PERMANENT INKSTAIN FOR ROBIN GROVE

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
1215 A so-so contest (How so-so is it?) Write a humorous exaggeration in the form "x is so y that " H
644 Winter Limp Picks Brighten up the Winter Olympics with some new events and rules. Alternatively, you can suggest a commercial or ad campaign that could be tied in with the Winter Games or one of its sports. H
639 What's the Small Idea? Do you have a senseless idea for improving the day-to-day lives of everyday Americans? 3
629 Odd Couplings Marry or otherwise combine famous names and supply the result. H
620 Keep the Empress Employed Suggest some original, creative ways that The Post could increase its circulation. H
615 Airy Persiflage Write some jokes you'd like to hear in an airport announcement. H
612 Oh, and One More Thing What was the thing that didn't make the cut on any list? H
611 Ask Backwards, Erudite Edition You are on "Jeopardy!" Here are the sophisticated answers. You supply the questions. 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. W
569 Murphy's Lore Give Eric Murphy advice he deserves on the provided questions. H
564 Redefine Print Redefine any word from the dictionary. 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. H
557 Oh, for Namesakes! Take two people, real or fictional, who share some element of their names and explain the difference between them. H
553 Picture This Tell us what's going on in one or more of the provided cartoons. H
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
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
536 And the Horse He Rodin On Come up with some words we can stick in the back of The Inker. H H
523 Hard to Overstate Propose ways to make modern life just a little bit harder than it needs to be. H
520 I, Object These items were ordered by well-known people. Who ordered them, and why? H H
519 Hey, Baby, What's Your Sector? Come up with pickup lines that could be heard only in Washington. 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
508 Letter Rip Take a word from the dictionary, add, change, or delete a single letter, and redefine the word. H H 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. H H
455 Comixing Create new comic characters by crossing two existing characters, then describe the character. H
439 No Can Do Write signs of incompetence. H
406 Bum Steerage Offer some spectacularly bad advice to any of the provided people. H
399 IT PAYS TO BE GENDEROUS Write a short film description that could persuade a woman that the guy movie he wants to see is really close to being a gal movie, or vice versa. W
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. H
390 Canine Fashion Write: 1. A caption for the provided image explaining what is happening; 2. An explanation of why the image is not photography but art; 3. A description of what additional items might be needed to make the image complete. Sex and potty jokes will be disqualified. H
380 The New-Name Offense Propose changes for the names of places and things that need it, either because there is something wrong with their name, or because another name would be so much more descriptive. H
379 Rather Unusual Come up with lines that could be uttered by Dan Rather, with his unbearably folksy excesses. H
373 An Extra Large Challenge What should we put on the back of the new Style Invitational T-shirt? H
370 No End in Sight Write the beginnings of sentences you don't want to hear the end of. H
362 Something Missing Tell us what is missing in each of the provided cartoons. H
361 Bad Libs Select one subject, one verb, and one object from the provided lists, and then answer the riddle you create. H
352 A Laff Riot Take the name of a company and/or its commercial product and provide it a new definition. 3 H
351 Dubya Fun Take any well-known statement, expression, slogan, etc., and rewrite it the way Dubya might have said it. H
350 Employing Irony Propose bad career choices. H
342 Plainly Ridiculous Take any direct quotation from any article in today's Washington Post and translate it into "plain English." H
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 a Multi-Millionaire?" 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
309 A STINKING PILE OF THESES Write an all-purpose first line or paragraph for any doctoral dissertation, designed to impress the heck out of academics. H
306 YOUNGIAN THERAPY Suggest ways in which the Style Invitational or any other Washington area institution can become more relevant to younger people. 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
302 UNSTATED TRUTHS Come up with lines that you'll never hear the provided people say. H
294 PRODUCT LIARBILITY Take the name of any commercial product and redefine it. H
292 PAYING THE BILL Propose appropriate punishments for President Clinton. 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. 4
278 THE STALE INVITATIONAL Begin with a word. Add, subtract or change a single letter only, and then provide a new definition. 1
262 CAMPAIGN FOR ONE Design a line for Niels Hoven to deliver in his campaign for a student government office that will wake up a snoozing audience. 1
261 WHAT IF YOU GIVE IT A TRY II Alter some crucial moment in history, and then tell us the likely outcome. 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
255 SCANDAL IN THE WIND Each of the provided items is somehow related to the current presidential scandal. Tell us how. H
250 OH, GREAT Complete the sentence "Wouldn't it be great if " H 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. W
238 CHALK IT UP TO STUPIDITY Propose apologies for yourself in the style of Bart Simpson writing on his blackboard. H
237 ASK BACKWARD You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? 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. 1
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. W
211 GIVE US THE BACKS OFF YOUR SHIRTS Design the back of the fourth Style Invitational T-shirt, with anything that captures the transcendent indignity of this contest. H
208 SEND IN THE CLONES Suggest questions a commission to investigate the moral, legal and practical question raised by cloning might consider. H
195 THE MARTHIAN CHRONICLES Come up with items for Martha Stewart's December-January calendar of projects. H
190 OFFICE YOU CAN'T REFUSE Come up with a Principle for the Workplace. I
184 ED ANGUISH Create an argument on some social issue, in 75 words or fewer, taking an extreme liberal view. 4
175 FOSSIL FOOLS What would aliens mistakenly conclude about us from any of the provided items? E
160 SEEKING WISE GUYS Come up with cool new bad-guy terms. 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. H
151 STRIP MINING Come up with a concept for a new, controversial strip to replace an existing one in The Post. H
145 LOOIE, LOOIE Come up with paired, themed ladies' room and men's room signs for various types of public places. H
143 IT'S MY PARODY (& I'LL TRY IF I WANT TO) Rewrite any common jingle or theme song in the style of famous writer. H
139 EMPLOYMENT LINES Come up with jobs that make even your crummy job seem good. 2
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
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
119 MUZAK TO OUR EAR Come up with unfortunate Muzak songs to hear on the phone while on hold. You can use either a song title or a lyric. H
117 GIVE 'EM HELOISE Come up with a tribute to Heloise, that queen of inanely creative recycling. 5
115 THE MNEMONIC PLAGUE Come up with new mnemonic devices to remember complicated lists. H
109 SEND US YOUR MAIL PARTS We're looking for funny examples of pidgin English that try to say one thing, but actually say something quite different. H
103 SEND HELP. Come up with ways to raise some badly needed cash for the District of Columbia. H
102 HELP! I'M A PRISONER IN THIS CONTEST Come up with fortune cookie messages that you would love to see, but never will. 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
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. H
92 PLOTBOILERS Tell us what excerpts from celebrities' novels might look like. H
87 WEST EASY, ANN Come up with good things about West Virginia, in 50 words of fewer. H
84 THE WASHINGTON IRVINGS Come up with creative names for the high school football teams of real towns in America. 5 H
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. 4
63 BAD ABOUT YOU Come up with a lame idea for a Style Invitational contest, an idea destined to create unfunny results. H
60 ASK BACKWARDS III You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? H
56 DO THE HOOKY POKEY Come up with inventive ways to call in sick or otherwise persuade your employer you must miss a day. H
47 CAN YOU DO VERSE? Bad Valentine's Day poetry. Any rhyme scheme, any form of literary dysfunction. 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. 2
37 A STATE OF DISGRACE? Propose any of the following for D.C.: A State Name, A State Flower, A State Bird, A State Slogan, A State Capital, A Governor, An Insulting State Joke. H
35 LIGHT AT THE END? Tell the federal government what it should do with the 14-mile-long, 15-foot-diameter sausage-shaped tunnel it dug near Waxahachie, Tex., for the Superconducting Super Collider project that was scrapped by Congress last week. H H
34 INSPECT A GADGET What do these machines do? H H
32 FATAL ART ATTACK In 50 words or fewer, describe a performance art concept that might get public funding. Winners will be audacious enough to seem like art, but pretentious enough to seem to have a social "message." H
30 THE RORSCHACH OF THE CROWD Interpret any of the provided ink blots. H
23 HAPPY ENDINGS Modernize an old quote or expression by altering its ending. H H
21 A SO-SO CONTEST Describe somebody--or something--through exaggerated comparison. 4
6 PUTTING WORDS IN THEIR MOUTHS In 40 words or less, write a caption for either of these two generic cartoons drawn by famed Style Invitational artist Marc Rosenthal. 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 ...]