improving the day-to-day lives of everyday Americans? H H H I N T
638 The Little Bummer Boy Come up with an idea (and title, if you like) for an original Christmas movie or TV special that provides an antidote to all the sap, and give us a brief synopsis. H
635 I've Told You a Hundred Times Enter any Style Invitational from Week 536 to Week 631. Your entry must be substantially different from than original winners. H H H
634 Mess With Our Heads Take any headline, verbatim, appearing anywhere in The Post or on washingtonpost.com from today through next Sunday, and change its meaning by adding either a "bank headline," or subtitle, or the first sentence of an article that might appear under it. 1 H H H H
633 Your Secret Here! Send us some original secrets (they don't have to be true). H H H H
632 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. L
631 Picture This What's going on in any of these cartoons? H H P
630 Hyphen the Terrible Combine the beginning and end of any two multisyllabic words in this week's Invitational, and then define the compound. H H
629 Odd Couplings Marry or otherwise combine famous names and supply to result. H H
628 You Gotta Have Connections Choose any two or more items from the provided truly random list and describe how they are alike or different. H H H H
627 Per-Verse Write a limerick or other short poem with comically awful rhyming. P
626 Course Light Come up with a comical college class, along with a description for the course catalog. H H T
625 Haven't Seen It Make up a new plot for an existing movie title. 2 H H H H
623 Try to Remember Give us an original mnemonic for any list that someone might want to remember. H H
622 Our Sunday Constitutional Write an new article or amendment to the Constitution, using on the words contained in the existing document (including amendments). 1 H N
621 Questionable Journalism Take any sentence that appears in The Post or in an article in washingtonpost.com anytime through Aug. 8 and supply a question it could answer. H H H W
620 Keep the Empress Employed Suggest some original, creative ways that The Post could increase its circulation. 2 H H H I P
618 Of D.C. I Sing Give us a song about Washington, set to a recognizable tune. H H H H H
617 Best the Best Write something about any famous personage that uses only the letters in his or her name. H
615 Airy Persiflage Write some jokes you'd like to hear in an airport announcement. 1 3 H H P
614 In-Stock Characters Pitch us an idea for a summer movie featuring two or more of the provided characters. H
613 Tour de Fours II Create and define a word that includes, consecutively, E, R, A and N. in any order. H P
612 Oh, and One More Thing What was the thing that didn't make the cut on any list? H H L P T
611 Ask Backwards, Erudite Edition You are on "Jeopardy!" Here are the sophisticated answers. You supply the questions. H P
609 A2D2 Give us some funny "corrections" to brighten up Page A2. H H H H I
608 Comeback Next Week Come up with original snide retorts to various rude questions or comments. H H
607 Contest Fodder Created! Produce absurdly parochial views of historical events. H H
606 The News Could be Verse Translate the fine prose of Washington Post articles into verse. Choose any article appearing in The Post of on its Web site from April 17 through April 25. P
605 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. H H H
604 Fun for the Roses Breed any two of the horses on a list of those qualifying for this year's Triple Crown races, and tell us a good name for their foal. The name of the foal must be no more than 18 characters, including spaces. H H H H H H T
603 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. 2 A H
602 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. H
601 Anticdotes Give us an untrue anecdote in response to one of the provided Editor's Query topics. H
600 Top of the Inking Tell us some ways the District of Columbia will change now that we have the Nationals. H I
599 So What's the News? Tell us what the illustrated events are. H H
598 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. H H
597 Eccchsibits Come up with some alternative museums and exhibits for the nation's capital. 1 H H
596 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. H H H H H H T
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. 3 H H H H H
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. 3 H H H H
592 We Got Gamy Offer us a concise idea for a Super Bowl commercial, or some innovative halftime entertainment, or some inappropriate sponsors, or some ideas for improving the game itself. 3
591 Dead Letters Write rhyming poems about notable personages who have died in the past year. H
590 Send Us the Bill Come up with a bill sponsored by any combination of the newly elected members of Congress and explain the purpose of the bill. H H 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 I T
588 Gadget If You Can Tell us what these nifty, indispensable items are. H H
587 The B-List Come up with an In-Out list for 2005, or other pairings. 2 H I
586 God's Will (and Won't) Complete either of the following: "If God hadn't wanted is to ----, God wouldn’t have ----"; "If God had wanted us to ----, God would have ----." H H H H T
584 Deliver Us a Post Come up with some new Cabinet or other positions that the president could establish, and describe the job responsibilities. H H T W
583 Mess With Our Heads Take any headline, verbatim, from the Washington Post or its Web site from today through next Sunday, and reinterpret it by writing either a "bank headline"--or subtitle--or the first sentence of an article that changes the original meaning entirely. H H T
582 Perversery Rhymes Update a nursery rhyme or children's song with an edgier text. H I
581 Evil Things in Store Think of evil or just plain stupid practices that the staff of a retail or other establishment might perpetrate. H H H N
580 United Nations Combine the names of any two countries in the world and describe the new hybrid country. H H H H H H
579 Another Brilliant Contest! Do Enter! Write us a sentence or phrase consisting of words beginning with consecutive letters, in the A-to-Z direction. H I
578 Ask Backwards You are on "Jeopardy!" Above are the answers. Send us the questions. 1 H
577 Teledubbies Slightly change the title of a TV show, past or present, and describe it. H H H I
576 Well, Excuuuuse Us! Come up with new excuses for any common human shortcoming or imperfection. H H H H I
575 T Hee Hee Come up with new ideas for both front and back of the Loser T-shirts. 1 1 H H H L W
574 Boor Us Silly Come up with some unwise attempts at humor--one either likely to backfire or to create other unpleasant consequences. H H
573 Thine Ad Goest Here Propose biblical and other literary passage, poems, etc., that could benefit from product placement. 1 H H H
571 A Tour de Fours Create and define a word that includes T, H, E, and S in any order. The letters must appear consecutively. H H
570 Timeline Rhyme Lines Produce colorful chronological couplets about some historical event. They must rhyme and be in good meter. H H H H W
569 Murphy's Lore Give Eric Murphy advice he deserves on the provided questions. 1 H H H H
568 Tome Deftness Make a pun or similar wordplay on a book title. H H H H H
567 A Running Gag Explain how any of the provided bizarre cartoons by Bob Staake relates to the current presidential campaign. H T
566 Get Whack Type a two-word phrase into the Google search engine that produces exactly one result. 3 H H H H
565 Anthem Is as Anthem Does Give us a verse for an alternative U.S. national anthem, set to any well-known tune. H H H H I
564 Redefine Print Redefine any word from the dictionary. H H H H H H
563 Take Two Take any two of the provided items and explain how they resemble or differ from each other. H H
561 Deform of a Question Take any sentence appearing in The Washington Post or washingtonpost.com today through June 14, and make up a question to which the sentence could be an answer. 2 4 A H H H H H H H H
560 The 97.5-Meter Dash Suggest some time- and cost-saving measures so the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens will open on time. 2
559 Your Slogan Here Come up with a clever slogan or sign for a business. 2 H H H
558 Set Us Right Send us conservative-leaning humor is any of the provided genres. H H H
557 Oh, for Namesakes! Take two people, real or fictional, who share some element of their names and explain the difference between them. 1 H H H H H H I
556 So Zoo Us Combine any two kinds of animals, give its name and describe it. H H H
552 What Kind of Foal Am I? Breed any two of the horses on a list of those qualifying for this year's Triple Crown races, and tell us a good name for their foal. Maximum 18 characters, including spaces. H H H H H
551 Lost in Translation Find us some comical translations-and-back using Google translator. Feed some passage of English text into the tool--25 words max--and ask it to translate it into one of the five languages offered; then copy the result back into the tool and ask it to translate that back to English. I
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 H H
549 Show Us Your Best Quantities Come up with novel units of measure, and explain or quantify them. 2 H H H H I P
548 Inklings Tell us about certain people's childhood experiences and behaviors that hint at their destinies. 3 H H H
547 Give Us a Bad Name Take an existing product or business name and pair it with an incompatible one. H H H H H H H W
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 H H
545 Put It in Reverse Spell a word backward and define it, with the definition relating in some way to the original word. 1 H
543 Read Our Leaps Fill any of readers of The Washington Post on Sunday, Feb. 29, 2032, on: (a) the day's lead news story; (b) the highest-flying company and its business; (c) the best-selling self-help book; and/or (d) the day's winning Style Invitational entry. H H H H I
541 Celled Up the River Give us a delicious scenario, in which a cellphone yakker's yakking could be taken profitably out of context. 2 H H
540 Revisionist History, or Badenov for You? State any news event (or old event) in the style of the Rocky-and-Bullwinkle teasers about the next show. 3 H H H H H H H H H I
538 Try, Try Again Enter any previous Invitational. Your entry must be substantially different from the original winners. 4 H H H H H T
537 The New York Post Liven up any article appearing in The Washington Post or its Web site over the next eight days by giving it an irresponsibly sensationalistic headline. H H H I
536 And the Horse He Rodin On Come up with some words we can stick in the back of The Inker. H H H H H
535 Picture This Can you tell us what astonishing news Bob Staake is trying to pass on with cartoons? H H
534 The Feminine Touch Propose how any male-dominated occupation of institution would change if it suddenly became female-dominated. H H H H
533 Breed Apart Mate the clones of any two famous real people, living or dead--a male and a female, please--and hypothesize what traits or skills their offspring might have. H H H H L
532 Short Pans Come up with a terse review (four words or fewer) of any work of art. 3 H H H
531 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. H T
530 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. R
529 United We Stanza Summarize in four rhyming lines of verse any famous document, theory, principle or speech. T
528 Ask Backwards You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? H H H T
525 It Won't Belong Now Tell us which of three cartoons provided does not belong, and why. W
524 Around Things Moving Take the title of any book or movie, rearrange the words, and explain what the new book or movie is about. H T W
523 Hard to Overstate Propose ways to make modern life just a little bit harder than it needs to be. H H H
522 Being There Set the agenda for a flash mob, one of those existential, Web-arranged, sudden, pointless, instantaneous but brief gatherings of people at odd places, to do odd things. T
521 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. H H H H T
520 I, Object These items were ordered by well-known people. Who ordered them, and why? H H H
518 Say, Kids, What Time Is It? Fill in the blanks in the following sentence: "You know it's time to ------ when ------." H H
517 Insert Joke Here Slip a single bogus sentence into next year's State of the Union address, figuring the Prez will probably just read it right off the teleprompter. H H H H H
515 A Cellebration of Tasteful Living Come up with ways that Martha Stewart can prettify and improve her new prison surroundings using only her skills, her impeccable taste and those resources available to her. 1 H H H H H
514 Ask Backwards You are on "Jeopardy!" These are your answers. What are the questions? 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. T
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 H
511 It All Impends Tell us what is something unusual about to happen in the provided cartoons. H H
510 Universal Embarrassment What would you like to see Miss Universe Pageant contests asked live, on national TV? 3
509 Be a Real Card Come up with a greeting card rhyme for an un-greeting-card occasion. H
508 Letter Rip Take a word from the dictionary, add, change, or delete a single letter, and redefine the word. H H H
507 Crocktails Come up with a drink named for something or someone associated with Washington and describe the drink. H H H
506 The Battle of All Mottoes Provide a slogan for any federal department agency, department, office, etc. I
505 The Rule of Dumb You are given $1 million. Conditions: (1) You must spend it all. (2) You must use it in a way that neither directly nor indirectly works to your financial benefit. (3) You may not use it to alleviate the suffering of anyone on Earth, or for any public-spirited project other than the joy of stupidity. 3 H H H H H H L
502 Picture This Who are these people? What are they doing? H H
501 Questionable Sentences Take any sentence appearing anywhere in today's Washington Post and make it the answer to a question. 2 H H H H H H H H
500 Ergo-Nomics Create a sillygism--a syllogism that doesn't quite work. 2
499 What Kind of Foal Am I? Mate any two of the horses qualifying for this year's Triple Crown and tell us the name of their foal. Maximum 18 characters, including spaces. H H H H
498 Unamazing But True! Submit a true fact that is of absolutely no use, but interesting in a weirdly Invitationalist way. H H
483 Obitter Fate Give us an obit headline for some famous person, currently living or dead. I
472 Water Stupid Idea Propose bad ideas for saving water in the continuing drought. H
471 Excuses, Excuses Come up with creative new excuses for not turning in homework, not filing your taxes on time, missing church or forgetting your spouse's birthday. T
469 Playing Check-In Suggest appropriate hotel check-in names for any celebrities, past or present, living or dead. H H H W
467 Get Your But in Here Produce a line that fits this structure: (Real thing based upon current events) is (word or phrase suggesting some quality) but (other word or phrase suggesting a dissimilar or incompatible quality), like (funny analogy). H H H H H H
466 Spit the Difference Tell us the difference between any two of the provided items. 2 A H H
462 Cast Away Come up with a terrible bit of miscasting in a movie or TV show, past or present, real or imagined. A
460 Pompous Assets Come up the first paragraph of a review of a real book or movie, past or present, that is narcissistic, pretentious, and self-aggrandizing. A
457 Letter Rip Give us the beginning of a letter to the editor that is certain never to see print. A
452 Russellmania! (1) Design one or more steps for a 12-step program for the recovering Invitationalaholic; (2) Propose a devious method by which we might lure Russell Beland back. H
448 What Kind of Foal Am I? Mate any two of the horses qualifying for the Triple Crown races this year and propose a name for their foal. No name may exceed 18 characters, including spaces. H H H
445 Another Round of Bierce Add a few entries to Ambrose Bierce's famous "Devil's Dictionary." H H
442 Titletales Take any real book or movie, change one word slightly, and describe the resulting new product. H
441 Spit the Difference Take any two nouns that appear on the front page of today's Washington Post and explain how the nouns differ from each other. H H
440 Picture This What is going on in these cartoons? 3 H H H
439 No Can Do Write signs of incompetence. H
438 What's the Pun Line? Ask a question and answer it, somewhere incorporating the name of a least one famous person. H
437 The Telegraph Poll Tell us the beginning of a joke that badly telegraphs the punch line. 1
430 OMB Directive No. 2 Revisit any contest The Style Invitational has ever run, and rewrite out tawdry past by proposing a new first-prize winner serious and/or decorous enough to please the Ombudsman. 2 H
429 Shark Instruments Tell us what would be a sign that any current institution--TV show, newspaper feature, magazine, business, etc.--has jumped the shark. H H H T
427 Skinned Come up with events that have a smaller chance of happening than the Redskins winning the Super Bowl. H
426 Captions Courageous Take any photograph of illustration from today's Washington Post and give it a more interesting caption. H
425 Hyphen the Terrible Take the first half of any hyphenated word from any story in today's newspaper and combine it with the second half of any other hyphenated word in the same story, and propose a definition of the new word you've created. H
423 Roling With Laughter Take a character from one movie, use him or her to replace a character in a second movie, and then explain how this change would affect the second movie. H H W
422 Taught Language Come up with lessons learned from (1) the movies, (2) popular songs, (3) romance novels or (4) the comics page. H
421 Picture This These objects are not what they seem to be, at first glance. They are something else entirely. What are they? 3 H H H H T
420 Ha Anxiety Make us laugh. R W
419 Don't Spare the Rodney Come up with indications that one might not be getting no respect. H
418 Xtreme Invitational Come up with signs you are overdoing it any in any of the provided categories. H H
417 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. H
416 Diff'rent Jokes Describe how things might have been different is famous person, living or dead, had had one of the provided conditions. H H H T
415 Sentence Us to Death Take any sentence appearing anywhere in today's Washington Post, and invent a question that it answers. 1 3 4 H H H H W
414 No Rest for the Query Complete the provided rhetorical question by filling in the blanks. It must be a put-down. 1 H H H H H H H
413 Bland Ambition Come up with one or more items from an underachiever's list of midlife resolutions. H H H
412 Painful Climaxes Come up with statements that start really dramatically, but leave you sorta flat at the end. I
411 X's and Oaths Take any oath, pledge, declaration or slogan and update it. H I
410 Ask Backwards You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? H T
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. 4 H H
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
407 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. H
406 Bum Steerage Offer some spectacularly bad advice to any of the provided people. 3 H H H
405 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. 5 H H H
402 Spitting the Difference Tell us the difference between any two of the provided items. 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. 3 H H H I T
400 Life Is Snort Write a "Life is Short" entry in under 100 words, in the voice of a celebrity, living or dead. 2
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. 5 H
398 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. H H H
397 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. H
396 April Foals Mate any two of the horses qualifying for the Triple Crown races and come up with appropriate names for their foals. Maximum 18 letters and spaces. 3 A H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H
395 Devilishly Clever Describe someone's special little corner of Hell. H I
393 Things Could Be Verse Take any story in today's Washington Post and rewrite it into a rhyming poem of no more than eight lines. H T
392 Everyone's a Comic Choose any panel of any comics strip in today's Washington Post and improve it by replacing the original speech and thought balloons with your own, H H
391 Spinning Out of Control Take an headline in today's Washington Post and create a subhead that spins the story in an opposite or unexpected direction. H H
389 Operation Overkill Present a solution to a problem that goes just a little too far. 4 H H H H
388 Pitches in the Dirt Come up with a sales pitch to get any surplus product off the shelves. H H
387 By Jingo Come up with a joke that could be written and understood only by a Washingtonian. H H
386 The Game of Clue What are some clues that someone might be any of the provided characterizations? 1 H H H
383 A Kinder, Gender Nation Take an noun and give us a reason or two why it should be either masculine or feminine. H
382 Pickup Schticks Write inept pickup lines, by either sex, to either sex. H H
381 Idiom Savant Take any well-known idiom, or expression, and invent an interesting derivation for it. H
378 Bill Us Now Come up with a bill sponsored by any of the newly elected U.S. senators and representatives, and explain the purpose of the bill. H H
377 Week MMDCXLIV Provide a headline (and, if necessary, the first line of the text) for any article that will appear in The Washington Post on this day in the year 2050. H H
376 Apply Yourself Supply bad openings to college application biographies. 1 H
374 Bill Us Later Take a well-known expression and update it for the new millennium. H H H H
373 An Extra Large Challenge What should we put on the back of the new Style Invitational T-shirt? 2 H H U
372 Trial Balloons Fill in the balloons. H
370 No End in Sight Write the beginnings of sentences you don't want to hear the end of. 2 H H H
368 Hyphen the Terrible Combine the first half of any hyphenated word in a story in today's paper with the second part of a different hyphenated word from the same story, and provide a new definition. H H H
367 Future Schlock Come up with a line that will surely not appear in an upcoming work. 4 H U
366 Just Fulghum Come up with a list of at least three Major Life Lessons one can learn from any of the venues provided. 2 H H H H H H U
365 Terse Verse Ask a question and then answer it with a rhyme. Your answer can be as many words as you wish, but all must have the same rhyme. H
364 Low Marks Come up with a new punctuation mark. Tell us what it looks like, and what it is used for, and use it in a sentence. H H
363 It's Your Movie Take the title of any movie and make it the answer to a riddle. H H
362 Something Missing Tell us what is missing in each of the provided cartoons. H H
361 Bad Libs Select one subject, one verb, and one object from the provided lists, and then answer the riddle you create. 1 H H
360 No Competition Create a list of 25 names, each linked in some way to the name before, and you must begin and end with Mary Ann Madden. H
359 It's No Party Come up with a new political party and its main political tenet. H H H H H H
358 Finish the Fire Finish "We Didn't Start the Fire," to summarize 1990 to the present. H
355 Seeing Stars Tell us ways we can attract celebrity participation to this contest. 1 H H
354 Everyone's a Critic Adopt the style of a famous writer and review any of the provided dishes. 2 H
353 Patently Silly What do these devices do? H H H
352 A Laff Riot Take the name of a company and/or its commercial product and provide it a new definition. H H H
351 Dubya Fun Take any well-known statement, expression, slogan, etc., and rewrite it the way Dubya might have said it. H H H H H I
350 Employing Irony Propose bad career choices. H U
349 Orienting Oneself Produce a haiku using only words found in today's Washington Post. Your entry must have three lines, the first containing exactly five syllables, the second containing exactly seven syllables, the third containing exactly five. 2 H H H
348 When We're LXIV Fashion an entry by selecting one from each of the provided menu groups. I
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. 3 H H H H
345 Picture This What is going on in these cartoons? H
344 What Kind of Foal Am I? Envision the mating of any two of the 387 horses qualifying for this year's Triple Crown, and propose a name for their foal. The foal's name must be contained in 18 or fewer letters and spaces. H H
342 Plainly Ridiculous Take any direct quotation from any article in today's Washington Post and translate it into "plain English." H H
340 ASK BACKWARDS 12 You are on "Jeopardy!" Here are the answers. What are the questions? U
338 WHO WANTS TO WIN A TOILET? Propose even greater depths of shameless, tasteless sleaze to which Fox TV is likely to sink after the noisome debacle of "Who Wants to Marry and Multi-Millionaire?" 1
337 DEGREES OF DIFFICULTY Take a quality you wish to quantify and devise the perfect icon to measure it. Then give us an example of the extremes. 3 H H H
336 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. H
330 NERD PLANET FROM THE SUN Come up with comments from the Nerd Side even less interesting than the observation that the 21st century doesn't really start until 2001. I
329 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. 1
328 NICE CAPADES Send in some pleasant observation, in which you take a really cheerful or heartwarming view of something that less charitable people might conceivably see differently. H H
325 THE BURMA ROAD Propose welcoming doggerel for states or cities patterned after Burma Shave signs. H
324 A PREQUEL OPPORTUNITY OFFERING Come up with a "prequel" to some classic film or work of literature. You must produce a title and a brief plot summary, which or course must take place prior to the main action of the original work. H H
323 THE CONGRESSIONAL RECORD INVITATIONAL Come up with not-quite-ready inventions, past or present. 4 H H H H H
322 YOU NAME IT Take a well known pair or group of names, extend one of them in some manner, and explain how the group dynamic changes. H H
321 INTERPRET THIS Take any of the provided cartoon and come up with a matched pair of interpretations for what is happening. E H I
320 WHAT KIND OF FOAL AM I? Mate any two of the horses qualifying for the Triple Crown races and come up with appropriate names for their foals. Maximum 18 letters and spaces. H H H H H H H
318 HYPHEN THE TERRIBLE Combine the first half of any hyphenated word in a story in today's paper with the second part of a different hyphenated word from the same story, and provide a new definition. E H H
313 THE STYLE INVITATIONAL SOUVENIR SHOP Come up with bad names for a new store at a mall. 4 H
310 IT'S LIKE THIS Come up with really lame analogies. H
309 A STINKING PILE OF THESES Write an all-purpose first line or paragraph for any doctoral dissertation, design to impress the heck out of academics. H
307 IF YOU BOYCOTT THIS TASK / YOU WON'T WIN THE FLASK Come up with rhyming couplets to warn us about the perils of modern life. E
306 YOUNGIAN THERAPY Suggest ways in which the Style Invitational or any other Washington area institution can become more relevant to younger people. 2 3 H
305 ASK BACKWARDS CMXVI2 You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? H
303 BOOM TIMES Come up with old and new concerns for the baby boom generation. H
301 PICTURE THIS What is happening in these cartoons? 3
294 PRODUCT LIARBILITY Take the name of any commercial product and redefine it. H
290 THE WORLD THEORIES Codify some of life's more populist theories. H
282 TAKING SNIDES Take any story anywhere in today's Post and append to it a single snide observation, concerning either the headline or the text of the story. H
278 THE STALE INVITATIONAL Begin with a word. Add, subtract or change a single letter only, and then provide a new definition. H H
277 LIFE IN THE BLURBS Come up a simple plot summary to help attract the modern audience to any classic work of fiction. It must be literally true and defensible. H
276 SPIT THE DIFFERENCE Tell us the difference between any two of the provided items. A W
275 THERE ONCE WAS CONTEST FROM NANTUCKET … Write a limerick in which the first line is about someone who comes from some place in the Washington area. E
274 THE DROLL OF A LIFETIME Be the New Yorker comics editor, and explain to readers of The Washington Post why the provided jokes are charmingly witty. H H
273 UNSEENS WE'D LIKE TO SEE Provide examples of any of the provided categories of thing that will never happen. E H
272 PICTURE THIS What is happening in these cartoons? H
271 YOGI BEARER Come up with new Yogi-isms, which seem to make sense, but collapse like a soufflé when you poke it a little 1
268 WHAT KIND OF FOAL AM I? Take the names of this year's Triple Crown nominees, mate any two of them, a propose a name for the foal. The foal's name must be contained in 18 characters, including spaces. 2 H H H H H
266 DEFINITELY WEIRD Take any word from the dictionary and redefine it. E H
265 A SPORK OF GENIUS Come up with new products like the spork: combinations of two existing products that work together in some special way. Name the device and explain its function. 2 H
263 THE GAME OF THE NAME Propose a bad name for the provided categories. H
261 WHAT IF YOU GIVE IT A TRY II Alter some crucial moment in history, and then tell us the likely outcome. H H
260 IT'S A SNAP Come up with replacements for the two hackneyed answers: "Is the Pope Catholic?" and "When Hell freezes over." H
258 IT'S A BIRD. IT'S A PAIN. Choose one or more of the provided super powers and tell us what you would do with it. H H
256 THE PYLE INVITATIONAL Come up with hip, contemporary riddles and answers. The punch line must contain a painful pun. H
252 MAKE YOUR MOVIE Propose people who were the secret inspiration for famous movies. H H H
250 OH, GREAT Complete the sentence "Wouldn't it be great if …" H I
249 BAD NEWS, GOOD NEWS Supply a silver lining for any scourge or social ill facing America or the world. E L
247 BLACK AND WHITE AND WED ALL OVER Propose the marriage of any two people, and the song they should not play at their wedding. The people must be a man and a woman. 3 H
244 HYPHEN THE TERRIBLE Coin new words, and provide a definition, by combining the first half of a hyphenated word for any story in today's Post with the second half of another hyphenated word in the same story. H
243 VERSE THAN EVER Write a rhyming poem of two to eight lines as a tribute to someone famous who died in 1997, the more awful the better. We will particularly value rhymes that thud, and extremes of emotion and sentiment. L
241 CAN YOU BEAT THIS? Come up with headlines describing the defeat of one pro team by another. H
240 ADDING INSULT Come up with elegant insults directed at any famous person, living or dead, such as the real encomiums above. 4
239 NAME THAT TOON Send us the captions for cartoons not provided. H H H
238 CHALK IT UP TO STUPIDITY Propose apologies for yourself in the style of Bart Simpson writing on his blackboard. H H H
237 ASK BACKWARD You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? E
236 CALLING THE TOON. What is happening here? H H
235 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. H
234 THE JOKE'S ON YOU Complete any of the provided jokes as it would be told by someone famous, living or dead. 2
232 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. E
230 TALES FROM THE CRYPTOGRAM Take any proper noun--a person, a book, a movie, whatever--and create for it an appropriate cryptogram. E
228 MAKE MY DAY Supply advice to today's spoiled kids about how bad things were when we were growing up. 1 H H H
227 WILD PITCHES Come up worthy successors to Joe Camel. Name the product, and describe the totally inappropriate cartoon character that would be created represent it. E H H
226 GOING WITHOUT Complete some variation of the expression "An A without a B is like a C without a D." 3 E H
223 ATTEMPTING REENTRY Submit entries to any past contest, so long as you never submitted them before. H
222 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. H H H
221 SONG SUNG BROWN Pick any song, pick a well-known line, and give us the discarded first draft. If it is part of a rhyme, you must maintain the rhyme. 5
220 RSVP Provide and answer to any of the dumb questions from Week 217. E H
219 VERBOSITY Come up with new, obnoxious, self-conscious faux verbs and use them in sentences. E H H H H H H W
218 CALLING THE TOON Who are these people? What are they doing? E
217 NO QUESTION ABOUT IT Come up with truly stupid questions. 6
216 WHAT KIND OF FOAL AM I? Pair up any two of the 400-plus horses who have qualified for this year's Triple Crown races, and name their foal, in a maximum of 18 characters, including spaces. 5 H
215 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. 2 H
212 DUMB AS THE POST Come up with even stupider crimes than those committed by Montgomery County's "gentleman burglars." H
209 WE NEED SOME SEASONING Come up with the first signs of spring in Washington. H H
208 SEND IN THE CLONES Suggest question a commission to investigate the moral, legal and practical question raised by cloning might consider. 3
206 HYPHEN THE TERRIBLE II Create a new word by combining the first half of any hyphenated word in today's newspaper with the second half of any other hyphenated word elsewhere in the same story, and supply a definition. 2 H
205 SOME PIG Beg for the prize: convince us why you, and you alone, deserve to get it. R
204 DOUBLE EXPRESSO Take any well-known colorful expression, and modernize it. I L
201 THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE Come up with a new element and its symbol, and provides a brief description of its chemical or physical properties. E
199 WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE? Tell us the difference between any two of the provided items. H H H L
197 DAVE'S WORLD Make David Twenhafel laugh. Any sort of delightful drollery or amusing witticism will do, so long as it is not the sort of lowbrow fare we usually favor. H H
195 THE MARTHIAN CHRONICLES Come up with items for Martha Stewart's December-January calendar of projects. H H
194 ADVICE SQUAD Answer any of the provided questions unwisely. H
192 HILL'S BILLS Come up with bills any of the new members of Congress might jointly sponsor. H H H
191 GOING THROUGH A PHRASE Come up with phrase for an American English phrasebook that would provide no practical help whatsoever to a foreigner trying to get along in the United States. 2
190 OFFICE YOU CAN'T REFUSE Come up with a Principle for the Workplace. A E H H H L
186 CALLING THE TOON Who are these people? What are they doing? H
185 WONDERLUST Come up with replacements for the Seven Wonders of the World. To qualify, an object must really exist, and be manmade and, in some way, awesome. H
183 COCKNEY RHYMING SLANG II Create hawkers' rhymes for modern-day occupations like lobbyists, lawyers, talk show hosts, actuaries, etc., at a maximum of four lines. It must contain at least one rhyme. 2 H
179 A CLOCKWORK, UM, UM, ... ER Write single sentences containing no fewer than three examples of rhyming slang. W
174 THE EDGE OF MIGHT Complete any of the four provided "you might" phrases. H H H
173 DEAD RECKONING Propose a question that might be asked by a living celebrity to a famous dead person. You must name the living person, name the dead person, and tell us the question. H H
171 ON SECOND THOUGHT Ideas that never got off the drawing board, for good reason. E H H H H H H
170 THE ELEMENTS OF SMILE Why are these people smiling? E H
167 CRAPSEY Resurrect the "cinquain," a long-deceased poetic form, poems so ickily precocious and pretentious they make haiku look like Kipling. There are five lines, the first containing two syllables, the second containing four syllables, the third six, the fourth eight and the last, with grave finality and thunderous drama, only two. Your subject matter must be suitable for the 1990s. E
166 DOO WAH DOODY We are looking for really bad lyrics to real rock songs. Your lyrics must be from a reasonably popular song, and you must include the name of the singer or songwriter. H
165 WHEEL OF TORTURE Complete any of the provided "Wheel of Fortune" phrases. A E H
163 WHAT KIND OF FOAL AM I? Take the list of all 1996 Triple Crown nominees, couple up any two of them, and propose an appropriate name for their hypothetical foal. The foal's name must fit in no more than 18 characters, including spaces. H H H H W
162 MAY WE HAVE YOUR PRETENSION, PLEASE? Come up with the most pretentious original sentence possible. H H H
160 SEEKING WISE GUYS Come up with cool new bad-guy terms. 3 H
157 WARNING SIGNS Complete any of these "you might be about to" warning sentences. E H H
156 HYPHEN THE TERRIBLE Create new word by combining the first half of a hyphenated word with the second half of a hyphenated word. Both words must appear in the same story anywhere in today's Washington Post. Each entry must provide a definition for the newly created word. E H
155 COMPARISON SHOPPING Explain the difference between any two of the above items. H I
154 ENTER LAUGHING Make up a knock-knock joke. The subject of the third line must be something crude, silly, or profound. E
153 STUMP US Complete this sentence, "I should be elected President of the United States because…" and launch your campaign. 4 H H
152 WE ARE CURIOUS (YELLOW) Take any headline in today's Washington Post and rewrite it in tabloid fashion so the story seems a lot more scandalous and/or lurid than it is. H I L
151 STRIP MINING Come up with a concept for a new, controversial strip to replace an existing one in The Post. E H
150 TRIAL BALLOONS What are the people saying? E
148 RORSCHACH OF THE CROWD IV Interpret these ink blots. E
147 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. H H
146 IT'S LIKE THIS Produce an A and B to complete the expression "A makes about as much sense as B." H H
143 IT'S MY PARODY (& I'LL TRY IF I WANT TO) Rewrite any common jingle of theme song in the style of famous writer. H
142 EXHIBITING BAD TENDENCIES Come up with the winner of next year's Turner Prize, which says its aim is to expand ideas of what is art. H
140 WHAT IF YOU GIVE IT A TRY? Come up "What-If" scenarios and logical outcomes. E W
136 NEW END IN SIGHT Come up with new endings to make literary classics more suitable for Hollywood in the 1990s. H H
135 JERRY-BUILT SOLUTIONS Come up with Seinfeld-isms: whiny, quirky musings on little questions of life. E H W
133 LIKE, WOW. Come up with funny analogies. H H H
131 DROODLEYSQUAT Come up with "droodles," simple geometric drawings with funny explanations. E H
130 NICELY STATED Create a fictional city to be humorously paired with a real state abbreviation. E
128 LIKE, DUH Come up with snappy answers to stupid questions. H H
127 GADGET IF YOU CAN Choose one or more of these devices and describe their use. H
126 EVERYBODY'S TALKIN' What are these people, etc., saying or thinking? H
124 SPOON-FEED US. Come up with spoonerisms, expressions based on the transposition of the initial sounds of two paired words. E
123 WHY IS POOP FUNNY? Come up with creative answers to any of the five questions above that might be asked by a 5-year-old. H
122 THE UNKINDEST CUTE OF ALL Come up with a new story line for "Peanuts", some plot development of new character that will put the strip back on the road to relevance. E
121 IT'S NO USE Come up with useless products. H H W
120 SIMILE OUTRAGEOUS Come up with inept analogies, rotten comparisons as literary device. E H H H H
116 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. H H
115 THE MNEMONIC PLAGUE Come up with new mnemonic devices to remember complicated lists. H L
114 THE JOKE'S ON YOU Come up with jokes to culminate in any of these six punch lines. W
113 WHAT KIND OF FOAL AM I? Take a list of horses nominated to the Triple Crown races this year, choose any two, and propose a name for their offspring. 8
112 POOP FICTION Come up with the opening lines of a book so bad it will compel you to stop reading immediately; maximum 50 words. H
110 DO NOT INHALE THIS PAGE Come up with absurd warning labels that might be found on common products. H
107 CLUSTERS' LAST STAND Take an actual star cluster, redraw the lines into a different image, and give it a new name. 1
105 WHAT'S THE BIG IDEA? Come up with Good Ideas and then convert them to Bad Ideas through slight changes in wording. H
103 SEND HELP. Come up with ways to raise some badly needed cash for the District of Columbia. H
99 WHAT'S WRONG WITH THESE PICTURES? What's wrong with these pictures? H H
98 YOUR CHEATIN' ART Come up with titles for country music songs featuring any one or more of the following themes: cheatin', thievin', drinkin', truckin', lovin' or dogs. H
96 STICK IT IN YOUR ERA Come up with a catch phrase for the 1990s. H
93 I WANT THE MONGOOSE Tell us, in 50 words or fewer, why you must have this elegant piece of taxidermy featuring a snake being killed by a mongoose. H
89 CHILD'S PLAY Come up with bad ideas for new toys for the Christmas season. H
88 GIVE US SOME GOOD NEWS Come up with ways things are going to be different now that Republicans have ascended to power. H
87 WEST EASY, ANN Come up with good things about West Virginia, in 50 words of fewer. H H
86 EXCUSES, EXCUSES Come up with funny excuses for various malfeasances. 2 H
85 PLAY MYTHTY FOR ME Come up with new urban myths, those vaguely believable, wildly paranoid stories that circulate by word of mouth until they are generally accepted as true. H
84 THE WASHINGTON IRVINGS Come up with creative names for the high school football teams of real towns in America. H
73 LUNACY Tell us what Neil Armstrong should have said upon stepping onto the moon's surface, instead of what he did, the greatest gaffe in the history of Historic Sayings. 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 ...]