||Take any sentence that appears in The Post or in an article in washingtonpost.com anytime through Aug. 8 and supply a question it could answer.
||Deform of a Question
||Take any sentence appearing in The Washington Post or washingtonpost.com today through June 14, and make up a question to which the sentence could be an answer.
||Show Us Up
||Combine the names of two existing TV shows (past or present) to make an entirely new show. Then, describe the show.
||Fill in the balloons.
||Tell us ways we can attract celebrity participation to this contest.
||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.
||H H U |
||SIGNS, AND THE TIMES
||Come up with new, helpful signage for downtown streets. You must state the problem, and propose the sign to rectify it.
||H H H |
||Take any word from the dictionary and redefine it.
||You are on "Jeopardy!" Here are the answers. What are the questions?
||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.
||H H H I L |
||Come up with a message for our new, mildly sought-after Style Invitational bumper sticker, something that summarizes the grandeur and dignity of this stupid contest.
||NAME THAT TOON
||Send us the captions for cartoons not provided.
||You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions?
||THE JOKE'S ON YOU
||Complete any of the provided jokes as it would be told by someone famous, living or dead.
||Update, for the millennium, the old "A is for Apple" reading primer. An entry must include the four letters in one of these blocks: A-D, E-H, I-L, M-P, Q-T, U-Z.
||Come up with a palindrome, a line that reads the same backward and forward, and then use it as a punchline to a joke.
||THE MNEMONIC PLAGUE
||Come up with new mnemonic devices to remember complicated lists.
||THE JOKE'S ON YOU
||Come up with jokes to culminate in any of these six punch lines.
||DO NOT INHALE THIS PAGE
||Come up with absurd warning labels that might be found on common products.
||Who are these people, and what are they doing?
||Come up with ways to raise some badly needed cash for the District of Columbia.
||Come up with a great answer to any previous Style Invitational contest, an answer you may have thought of after the contest was over.
||THE WASHINGTON IRVINGS
||Come up with creative names for the high school football teams of real towns in America.
||Come up with modern maledictions in the wise and entertaining Yiddish tradition.
||NO HARD FEELINGS
||Fill in the balloons in these cheerful farewell panels drawn by Marc Rosenthal, the Style Invitational artist who is being replaced by Bob Staake.
||You are on "Jeopardy!" Those are the answers. What are the questions?
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 ...]