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PERMANENT INKSTAIN FOR SAM MERTENS



WEEK TITLE SYNOPSIS INK Types
1589 Wait Wait Right Here! Write some 'Not My Job' questions a la the NPR quiz show. H
1587 The Trite Stuff Replace some well-worn phrases with better ones. H H H 2
1585 Bring Up the Rear Move the last letter of a word to the front. H H 2
1584 Seeds of Change Make an anagram of a name-brand product. 3
1580 Hi, Anxiety! Tell us some funny ways to stress yourself out. W H H H
1579 Captions Courageous Write a description for any of six photos H H
1578 The Pepys Show Give us a diary entry from anyone in history. H H H H H 4
1577 Why the #$%#$% Not? The Washington Post is looking for some bold ideas -- Let's show it some! 4
1576 Praise the Lurid! Give us clickbait headlines for mundane stories. H
1575 The Ughscars and the Phewlitzers Give us an idea for a bad book or movie. H H
1568 Nextra! Nextra! Tell us the funny news events from 2024 H H H
1567 Picture This A caption contest H
1565 Oh, For Namesakes! Compare two people who share part of a name. H
1563 The Perfect(ly Ridiculous) Gift Offer up some products for people-who-have-everything catalogs. H H H H H
1560 The 'Hole Story Write us a funny 'Am I The Asshole' question W H
1559 As the Word Turns 'Discover' new words by snaking through this random grid H
1556 Cross Us Up Mirror a phrase, more or less H H
1555 Do You Have to Spell It Out for Us? Give us "backronyms" H
1554 U (Heart) TFG's BFFs Reach out to beleaguered Trump supporters and bathe them in the warmth of your love, to help bind the nation’s wounds H H H
1553 Doody and Muldoon Write a Muldoon, a four-line poem that features at least two body parts and a place name, and at least one rhyme. H
1552 A Mirthday Party Link two people who share a birthday H
1551 Ask Backwards XLII We give the answers. You give the questions. H
1547 Alphabettering Write a funny sentence containing all 26 letters. H H
1546 Put It in Bee-verse Write a funny poem using a spelling bee word H
1545 Their Base Behavior Tell humorously how some business or organization could alter its product or message to appeal to Trump’s cult. H
1543 F Things Up Neologisms by adding Fs or changing letters to F M H
1542 Your (B)ad Here Tweak an ad slogan to use it for another product H
1541 Wrong enough for ya? Fake facts about the weather W H
1540 Picture This It's caption contest time, with eight motley pictures to choose from. H
1539 Get Real, Reel Name a scene in a movie, a TV show, or literature, and tell us how it might be revised (perhaps less satisfyingly but far more realistically) H H 3
1533 The Very Last 'Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions' Tell us a stupid question followed by a funny retort. H
1532 We Bee Back With Neologisms Make up words using letter sets from the NYT Spelling Bee game H H H
1531 The Worst New Contest Ever Describe something that would be worse than a second Trump presidency H H H H
1530 Mess With Our Heads Reinterpret any headline by adding a 'bank head'. H
1527 Film Flim-Flam Use all the letters in a movie title to make a new movie W
1525 Arty Har-har Give us an idea for a humorously audacious modern art work H
1524 Picture This A caption contest H
1523 Where in Hell ...? Name a "circle" for some "evil", plus a suitable punishment 3
1522 Questionable Journalism Find a sentence published in the next week and tell us what question it could answer H
1505 Munici-pals Choose any two or more real U.S. or Canadian towns — they need to show up on a Google search — and come up with a joint endeavor they would undertake. H
1501 Try a little 'kindness' Tell about an “act of kindness” that you or someone else does that, well, won’t be appreciated. 3
1499 Picture This, a cartoon caption contest Write a caption, either descriptive or in dialogue, for any of the provided cartoons. H 3
1497 The if-word Give us a "what if" scenario and its humorous result H
1496 Same Difference -- compare two items on this list Tell us humorously how any two (or more) items on the provided list are alike or different, or linked in some other way. H
1491 The add biz Choose any word, name or phrase beginning with A throough E, then add any single letter of the alphabet to it -- one or more times -- and define the result or show how it would be used. H
1489 Let's movie things around Rearrange the words of a movie title to create a new movie, then describe it H
1488 Let's recycle! Come up with humorous uses for ANY product or combination of products listed at RepurposeMaterials.com, including but no restricted to the provided list. H
1484 Two ways about it What's something (printable) you could say in two -- or more -- of the provided situations. H
1482 The Tile Invitational IX Rearrange the letters of any of the letter sets provided to create a new term, then define or describe; you may use all seven letters, but also just six or five. H H
1481 Mess with our heads Reinterpret some actual headline (or a major part of it), from any publication, print or online. 2
1480 Oh, you don't really mean that Define" inaccurately and humorously any of the provided words. H H
1477 Thinking outside the big box Send us a humorous "review" for any of the provided items listed on walmart.com<\em>. H H H
1473 Sign right here Write a funny message for the overhead highway sign. H
1472 Phony money -- tell us fake financial trivia Tell us some fake trivia about money or the financial system. H
1471 Tour de Fours XVIII: B-I-D-E with us Coin a word or phrase containing the letters B-I-D-E -- consecutively but in any order, and describe it. H H
1466 Be invitationally correct Give us a funny "correction" that a newspaper or magazine might offer. W H
1465 Put your '22 cents in for our annual pre-timeline Name some humorous news event to happen in 2022. H H
1464 Picture this -- a caption contest Write a caption, either descriptive or in dialogue, for any of the provided cartoons. H H
1463 Fork over some (new) Spoonerisms Write and original Q-A joke featuring a spoonerism. H
1452 As the Word Turns Discover" a word or multiword term that consists of adjacent letters -- in any direction or several directions, up, down, back, forth, diagonally -- in the provided grid, and provide a humorous definition. P H
1447 Give it to us straight Take any sentence from an article or ad in any publication (print or online) dated July 29 through Aug. 9, 2021, and intepret it in “plain English". H
1436 Haven't seen it: Fun with movie titles Misinterpret a movie title in a supposed plot description. H
1431 The On-Our-Way-Back Machine Tell us how (in some funny way) things will be different as we emerge from the pandemic. H
1426 Mess with our (or others') heads Reinterpret an actual headline (or a major part of it) by adding a bank head, or subtitle. H H
1425 Picture this -- a caption contest Write a caption, either descriptive or in dialogue, for any of the provided cartoons. H
1422 The Collaboratory Think of a book, movie or song title. Then pair its creator, star, singer, etc., with an unrelated "collaborator" to produce a wordplay on the title. H H
1418 Tour de Fours XVII: Just Undo It Coin a word or multi-word term containing the letters U-N-D-O -- consecutive but in any order -- and describe it. H
1417 Dead Letters, our obit poem contest Write a poem of no longer than eight lines (plus an optional title) about someone who died in 2020. H
1416 The Year in Redo, Part 2 Enter (or reenter) any Style Invitational contest from Week 1388 through 1412. H
1415 The Year in Redo, Part 1 Enter (or reenter) any Style Invitational contest from Week 1360 through 1387, except for Weeks 1361-1363. H
1413 We're finna give you some new words Write a poem of eight lines or fewer featuring one or more of the provided terms. The terms must be used as they're defined in the new m-w.com listing. H
1410 Legends of the fall -- more fictoids Tell us some bogus trivia about autumn, or things that happen (or have happened) in autumn. H
1407 Your ad space (or space ad) here Come up with an idea for promoting some commercial product or service (a) in space, (b) in a prison, (c) at a kindergarten, (d) by a football team or (e) in the White House. H
1406 The news could be verse Write a poem based on a recent news article, in which the lines' first letters spell out the title or subject of the poem. H
1403 Who was that masked man? Current a short listing for a current or past TV show that has a coronavirus story line, or one reflecting some other issue in the news right now. H
1402 The fourteeners--a neologism contest Make up a word whose Scrabble letter values add up to exactly 14 (no blanks!), and define it. H
1401 How hai? A joke-haiku contest Write a joke (roughly) in the "It's so xxx" genre as a haiku. H
1400 Back on track with our classic 'foal' contest Breed" any two of the provided names of the 100 horses nominated for the 2020 Triple Crown races and name the "foal" to humorously reflect the parents' names. H H
1399 The lie-zy days of summer Tell us some bogus trivia about the summer or things that happen or have happened in the summer. H
1398 This is the year that is Describe the year 2020 in a novel, colorful metaphor or simile. You may also offer an original graphic. H
1397 Trope springs eternal Use any of the four provided standard settings -- (a) desert island, (b) bartender at a bar, (c) desert, (d) psychiatrist next to a couch -- and describe a cartoon that includes your choice of characters, along with a caption. H
1395 Add nauseam: A plus-one contest Add a "plus one" to some familiar numerical grouping, true or fictional H
1393 Second chance (acned conches?) for anagrams Describe any of the provided anagram businesses, or offer its slogan. H
1391 No-covid zone -- a neologism contest Coin a new word or phrase that lacks C, O, V, I and D and describe it. H H
1390 'Same difference' for a new time Explain how any two of the items in the provided list are similar, different or otherwise linked. H
1389 TankaWanka 4: Haiku plus tu Write a TankaWanka about something that's been in the news lately. H H H
1387 Movie clips -- drop letters from the middle of a title Delete one or more letters (they must be consecutive) from the middle of a movie title, and describe the resulting new movie. H H
1384 Of course there are stupid questions! Give us stupid questions, especially ones reflecting Our Current Situation. H
1383 Questionable Journalism Choose any sentence (not a headline) in an article or ad in The Washington Post or another publication dated May 7 through May 18, and write a question it might humorously answer. H H 3
1381 Let's be equinoxious with fictoids about spring Tell us some untrue trivia about springtime or things that happen or happened in the spring. 3
1380 Both sides now Delete one or more letters (in a row) from a word or brief phrase to find another word, and define it. H
1379 Your wish: A pun -- a star Tell a joke, in your choice of form, whose punchline is a pun on a song title or lyric. H
1377 Make your own March Madness Think of some sport, game, art project or other activity that you can conjure up using various items that you might find around the house. H 4
1376 Get thee to a funnery Add a character (or more) to a Shakespeare play and supply some resulting dialogue. H H
1375 Mess With Our Heads Reinterpret an actual headline (or a major part of it) by adding a bank head, or subtitle. H H
1373 Prime time for some Amazon reviews Send us a humorous "review" for any of the provided Amazon-listed items. H 2
1372 Trash talking, 1880-style Write a quatrain or -- heck -- two of Balliol rhyme about some person. H
1371 The Tile Invitational VII Create a five-, six-, or seven-letter word (or phrase) by scrambling the letters of any of the provided sets and define it. H
1370 What's in a name? Write something about a well-known person, real or fictional, using only the letters in that person's name. H
1369 Shoot us some oops Tell us a concise original joke that revolves around a typo or misheard word. H
1368 Picture This -- cartoon captions Supply a caption for one or more of the provided cartoons. W H
1367 Pick me up at work, okay? Give a pickup line from someone in a particular profession, or from a particular person or fictional character. H
1366 Tour de Fours XVI -- It's the LIAR club Coin a word or multi-word term that contains the letter block L-I-A-R and describe it. H
1364 Clue us in Supply clever, funny clues for as many as 25 of the words and multi-word terms in the provided grid. H H 4
1362 The Year in Redo, Part 1 Enter (or reenter) any Style Invitational contest from Week 1307 through 1333, except for Weeks 1309-1311. H
1361 2020 vision -- the year in preview Name some humorous news event to happen in 2020. H
1359 Back up in the air (quotes) Write a sentence or two and highlight an "air quote" that spans two or more words (and two sentences if you like). L L H H H 3
1358 What to your wondering eyes will appear? Write a humorous passage -- a "quote", an observation, a joke, a dialogue, a poem, anything -- using only words that appear in "A Visit From St. Nicholas" (a.k.a "The Night Before Christmas"). 4
1355 The inside word Highlight part of a word, name or short phrase in "air quotes" to give the word a new meaning or description. H H
1354 As the Word turns 5: Taking our vowels Discover" a word or multiword term that consists of adjacent letters -- in any direction or several directions -- in the provided grid, and provide a humorous definition. W
1353 What's playing at the retroplex Change a movie title to its "opposite" by reversing one or more words; then describe the new movie. H
1352 Hee-rotica -- Steamy prose for unsteamy life Write a short steamy scene (100 words would be considered long) about a non-steamy event. H
1351 What concept will you be for Halloween? Give us a creative, clever idea for a timely Halloween costume (for one or more people) or an idea for a party or other activity. You may even send us a photo of an actual new costume you've created this year. 4
1349 Revise and extend these remarks Go to congress.gov/congressional-record and click on the PDF for any day's Congressional Record. Choose any sentence (or substantial part of one) and write a question that it could answer. W H 2
1348 Same difference Explain humorously how any two or more of the provided items are alike, different or otherwise connected. H
1347 Reologisms Write a clever, funny definition for any of the provided Loser-concocted words and phrases, and/or show they'd be used. H
1346 AZ if -- balancing acts Think of a new word or two-word phrase that begins and ends -- either way -- with one of the provided "alphabetically balanced" pairs. H H H
1345 The confaketionary -- food fictoids Tell us some comically false "fact" about food, drink or dining. H H
1344 Well, that's just great -- It’s Limerixicon XVI Supply a humorous, previously unpublished limerick significantly featuring any English word, name or term beginning with "gr-". H
1342 MRGRS: Mash 2 abbrevs. Combine two acronyms or other abbreviations, whether of entities or expressions, into one big one, and describe it, offer a slogan for the new organization, etc. H H
1341 Portmanteautapping from E to R Coin a portmanteau word beginning with E through R, in which the words overlap by at least two letters, and describe it. H
1339 Songs for a modern error Write humorous lyrics about some modern woe, set to a familiar tune. H
1338 Picture This -- cartoon captions Supply a caption for one or more of the provided cartoons. H
1337 Lidder me this: anagram riddles Write a Q&A joke (or an A followed by a Q, if you're into "Jeopardy!") in which the punchline contains an anagram or one or more relevant words or names. H
1335 Put it in bee-verse! Or . . . Write a humorous poem of eight lines or fewer that includes at least one of the provided words, used in Round 9 or later of this year's Scripps National Spelling Bee; OR: write a joke in Q&A form that uses at least one of the words. H
1334 Mull 'er over: A search for collision Combine any two words, names, abbreviations, etc., from anywhere in the redacted Mueller report, in a two-word or hyphenated phrase and define it. H
1333 Check your (homo)phones Invent a homophone--a word that sounds the same as an existing word but is spelled differently--and define it. H
1331 Paste Imperfect Choose a headline or sentence from The Post or another publication, print or online, dated May 9-20, 2019. Then change that headline or other text by:
     A. Deleting up to 40 consecutive characters from it (put brackets around the deleted text);
     B. Adding up to 40 consecutive characters from the same article or ad (write the additions in capital letters);
     or C. Both A and B, as long as the added text goes at the end of your headline or sentence.
H
1329 Shakespeare + Thee: Tailgaters Select any line from a work by Shakespeare (poetry or prose) and pair it with your own line to create a humorous rhyming couplet. 2
1328 Hooked on 'classic': a do-over Summarize a book or play by any author, or retell a scene (or even a moment) from one, in the style of some other person. H
1327 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. H H
1323 Selected shortened subjects Delete one or more letters from the beginning or end (or both) of a movie title and describe the resulting movie. H