PERMANENT INKSTAIN FOR ELDEN CARNAHAN

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
1269 Mess with our (or other) heads Reinterpret (or comments wryly on) a headline appearing in The Post (print or online) or another publication and dated March 1-12 by writing a bank head. H W
1263 Playing the short game Using the three-letter Olympic national abbreviations and/or the abbreviation for any college, tell what would happen if one abbreviated team played another. P
1247 Script tease Offer a quote from a script whose title you've given a different plot. H
1242 Generation Yux Give us a "then/now" joke. H
1240 We GIVE you Limerixicon XIV Supply a humorous, previously unpublished limerick significantly featuring any English word, name or term beginning with "gh-" or "gi-". P
1231 TankaWanka 3: Haiku Plus Tu Write a TankaWanka about something that's been in the news lately. The poem must consist of five lines of 5, 7, 5, 7 and 7 syllables in that order. And at least two of the lines must rhyme. H
1225 The Ideas of March Suggest a march for some group or field, along with one or more slogans. (You might also, or instead, comment on the march with some pertinent wordplay.) P
1224 We beg you to differ Explain how any two (or more) items in the provided list are the same or different, or otherwise connected. H
1208 A RIP-roaring year: Obit poems Write a humorous poem of no longer than eight lines about someone who died in 2016. P
1201 Tour de Fours XIII: What's there to NOVE? Coin a word or multi-word term that contains the letter block N-O-V-E. P
1191 Mess with our heads Reinterpret (or comment wryly on) a headline appearing in The Post (print or online) and dated Sept. 1-12 by writing a bank head, or subtitle H H H H
1189 Gee, it's Limerixicon XIII! Supply a humorous, previously unpublished limerick significantly featuring any English word, name or term beginning with "ge'". P
1164 'Wait Wait' for us Compose a multiple-choice question about a Ridiculous but True fact or event, with two entertaining wrong answers as well as the right one. One of the two wrong answers may be obviously untrue as long as it's funny. P
1162 An 8-year Re-Onion Write a fictional Onion-type headline. H
1141 Mess with our heads Reinterpret (or comment wryly on) a headline appearing in the Post (print or online) Sept. 17-28 by writing a bankhead, or subtitle. H
1140 You're giving us a bad name Cite a REAL brand name, past or present, note it original use, and then say what sort of product, organization, etc., that name would be bad for. H
1125 The song remains the sa Supply a real song title that has the end or beginning -- or, what the heck, both -- chopped off and describe it. H
1123 The Tile Invitational III Give us a five-, six-, or seven-letter word (or two words) by scrambling the letters of any of the provided seven-letter sets. H
1120 Celebrating our differences Each of the provided 17 items appeared in a different Style Invitational compare/contrast contest from 1996 to 2014. Explain how any two of the are alike or different or otherwise linked. 3 H
1115 Our type o' headline Change a headline in an article or ad in the Washington Post and then add a "bank head" or subtitle. H H H
1105 A lit obit of fun Write a humorous poem of no longer than eight line about someone who died in 2014. P
1091 Good idea! or not. Come up with a good idea and, through a small change in wording, a bad idea. P
1086 Playing the dozens 1. Start with any 12-letter word, name or multi-word phrase.
2. Add one letter OR drop one letter OR substitute another letter OR switch the position of two letters to create a new term, as in the examples given.
3. Define or describe the result humorously.
P
1085 Eww-venirs: Ideas for gift shops Suggest a humorous--but NOT horribly tasteless--tchotchke, T-shirt, etc., from a real or imagined gift shop at a particular tourist site. H H
1084 Limerixicon XI: Fi-, fo-, go! Supply a humorous, previously unpublished limerick significantly featuring any English word, name or term beginning with "Fl-" through "fo-". P
1083 Everybody get appy Offer up an idea for either a humorously useful app or a humorously counterproductive one. H
1082 Band on the pun Alter the name of a music group or performer slightly -- not necessarily by just one letter, but enough so it's obvious what the original is -- and describe it in some way. H P
1079 Little piddle riddle Ask a question and answer it with a rhyme. H
1074 Let's go parody-hopping Describe a stage or movie musical in a parody of a song from a different musical. P
1071 A pair of threes Choose two or three entities represented by a single three-letter combination at bit.ly/3letterabs and say how they are alike or different. I
1064 HistoRebuffs Alter some moment in history and tell us -- in no more than about 50 words -- the likely outcome. H I
1062 Scanning the headlines Write a rhyming poem about something currently in the news. L
1061 Less taste, more fill-in Give us a novel clue for any word or phrase in which the remaining letters in the provided crossword puzzle fit, across or down. H 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
1058 Eastwood Ho Create a good-bad-ugly progression. H
1052 Clue us in Come up with up to 25 creative, funny clues for the words and multi-word terms that appear in the provided grid. H
1050 Just redo it Enter any Style Invitational contest from Week 1000 through Week 1046. H
1049 Be rating Come up with a new movie rating and describe it. H P
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 H
1046 Derive us crazy Offer a bogus but funny explanation of how a particular expression originated. M
1044 Play it safe Come up with a comically safety-conscious rule for the workplace or elsewhere. H
1043 Rechanneling celebrity Describe a TV reality show featuring a celebrity pursuing some unlikely endeavor. H
1040 IRS my case Schedule A: Suggest a novel way for the government to determine taxes.

Schedule B: Suggest a deduction that you'd like to take, or that some real or fictional person or past or present might like to take.

Schedule C: Suggest a cause you'd rather check off $3 for.

I
1036 Just for liffs Use a real place name, from anywhere in the world, as a new term. H
1035 The Empy 500 Explain what news Bob Staake is trying to tell in any of the provided drawings. H
1032 Hid stuff Explain the symbolism "obviously" evident in any well-known site, artwork, etc., in 75 words or fewer. H H I
1031 The 'Sty'le Invitational Choose any word, name, or short term; emphasize a key, suddenly pertinent part of it with quotation marks; then redefine the word. H H
1028 Joint Legiflation Combine the names of two or more of the First Congress senators and/or representatives to create "joint legislation". I
1026 'Might' makes ink Give us a joke using any of the using any of the provided "you might be" templates. H
1021 'Gram theft Come up with a term by scrambling any of the letters sets in the provided list, and define it. H H H
1017 Vowel play Write a "univocalic" newspaper headline -- one that uses only one vowel throughout. H I
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
1013 Har monikers Write a riddle that uses a pun of a person's name in the answer. H
1011 Top these! Try your hand at any of the contests mentioned in this look back. H H H
1010 Picture this Write a caption for any of the five provided cartoons. H
1009 What's in a name? Write something about some person, real or fictional, using only the letters in the person's name. H 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 H
979 The madding crowd Suggest funny, original ways to tick people off. H
956 Give us some bad ideas Finish any of the provided "You know" phrases. H P
951 Say that again Double a word, or use a word and its homophone, to make a phrase, and define it. H
950 Of all the nerve! Give us a humorous example of hypothetical chutzpah. 3 H
948 Look back in Inker Enter any Style Invitational contest from Week 891 through 94 (except for Week 896, which was the same contest for the previous year). H H
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. M
946 Another round of Bierce Write a clever definition of a word, name or multi-word term. H H
932 We'll call them your-mama jokes Tell us an original "your mama" joke. H
930 We WANT stupid complaints! Complain comically unreasonably about some innocuous thing appearing in the print Post or on washingtonpost.com over the next week or the previous few days. I
924 Doomed to repeat it Create "Unreal Facts" about history. H
923 Chemical Wordfare Create a new chemical element or other chemical term. H H
920 Sarchiasm Write an original chiasmus, in which the elements of a phrase are inverted for comedic effect. 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 H
915 Picture this Write a caption for any of the cartoons pictured here. H
913 Bring up the rear Move the last letter of an existing word or name to the front of the word, and define the new term. H
912 Pair-a-phrase Lift a word that appears inside a longer word; pair it with the original word to create a phrase; and define it. 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 W
859 Can't goods Cast a joke in one of the forms listed above. H
826 The Inside Word Take any word -- this may include the name of a person or place -- put a portion of it in quotation marks, and redefine the word. H H
821 Spit the Difference How are any of the items on the list above alike or different? H
820 Be Mister Language Person Supply a Mister Language Person-type question and answer. T
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. P
783 The Shill Game Name a celebrity or fictional character to endorse a real product or company. H
779 Gripe for the Picking Rant about any issue that wouldn't make your top 100 for airing in The Post. 4
776 An Act of Sunny Side Note the silver lining in some otherwise disappointing turn of events. I T
774 Tour De Forks Supply a name for a restaurant dish named after someone (or some product or organization) and describe it. M
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. I
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. H
748 Dead Letters Write a humorous poem about a well-known personage who died in 2007. H
747 Boeing Us Silly Suggest some comical ways to improve air travel, either in general or for yourself. 2
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. 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. 2
725 Beggars For Description Describe, without being boring, a cartoon to fit any of the provided captions. 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 H H
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
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
700 Stump Us Come up with someone's slogan for the 2008 presidential campaign. 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. 2
689 Busted Play Come up with a more objectionable or stupid toy than a working fart-powered toy rocket. H
686 It's Baaaaack! Explain why you, or anyone else in particular, ought to have this fine oil-on-panel by Fred Dawson of Beltsville, or what it might be used for. H
679 Ask Backwards Here are the answers. You supply the questions to as many as you dare. H 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. P
675 Cut Us Some Slack Come up with humorous ways to be lazy. H
674 Limerixicon 3 Supply a humorous limerick based on any word in the dictionary (except proper nouns) beginning with ca-. H
672 Just Sign This Write a funny message for an overhead highway sign. H
669 Huddled Messes Suggest some bad advice for new arrivals to this country (legal or illegal). H
668 Cut From the Chase Write an original John-Bunnell-style wrap-up to a crime story -- or one for a more minor transgression. T
666 Bedevil Us Give a mini-sermon explaining how some innocuous object or event signals the End of Days. H
665 Your One-in-a-Million Coin the millionth words in the English language and define it. The word must end in -ion. T
664 A Thousand Times?! No! Come up with a new signature line for Russell Beland's -- or anyone else's -- e-mails. H
663 Worth at Least a Dozen Words Interpret any of the provided cartoons as you see fit in a caption. H H
662 How Low Will You Go? Humiliate yourself for ink, and a stupid prize. H
661 Name Any Good Movies Lately? Give us a funny new title for an existing movie. 1
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 H
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
657 Nuts Fruit Send in funny (but printable) images of real pieces of fruit. 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
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
652 Ask Backward You are on "Jeopardy!" Above are the answers. You supply the questions. H
620 Keep the Empress Employed Suggest some original, creative ways that The Post could increase its circulation. H H
619 WordCount Us In Write a poem of no more than four lines containing four or more consecutive words on the WordCount list. They must occur in the sentence in the order they appear on the list. P
618 Of D.C. I Sing Give us a song about Washington, set to a recognizable tune. H
609 A2D2 Give us some funny "corrections" to brighten up Page A2. W
607 Contest Fodder Created! Produce absurdly parochial views of historical events. A
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. P
599 So What's the News? Tell us what the illustrated events are. 1 H
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. 1 H H
594 History Loves Company Name an appropriate corporate sponsor for some historical event or for someone's life story. H 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
588 Gadget If You Can Tell us what these nifty, indispensable items are. P
584 Deliver Us a Post Come up with some new Cabinet or other positions that the president could establish, and describe the job responsibilities. P
580 United Nations Combine the names of any two countries in the world and describe the new hybrid country. 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. 2
576 Well, Excuuuuse Us! Come up with new excuses for any common human shortcoming or imperfection. H
573 Thine Ad Goest Here Propose biblical and other literary passage, poems, etc., that could benefit from product placement. H
570 Timeline Rhyme Lines Produce colorful chronological couplets about some historical event. They must rhyme and be in good meter. H P
569 Murphy's Lore Give Eric Murphy advice he deserves on the provided questions. H H H P
567 A Running Gag Explain how any of the provided bizarre cartoons by Bob Staake relates to the current presidential campaign. H H H
563 Take Two Take any two of the provided items and explain how they resemble or differ from each other. T
559 Your Slogan Here Come up with a clever slogan or sign for a business. 4
558 Set Us Right Send us conservative-leaning humor is any of the provided genres. H
555 A Tsk, A Task Come up with a super-wholesome passage of 25 words or fewer that would likely be banned by the admirable, ever-vigilant Neopets.com site. 2 H H
549 Show Us Your Best Quantities Come up with novel units of measure, and explain or quantify them. H
548 Inklings Tell us about certain people's childhood experiences and behaviors that hint at their destinies. H H
547 Give Us a Bad Name Take an existing product or business name and pair it with an incompatible one. H 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 H
545 Put It in Reverse Spell a word backward and define it, with the definition relating in some way to the original word. 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
542 Discombobulate Us Come up with both an object/situation and a neologism for it, something that Bob Levey would never have stooped to print in his column. H
541 Celled Up the River Give us a delicious scenario, in which a cellphone yakker's yakking could be taken profitably out of context. I
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. H
538 Try, Try Again Enter any previous Invitational. Your entry must be substantially different from the original winners. P
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
534 The Feminine Touch Propose how any male-dominated occupation of institution would change if it suddenly became female-dominated. 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. 1 H H
528 Ask Backwards You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? W
527 Rite of First Defusal Come up with witty or bizarre things to say to defuse the tension in awkward moments. H
526 Conventional Wisdumb Answer any of the provided questions. H
525 It Won't Belong Now Tell us which of three cartoons provided does not belong, and why. 1
520 I, Object These items were ordered by well-known people. Who ordered them, and why? H
514 Ask Backwards You are on "Jeopardy!" These are your answers. What are the questions? H 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 H
511 It All Impends Tell us what is something unusual about to happen in the provided cartoons. 1
509 Be a Real Card Come up with a greeting card rhyme for an un-greeting-card occasion. 4 H
503 Doody and Muldoon Write poetry that out-Muldoons Paul Muldoon, the Princeton professor who won this year's Pulitzer Prize in poetry. Your poem must be a single quatrain, containing at least one rhyme and references to at least two body parts and one geographic name. 1 H
502 Picture This Who are these people? What are they doing? W
498 Unamazing But True! Submit a true fact that is of absolutely no use, but interesting in a weirdly Invitationalist way. H H
473 Offensive Line Find what's offensive in any of the provided cartoons, and explain. L
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. H H
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). W
466 Spit the Difference Tell us the difference between any two of the provided items. H
457 Letter Rip Give us the beginning of a letter to the editor that is certain never to see print. H
454 Ask Backwards You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? H
444 Advice Squad Take any letter from today's advice columns and answer it in the voice of someone famous, living or dead. H
443 Sick Humor Come up with modern diseases of Washington life. 6 H 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
440 Picture This What is going on in these cartoons? 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 H H
410 Ask Backwards You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? H
406 Bum Steerage Offer some spectacularly bad advice to any of the provided people. 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. 3 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. 1
379 Rather Unusual Come up with lines that could be uttered by Dan Rather, with his unbearably folksy excesses. 2
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
376 Apply Yourself Supply bad openings to college application biographies. W
373 An Extra Large Challenge What should we put on the back of the new Style Invitational T-shirt? 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. 2
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
362 Something Missing Tell us what is missing in each of the provided cartoons. 3
361 Bad Libs Select one subject, one verb, and one object from the provided lists, and then answer the riddle you create. H
357 Coming to a Bad End Take some immortal line from literature or film and ruin it by adding a short phrase or sentence. 1 H
340 ASK BACKWARDS 12 You are on "Jeopardy!" Here are the answers. What are the questions? H
339 Campaignful Developments Come up with signs that a presidential campaign might be in trouble. H
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. W
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 H W
335 A LOVER'S SPAT Enter the contest that is run by the editor of your choice. H
331 DRAWING ON CREATIVITY Come up with an idea for a fictional central character for a comic strip based in Washington, D.C., and the environs. Describe your character in as much detail as you wish, and give the strip a name. W
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. H
327 ASK BACKWARDS You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? H
325 THE BURMA ROAD Propose welcoming doggerel for states or cities patterned after Burma Shave signs. L
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. I
323 THE CONGRESSIONAL RECORD INVITATIONAL Come up with not-quite-ready inventions, past or present. 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. I
319 REVERSE PSYCHOLOGY Create an original chiasmus, an ancient literary form in which meaning is derived by pairing two words or phrases, and then reversing their order. 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. H
317 PICK US A WINNER Come up with flawed contest ideas, and the single, obvious, too-good-to-beat entry. H H
315 FERMENTING TROUBLE Write a rhyming poem, eight lines maximum, on the subject of cheese or any of the provided items. 4 H
312 BOOKS AND BOOKS Combine any two works of literature--no movies or TV--into one, give its title and describe it in a brief, appealing blurb that might appear in Publishers' Weekly. A
308 GIVE US NO MO Write an update version of those old children's selecting rhymes. Your rhyme must (1) rhyme and (2) conform, at least loosely, to a point-and-shoot cadence that permits the elimination of one item from a group. I
306 YOUNGIAN THERAPY Suggest ways in which the Style Invitational or any other Washington area institution can become more relevant to younger people. A
305 ASK BACKWARDS CMXVI2 You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? H
304 TIME OF THE SIGNS Come up with appropriate signage to appear outside any business or retail establishment in the Washington area, including government offices. H P
303 BOOM TIMES Come up with old and new concerns for the baby boom generation. I W
302 UNSTATED TRUTHS Come up with lines that you'll never hear the provided people say. H H
301 PICTURE THIS What is happening in these cartoons? H
300 A BRAND NEW CONTEST Come up with celebrity-brand products. H I W
299 ANOTHER LEFTIST RAG Write the day's tabloid headlines with your left hand only. (This means you can use no keys to the right of 6, T, G and B.) 2 H
294 PRODUCT LIARBILITY Take the name of any commercial product and redefine it. I
292 PAYING THE BILL Propose appropriate punishments for President Clinton. H
289 PLAY IT AGAIN, SHAM Submit entries to any previous contest, ideas you might have thought of after the contest deadline had passed. H H
287 BEFORE AND AFTERMATH Begin with a real name, append to it a word, name or expression that completes the bridge, and finally define the resulting phrase. L
285 ELEVENIS, ANYTWO? Take a common phrase containing a specific number, add or subtract one, and explain the revised phrase. H H
283 UH-OH Come up with "uh-oh" lines, statements that occur in the middle of a seemingly benign speech or conversation, suddenly alerting the listener that he is about to hear some bad news. H I
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. 5 H
281 CALCULATE THE ODDS Tell us which of the two provided items does not belong with the other two, and why. H
278 THE STALE INVITATIONAL Begin with a word. Add, subtract or change a single letter only, and then provide a new definition. 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. 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. H
273 UNSEENS WE'D LIKE TO SEE Provide examples of any of the provided categories of thing that will never happen. H
272 PICTURE THIS What is happening in these cartoons? 2 H 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 E H
267 THE CONCEPT CONCEPT Come up with a situation for a "People Unclear on the Concept" cartoon. Describe the situation and supply any necessary dialogue. H H
264 ASK BACKWARDS You are on "Jeopardy!" Here are the answers. What are the questions? 2 H H H H
263 THE GAME OF THE NAME Propose a bad name for the provided categories. 2 5 H H
261 WHAT IF YOU GIVE IT A TRY II Alter some crucial moment in history, and then tell us the likely outcome. H I
260 IT'S A SNAP Come up with replacements for the two hackneyed answers: "Is the Pope Catholic?" and "When Hell freezes over." H
259 SPARE EXCHANGE, BUDDY? Take any phone number of any business or government office in the Washington area, translate the first two digits into their constituent letters and propose any appropriate one-word exchange. W
257 LET US PLAY Create a game, or a prank, that can be played using any two or more of the provided objects. H
256 THE PYLE INVITATIONAL Come up with hip, contemporary riddles and answers. The punch line must contain a painful pun. H
254 DOUBLE JEOPARDY! Take any sentence appearing anywhere in today's Washington Post, and make up a question to which it could be a plausible answer. H H
253 IT'S A PITY Enter any of the provided contests. Winners will be judged entirely on the basis of how pitiful an attempt at humor the entry is. H
252 MAKE YOUR MOVIE Propose people who were the secret inspiration for famous movies. H
250 OH, GREAT Complete the sentence "Wouldn't it be great if …" H
246 OUR OWN DEVICES What do these contraptions do? Tell us in 50 words or fewer. 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. E
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. H
242 SACRED COW PIES Take cheap shots at sacred institutions only, places and things that are so noble and wholesome they are beyond reproach, from among the items provided. H
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. H
239 NAME THAT TOON Send us the captions for cartoons not provided. 3
238 CHALK IT UP TO STUPIDITY Propose apologies for yourself in the style of Bart Simpson writing on his blackboard. H
236 CALLING THE TOON. What is happening here? 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
233 SEEKING PARODY Take any paragraph appearing on Page A1 of today's Washington Post, and rewrite it in the style of any famous writer. 4
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. I
229 WE CAN'T HEAR YOU Supply an example for any of the five "Things you don't want to hear" categories provided. H
228 MAKE MY DAY Supply advice to today's spoiled kids about how bad things were when we were growing up. H H
223 ATTEMPTING REENTRY Submit entries to any past contest, so long as you never submitted them before. 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. H
220 RSVP Provide and answer to any of the dumb questions from Week 217. H
217 NO QUESTION ABOUT IT Come up with truly stupid questions. 4 H H H H H
214 ASK BACKWARDS IX You are on "Jeopardy!" These are your answers. What are the questions? E H H
212 DUMB AS THE POST Come up with even stupider crimes than those committed by Montgomery County's "gentleman burglars." H
210 RANDOM MEMO Supply embarrassing "While You Were Out" phone messages that might be left for famous people, in plain sight, while they are away from their desks. H I
209 WE NEED SOME SEASONING Come up with the first signs of spring in Washington. H I
208 SEND IN THE CLONES Suggest question a commission to investigate the moral, legal and practical question raised by cloning might consider. E L
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. E
202 THE ELEMENTS OF SMILE Interpret any of the provided computer emoticons, or "smileys." 1 H H
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. H
193 ASK BACKWARDS VIII You are on "Jeopardy!" Here are the answers. What are the questions? 7 H H H
192 HILL'S BILLS Come up with bills any of the new members of Congress might jointly sponsor. 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. H H
188 BLANKETY BLANKS Complete any of the above sentences, substituting your own phrases for the well-known omitted words. H
187 RACE TO THE FINISH LINE In 75 words or fewer, continue in a productive fashion the story line of the provided real first lines of famous literary works. H H
186 CALLING THE TOON Who are these people? What are they doing? 4 H H H
184 ED ANGUISH Create an argument on some social issue, in 75 words or fewer, taking an extreme liberal view. 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. W
182 CAN YOU STOP THIS? Come up with a conversation stopper, a line likely to end all further discourse, perhaps even empty a room. 2
178 DEEP THROATS Come up with Deep Thoughts, in the style of Jack Handey of "Saturday Night Live." A Deep Thought is a short, simple, seemingly inspirational observation that winds up being cynical, ironic, or just plain weird. 3 H
177 SOUNDS LIKE TROUBLE Tell us what any of the provided sounds are. H
175 FOSSIL FOOLS What would aliens mistakenly conclude about us from any of the provided items? H H
170 THE ELEMENTS OF SMILE Why are these people smiling? H
168 LICENSE TO CARRY A PUN Come up with original jokes like those provided. H H
165 WHEEL OF TORTURE Complete any of the provided "Wheel of Fortune" phrases. H
164 MEAN MEANINGS Translate things politicians say into what they really mean. H 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. L
162 MAY WE HAVE YOUR PRETENSION, PLEASE? Come up with the most pretentious original sentence possible. E H H
161 CAPITOL MISTAKES Come up with very, very bad advice for first-time visitors to Washington. H
160 SEEKING WISE GUYS Come up with cool new bad-guy terms. H
158 SO SUE US Come up with frivolous lawsuits. H
157 WARNING SIGNS Complete any of these "you might be about to" warning sentences. 4
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. H H
153 STUMP US Complete this sentence, "I should be elected President of the United States because…" and launch your campaign. H H
149 O, NO! Come up with a palindrome, a line that reads the same backward and forward, and then use it as a punchline to a joke. H H
148 RORSCHACH OF THE CROWD IV Interpret these ink blots. H
146 IT'S LIKE THIS Produce an A and B to complete the expression "A makes about as much sense as B." H
145 LOOIE, LOOIE Come up with paired, themed ladies' room and men's room signs for various types of public places. H H
141 ASK BACKWARD VII You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? H H
140 WHAT IF YOU GIVE IT A TRY? Come up "What-If" scenarios and logical outcomes. H H I
139 EMPLOYMENT LINES Come up with jobs that make even your crummy job seem good. H
138 LIST BUT NOT LEAST Come up with Top-10-style lists for any of the above four subjects. E H H
137 VELVIS LIVES Come up with a title and/or art gallery blurb for this velvet Elvis painting. H
135 JERRY-BUILT SOLUTIONS Come up with Seinfeld-isms: whiny, quirky musings on little questions of life. H
133 LIKE, WOW. Come up with funny analogies. 5 H H
132 GIVE US THE BACKS OFF OUR SHIRTS. What should our loser's T-shirt say on the back? Your goal is to somehow capture the spirit of the contest. E
130 NICELY STATED Create a fictional city to be humorously paired with a real state abbreviation. 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
125 ASK BACKWARD VI You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? H W
124 SPOON-FEED US. Come up with spoonerisms, expressions based on the transposition of the initial sounds of two paired words. H
121 IT'S NO USE Come up with useless products. H
120 SIMILE OUTRAGEOUS Come up with inept analogies, rotten comparisons as literary device. H
119 MUZAK TO OUR EAR Come up with unfortunate Muzak songs to hear on the while on hold. You can use either a song title or a lyric. H I
118 WEAK 118 Take any photo caption or headline appearing anywhere in today's Post and alter its meaning by adding, deleting, or changing one letter. H H W
117 GIVE 'EM HELOISE Come up with a tribute to Heloise, that queen of inanely creative recycling. H H
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
111 ASK BACKWARDS V Here are the answers. What are the questions? 2 H
110 DO NOT INHALE THIS PAGE Come up with absurd warning labels that might be found on common products. H H W
109 SEND US YOUR MAIL PARTS We're looking for funny example of pidgin English that try to say one thing, but actually say something quite different. H
108 NEAR MISSES Come up with the first drafts of great lines in history, entertainment or literature. H H
106 DRAWING CONCLUSIONS Who are these people, and what are they doing? H H
105 WHAT'S THE BIG IDEA? Come up with Good Ideas and then convert them to Bad Ideas through slight changes in wording. H H
104 HERE, DOGGEREL Create poems so bad they thud. The first line must be a name. The second line can be as long or as short as you wish. The third line must sound the same as the first line, using the name as a verb or some other part of speech. H
103 SEND HELP. Come up with ways to raise some badly needed cash for the District of Columbia. L
100 THE JOKE'S ON YOU Retell any of these jokes as they would be told by some celebrity, living or dead. 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. 2 H
96 STICK IT IN YOUR ERA Come up with a catch phrase for the 1990s. H H
95 HOW'S THAT AGAIN? Take any headline appearing anywhere in The Post this week and completely rewrite the first lines of the story to put a different, unintended spin on it. L W
94 WEEKS 1-93 Come op with a great answer to any previous Style Invitational contest, an answer you may have thought of after the contest was over. H
92 PLOTBOILERS Tell us what excerpts from celebrities' novels might look like. H H H
91 ASK BACKWARD IV You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? H
90 BILL US NOW Come up with funny legislation based on the names of the 102 freshman congresspersons. H
89 CHILD'S PLAY Come up with bad ideas for new toys for the Christmas season. H 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 H H L
87 WEST EASY, ANN Come up with good things about West Virginia, in 50 words of fewer. 3 H
86 EXCUSES, EXCUSES Come up with funny excuses for various malfeasances. 1 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. 3
84 THE WASHINGTON IRVINGS Come up with creative names for the high school football teams of real towns in America. 9 H H
83 BEDROOM FARCE What questions were left out of the Great American Sex Survey? H H H
82 PICTURE THIS Who are these people, and what are they doing? H H W
80 NICK KNACKS Come up with a great nickname for any contemporary celebrity. 1 H H L
78 SEEKING SMART MORONS Come up with an oxymoron for our times, an expression made bogus by the fact that it combines incompatible, contradictory ideas. H
76 ADIOS. Tell us, in 40 words or fewer, what is great about August in Washington. It's August, and we're out of here. 3 H H H H
74 SHIRT HAPPENS In 10 words or fewer, what should the back of the "Year 2" T-shirt say? H 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 L
72 OH, HELL Come up with the perfect vision of Hell for a famous person, living or dead. 2 H
71 CAPTION CRUNCH III Come up with a new, funnier caption for any picture or illustration anywhere in today's newspaper. H
69 LAYING DOWN THE LAW Send us some exciting new principles that explain why things happen they way they happen. L
68 GIVE US A SIGN Come up with new astrological signs for the 1990s, together with one day's horoscope. I
67 FAMOUS LAST WORDS Make up the last words of famous dead people whose last words are unknown. L
63 BAD ABOUT YOU Come up with a lame idea for a Style Invitational contest, an idea destined to create unfunny results. H H W
62 BAD NEWS BEARERS Come up with statements one would not want to hear from friends, relatives, service personnel, etc. H L
60 ASK BACKWARDS III You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? 3 H H H
59 A GRAVE AFFAIR Write appropriate epitaphs for the not-yet-dead. H L
57 CALLING THE TOON Who are these people, and what are they doing? L
56 DO THE HOOKY POKEY Come up with inventive ways to call in sick or otherwise persuade your employer you must miss a day. L
55 ESCAPE CLAUSES Send us self-serving moral loopholes through which the enterprising 1990s transgressor can crawl. H H
52 PERJURED TESTIMONIALS Come up with inappropriate celebrity endorsements for real products. 3 H H 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 I
47 CAN YOU DO VERSE? Bad Valentine's Day poetry. Any rhyme scheme, any form of literary dysfunction. H L
45 INVITATION TO A DUAL, II. Deliver us a Good News-Bad News scenarios. H
44 ADVERB PUBLICITY Write us a Tom Swiftly or two, updated for the '90s. Each must include a reference to a famous person or institution. H
42 HEY, IT COULD BE WORSE There are worse things in life than the Washington Redskins. Just tell us what they are. L
41 READ-END COLLUSION Design a Style Invitational bumper sticker to be awarded to all Honorable Mentions. 1 H
40 NOT WRONG. JUST INCORRECT. What's next on the political correctness agenda? H
39 WAY OUTSIDE THE LINES Name a new crayon color for the 1990s, with a description. I
36 SCAM ON WRY Come up with a prank you can play, for fun, profit, or deliverance of a well-needed comeuppance. H
22 STUMP US Come up with slogans for the 1996 presidential campaign. 1 H I

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 ...]