||A deviant character
||Change the name of person or animal -- real or fictional -- by adding or subtracting one letter; substituting one letter for another; or switching the positions of two nearby letters, and describing the results.
||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.
||Describe a TV reality show featuring a celebrity pursuing some unlikely endeavor.
||Try your hand at any of the contests mentioned in this look back.
||Create a new homonym (or homophone) for any existing word and define it.
||Describe any of these Googlewhacks in the form of a question, "Jeopardy"-style.
||Mess With Our Heads
||Take any headline, verbatim, appearing anywhere in The Post or on washingtonpost.com from March 15 through 24 and reinterpret it by adding a "bank head," or subtitle.
||Take Another 'Whack
||Send us a phrase of two or more words that produces exactly one Web page on the Google search engine and describe the phrase.
||Another Game of Tag
||Create vanity plates for well-known people, real or fictional.
||Write a poem about someone who died in 2006.
||H H |
||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.
||Making Short Work
||Write a humorous six-word story.
||What Were They Thinking?
||Tell us (A) What someone might say in some situation, and (B) what that person was actually thinking when he said A.
||God's Will (and Won't)
||Complete either of the following: "If God hadn't wanted us to ----, God wouldn’t have ----"; "If God had wanted us to ----, God would have ----."
||Celled Up the River
||Give us a delicious scenario, in which a cellphone yakker's yakking could be taken profitably out of context.
||No Rest for the Query
||Come up with a vexing, funny question about life.
||Give us an obit headline for some famous person, currently living or dead.
||Create a new homonym of any existing word, and define. The new word must be spelled in such a way that is obviously pronounced identically to the original word.
||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.
||Take any well-known idiom, or expression, and invent an interesting derivation for it.
||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 H |
||Supply bad openings to college application biographies.
||Bill Us Later
||Take a well-known expression and update it for the new millennium.
||H H |
||Complete any of the above sentences, substituting your own phrases for the well-known omitted words.
MOST OF YOUR INK
Here is, I hope, most of your ink to be found in the All Invitational Text list. I have to find these with what are called regular expressions, which is a method used in a lot of programming languages to find and modify certain text strings in larger corpora. Basically I look for something like this:
"Report From Week 758"
"And from The Style Invitational four weeks ago . . ."
and then some text, your name, and your town, arranged in this familiar way:"GlaxoSmithKline: I have six kids named Chesterfield, Winston, Lark, BensonHedges, Doral and Kool. If I name my new baby Nicorette, can I get a free coupon for your products? (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)"I don't catch everything, but I believe I find 90%.
Unlike in the table to the left, I've arranged these in chronological order, so you can see how your humor matured, like a forgotten cheese deep in the walls of an old house. You started out, perhaps in Year 1, sending in riddles you sort of remembered from grade school, and now look at ya, ain't you Dorothy Parker.
[still working on this ...]