PERMANENT INKSTAIN FOR JENNIFER HART

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
928 Play feature Use the title of a movie as the answer to a riddle or other question. I
884 Rekindling the spork Combine two devices or other products to make a new one. I
827 Caller Idiot Name a real product or company and supply a stupid question or complaint for the consumer hotline person. H H 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
820 Be Mister Language Person Supply a Mister Language Person-type question and answer. 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." 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 appeal to the Harrisburg Patriot-News. H
520 I, Object These items were ordered by well-known people. Who ordered them, and why? 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. H H
510 Universal Embarrassment What would you like to see Miss Universe Pageant contestants asked live, on national TV? H H
509 Be a Real Card Come up with a greeting card rhyme for an un-greeting-card occasion. H
507 Crocktails Come up with a drink named for something or someone associated with Washington and describe the drink. H
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. H
504 Life Is Snort Write a schmaltzy last line of a "Life Is Short." 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. H
502 Picture This Who are these people? What are they doing? H H H H H
501 Questionable Sentences Take any sentence appearing anywhere in today's Washington Post and make it the answer to a question. H H
500 Ergo-Nomics Create a sillygism--a syllogism that doesn't quite work. H H
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
497 Ask Backward You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? H
490 Eyes on Reprise Submit any good entries you might have thought of, for any previous contest, after the deadline passed. 2
489 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. H H
486 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. H
484 Manufracturing Take any product and explain how it would be different if it were designed by a different existing company. H
483 Obitter Fate Give us an obit headline for some famous person, currently living or dead. H H
482 Inspect Our Gadgets What are these gadgets? What do they do? 1 H H H
459 Stock Humor Look at any of the abbreviated company names in the Nasdaq or New York Stock Exchange listings in any newspaper's business section and suggest what business the companies might be in. 2 H H
455 Comixing Create new comic characters by crossing two existing characters, then describe the character. H H H R
454 Ask Backwards You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? 1 H H H H
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 H
451 Make Your Pix Which two of the provided cartoons are related, and how? H H
449 Cut and Pastiche Create a new, funny headline from the words of any headlines appearing anywhere in today's Post. You cannot subdivide words. H 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 H H
447 Acronimble Take any of the provided witty statements and use the first letters in each of the words to create a brand-new, unrelated funny statement. H H H
446 Poems Where the Heart Is Take any recent news event and summarize it in a rhyming poem of eight lines or fewer. W
444 Advice Squad Take any letter from today's advice columns and answer it in the voice of someone famous, living or dead. H H
443 Sick Humor Come up with modern diseases of Washington life. 4 H H
442 Titletales Take any real book or movie, change one word slightly, and describe the resulting new product. 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. 2 H H H H
440 Picture This What is going on in these cartoons? H
437 The Telegraph Poll Tell us the beginning of a joke that badly telegraphs the punch line. H H H
430 OMB Directive No. 2 Revisit any contest The Style Invitational has ever run, and rewrite our tawdry past by proposing a new first-prize winner serious and/or decorous enough to please the Ombudsman. H H H H 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
428 No Rest for the Query Answer any of the provided supposedly unanswerable questions in the voice of any famous person, living or dead. 1 H H
427 Skinned Come up with events that have a smaller chance of happening than the Redskins winning the Super Bowl. 4 H H
426 Captions Courageous Take any photograph or illustration from today's Washington Post and give it a more interesting caption. W
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. 4 H H H H H H
424 Osama Chanted Evening Write poems about Osama bin Laden. H 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 H
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? H H H H H W
417 Initially Mistaken Take any name of a person or thing, and construct an appropriate message using its letters, in order, as the first letters of the words of your message. H H H H
416 Diff'rent Jokes Describe how things might have been different if a famous person, living or dead, had had one of the provided conditions. 5 H H H H H
415 Sentence Us to Death Take any sentence appearing anywhere in today's Washington Post, and invent a question that it answers. H H
414 No Rest for the Query Complete the provided rhetorical question by filling in the blanks. It must be a put-down. H
413 Bland Ambition Come up with one or more items from an underachiever's list of midlife resolutions. 4 H
412 Painful Climaxes Come up with statements that start really dramatically, but leave you sorta flat at the end. H H
410 Ask Backwards You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? H H H
409 Nice Job, if You Get It Take anything that might need its image enhanced and rename it in a way the keeps its essential identity, but makes it seem nicer. 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 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. 2 H H H
404 Balloonacy Create a comic strip of one to four panels. For your dialogue or thought balloons, you may choose from the provided menu. You may invent one line of your own. 2 H R
403 Cry, Uncle! Write the beginnings of an obituary that will provide the details of what happened to the Style Invitational Uncle. H
402 Spitting the Difference Tell us the difference between any two of the provided items. 5 H H
401 A Matter of Degree Describe a sign of some modest change in a situation and pair it with a sign of an extreme change in that same situation. H
399 IT PAYS TO BE GENDEROUS Write a short film description that could persuade a woman that the guy movie he wants to see is really close to being a gal movie, or vice versa. H
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. U
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 H 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. H H H H H H H H H
395 Devilishly Clever Describe someone's special little corner of Hell. H H
394 Life in the Blurbs Come up with a blurb used to sell a real or imagined book or movie that would be likely to have the opposite of the intended effect. H H
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. U
392 Everyone's a Comic Choose any panel of any comic strip in today's Washington Post and improve it by replacing the original speech and thought balloons with your own, H H H
391 Spinning Out of Control Take a headline in today's Washington Post and create a subhead that spins the story in an opposite or unexpected direction. H 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 H
384 What's Your Story? Take at least four of the provided cartoons, arrange them in any sequence you wish, and make up a funny story that they would illustrate. 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. 2 H H
381 Idiom Savant Take any well-known idiom, or expression, and invent an interesting derivation for it. 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 H H H W
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. 2
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
375 Show Us Up Combine the names of two existing TV shows (past or present) to make an entirely new show. Then, describe the show. H H
374 Bill Us Later Take a well-known expression and update it for the new millennium. 2 H H
373 An Extra Large Challenge What should we put on the back of the new Style Invitational T-shirt? 4 H H H H
372 Trial Balloons Fill in the balloons. 3 H H H
371 Ask Backward You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? H
370 No End in Sight Write the beginnings of sentences you don't want to hear the end of. 4 H H
369 Punch Us Complete any of the provided jokes. H H H W
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. 5 H
366 Just Fulghum Come up with a list of at least three Major Life Lessons one can learn from any of the venues provided. H H H H
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 H 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. 1
363 It's Your Movie Take the title of any movie and make it the answer to a riddle. 1 H
362 Something Missing Tell us what is missing in each of the provided cartoons. 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. 1 H
358 Finish the Fire Finish "We Didn't Start the Fire," to summarize 1990 to the present. H 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. H
355 Seeing Stars Tell us ways we can attract celebrity participation to this contest. H
353 Patently Silly What do these devices do? 2 H 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
351 Dubya Fun Take any well-known statement, expression, slogan, etc., and rewrite it the way Dubya might have said it. 1
350 Employing Irony Propose bad career choices. H
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. H
348 When We're LXIV Fashion an entry by selecting one from each of the provided menu groups. H H
347 Capital Pun-ishment Take an expression, or a lyric for a song, or any recognizable line of prose, and make it the punchline of an awful pun. H
346 Greasy Kids Tough Take any news event from history, recent or ancient, large or small, and rewrite it in 100 words or fewer as it might have appeared in KidsPost. H H
345 Picture This What is going on in these cartoons? H H H H H H 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 H H H
343 Eastwood Ho. Create a Good-Bad-Ugly progression. H H
342 Plainly Ridiculous Take any direct quotation from any article in today's Washington Post and translate it into "plain English." 3 H H H
341 What's In a Name? Write something about any famous person that uses only the letters in his or her name. H
340 ASK BACKWARDS 12 You are on "Jeopardy!" Here are the answers. What are the questions? 3 H
339 Campaignful Developments Come up with signs that a presidential campaign might be in trouble. 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 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. D 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. 4 5 D H H H H H H
335 A LOVER'S SPAT Enter the contest that is run by the editor of your choice. D
334 The New Style Invitational: Six Choices for Czar Vote for one of six possible editors of the Style Invitation, from among the current Czar and five worthy competitors. 1 H 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. 2
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. H
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 H
327 ASK BACKWARDS You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? H H
326 COMIC RELIEF Look at today's comics pages, select one panel and one panel only from any comic strip, and rewrite the dialogue. H H
325 THE BURMA ROAD Propose welcoming doggerel for states or cities patterned after Burma Shave signs. E H
323 THE CONGRESSIONAL RECORD INVITATIONAL Come up with not-quite-ready inventions, past or present. 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 cartoons and come up with a matched pair of interpretations for what is happening. H
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. 3 H H H H H
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. 4 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. 2 H H H
316 CALLING THE TOON What are these things? H H W
315 FERMENTING TROUBLE Write a rhyming poem, eight lines maximum, on the subject of cheese or any of the provided items. 1
314 IT'S THE LIST YOU CAN DO Start with the name of a famous person, living or dead, real or fictional, either a full name or partial name. Progress through a series of other names or phrases. Each name or phrase must be related to the prior item either by being a homophone or a definition. Eventually, arrive at a name or a phrase that is an appropriate pairing with the original name. E
313 THE STYLE INVITATIONAL SOUVENIR SHOP Come up with bad names for a new store at a mall. H 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. P P
310 IT'S LIKE THIS Come up with really lame analogies. H H
308 GIVE US NO MO Write an updated 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. 3
306 YOUNGIAN THERAPY Suggest ways in which the Style Invitational or any other Washington area institution can become more relevant to younger people. H
305 ASK BACKWARDS CMXVI2 You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? 5 H H H 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. 2 H
303 BOOM TIMES Come up with old and new concerns for the baby boom generation. E H
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 H
300 A BRAND NEW CONTEST Come up with celebrity-brand products. H H
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.) 3
296 BILL US LATER Choose among the names of any of the newly elected U.S. senators or representatives and propose a bill they might sponsor. H H
295 PANEL DISCUSSION Supply the contents of the missing panel in the provided cartoon strips. 2
294 PRODUCT LIARBILITY Take the name of any commercial product and redefine it. H H H H H
292 PAYING THE BILL Propose appropriate punishments for President Clinton. H
291 HYPHEN THE TERRIBLE Take any story in today's paper, find a word that breaks with a hyphen at the end of a line, and combine it with the second half of different hyphenated word in the same story. Then supply a definition for the new hybrid word. H H H
290 THE WORLD THEORIES Codify some of life's more populist theories. H
288 PICTURE THIS What is happening in these pictures? H H H H 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. H H
285 ELEVENIS, ANYTWO? Take a common phrase containing a specific number, add or subtract one, and explain the revised phrase. H H
284 ASK BACKWARDS MCLXVII You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? H H H 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 H
281 CALCULATE THE ODDS Tell us which of the two provided items does not belong with the other two, and why. E H H
280 EXPRESSING IT NICELY Come up with colorful expressions for any of the six provided activities, to make them sound a little less tawdry. H H H H
279 TREACLE-DOWN THEORY Come up with a treacly and deeply moving piece of crap. It must somehow mine joy and goopy inspiration from the vicissitudes of life. It must also rhyme. H
278 THE STALE INVITATIONAL Begin with a word. Add, subtract or change a single letter only, and then provide a new definition. H
276 SPIT THE DIFFERENCE Tell us the difference between any two of the provided items. 3 H
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
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
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 2 H H
270 PALINODE--HAVE PUN, WILL TRAVEL Write a "palinode", retracting something said in an earlier poem. Your poem must be four lines long and contain at least one rhyme. H
269 SIGNS, AND THE TIMES Come up with new, helpful signage for downtown streets. You must state the problem, and propose the sign to rectify it. 5 H
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. 4 E H H H H H 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
266 DEFINITELY WEIRD Take any word from the dictionary and redefine it. H H 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. H H
263 THE GAME OF THE NAME Propose a bad name for the provided categories. H H H H
261 WHAT IF YOU GIVE IT A TRY II Alter some crucial moment in history, and then tell us the likely outcome. 3 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. H H
257 LET US PLAY Create a game, or a prank, that can be played using any two or more of the provided objects. 3 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
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 H
252 MAKE YOUR MOVIE Propose people who were the secret inspiration for famous movies. H H H
251 QUOTH THE MAVEN Take any famous line, change it by one letter only (add, subtract or change a single letter), and reattribute it. 7 H H H
250 OH, GREAT Complete the sentence "Wouldn't it be great if …" 1
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. H H
246 OUR OWN DEVICES What do these contraptions do? Tell us in 50 words or fewer. H
245 LIKE FUN Complete any of the provided "A is like B because" sentences. 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. 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. 2
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. 2 H
241 CAN YOU BEAT THIS? Come up with headlines describing the defeat of one pro team by another. 5 H H
239 NAME THAT TOON Send us the captions for cartoons not provided. H H W
238 CHALK IT UP TO STUPIDITY Propose apologies for yourself in the style of Bart Simpson writing on his blackboard. H H W
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. H H
230 TALES FROM THE CRYPTOGRAM Take any proper noun--a person, a book, a movie, whatever--and create for it an appropriate cryptogram. 2 H
229 WE CAN'T HEAR YOU Supply an example for any of the five "Things you don't want to hear" categories provided. H W
228 MAKE MY DAY Supply advice to today's spoiled kids about how bad things were when we were growing up. 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 to represent it. H
226 GOING WITHOUT Complete some variation of the expression "An A without a B is like a C without a D." 2
225 WE RESPECTfully decline to publish any dumb entries by YOU. Come up with signs for a T-shirt or a bumper sticker that hide the real message in tiny type. H
224 DRAWING CONCLUSIONS What is wrong with these pictures? 1 E H
223 ATTEMPTING REENTRY Submit entries to any past contest, so long as you never submitted them before. H H 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 H H H
220 RSVP Provide an answer to any of the dumb questions from Week 217. H
218 CALLING THE TOON Who are these people? What are they doing? 4 H
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. H H 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. H I
212 DUMB AS THE POST Come up with even stupider crimes than those committed by Montgomery County's "gentleman burglars." 6 H
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
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. 3
209 WE NEED SOME SEASONING Come up with the first signs of spring in Washington. H H
207 TIED TO BE FIT Each of the eight provided items is related, in some fashion, to one or more of the provided individuals. You make the connections. H H H
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. H 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. H
203 CAN IT GET MUCH VERSE? Create Very Bad Poetry, containing banalities masquerading as profundities, overstretched metaphors, etc. Special attention should be paid to dreadful syntax and painful rhyme H
202 THE ELEMENTS OF SMILE Interpret any of the provided computer emoticons, or "smileys." H H H H
201 THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE Come up with a new element and its symbol, and provide a brief description of its chemical or physical properties. 3 H H
200 CAPTION CRUNCH IV Supply a new caption to any photograph appearing anywhere in today's Post, to make it funnier. H
199 WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE? Tell us the difference between any two of the provided items. 5 H H
198 YOU MUST BE MAD II Come up with proposals designed to infuriate special interest groups. H
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 W
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
193 ASK BACKWARDS VIII You are on "Jeopardy!" Here are the answers. What are the questions? H H
192 HILL'S BILLS Come up with bills any of the new members of Congress might jointly sponsor. I
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
190 OFFICE YOU CAN'T REFUSE Come up with a Principle for the Workplace. H
188 BLANKETY BLANKS Complete any of the above sentences, substituting your own phrases for the well-known omitted words. E H H 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. E
186 CALLING THE TOON Who are these people? What are they doing? 1 3 H H 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 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. E H H
181 YOU CAN TAKE IT TO DEBUNK Take a common slogan or saying and prove it wrong with at least one example. H H H
180 WHEN IN DOUBT, PUN Take any headline in today's Post and improve it by somehow turning it into a pun. H W
177 SOUNDS LIKE TROUBLE Tell us what any of the provided sounds are. 3 H H
176 WRITE IN THE KISSER In the style of any famous author, write a description of any one of these people: Bill Clinton, Bob Dole, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Prince Charles or Sylvester Stallone. 2
175 FOSSIL FOOLS What would aliens mistakenly conclude about us from any of the provided items? 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
172 POEDTRY An entire poetic form, making its global debut in the Style Invitational. The first line must contain only six words of one syllable each; the second line, three words of two syllables each; the third line, two words of three syllables each, and the final line a single word of six syllables. At least two lines must rhyme. The general subject matter should be mundane. 1 H H
171 ON SECOND THOUGHT Ideas that never got off the drawing board, for good reason. H H
170 THE ELEMENTS OF SMILE Why are these people smiling? H 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. 1 H
165 WHEEL OF TORTURE Complete any of the provided "Wheel of Fortune" phrases. 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 L
162 MAY WE HAVE YOUR PRETENSION, PLEASE? Come up with the most pretentious original sentence possible. 3 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. 1
159 ODDBALLS Which item in each series does not belong? Explain your answer. 3 H H
157 WARNING SIGNS Complete any of these "you might be about to" warning sentences. 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 H
154 ENTER LAUGHING Make up a knock-knock joke. The subject of the third line must be something crude, silly, or profound. H H H H
153 STUMP US Complete this sentence, "I should be elected President of the United States because…" and launch your campaign. 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. E
150 TRIAL BALLOONS What are the people saying? 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
148 RORSCHACH OF THE CROWD IV Interpret these ink blots. H W
147 JUST FOR LIFFS Come up with original liffs, which identify a familiar, tantalizing concept without a word to define it, and pairs it with a perfectly good but underutilized word that just loafs around on maps and street signs. H H H H
146 IT'S LIKE THIS Produce an A and B to complete the expression "A makes about as much sense as B." L
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. 1
141 ASK BACKWARD VII You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? H H
139 EMPLOYMENT LINES Come up with jobs that make even your crummy job seem good. H
134 A SIMPLE CLERIHEW ERROR Revive clerihews. A clerihew is a biographical poem in four lines divided into two rhyming couplets. The rhyme scheme is aa bb. The first line of the clerihew must contain the name of the subject of the poem. The lines must be of disparate meter, the clunkier the better. 3
133 LIKE, WOW. Come up with funny analogies. 3 L L
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. H
130 NICELY STATED Create a fictional city to be humorously paired with a real state abbreviation. H H H H
125 ASK BACKWARD VI You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? H H
124 SPOON-FEED US. Come up with spoonerisms, expressions based on the transposition of the initial sounds of two paired words. H
120 SIMILE OUTRAGEOUS Come up with inept analogies, rotten comparisons as a literary device. 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 H H W
115 THE MNEMONIC PLAGUE Come up with new mnemonic devices to remember complicated lists. H H H
106 DRAWING CONCLUSIONS Who are these people, and what are they doing? 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 H
103 SEND HELP. Come up with ways to raise some badly needed cash for the District of Columbia. H
101 [deliberately left blank] [deliberately left blank] 4 5 H L
100 THE JOKE'S ON YOU Retell any of these jokes as they would be told by some celebrity, living or dead. 3
99 WHAT'S WRONG WITH THESE PICTURES? What's wrong with these pictures? H I
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
84 THE WASHINGTON IRVINGS Come up with creative names for the high school football teams of real towns in America. 1 H
79 TERROR-DACTYL Send us a double dactyl. The first line must be a nonsense phrase of five to seven syllables containing exactly two downbeats. The second line must be a name, in five to seven syllables but only two downbeats. The remaining six lines must contain four to seven syllables and two downbeats each, with Lines 4 and 8 rhyming. Somewhere in the poem, one line must consist of only one word. H
74 SHIRT HAPPENS In 10 words or fewer, what should the back of the "Year 2" T-shirt say? 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
70 SOUNDS LIKE A BAD IDEA Come up with jokes based on noises. H
59 A GRAVE AFFAIR Write appropriate epitaphs for the not-yet-dead. H
52 PERJURED TESTIMONIALS Come up with inappropriate celebrity endorsements for real products. H
39 WAY OUTSIDE THE LINES Name a new crayon color for the 1990s, with a description. H H
11 YOU GIVE US THE BACKS OFF OUR SHIRTS The back of the shirt needs a slogan, something that captures the spirit of The Style Invitational. What is that spirit? You tell us. 1

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 ...]