||Not-ables -- slightly alter a famous name
||Slightly alter the name (make sure the original is obvious) of a famous personage -- past or present, real or fictional -- and describe the resulting nonpersonage, or offer a quote from that person, or both.
||Mess with our (or anyone's) heads
||Reinterpret (or comment wryly on) a headline (or a big part of a headline) by writing a bank head, or subtitle.
||Pumping Prime: Amazon reviews
||Send us a humorous "review" (like the provided samples from our earlier contests) for any of the provided items.
||Really, now? A matter of degree.
||Tell us an indication to some problem, followed by an even more dire sign.
||We only have (googly) eyes for you
||Send us a photo of something that you have made funny by pasting googly eyes on it; funny titles and captions are optional.
||Mess with our (or other) heads
||Reinterpret (or comment wryly on) a headline appearing in The Post (print or online) or another publication and dated March 1-12 by writing a bank head.
||Tell us some humorously bogus trivia about the news media or the publishing or broadcasting industries.
||A cry for Yelp: 'Review' any place
||Write a humorous review, positive or negative, of anyplace (real of fictional) one might visit.
||Beat the banned with euphemisms
||Come up with creative euphemisms for the provided words, or for other words that might offend someone or other.
||Ask Backwards 36
||Choose any of the 15 provided items and follow it with a question that it could humorously answer.
||C'mon, fess up!
||Send us a brief "confession" -- there will be categories for true and just-kidding.
||Primed for product reviews
||Send us a creative "review" for any of the provided items that are listed on Amazon.
||Give us a "then/now" joke.
||A so-so contest (How so-so is it?)
||Write a humorous exaggeration in the form "x is so y that …"
||Send us the bill: Our 'joint legislation' game
||Combine two or more names from the provided list of members of Congress to “co-sponsor” a bill based on their combined last names, and state its purpose.
||You've got the powers
||Tell us what you would do if you had one or more of the six magical powers provided.
||C'mon, be honest with us
||Write something in roughly the form "If X were more honest, (then) Y."
||Blasted alphabetical contests . . .
||Coin a three-word phrase whose words begin with A, B and C -- in any order -- and describe it.
||A ______ of collective nouns
||Propose one or more funny new names for groups of things.
||Let 'er RIP: Write an obit line
||Write a humorous line or two for someone's obituary -- either for a particular person (dead or not) or for a fictional or generic one.
||Colt following -- It's time for the grandfoals
||"Breed" any two of the 57 foal names that got ink this week and name the offspring to reflect both parents' names.
||Send us the bill
||Combine two or more names from the list of members of Congress on this page to "cosponsor" a bill based on their combined last names, and state its purpose.
||Show your resolve
||Suggest a New Year's resolution that someone might make 100 or more years in the future.
||Just do it
||Use a well-known advertising slogan for a different company, organization or product to humorous effect.
||H H |
||The madding crowd
||Suggest funny, original ways to tick people off.
||Give us some bad ideas
||Finish any of the provided "You know" phrases.
||Of all the nerve!
||Give us a humorous example of hypothetical chutzpah.
||Another round of Bierce
||Write a clever definition of a word, name or multi-word term.
||MASH 2: The Retread
||Combine two movie titles and describe the result.
||Write an original chiasmus, in which the elements of a phrase are inverted for comedic effect.
||Other people's business
||Describe what might happen if any of the above institutions (a) were run by an institution of your choice or (b) ran an institution of your choice.
||Tour de Fours VII
||Coin and define a humorous word that includes -- with no other letters between them, but in any order -- the letters P, O, L and E.
||What's not to liken?
||Produce one or more similes in any of the following categories.
||3 H |
||It's easy as DEF
||Create a brand-new word or phrase that contains a block of three successive letters in the alphabet; the series must go forward in the alphabet, not backward.
||Create a new homonym (or homophone) for any existing word and define it.
||Make a pun on the name of a familiar group, organization or company, and describe it or provide a quote from it.
||Name a real product or company and supply a stupid question or complaint for the consumer hotline person.
||H H |
||Name the Day
||Cite an actual holiday or one of those silly commemorative days, weeks or months for which you can find previous evidence, and supply a snarky description or slogan.
||Come up with an original phrase that generates at least 1 million listings on a Google search.
||Offer up some entirely false medical or psychological "fact."
||Tell us a sign that the economy couldn't get worse.
||Pretty Graphic Expressions
||Express some insight as an equation or other mathematical expression.
||DQ Very Much
||Give us a phrase or sentence that would nip a potential relationship in the bud (or elsewhere).
||Give us an original name in any of the above categories (not an actual badly named product).
||Our Type o' Joke
||Change a headline by one letter, or switch two letters, in a headline (or most of a headline) appearing on an article or ad in The Washington Post or on washingtonpost.com between Feb. 14 and 23, and elaborate on it in a "bank" headline (subhead) or a brief first sentence of an article that would run under it.
||Make It Simile, Stupid
||Translate a sentence or two of literature or other good writing so that "Los Angeles residents under 40" can appreciate it.
||H H |
||Cite a humorous "uncanny similarity" between any two of the very different people listed above.
||The Might-Mates Right
||Fill out any of these five "you just might" joke-templates.
||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 H |
||Hurry Up and Slow Down!
||Suggest particular ways that would slow life down, or ways that would speed it up.
||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 H |
||Come up with a comically false factoid.
||Hopelessly Ever After
||Offer up a gloomy interpretation of any ungloomy piece of writing.
||Everything Being Sequel
||Give a brief scenario for the sequel to a well-known movie.
||Come up with a more objectionable or stupid toy than a working fart-powered toy rocket.
||Making Short Work
||Write a humorous six-word story.
||Thank it Over
||Tell us some things to be thankful for.
||H H H |
||What a Piece of Work
||String together words in a single scene, or two consecutive scenes, of "Hamlet" to produce one or more funny sentences, preferably unrelated to the original content. The words must appear in the order in which they appear in the play.
||Just Sign This
||Write a funny message for an overhead highway sign.
||Hyphenate the beginning and end of any two multi-syllabic words appearing anywhere in the July 16 Style or Sunday Arts section, and then define the compound.
||Suggest some bad advice for new arrivals to this country (legal or illegal).
||Cut From the Chase
||Write an original John-Bunnell-style wrap-up to a crime story -- or one for a more minor transgression.
||Take any sentence that appears in The Post or in an article on washingtonpost.com anytime from now through June 26 and supply a question it could answer.
||Coin the millionth word in the English language and define it. The word must end in -ion.
||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.
||The Style Invitational: The First Dreckade
||Submit new entries to any of the old contests listed, and try to beat The Very Best of the Past 10 Years.
||H H |
||Water Stupid Idea
||Propose bad ideas for saving water in the continuing drought.
||(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.
||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.
||Take any letter from today's advice columns and answer it in the voice of someone famous, living or dead.
||Take any real book or movie, change one word slightly, and describe the resulting new product.
||What is going on in these cartoons?
||Tell us what would be a sign that any current institution--TV show, newspaper feature, magazine, business, etc.--has jumped the shark.
||Come up with lessons learned from (1) the movies, (2) popular songs, (3) romance novels or (4) the comics page.
||Don't Spare the Rodney
||Come up with indications that one might not be getting no respect.
||No Rest for the Query
||Complete the provided rhetorical question by filling in the blanks. It must be a put-down.
||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.
||Create an original chiasmus, an ancient literary form in which meaning is derived by pairing two words or phrases, and then reversing their order.
||THE STYLE INVITATIONAL SOUVENIR SHOP
||Come up with bad names for a new store at a mall.
||Come up with lines that you'll never hear the provided people say.
||PAYING THE BILL
||Propose appropriate punishments for President Clinton.
||Take a common phrase containing a specific number, add or subtract one, and explain the revised phrase.
||EXPRESSING IT NICELY
||Come up with colorful expressions for any of the six provided activities, to make them sound a little less tawdry.
||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.
||What is happening in these cartoons?
||Come up with new Yogi-isms, which seem to make sense, but collapse like a soufflé when you poke it a little
||THE GAME OF THE NAME
||Propose a bad name for the provided categories.
||H H |
||LET US PLAY
||Create a game, or a prank, that can be played using any two or more of the provided objects.
||Take any sentence appearing anywhere in today's Washington Post, and make up a question to which it could be a plausible answer.
||QUOTH THE MAVEN
||Take any famous line, change it by one letter only (add, subtract or change a single letter), and reattribute it.
||BAD NEWS, GOOD NEWS
||Supply a silver lining for any scourge or social ill facing America or the world.
||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.
||Complete any of the provided "A is like B because" sentences.
||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.
||Make up historical explanations--they should be vaguely plausible--for the etymology of any term you wish. The term should be the punch line.
||WE CAN'T HEAR YOU
||Supply an example for any of the five "Things you don't want to hear" categories provided.
||Submit entries to any past contest, so long as you never submitted them before.
||Provide an answer to any of the dumb questions from Week 217.
||YOU MUST BE MAD II
||Come up with proposals designed to infuriate special interest groups.
||H H |
||Tell us the difference between any two of the provided items.