||So Zoo Us
||Combine any two kinds of animals, give its name and describe it.
||Tell us what's going on in one or more of the provided cartoons.
||Put It in Reverse
||Spell a word backward and define it, with the definition relating in some way to the original word.
||The Feminine Touch
||Propose how any male-dominated occupation or institution would change if it suddenly became female-dominated.
||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.
||You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions?
||Around Things Moving
||Take the title of any book or movie, rearrange the words, and explain what the new book or movie is about.
||You are on "Jeopardy!" These are your answers. What are the questions?
||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 |
||Be a Real Card
||Come up with a greeting card rhyme for an un-greeting-card occasion.
||Take a word from the dictionary, add, change, or delete a single letter, and redefine the word.
||Come up with a drink named for something or someone associated with Washington and describe the drink.
||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.
||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 |
||The Style Invitational: The First Dreckade
||Submit new entries to any of the old contests listed, and try to beat The Very Best of the Past 10 Years.
||Try to figure out which celebrities Bob Staake is trying to draw in imitation of Al Hirschfeld.
||H H |
||Combo, First Blood
||Combine two people whose names contain a common element, as in the examples above. Then describe the person, or provide a quote he or she might have uttered.
||4 H |
||A Word From Our Co-Sponsors
||Come up with bills the new members of Congress might sponsor. Each bill must have at least two sponsors.
||1 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"
"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 ...]