||Find any sentence (or a substantive part of a sentence) that appears in the Post or another publication, in print or online, dated Feb. 21-March 4, and pair it with a question it might answer.
||Tell us a Fib(onacci)
||Write a humorous poem of 20 syllables divided among six lines like this: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8. And a least two -- any two -- of the lines must rhyme.
||It's IGH time for 3-word phrases
||Make up some entity that might take a three-letter abbreviation of GHI, HGI, GGG, GHH, etc., and then humorously describe it.
||Film flam -- movie anagrams
||Rearrange the letters of a title of a movie or play to make a new title, then describe the new work.
||Fashion x fiction: More fake trivia
||Tell us some totally bogus trivia about clothing or fashion.
||Gorey bits from A to Z
||Send us one of more edgy rhyming alphabet-primer couplets.
||Playing the dozens
||1. Start with any 12-letter word, name or multi-word phrase.
2. Add one letter OR drop one letter OR substitute another letter OR switch the position of two letters to create a new term, as in the examples given.
3. Define or describe the result humorously.
||What a turnoff
||Tell us some creative things that children and families could do during Screen-Free Week.
||Write a word-palindrome sentence, in which the first and last words are the same; the second and next-to-last, etc.
||Look both ways
||Give us a new term that's a palindrome and define it.
||Write a funny Facebook status line.
||Oh, and One More Thing
||What was the thing that didn't make the cut on any list?
||I P |
||Revisionist History, or Badenov for You?
||State any news event (or old event) in the style of the Rocky-and-Bullwinkle teasers about the next show.
||Try to figure out which celebrities Bob Staake is trying to draw in imitation of Al Hirschfeld.
||Find what's offensive in any of the provided cartoons, and explain.
||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.
||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.
||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.
||YOU MUST BE MAD
||Come up with a contemporary Scene We'd Like to See.
||THE MARTHIAN CHRONICLES
||Come up with items for Martha Stewart's December-January calendar of projects.
||WHEEL OF TORTURE
||Complete any of the provided "Wheel of Fortune" phrases.
||SO SUE US
||Come up with frivolous lawsuits.
||THE UNKINDEST CUTE OF ALL
||Come up with a new story line for "Peanuts", some plot development or new character that will put the strip back on the road to relevance.
||CLUSTERS' LAST STAND
||Take an actual star cluster, redraw the lines into a different image, and give it a new name.
||Come up with bad ideas for new toys for the Christmas season.
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 ...]