||Supply a humorous limerick based on any word in the dictionary (except proper nouns) beginning with ca-.
||Just Sign This
||Write a funny message for an overhead highway sign.
||A Test of Character
||Change a word or phrase by only one letter -- substitute one letter for another, add a letter or transpose two letters -- and explain how they are different or similar.
||Give a mini-sermon explaining how some innocuous object or event signals the End of Days.
||It's the Eponymy, Stupid
||Coin a word or expression based on the name of a well-known person, define it, and perhaps use it in a sentence
||Name a product or company and supply a stupid question to ask the consumer hotline person.
||Tell us how two different types of people, animals, organizations, etc., would interpret any of the provided cartoons.
||The Post's Mortems
||Give us a rhyming poem about some notable who died in 2005.
||1 H H |
||It's Open Season
||Come up with a brand-new word and its definition. The words must begin with O, P, Q, R or S.
||A Song From Tex Arcana
||Write a verse of a song about sea urchin sushi or any of the other provided ostensibly unlyrical topics.
||H H H |
||Mess With Our Heads
||Take any headline, verbatim, appearing anywhere in The Post or on washingtonpost.com from today through next Sunday, and change its meaning by adding either a "bank headline," or subtitle, or the first sentence of an article that might appear under it.
||Hyphen the Terrible
||Combine the beginning and end of any two multisyllabic words in this week's Invitational, and then define the compound.
||H H |
||Supply a limerick based on any word in the dictionary (except proper nouns) beginning with bd- through bl-.
||Try to Remember
||Give us an original mnemonic for any list that someone might want to remember.
||Keep the Empress Employed
||Suggest some original, creative ways that The Post could increase its circulation.
||WordCount Us In
||Write a poem of no more than four lines containing four or more consecutive words on the WordCount list. They must occur in the sentence in the order they appear on the list.
||Of D.C. I Sing
||Give us a song about Washington, set to a recognizable tune.
||Tour de Fours II
||Create and define a word that includes, consecutively, E, R, A and N. in any order.
||H H |
||Ask Backwards, Erudite Edition
||You are on "Jeopardy!" Here are the sophisticated answers. You supply the questions.
||Give us some funny "corrections" to brighten up Page A2.
||H H |
||The News Could be Verse
||Translate the fine prose of Washington Post articles into verse. Choose any article appearing in The Post of on its Web site from April 17 through April 25.
||Fun for the Roses
||Breed any two of the horses on a list of those qualifying for this year's Triple Crown races, and tell us a good name for their foal. The name of the foal must be no more than 18 characters, including spaces.
||Take a Letter -- Again
||Take a word, term or name that begins with A, B, C or D; either add one letter, subtract one letter, replace one letter, or transpose two letters; and define the new word.
||2 H |
||Supply a limerick based on any word in the dictionary (except proper nouns) beginning with ai- through ar-.
||A Tour de Fours
||Create and define a word that includes T, H, E, and S in any order. The letters must appear consecutively.
||3 H H |
||Timeline Rhyme Lines
||Produce colorful chronological couplets about some historical event. They must rhyme and be in good meter.
||Anthem Is as Anthem Does
||Give us a verse for an alternative U.S. national anthem, set to any well-known tune.
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 ...]