PERMANENT INKSTAIN FOR TOM WITTE

This is what you've done, each Week. I arrange the rows in reverse chronological order, because there are some Losers, and they know who they are, who check up on my points-awarding every Week.

But I would just like to reiterate that such checking up is not a problem for me. I have said many times that each Loser's enlightened self-interest is my best QA.

If you wish to see what your ink was, refer to the Master Contest List or search All Invitational Text. Remember that Types I, P, some H, and sometimes A are seen "above the Report" -- that is, if they are listed here for Week 7777, for example, they will be found in text files or images of Week 7777. Everything else will be found in a "Report" section of a file two, three, or four weeks later; 7781 in this Example.

If you see any error, please let me know, elden.carnahan@gmail.com.

Key to Ink Types:

WKTITLESYNOPSISINK TYPES
1275 That is the question Choose a line from Shakespeare (or a significant part of a line) and pair it with a question that the line could humorously answer. T
1274 Heading for a foal -- our horse name 'breeding' contest Your job is to "breed" any two names of the 360 horses nominated for this year's Triple Crown races and name the "foal" to reflect both names. H H
1273 Restocking the Cabinet Explain why a particular person -- or thing -- ought to fill a Cabinet post or other U.S. government position. H
1272 The hex files: creative curses Come up with a creative curse. H H H M
1271 Yodel Doyle's praises with a D-O-Y-L-E neologism Coin a new word or phrase that contains the letters D, O, Y, L and E. H H
1265 Parody for the course Write a song relating to a class or course of instruction, or to school in general. M
1261 Post mortems -- our annual obit poem contest Write a humorous poem of no longer than eight lines about someone who died in 2017. M
1260 What lies (are) ahead for 2018 Jokingly predict some news event to happen in 2018. H
1258 The year in redo, Part 2 Enter (or reenter) any Style Invitational contest from Week 1230 through Week 1254. M
1257 The year in redo, Part 1 Enter (or re-enter) any Style Invitational contest from Week 1203 through Week 1229, except for Weeks 1205 and 1206. H T
1256 Picture this -- a caption contest Provide a funny caption for any of the provided cartoons. H H H
1252 It's a med, med, med, med world Invent a clever name for a new medical product, and specify the condition it would treat. H
1251 Thanking outside the box Tell us something to be thankful for. T
1250 Poems of the year(s) Write a humorous poem incorporating three or more terms from a particular year or era listed on Time Traveler. H
1249 Ask Backwards 36 Choose any of the 15 provided items and follow it with a question that it could humorously answer. H H
1248 C'mon, fess up! Send us a brief "confession" -- there will be categories for true and just-kidding. M T
1247 Script tease Offer a quote from a script whose title you've given a different plot. H
1239 MASH 3  Combine two movie titles and  describe the result. H H H
1238 D-E-F Comedy Jam (or E-D-F, etc.)  Coin a three­word phrase (you may add an insignificant word or two)  whose words begin with D, E and F — in any order — and describe it. 2 H
1233 Not The Loser Community  gets a week off (actually  two) from writing contest  entries and will have to  find something else to do  during staff meetings,  sermons, romantic  breakups, etc. H H
1230 What in creation . . . ? Supply a brief monologue or dialogue about a Creator's specifications or planning for some living being. H
1229 Gorey bits from A to Z Send us one of more edgy rhyming alphabet-primer couplets. H H T
1228 That movie is SO about you Name someone who was the "secret inspiration" for a certain movie. T
1227 Celebrate ortho-diversity! Name and describe a new life form -- and no letter in the term may be used twice. H H M
1226 Colt following: The 'grandfoals' "Breed" any two of the 61 foal names that got ink this week, and name the offspring to reflect both parents names. H H
1225 The Ideas of March Suggest a march for some group or field, along with one or more slogans. (You might also, or instead, comment on the march with some pertinent wordplay.) 4 M
1224 We beg you to differ Explain how any two (or more) items in the provided list are the same or different, or otherwise connected. H T
1223 Post again out to mislead public! Write a humorously sensationalistic, misleading headline on an otherwise mundane article or ad published in The Post or elsewhere from April 13 to April 24. H
1222 Foaling around "Breed" any two of the provided racehorses nominated for this year's Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont; and name the foal to reflect both of them. H M
1221 Who's kidding whom? Take two people from history, past or present, and tell what their child would be like 4 H W
1220 O pedantry, O pedantry Give us some humorous pedantry. H H T
1219 Cast your Bred upon us Write a Lik the Bred verse about someone in the news lately. H
1218 Mess with our -- or anyone else's -- heads Reinterpret (or comment wryly on) a headline appearing in the Post (print or online or another publication dated March 9-20) by writing a bankhead, or subtitle. T
1213 Punku Write a haiku that incorporates a pun. T
1211 The best tweets in history Write a stupidly disparaging tweet (140 characters or fewer, including spaces) about some laudable figure of past or present, true or fictional. T
1210 Send us the bill: Our 'joint legislation' game Combine two or more names from the provided list of members of Congress to “co-sponsor” a bill based on their combined last names, and state its purpose. M
1206 Do-over the do-over -- enter any of the year's contests Enter (or re-enter) any Style Invitational contest from Week 1149 to 1202, except for Week 1152, last year's do-over. H M
1205 Could we just have a do-over? Yes, we could. Enter (or re-enter) any Style Invitational contest from Week 1149 to 1201, except for Week 1152, last year's do-over. H H M
1204 Well, at least … Note some good news for the coming year to comfort -- or "comfort" -- those who are depressed about the change of presidential administration. H
1203 You've got the powers Tell us what you would do if you had one or more of the six magical powers provided. T
1202 Don't be afraid of the dark Write lyrics to a song that, in some way, express hope. M
1201 Tour de Fours XIII: What's there to NOVE? Coin a word or multi-word term that contains the letter block N-O-V-E. 2 H
1200 The definitive dozen Supply a word, name or multi-word term along with a wry definition or description; together, the term and description must total exactly 12 words. H H
1199 We want some bad choices Offer one or more funny Questions for Terrible People, as shown. T W
1198 Give it to us straight Take any sentence from an article or ad in any publication dated Oct. 20 to Oct. 31 — or from an online article dated within that period — and translate it into “plain English,” H T
1197 Picture This -- It's a Bob Staake caption contest Write a caption for any of the cartoons provided. H
1194 Nyetymologies: fake word origins Provide a humorously untrue explanation for the derivation of a word. M
1192 Ask Backwards The 15 provided phrases above are the answers. You provide  the questions to as many as you’d like (up to 25 entries  total).  H
1188 Just short words, one more time Explain some concept or philosophy entirely in words of one syllable. M
1187 Just drop it, okay? Drop the last letter from an existing word, phrase or name and define the result. H M T
1184 Plan C -- a third candidate? Explain why some novel person (or thing) should be president; you could also suggest a president-veep ticket. T
1183 C'mon, be honest with us Write something in roughly the form "If X were more honest, (then) Y. H
1181 Put it in Bee-verse Write a short, humorous poem using one of the 36 provided words, all from the 2016 National Spelling Bee. H
1179 Blasted alphabetical contests . . . Coin a three-word phrase whose words begin with A, B and C -- in any order -- and describe it. H
1178 A ______ of collective nouns Propose one or more funny new names for groups of things. H
1177 The ballad box Write a song related to this year's elections, set to a familiar tune. T
1176 Let 'er RIP: Write and obit line Write a humorous line or two for someone's obituary -- either for a particular person (dead or not) or for a fictional or generic one. T
1175 Good luck with 13 Make up a word whose Scrabble letter values add up to exactly 13, and define it. H T
1174 Colt following -- It's time for the grandfoals "Breed" any two of the 57 foal names that got ink this week and name the offspring to reflect both parents' names. M
1173 Tinker with the recipe Slightly change the name of a food or brand of food (or something else in the food industry) and describe it, or write a slogan, jingle, etc. H H
1170 Derby or not Derby "Breed" any two of the provided racehorses nominated for this year's Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont; and name the foal to reflect both names. H T
1169 Be caustic by acrostic Review or otherwise describe a movie, book, play or TV show (or Internet equivalent) with words whose first letters spell out the name of the work. T
1166 Questionable journalism Take a sentence (or most of a sentence) that appears in text (not a headline) in The Washington Post or on washingtonpost.com dated March 10-21 and make up a question that the sentence could answer H
1165 B all you can B Change a word, phrase or name by adding one or more B's, and/or by replacing one or more letters with B's, and define your new term. H H T
1164 'Wait Wait' for us Compose a multiple-choice question about a Ridiculous but True fact or event, with two entertaining wrong answers as well as the right one. One of the two wrong answers may be obviously untrue as long as it's funny. H H
1163 Put it in reverse Spell a word, name or phrase backward and define the result in a way that relates to the original. H H H H H
1161 Give us four Pinocchios Tell us some false "facts" about politicians, present or past. T
1160 A remeaning task Redefine an existing word or two-word term beginning with P through Z. H H
1159 It's all in the game Come up with a funny/ridiculous board-type game and describe it. H T
1158 What have we here? Tell us what one or more of these objects really are. T
1157 Clue us in -- a backward crossword Supply clever, funny clues to up to 25 of the words and multi-word terms in the provided grid. M
1155 Vowel movement Choose a title of book, movie, play or TV show; drop all the vowels (including Y when it's used as a vowel); then add your choice of vowels -- as many as you like -- to create a new work; and describe it. H H
1150 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. H H
1146 Stick it to us with a magnet Suggest a new Style Invitational honorable-mention magnet. T
1145 A DICEy situation Coin a word or multi-word term that contains the letter block D-I-C-E. H H
1144 Someone else's business Name a real brand, along with something else it would be a better name for. H
1143 Ask Backwards Provided are 15 answers, separated by asterisks. You supply the questions. H W
1142 Two-faced tweets Combine two well-known names into a Twitter handle, and write a tweet (no more than 140 characters and spaces) that that portmanteau person might write. H
1140 You're giving us a bad name Cite a REAL brand name, past or present, note it original use, and then say what sort of product, organization, etc., that name would be bad for. H
1138 Show us your touché Offer an elegantly snide (and original) of anyone living or dead. H H H
1136 Gaah! It's Limerixicon XII Supply a humorous, previously unpublished limerick significantly featuring any English word, name or term beginning with "ga-". H
1135 The meter's running Suggest actions in daily life that should require a time limit -- maximum or minimum -- and come with an appropriate penalty for running over (or under). H H
1134 The 'Sty'le Invitational Red'ux' Put quotation marks around part of a word, name or phrase and define the result. H
1132 You and what army? Military fictoids Give us some comically bogus trivia about the military, past or present, ours or theirs. T
1131 One man's trash Suggest a humorous way to reuse one or more of the items listed above -- or anything else advertised on RepurposedMaterialsinc.com. T
1130 Yux Redux: Play on a foreign phrase Make a word play on a foreign phrase or term (or English phrase using foreign words) and describe it. H H T
1128 Drone for a loop Give us some novel uses for a CICADA micro-drone, assuming that anyone can get one, and that it can have a micro-camera, micro-grips, etc. T
1126 Picture this Provide a humorous caption for any of the cartoons provided. H H
1122 Colt Following: 'Grandfoals' "Breed" any two of the 65 foal names that got ink this week and name the offspring to reflect the parents' names. H M
1120 Celebrating our differences Each of the provided 17 items appeared in a different Style Invitational compare/contrast contest from 1996 to 2014. Explain how any two of the are alike or different or otherwise linked. H T
1119 We want hue so bad Invent a name for a color and describe it. T
1118 Breed 'em and weep Breed any two of the provided 100 racehorses nominated for this year's Triple Crown events and name the foal the reflect both names. H
1116 Punning in place Create a new term using only the letters in a place name. You don't have to use all the letters, but you can't use a letter more often than it appears in the word. T
1114 Awww together now Write us a humorous headline -- from the past, present, or future -- that puts an optimistic perspective on some otherwise not-so-promising news. T
1112 Some SHARP words Coin a word or short term that includes all the letters S, H, A, R, and P. H
1111 When you riff upon a store Use a wordplay on a song title as a name or slogan for a real or imagined business. H
1108 Hearts of dorkness Write a humorous Valentine's Day sentiment to someone (or to some organization), either real or fictional -- either from you or from someone else you name. Plus an all-new option: We'll also be willing to run at least one really funny, clever, well-executed graphic. H T
1106 Show your resolve Suggest a New Year's resolution that someone might make 100 or more years in the future. H
1102 Let's get Sirius Suggest a new radio channel and describe it. T
1100 Pun and ink -- the feghoot Contrive an elaborate scenario that ends in a novel groaner pun on a familiar expression, title, etc. T
1099 Questionable journalism Take a sentence (or most of a sentence) that appears in an article in The Washington Post or on washingtonpost.com dated Nov. 20 through Dec. 1 (in print, any article from those days' papers), and make up a question that the sentence could answer. M
1097 Futz your sign Select a line from one of the horoscopes appearing anytime from Nov. 6 through Nov. 17 in the Washington Post's daily Style or on washingtonpost.com and "clarify" it with a translation or extra "information". H H T
1096 Picture this Write a humorous caption for any of the provided Bob Staake cartoon. H T
1094 TAXI's the fare for Tour de Fours XI Coin a word or hyphenated term that contains the letter block T-A-X-I; the letters may be in any order, but there may be no other letters between them. H H H
1092 Are we having funds yet? Suggest a humorous fundraising "challenge" for any organization. H
1091 Good idea! or not. Come up with a good idea and, through a small change in wording, a bad idea. H
1090 Talk undirty to us Write a humorous poem in any form (no more than eight lines) that includes one or more of the provided words; the word must make sense in the poem in its TRUE meaning. H
1089 It's E-Z Find-a-Word -- your own! Create a word or multi-word term that consists of adjacent letters -- in any direction or several directions -- in the provided grid, and provide a humorous definition. M P
1088 Ask backwards with our answers, your questions Supply the questions to as many of the 16 supplies answers as you like. H T
1087 The core ridiculum Come up with a comical class (any type of school) and provide a course catalog description. H T
1085 Eww-venirs: Ideas for gift shops Suggest a humorous--but NOT horribly tasteless--tchotchke, T-shirt, etc., from a real or imagined gift shop at a particular tourist site. H
1084 Limerixicon XI: Fi-, fo-, go! Supply a humorous, previously unpublished limerick significantly featuring any English word, name or term beginning with "Fl-" through "fo-". H M
1083 Everybody get appy Offer up an idea for either a humorously useful app or a humorously counterproductive one. T T
1082 Band on the pun Alter the name of a music group or performer slightly -- not necessarily by just one letter, but enough so it's obvious what the original is -- and describe it in some way. H H
1080 McGonagall with the windiness Memorialize a modern "tragedy" in a poem burdened with hilariously overwrought verse; lame, forced rhymes; and painfully uneven meter. Get the badness across in one verse of no more than eight lines. T
1079 Little piddle riddle Ask a question and answer it with a rhyme. M
1078 Hyphen the Terrible Combine one side of any hyphenated word or compound term with one side of another word to make a new hyphenated term, and define it humorously. Both halves must appear in the same issue of The Post or another print newspaper, or in writing published the same day on washingtonpost.com or another online publication. H
1077 Time marches Swiftly Give us a novel Tom Swifty, playing on either an adverb or a verb (e.g., "We care about the little people, the BP chairman gushed"). H H
1076 Dactyly fractyly Send us some double dactyls that conform to Gene Weingarten's rules. T
1075 Falsity is Job One Send us some fictoids about cars and trucks and driving and stuff. H
1074 Let's go parody-hopping Describe a stage or movie musical in a parody of a song from a different musical. T
1073 Bank shots: Mess with (y)our heads Quote a headline appearing in the Washington Post, washington.com or another publication, print or headline, dated May 22 to June 1, and supply a bank" headline that either misinterprets it, as in the examples above, or comments wryly on it. T
1072 The Tile Invitational Come up with a 5-, 6-, or 7-letter term by scrambling any of the given seven-letter ScrabbleGram sets, and define it. H P
1071 A pair of threes Choose two or three entities represented by a single three-letter combination at bit.ly/3letterabs and say how they are alike or different. T
1068 An iffy proposition Suggest some humorous action that you would take if you were in someone's position, more or less in the form "If I were _____ my first act would be _____." L T
1067 A(t)tribute to your wit Alter a well-known quote slightly and attribute it to someone else. H
1066 It's mating season "Breed" any two from the provided list of 100 of the 3-year-old racehorses nominated for this year's Triple Crown and name the foal to reflect both names. H H
1065 The ands have it Slightly alter ANY well-known phrase in the form "A-and-B" -- it doesn't have to be Latinate/Anglo-Saxon -- and define it. H
1064 HistoRebuffs Alter some moment in history and tell us -- in no more than about 50 words -- the likely outcome. H P
1063 Same difference Take any two items from the provided list and explain how they're similar or different. H H
1062 Scanning the headlines Write a rhyming poem about something currently in the news. M
1061 Less taste, more fill-in Give us a novel clue for any word or phrase in which the remaining letters in the provided crossword puzzle fit, across or down. H
1060 Picture this Write a caption, or captions, for one or more of the provided cartoons. H M
1059 With parens like these … Add some words in parentheses to a well-known song title to make it funnier in some way. H M
1057 Sportin' lie Give us some fake sports trivia. H H I
1056 Weather or nuts Coin a term relating to the weather, climate, etc. -- either literal or figurative -- and define it. 4
1054 Dead letters Write a short, humorous poem commemorating someone (or maybe even something) who died in 2013. H T
1051 Love the tiny tail stain! Create an anagram -- a text with the letters rearranged -- of any text (except merely someone's name), of any length, referring to something or someone in the news. H
1050 Just redo it Enter any Style Invitational contest from Week 1000 through Week 1046. H
1049 Be rating Come up with a new movie rating and describe it. T
1048 Ask Backwards You supply the questions to as many of the provided answers as you like. H H M
1045 Songs for the asking Take a sentence, phrase or title forms a song and provide a funny question it might answer. T
1042 Tour de Fours X: Go SANE Create a new word or two-word term containing the letter block S-A-N-E -- in any order, but consecutively, and define it. H H H
1040 IRS my case Schedule A: Suggest a novel way for the government to determine taxes.

Schedule B: Suggest a deduction that you'd like to take, or that some real or fictional person or past or present might like to take.

Schedule C: Suggest a cause you'd rather check off $3 for.

T
1037 Outrage us Find something offensive about an inoffensive name of a product, organization, place, etc. H
1034 What's to like? Supply an original joke of the form "I like my [your choice] the way I like my [something else of your choice]: [some clever, funny parallel]." H M
1031 The 'Sty'le Invitational Choose any word, name, or short term; emphasize a key, suddenly pertinent part of it with quotation marks; then redefine the word. H H
1030 The cinquain feeling Write a clever cinquain. The five-line form is straightforward: first line, two syllables; second line, four syllables; third line, six; fourth line, eight; fifth line, two. M
1027 Built for two Give humorous related names for any pair of features in a given building, organization, etc. H
1026 'Might' makes ink Give us a joke using any of the using any of the provided "you might be" templates. H
1025 In so many words Create an original backronym for a name or other term, especially one that's been in the news lately. H M
1024 Gorey thoughts Send us some edgy rhyming alphabet-primer couplets. The pairs are AB, CD, EF, GH, IJ, KL, MN, OP, QR, ST, UV, WX, and YZ. T
1023 Hai there, Martians! Write one or more humorous haiku that will greet the Martians or share a little nugget of what life is like on Earth. T
1022 What's the diff? Explain how any two of the provided items are alike or different. H T
1021 'Gram theft Come up with a term by scrambling any of the letters sets in the provided list, and define it. H M
1020 Colt following Breed any two of this week's winning foals and name the grandfoal. 4 H T
1019 What a turnoff Tell us some creative things that children and families could do during Screen-Free Week. H M
1018 Reologisms Write a clever, funny definition for any of the Loser-concocted neologisms from Week 1014 as well as from Week 1000 that deserve better definitions than their creators offered at the time. H
1016 Foaling around Breed any two of the horses nominated for this year's Triple Crown races and give the foal a name humorously reflecting the names of the parents. H
1015 Faux re mi Give us some humorously false trivia about music or musicians. H
1014 Join now Combine the beginning and end, or the beginnings and ends, of any two words in single Washington Post story or ad published March 21 to April 1 into a new word or two-word phrase, and define the result. H
1013 Har monikers Write a riddle that uses a pun of a person's name in the answer. M
1012 The news at 5 Write a limerick about a recent news event. M
1011 Top these! Try your hand at any of the contests mentioned in this look back. H H H H H H H H H T
1010 Picture this Write a caption for any of the five provided cartoons. H M
1006 It's a ... a ... Create a new superhero (or due) and describe the superpower, or not-very-superpower. M
1004 Dead letters Write a humorous poem about anyone who died in 2012. H
1003 Just do it Use a well-known advertising slogan for a different company, organization or product to humorous effect. T
1002 Wring out the OED Make up a false definition from any other the listed OED words. M
1001 Make us ROFL Give us a funny, original acronym. H H T
1000 We now have 4 digits; you now have 7 letters Choose any word, name or two-word term beginning anywhere from T through Z; then add one letter, drop one letter, substitute one letter for another, or transpose two adjacent letters, and define the result. 2 H H H
999 Drectrospective Enter any Style Invitational contest from Week 946 through Week 995, except for Week 948. H H
997 Unworthy causes Name a dubious charity and describe its mission. H M
996 A Life-Time opportunity Combine two magazines or journals and describe the result, supply a marketing pitch, or suggest a story or two that it might publish. M
995 Ask backwards We give you the "answers" and you supply jokes in the form of a question. H T
994 Stick it to us Suggest a slogan for one of our two new honorable-mention Loser Magnets for 2012-2013. P
993 Versus, verses Write a short "rap battle" between any two characters, real or fictional. T T
992 Mittsterpiece Theatre Suppose public-TV shows, past or present, were turned out onto the open market to make a living on commercial TV. Tell us what would happen. P T
991 Tour de Fours IX Create a new word or two-word term containing the letter block V, O, T, and E and define it. H
989 On the double Come up with a double or multiple profession, and explain how each job complements the other(s). H H
988 A faster break Suggest ways to make sports and other leisure activities more time-efficient or exciting. T
984 Another brilliant contest Write something whose words begin with consecutive letters of the alphabet. H T
982 The parody line Set your own, humorous words to the tune of a well-known song--except that you must preserve one of the original lines. M
981 Feeling testy Write a question that "ought to" be on a qualifying test for a particular job. 4 H
980 Def jam Supply a humorous definition for any of the provided Loser-penned neologisms. 2 T
977 Lost in Translation 2.0 Translate a line of text from English into another language using Google Translate; then copy that result and translate it back into English. You may also make intermediate steps into one or more other languages. M
976 Join now! Combine the beginning and end of any two words or names in this week's Style Invitational or Style Conversational columns to make a new term, and define it. H
975 Gone mything Debunk a "Sixth Myth" about one of more of the recent "5 Myths" topics provided. M T W
972 Trends and neighbors Choose any two items on the provided list and explain how they are alike or different. T
971 Double booking Come up with a double book with a humorous connection; the first title must be an actual book, while the other may be your own fictitious title or a second real book. H
969 Colt following Breed any two "foals" in today's results, and name the grandfoal. T
967 Overlap dance II Create a phrase that overlaps two terms, each of two words or more, and describe the result. P
965 Foaling around Breed any two of the horses in this year's Triple Crown races and name their foal. H
964 The Grossery Bag? Suggest a design and/or slogan to go on the side of the ardently desired Style Invitational Loser Bag. 3 H
963 The overlap dance Send us a Before & After "person" who name combines two people's names, real or fictional (okay, you can use animals' names, too), and describe the person in a funny way. M T
958 All's Weller Write a "wellerism," a sentence that starts with a quote, often a short proverb, and goes on to include some sort of wordplay on something in the quote. H
956 Give us some bad ideas Finish any of the provided "You know" phrases. H H M
954 Bring on the 'fight' jokes Tell us an original joke ending with “And then the fight started.” P T
952 Dead Letters Write a humorous poem about someone who died in 2011. T
951 Say that again Double a word, or use a word and its homophone, to make a phrase, and define it. M
950 Of all the nerve! Give us a humorous example of hypothetical chutzpah. T
948 Look back in Inker Enter any Style Invitational contest from Week 891 through 94 (except for Week 896, which was the same contest for the previous year). H H
946 Another round of Bierce Write a clever definition of a word, name or multi-word term. H H H
944 Uh, yeah, it's just you Give us one or more "Is it just me" questions. H M
939 MASH 2: The Retread Combine two movie titles and describe the result. 3
936 Hoho contendere Slightly alter a well-known foreign-language term and define it. H
935 The 400 blows Write a humorous poem--choose your form--about the Virginia earthquake, Hurricane Irene or another well-known natural event. H
934 Same difference Explain how any two items in the provided list are similar or different. H
933 Stories that count (to 56) Write a humorous story in exactly 56 words. M
932 We'll call them your-mama jokes Tell us an original "your mama" joke. H
928 Play feature Use the title of a movie as the answer to a riddle or other question. H W
927 Drive-By Shoutings Write a very short four-line “poem” promoting a product or company, or offering advice to drivers; the poem must rhyme, in ABAB or ABCB rhyme scheme. A fifth, non-rhyming line may state the product name or a conclusion. H T
926 Outrageous fortunes Come up with a fortune cookie line that you'd like to see. M
925 A remeaning task Redefine a word in the dictionary beginning with I through O. H H
924 Doomed to repeat it Create "Unreal Facts" about history. H T
919 Good Luck With 13 Alter a 13-letter word, phrase or name by one letter (add a letter, drop a letter, switch two letters somewhere in the word, or substitute one letter for another) and describe the result. 4 H H L
918 Colt Following Breed any two "foals" in today's results, or one foal with one of the real horse names used in today's entries--and name the "grandfoal." The name may not exceed 18 characters, including spaces, and your entry shouldn't remotely duplicate any of today's results. H
917 Wryku Write a haiku--a sentiment that can be broken into three lines with exactly five syllables in the first lien, seven in the second, five in the third--on any subject that's been in the news in the last couple of weeks. H
915 Picture this Write a caption for any of the cartoons pictured here. H H
914 Foaling around Breed any two of 100 of the almost 400 horses eligible for this year's Triple Crown races, and name the foal. H T
913 Bring up the rear Move the last letter of an existing word or name to the front of the word, and define the new term. H
912 Pair-a-phrase Lift a word that appears inside a longer word; pair it with the original word to create a phrase; and define it. H H M
911 Help! Create a short humorous dialogue -- or a monologue featuring one party -- of a phone call to 911, or a call for help to someone else. P
910 Your ad here Slightly alter an advertising slogan so that someone else could use it. L
908 Recast away Fire an actor or actress from a movie or TV show, past or present, and offer a replacement for the role. M
906 Your mug here Give us a new design for the Loser Mug. 4 H T
905 Anticdotes Give us an untrue anecdote responding to one of these past Editor's Query topics. M
904 We move on back Move the first letter in a word or name to the end of that word and define the resulting word. 4 H H H H H H
903 Bill us now Combine the names of two or more members of Congress as co-sponsors of a bill. H
902 What's the good news? Take any sentence, or substantive part of a sentence, or a headline from an article or ad in The Washington Post or washingtonpost.com from Jan. 7 to Jan. 18 and make it sound upbeat (or not so bad). T
901 Dead Letters Write a humorous poem about someone who died in 2010. H
894 Look Back in Inker Enter any Style Invitational from Week 841 through Week 890 (except for Week 844). T
893 Give us a hint Write a humorously witty story in 25 words or fewer. T
892 Get a move on Change the location of something for humorous effect. Provide an explanation if you wish. H T
889 Tour de Fours VII Coin and define a humorous word that includes -- with no other letters between them, but in any order -- the letters P, O, L and E. H H M T
888 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 H
886 Look both ways Give us a new term that's a palindrome and define it. H H
885 Mess with our heads Take any headline, verbatim, appearing anywhere in The Post or on washingtonpost.com from Sept. 10 through Sept. 20 and reinterpret it by adding a "bank head." T
884 Rekindling the spork Combine two devices or other products to make a new one. H
883 Same difference Choose any two items from the list above and explain why they are alike or are different from each other. M
881 What's in a name? Take the name of a person or institution. Find within it a hidden message. T
880 Our greatest hit Start with a real word or multi-word term or name that begins with Q, R or S; add one letter, subtract one letter, replace one letter with another, or transpose two adjacent letters; and define the new word. H H H H M M
879 Say Venn Express some sentiment in the form of a Venn diagram. T
877 Quipped from the headlines Write a rhyming couplet about some matter in the news. P
876 Oilies but goodies Write lyrics somehow related to the oil spill, set to an existing tune. T
875 Fail Us Give us a funny Learn From My Fail-type lesson, 30 words or fewer, true or not, in your own words or attributed to a famous personage. 4
872 Har Monikers Combine the first parts of each word in a famous person's or character's name -- in order -- and define it or use it in a sentence that somehow refers to its source. H H H T
871 Remarquees Change a movie title by one letter (or number, if the title includes a number) and describe the new film. H H
870 Let's play Nopardy Describe any of the above phrases in the form of a question. M
868 Count the ways Give us some musings of a technical wonk. T
866 Natalie Portmanteau Begin with a real name; append to it a word, name or expression so that they overlap; and finally define (humorously, of course) the resulting phrase. M T
865 No Googlenopes left Come up with a humorous Googlenope. M
864 Oonerspisms Spoonerize a single word or a name by transposing different part of the word (more than two adjacent letters), and define the resultant new term. H H
863 It's Post time Breed any two of 100 of the almost 400 horses eligible for this year's Triple Crown races, and name the foal. H
861 It's incumbent upon us Combine the names of two or more freshman members of Congressman to create "joint legislation." This week's pool of legislators includes only those who were elected to their seats before 1994, the first year we ran the freshman contest. T
860 Ten, Anyone? Humorously define or describe something or someone in exactly 10 words. T
859 Can't goods Cast a joke in one of the forms listed above. H
857 All FED Up Create a brand-new word of phrase that contains a block of three successive letters in the alphabet -- but the series must go backward through the alphabet. H H H W
856 Titled Puerility Here are some untitled book covers. For any of them, tell us a title and synopsis of a book that will never by published. H
853 It's easy as DEF Create a brand-new word of phrase that contains a block of three successive letters in the alphabet; the series must go forward in the alphabet, not backward. H H H T
851 Going to the shrink Downsize the title of a book, movie or play to make it smaller or less momentous and describe it. H
850 Dead letters Write a humorous poem about someone who died in 2009. M T
849 Homonymphomania Create a new homonym (or homophone) for any existing word and define it. H H H H H
848 Up and addin' Compose a humorous rhopalic sentence (or multiple sentences) in which each word is one letter longer than the previous word. T
846 Season's gratings Write a brief (50 words or fewer) holiday letter from a personage from past or present, or from fiction. T T
845 Reologisms Write a description for any of 50 genuine Loser-created neologisms. 4
844 Healthy choice Enter any Style Invitational from Week 790 through Week 840, except for Week 793 and Week 798. H H
843 Prefrains Provide a sentence or two of lead-in to the first line of a well-known book, poem, or song. H
842 Ask backwards Here are your 12 possible answers. Tell us your joke in the form of a question, please. H H H
841 Food for naught Alter the name of a food or dish slightly and describe the result. H
839 Overlap Dance Overlap two words that share two or more consecutive letters -- anywhere in the word, not just at the beginning or end -- into a single longer word, and define it. AND your portmanteau word must begin with a letter from A through D. H H M
836 Other People's Business Describe what might happen if any of the above institutions (a) were run by an institution of your choice or (b) ran an institution of your choice. H T
835 Tour de Fours VI Coin and define a humorous word that includes -- with no other letters between them, but in any order -- the letters T, H, R, and E. H H H W
834 Fractured Compounds Combine two full words within any single article appearing in The Washington Post or on washingtonpost.com into a hyphenated compound word, and define or otherwise describe the result. H H T
833 Our Greatest Hit Start with a real word or multi-word term or name that begins with M, N, O, or P; add one letter, subtract one letter, replace one letter or transpose two adjacent letters; and define the new word. H H H
832 Clue Us In You supply one or more clues for the words in a filled-in grid. H
829 Limerixicon 6 Supply a humorous limerick prominently featuring any English word, name or term beginning with the letters di-. T
827 Caller Idiot Name a real product or company and supply a stupid question or complaint for the consumer hotline person. T
826 The Inside Word Take any word -- this may include the name of a person or place -- put a portion of it in quotation marks, and redefine the word. 3 H H H T
824 Jestinations Give us a slogan for any city or town. H
818 Name the Day Cite an actual holiday or one of those silly commemorative days, weeks or months for which you can find previous evidence, and supply a snarky description or slogan. M
817 Flopflip Reverse the first half and second half of a word or name and define the result. 2 H
815 Wittecisms Create an original word containing -- in any order -- at least a W, and I, two T's and an E. H H H H H T W
814 There Will Be Bloodline Breed any two of the winning "offspring" included in this week's results, and name their foal. H
810 What Kind of Foal Am I? Breed any two of the more than 400 horses eligible for this year's Triple Crown races and provide an appropriate name for their foal. H H
808 Take Us At Our Words Create a humorous poem or other writing using only the words contained in this week's Style Invitational column or results. M P
807 Pretty Graphic Expressions Express some insight as an equation or other mathematical expression. H
805 Brand Eccchs Give us an original name in any of the above categories (not an actual badly named product). H H H H
804 Our Type o' Joke Change a headline by one letter, or switch two letters, in a headline (or most of a headline) appearing on an article or ad in The Washington Post or on washingtonpost.com between Feb. 14 and 23, and elaborate on it in a "bank" headline (subhead) or a brief first sentence of an article that would run under it. T
803 The Pepys Show Write a humorous diary or journal entry for someone, famous or not, for any point in history. H
802 Dreck TV Suggest a new cable TV channel, with a description or example of its programming. H
801 Ask Backwards You are on "Jeopardy!" Here are the answers. You supply one or more of the questions. 4 H
800 Compairison Briefly define or sum up an existing word or short phrase, then change it very slightly and do the same with the result. 2 H H H
798 Dead Letters Write a humorous poem commemorating someone who died in 2008. H M T
796 Sincerest Flattery Make up a pun on a familiar name of a real of fictional person and provide a fitting description or quote. H
794 Ripped Off From the Headlines Send us some Onion-type headlines. T
793 Take The Fifth Enter any Style Invitational contest from Week 725 through Week 789. Each entry must include the word "five" of "fifth" or something fiveish, or -- depending on your favorite anniversary tradition -- something involving (a) wood or (b) silverware. H H
792 Clue Us In Compile a set of funny alternative clues to a crossword penned by Ace Constructor Paula Gamache. H H
789 Doctrine in The House? State a humorous, original "doctrine" for a person or other entity. H
788 The Back End of a Bulwer Give us a comically terrible ending of a novel. T
787 Tour de Fours V Coin and define a humorous word that includes -- with no other letters between them, but in any order -- the letters M, N and E. H H H W
786 Top of the Staake So get your thoughts provoked for No. Umpteen of our cartoon caption contest. H
784 Words to The Wiseacres Give us some proverbs for 21st-century life. T
783 The Shill Game Name a celebrity or fictional character to endorse a real product or company. H T
782 That's the Ticket! Explain why any of the items on the list below is qualified to be President of the United States. H M
781 Our Greatest Hit Start with a word or multi-word term that begins with I, J, K or L; either add one letter, subtract one letter, replace one letter or transpose tow adjacent letters; and define the new word. H H H L
780 Location, Location, Location Say how you know you're in a particular place. 4 H
778 Tied Games Combine any two sports or nonathletic activities into a single sport or game. T
776 An Act of Sunny Side Note the silver lining in some otherwise disappointing turn of events. L
775 Ad-dition Combine the beginning and end of any two words appearing in any single advertisement in The Post or on washingtonpost.com, from today through Aug. 4, and then define the new word. H H H
773 Always Looking for Sects Coin a religion or belief system and tell us its basic tenet or distinguishing characteristic. H
771 Groaner's Manuals Come up with a humorous name for a guide or manual for, or a book about, a particular enterprise or organization. 2 H H H H
770 A Knack for Anachronism Take a famous historical moment, literary passage, or movie scene and place it in an entirely different age. 4 T
766 Think to Shudder Come up with scenarios that are even more awkward (and more imaginative) than the wincers mentioned above. 3 M
765 It's Doo-Dah Day Write humorous lyrics commemorating any of the 50 states of the District, set to any of these Stephen Foster songs. T
764 Can You Up Chuck? Come up with entirely new and funny Chuck Norris Facts. T
763 Another Time Around the Track Breed any two of the winning "offspring" included in this week's results, and name THEIR foal. T
761 Strip Mining Supply the text for any or all three of these Bob Staake comic strips. T
759 What Kind of Foal Am I? Breed any two of the 100 horses eligible for this year's Triple Crown and provide an appropriate name for their foal. H H M
758 Wrong Address Using any of the words of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, in whatever order you like, create your own passage. M T
757 Gorey Thoughts From A to Z Send us some rhyming alphabet-primer couplets. 3
754 Canny Similarities Cite a humorous "uncanny similarity" between any two of the very different people listed above. H
751 Strike Gold Slightly change the name of an existing or former TV show to create a program that can scab the writers' strike. H
749 Opus 266, No. 3 Take any common word or two-word term beginning with any letter from A through H and give it a new definition. H H H H H H H H
747 Boeing Us Silly Suggest some comical ways to improve air travel, either in general or for yourself. H
744 You OED Us One Make up a humorous and false definition for any of the words listed below. H H
742 Clue Us In Give us a whole new set of clues to a crossword puzzle penned by Ace Constructor Paula Gamache. H
741 Well, What Do You Know? Tell us what Major Life Lessons can be derived from any of these venues or situations. H H
739 Lies, All Lies Give us some humorous fictional revelation about a current or past political figure. T
738 So What's To Liken? Take any two items from the utterly random list above and explain how they are different or how they are similar. H H
736 So, Should I Drive Like Your Brother? Ask a car-related question that would make the Car Guys crack up. If you're not into cars, you can also post a question for advice columnist Ask Amy or etiquette columnist Miss Manners. M
735 Look Back in Inker Enter any Style Invitational contest from Week 680 through Week 731. 4 H
734 Turnaround Time Write a rhyming couplet containing two words that are anagrams of each other. M
733 Just Drop It, Okay? Drop the first letter from an actual word or term to make a new word or term, and define it. 2 H H T
732 The Chain Gang Supply a chain of 25 names -- they may be names of people, places, organizations, products, etc., but they must be names -- beginning and ending with "George W. Bush." M
731 Doo Process Describe for us a wildly inefficient and ridiculous way to produce or prepare an ordinary dish or beverage. H H M T
730 Time-Wastes For Everyman Describe activities that make entering The Style Invitational seem like a constructive use of one's time. T
728 Tour de Fours IV Coin and define a humorous word that includes -- with no other letters between them, but in any order you like -- the letters S, A, T and R. H H H W
723 Name Your Poison Create a name and recipe for a cocktail and, if you like, describe when it might be served. T
722 Let's Play Nopardy! We supply 12 phrases and you get to provide questions they might answer. The phrases were entries in our Week 717 contest, which asked for Googlenopes -- phrases that showed no previous hits from the Google search engine. H
720 The Course of Humor Events Sum up a historical event in a two-line rhyme or other clever and pithy epigram. H
716 The Hard Spell Write a humorous poem featuring one of the 75 words we've selected from this year's National Spelling Bee. T
715 Your Mug Here Send us an idea for a slogan for the back of the new Loser T-shirt. H H H H H
713 Painings Name and interpret any of the provided paintings by Fred Dawson. T
711 Join Now! Hyphenate the beginning and end of any two multi-syllabic words appearing anywhere in the April 29 or May 6 Style or Sunday Arts section, and then define the compound. H H M T
708 What Kind of Foal Am I? Breed any two from a list of 100 of the horses eligible for this year's Triple Crown races and provide an appropriate name for their foal. H H
707 What Would YOU Do? Use only the words appearing in "The Cat in the Hat" to create your own work of "literature" of no more than 75 words. H
706 Questionable Journalism Take any sentence that appears in The Post or in an article on washingtonpost.com from March 24 through April 2 and come up with a question it could answer. T
704 Another Game of Tag Create vanity plates for well-known people, real or fictional. M
699 Our Greatest Hit Take a word, term or name that begins with E, F, G or H; either add one letter, subtract one letter, replace one letter, or transpose two letters; and define the new word. 2 H H H H H T
698 Let's Get Personnel Send us some humorously creative questions that a job interviewer would ask an applicant, or some questions it might be fun to ask the interviewer. H
697 We Beg You To Differ Take any two items from the truly random provided list and explain why they are different or why they are similar. H
696 Send Us the Bill Come up legislation the newly-elected members of Congress might sponsor together. T
695 Dead Letters Write a poem about someone who died in 2006. H
693 Everything Being Sequel Give a brief scenario for the sequel to a well-known movie. H
692 Reinkernation Enter any Style Invitational contest from Week 640 through Week 688. Every entry must include the word "three" or "third" or a creative variation. H
691 Haven't Got a Clue Make all the clues in the provided crossword ooh-clever or at least ah-that's-funny, even the little words. H
689 Busted Play Come up with a more objectionable or stupid toy than a working fart-powered toy rocket. 1 H
688 Making Short Work Write a humorous six-word story. 1 H T
687 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. H H
686 It's Baaaaack! Explain why you, or anyone else in particular, ought to have this fine oil-on-panel by Fred Dawson of Beltsville, or what it might be used for. T
685 Thank it Over Tell us some things to be thankful for. H
684 Backtricking Spell a word backward and define the result, somehow relating the definition to the original word. H H H H H H H H H H W
683 What a Piece of Work String together words in a single scene, or two consecutive scenes, of "Hamlet" to produce on or more funny sentences, preferably unrelated to the original content. The words must appear in the order in which they appear in the play. T
682 Punkin'd! Send us a funny, clever, entirely original photo featuring one or more pumpkins and/or other vegetables. M T
681 Ticket to Write Write a jingle for a business (or its product), organization or government agency, set to a Beatles song. M
680 Rendered Speechless Provide dialogue to fill the balloons in any of these cartoons. H M
679 Ask Backwards Here are the answers. You supply the questions to as many as you dare. H H
677 The News Gets Verse Sum up wittily in verse -- but not a limerick -- any article appearing in The Post or on washingtonpost.com from Aug. 28 through Sept. 4. M
676 Tour de Fours III Coin and define a word containing -- with no other letters between them, but in any order you like -- the letters L, E, A and F. H H
675 Cut Us Some Slack Come up with humorous ways to be lazy. H
673 Mess With Our Heads Take any headline, verbatim, appearing anywhere in The Washington Post or on Washingtonpost.com from July 30 through Aug. 7 and reinterpret it by adding either a "bank headline," or subtitle, or the first sentence of an article that might appear under it. T
671 Join Now! Hyphenate the beginning and end of any two multi-syllabic words appearing anywhere in the July 16 Style or Sunday Arts section, and then define the compound. H H H H
670 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. H H H
669 Huddled Messes Suggest some bad advice for new arrivals to this country (legal or illegal). T
668 Cut From the Chase Write an original John-Bunnell-style wrap-up to a crime story -- or one for a more minor transgression. H M
667 Questionable Journalism Take any sentence that appears in The Post or in an article on washingtonpost.com anytime from now through June 26 and supply a question it could answer. H T
665 Your One-in-a-Million Coin the millionth words in the English language and define it. The word must end in -ion. 1 H H H
664 A Thousand Times?! No! Come up with a new signature line for Russell Beland's -- or anyone else's -- e-mails. M
663 Worth at Least a Dozen Words Interpret any of the provided cartoons as you see fit in a caption. H
661 Name Any Good Movies Lately? Give us a funny new title for an existing movie. H H H W
660 Foaling Down: The Next Generation Breed any two of the winning "offspring" included in this week's results, and name THEIR foal. H H H H
656 It's Post Time Breed any two from a list of 100 of the more than 400 3-year-old racehorses nominated for this year's Triple Crown races, and name their hypothetical foal. The foal's name cannot exceed 18 characters and spaces combined. H H H
654 It Plays to Recycle Come up with funny ways to recycle things, people, writing (except for your old Invitational entries) or ideas. H
653 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 H H T
652 Ask Backward You are on "Jeopardy!" Above are the answers. You supply the questions. H T
649 Across the Wide What? Give us some Virginia-appropriate lyrics for "Shenandoah." T
648 Caller IDiot Name a product or company and supply a stupid question to ask the consumer hotline person. T
647 Paste Imperfect Change a headline or sentence that appears in the Post or on washingtonpost.com through Feb. 6 either by deleting up to 40 consecutive characters from it or by adding 40 consecutive characters from the same article or ad. T
645 A Hearty Har Har Write up a Valentine's sentiment to any personage, or to someone in some generic category. H
642 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. 3 H H H H H H
641 Dreck of All Trades Come up with a business that combines two or more disparate products or services, and tell us its name and/or something else funny about it. H T
640 Whassa Motto Wid You? Give us a slogan or motto for any of the states, the District or the U.S. Territories. T
638 The Little Bummer Boy Come up with an idea (and title, if you like) for an original Christmas movie or TV special that provides an antidote to all the sap, and give us a brief synopsis. H
637 Full Steam Ahead Write a steamy passage of a novel that's ostensibly by some well-known person who isn't a novelist. T
635 I've Told You a Hundred Times Enter any Style Invitational from Week 536 to Week 631. Your entry must be substantially different from than original winners. H H H H
633 Your Secret Here! Send us some original secrets (they don't have to be true). H T
632 Live On, Sweet, Earnest Reader (Inc.) Give us an original backronym for a company or product. A backronym is a fake etymology that often gets in a little dig at the subject. H
631 Picture This What's going on in any of these cartoons? H
630 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 H H H T W
629 Odd Couplings Marry or otherwise combine famous names and supply to result. H H T
628 You Gotta Have Connections Choose any two or more items from the provided truly random list and describe how they are alike or different. H
626 Course Light Come up with a comical college class, along with a description for the course catalog. H H
625 Haven't Seen It Make up a new plot for an existing movie title. H H H
624 Limerixicon 2 Supply a limerick based on any word in the dictionary (except proper nouns) beginning with bd- through bl-. H
623 Try to Remember Give us an original mnemonic for any list that someone might want to remember. L
621 Questionable Journalism 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. T
617 Best the Best Write something about any famous personage that uses only the letters in his or her name. T
615 Airy Persiflage Write some jokes you'd like to hear in an airport announcement. H H H
614 In-Stock Characters Pitch us an idea for a summer movie featuring two or more of the provided characters. H
613 Tour de Fours II Create and define a word that includes, consecutively, E, R, A and N. in any order. H H T
612 Oh, and One More Thing What was the thing that didn't make the cut on any list? W
611 Ask Backwards, Erudite Edition You are on "Jeopardy!" Here are the sophisticated answers. You supply the questions. H H
610 MASH Find two well-known movies, plays, or TV shows whose title have a significant word in common, combine their titles, and describe the hybrid. H T
609 A2D2 Give us some funny "corrections" to brighten up Page A2. H H
608 Comeback Next Week Come up with original snide retorts to various rude questions or comments. H H
604 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. H
602 Take a Letter -- Again Take a word, term or name that begins with A, B, C or D; either add on letter, subtract one letter, replace one letter, or transpose two letters; and define the new word. 5 H H H H H
601 Anticdotes Give us an untrue anecdote in response to one of the provided Editor's Query topics. 1 T
600 Top of the Inking Tell us some ways the District of Columbia will change now that we have the Nationals. T
599 So What's the News? Tell us what the illustrated events are. H
598 Site Gags Come up with an appropriate name for a cafeteria--or meeting room, or an employee lounge, or some other workplace spot--for a particular institution. H H H
597 Eccchsibits Come up with some alternative museums and exhibits for the nation's capital. H H T
596 Take Her Words for It Use the words of this week's Ask Amy advice column, as a pool from which to compose your own useful (or useless) thoughts. You may ignore or change capitalization or punctuation. H
594 History Loves Company Name an appropriate corporate sponsor for some historical event or for someone's life story. H
593 Take This, Job, and … Come up with some entertainingly awful things that a Job's comforter might offer. A Job's comforter is someone who seems to be offering sympathy but instead just makes the person feel worse, either intentionally or unintentionally. H T
592 We Got Gamy Offer us a concise idea for a Super Bowl commercial, or some innovative halftime entertainment, or some inappropriate sponsors, or some ideas for improving the game itself. H T
591 Dead Letters Write rhyming poems about notable personages who have died in the past year. H
590 Send Us the Bill Come up with a bill sponsored by any combination of the newly elected members of Congress and explain the purpose of the bill. T
589 Hyphen the Terrible (New Edition!) Combine the beginning of any multi-syllabic word in this week's Invitational with the end of any other multi-syllabic word in this column (or in this week's Web supplement) to coin a new word, and then define it. H H H H H H
587 The B-List Come up with an In-Out list for 2005, or other pairings. H H H H T
586 God's Will (and Won't) Complete either of the following: "If God hadn't wanted is to ----, God wouldn’t have ----"; "If God had wanted us to ----, God would have ----." H H
580 United Nations Combine the names of any two countries in the world and describe the new hybrid country. H T
579 Another Brilliant Contest! Do Enter! Write us a sentence or phrase consisting of words beginning with consecutive letters, in the A-to-Z direction. T
578 Ask Backwards You are on "Jeopardy!" Above are the answers. Send us the questions. 3 H
577 Teledubbies Slightly change the title of a TV show, past or present, and describe it. 3 T
576 Well, Excuuuuse Us! Come up with new excuses for any common human shortcoming or imperfection. H
575 T Hee Hee Come up with new ideas for both front and back of the Loser T-shirts. 2 H T
574 Boor Us Silly Come up with some unwise attempts at humor--one either likely to backfire or to create other unpleasant consequences. H W
573 Thine Ad Goest Here Propose biblical and other literary passage, poems, etc., that could benefit from product placement. H T
572 The Limerixicon Supply a limerick based on any word in the dictionary (except proper nouns) beginning with ai- through ar-. T
571 A Tour de Fours Create and define a word that includes T, H, E, and S in any order. The letters must appear consecutively. H H T
570 Timeline Rhyme Lines Produce colorful chronological couplets about some historical event. They must rhyme and be in good meter. H
569 Murphy's Lore Give Eric Murphy advice he deserves on the provided questions. H T
568 Tome Deftness Make a pun or similar wordplay on a book title. H
567 A Running Gag Explain how any of the provided bizarre cartoons by Bob Staake relates to the current presidential campaign. H
564 Redefine Print Redefine any word from the dictionary. H H H H H H H H H H H H H
563 Take Two Take any two of the provided items and explain how they resemble or differ from each other. H H
560 The 97.5-Meter Dash Suggest some time- and cost-saving measures so the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens will open on time. T
559 Your Slogan Here Come up with a clever slogan or sign for a business. H H
558 Set Us Right Send us conservative-leaning humor is any of the provided genres. H H
557 Oh, for Namesakes! Take two people, real or fictional, who share some element of their names and explain the difference between them. H
556 So Zoo Us Combine any two kinds of animals, give its name and describe it. H T
555 A Tsk, A Task Come up with a super-wholesome passage of 25 words or fewer that would likely be banned by the admirable, ever-vigilant Neopets.com site. H
553 Picture This Tell us what's going on in on or more of the provided cartoons. H T
552 What Kind of Foal Am I? 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. Maximum 18 characters, including spaces. H H H H T
551 Lost in Translation Find us some comical translations-and-back using Google translator. Feed some passage of English text into the tool--25 words max--and ask it to translate it into one of the five languages offered; then copy the result back into the tool and ask it to translate that back to English. H T
550 Spring Cleaning Suggest creative uses for things you've already used, or never will use, or other disposable household thingies, singly or in combination. T
548 Inklings Tell us about certain people's childhood experiences and behaviors that hint at their destinies. 1 H H
547 Give Us a Bad Name Take an existing product or business name and pair it with an incompatible one. H H
546 A Nice Pair of Cities Choose any two or more real U.S. towns and come up with a joint endeavor they would undertake. H
545 Put It in Reverse Spell a word backward and define it, with the definition relating in some way to the original word. H H H H H H H H H W
544 You Gotta Have Heart Write us some valentine sentiments from one particular person (real or fictional) to another. T
543 Read Our Leaps Fill any of readers of The Washington Post on Sunday, Feb. 29, 2032, on: (a) the day's lead news story; (b) the highest-flying company and its business; (c) the best-selling self-help book; and/or (d) the day's winning Style Invitational entry. H H
542 Discombobulate Us Come up with both an object/situation and a neologism for it, something that Bob Levey would never have stooped to print in his column. 4 H H H H H
541 Celled Up the River Give us a delicious scenario, in which a cellphone yakker's yakking could be taken profitably out of context. T
540 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. H H H
539 Dead Letters Pay tribute in verse to someone who died in 2003. T
538 Try, Try Again Enter any previous Invitational. Your entry must be substantially different from the original winners. H
537 The New York Post Liven up any article appearing in The Washington Post or its Web site over the next eight days by giving it an irresponsibly sensationalistic headline. H
536 And the Horse He Rodin On Come up with some words we can stick in the back of The Inker. H
534 The Feminine Touch Propose how any male-dominated occupation of institution would change if it suddenly became female-dominated. H
533 Breed Apart Mate the clones of any two famous real people, living or dead--a male and a female, please--and hypothesize what traits or skills their offspring might have. H H H W
532 Short Pans Come up with a terse review (four words or fewer) of any work of art. H H T
531 Your Cynic Duties Come up with a saying that sound as if it's going to be inspirational, but winds up being cynical, misanthropic or sad. H
530 Tri Harder Take any word, alter it in three ways--by adding a letter, by subtracting a letter and by changing a letter--and redefine all three new words. H H H H
528 Ask Backwards You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? H
527 Rite of First Defusal Come up with witty or bizarre things to say to defuse the tension in awkward moments. 2 H H H
525 It Won't Belong Now Tell us which of three cartoons provided does not belong, and why. H
524 Around Things Moving Take the title of any book or movie, rearrange the words, and explain what the new book or movie is about. H H H H H
521 Hyphen the Terrible Take the first half of any hyphenated word in today's Washington Post (or Tuesday's USA Today) and combine it with the second half of any other hyphenated word in the same story, and define the new word it produces. 4 H H H H H H H
520 I, Object These items were ordered by well-known people. Who ordered them, and why? H T
514 Ask Backwards You are on "Jeopardy!" These are your answers. What are the questions? H H H
513 It's Delete We Can Do Come up with very bad subject lines for spam e-mail--lines that will guarantee instant deletion, sight unseen. 2 H H H H
511 It All Impends Tell us what is something unusual about to happen in the provided cartoons. 1 H
510 Universal Embarrassment What would you like to see Miss Universe Pageant contests asked live, on national TV? H
508 Letter Rip Take a word from the dictionary, add, change, or delete a single letter, and redefine the word. H H H T
506 The Battle of All Mottoes Provide a slogan for any federal department agency, department, office, etc. H H
505 The Rule of Dumb You are given $1 million. Conditions: (1) You must spend it all. (2) You must use it in a way that neither directly nor indirectly works to your financial benefit. (3) You may not use it to alleviate the suffering of anyone on Earth, or for any public-spirited project other than the joy of stupidity. T
504 Life Is Snort Write a schmaltzy last line of a "Life Is Short." H
502 Picture This Who are these people? What are they doing? H H
499 What Kind of Foal Am I? Mate any two of the horses qualifying for this year's Triple Crown and tell us the name of their foal. Maximum 18 characters, including spaces. H H
496 The Style Invitational: The First Dreckade Submit new entries to any of the old contest listed, and try to beat The Very Best of the Past 10 Years. H H H
492 Cheap Tricks Come up with extreme cost-conserving measures for these difficult economic times. H
490 Eyes on Reprise Submit any good entries you might have thought of, for any previous contest, after the deadline passed. H H
489 Combo, First Blood Combine two people whose names contain a common element, as in the examples above. Then describe the person, or provide a quote he or she might have uttered. H H H H H
486 A Word From Our Co-Sponsors Come up with bills the new members of Congress might sponsor. Each bill must have at least two sponsors. T
484 Manufracturing Take any product and explain how it would be different if it were designed by a different existing company. H T
483 Obitter Fate Give us an obit headline for some famous person, currently living or dead. H H H
481 Homonymphomania 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. 2 H H H H H H H H T
480 In No Uncertain Terminations Come up with a way to stop any unwanted overture in its tracks. H
478 Do You Mindset? Anticipate items for the Mindset List for the freshman class of the year 2020. H
476 Portmanteautapping Make a new word by squishing together two existing words. The constituent words must share at least two letters. 2 H H H H H H
475 Bad Connection Take any two seemingly unrelated stories from anywhere in today's Washington Post and explain how their subjects are linked in some unholy conspiracy or other suspicious way. T
472 Water Stupid Idea Propose bad ideas for saving water in the continuing drought. H
471 Excuses, Excuses Come up with creative new excuses for not turning in homework, not filing your taxes on time, missing church or forgetting your spouse's birthday. H
470 Czar Har Take the name of someone famous, rhyme it with a product, and describe the unholy union. T
468 Ism This Stupid? Take any common prefix and attach it to any well-known "ism" and define the new term. H H H H T
467 Get Your But in Here Produce a line that fits this structure: (Real thing based upon current events) is (word or phrase suggesting some quality) but (other word or phrase suggesting a dissimilar or incompatible quality), like (funny analogy). H
466 Spit the Difference Tell us the difference between any two of the provided items. H H H H T
465 Hyphen the Terrible Take the first half of any word or word combination in today's Post that is broken by a hyphen at the end of a line, and combine it with the second half of any other hyphenated word from the same story, and define the new word that is formed. H T
464 Cursive Writing Come up with a new curse for this millennium. H H L
458 It's a Setup Come up with joke setups for any of the provided punch lines. H H T
456 A Bad-Ask Contest You are still on Jeopardy!, and you still have to supply questions to the provided answers, but the winners will be the least funny answers. T
455 Comixing Create new comic characters by crossing two existing characters, then describe the character. T
454 Ask Backwards You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? H H
452 Russellmania! (1) Design one or more steps for a 12-step program for the recovering Invitationalaholic; (2) Propose a devious method by which we might lure Russell Beland back. T
451 Make Your Pix Which two of the provided cartoons are related, and how? T
450 Blues It or Lose It Write the first verse of a blues song expressing some Washington area woe. H T
448 What Kind of Foal Am I? Mate any two of the horses qualifying for the Triple Crown races this year and propose a name for their foal. No name may exceed 18 characters, including spaces. H H H
445 Another Round of Bierce Add a few entries to Ambrose Bierce's famous "Devil's Dictionary." H
444 Advice Squad Take any letter from today's advice columns and answer it in the voice of someone famous, living or dead. T
443 Sick Humor Come up with modern diseases of Washington life. H
442 Titletales Take any real book or movie, change one word slightly, and describe the resulting new product. H H
441 Spit the Difference Take any two nouns that appear on the front page of today's Washington Post and explain how the nouns differ from each other. H H R T
440 Picture This What is going on in these cartoons? H H H
439 No Can Do Write signs of incompetence. H T
437 The Telegraph Poll Tell us the beginning of a joke that badly telegraphs the punch line. T
432 Sleeps With the Fishes. No contests until mid-January. Czar ran biographies of Chris Doyle, Sue Lin Chong, Paul Styrene, and Brian Broadus, each containing one lie. T
430 OMB Directive No. 2 Revisit any contest The Style Invitational has ever run, and rewrite out tawdry past by proposing a new first-prize winner serious and/or decorous enough to please the Ombudsman. H
429 Shark Instruments Tell us what would be a sign that any current institution--TV show, newspaper feature, magazine, business, etc.--has jumped the shark. 4
427 Skinned Come up with events that have a smaller chance of happening than the Redskins winning the Super Bowl. T
425 Hyphen the Terrible Take the first half of any hyphenated word from any story in today's newspaper and combine it with the second half of any other hyphenated word in the same story, and propose a definition of the new word you've created. 3 H H H H H H H H H H T
424 Osama Chanted Evening Write poems about Osama bin Laden. H T
419 Don't Spare the Rodney Come up with indications that one might not be getting no respect. T
418 Xtreme Invitational Come up with signs you are overdoing it any in any of the provided categories. H
417 Initially Mistaken Take any name of person or thing, and construct an appropriate message using its letters, in order, as the first letters of the words of your message. 3 H
416 Diff'rent Jokes Describe how things might have been different is famous person, living or dead, had had one of the provided conditions. 4 H H
409 Nice Job, if You Get It Take anything that might need its image enhanced and rename it in a way the keeps its essential identity, but makes it seem nicer. H H H H
407 Adverbiage Come up with a witticism or a joke by making a pun out of an adverb. Unlike Tom Swiftlys, your adverb must modify not a verb but an adjective. H H H
406 Bum Steerage Offer some spectacularly bad advice to any of the provided people. H
405 The "Sty"le Invitational Take any word--this may include people or places--put a portion of it in "air quotes" and redefine it. You may not alter the spelling. H H H
403 Cry, Uncle! Write the beginnings of an obituary that will provide the details of what happened to the Style Invitational Uncle. W
402 Spitting the Difference Tell us the difference between any two of the provided items. H H
401 A Matter of Degree Describe a sign of some modest change in a situation and pair it with a sign of an extreme change in that same situation. H H
398 Animal Magnetism Make great literature and/or a significant expression of the human condition out of the provided randomly-selected words. Use whatever punctuation you choose and any of the words, but only those words, and use them only once. T
396 April Foals Mate any two of the horses qualifying for the Triple Crown races and come up with appropriate names for their foals. Maximum 18 letters and spaces. H H H H
395 Devilishly Clever Describe someone's special little corner of Hell. H
392 Everyone's a Comic Choose any panel of any comics strip in today's Washington Post and improve it by replacing the original speech and thought balloons with your own, H
390 Canine Fashion Write: 1. A caption for the provided image explaining what is happening; 2. An explanation of why the image is not photography but art; 3. A description of what additional items might be needed to make the image complete. Sex and potty jokes will be disqualified. H H U
389 Operation Overkill Present a solution to a problem that goes just a little too far. H
387 By Jingo Come up with a joke that could be written and understood only by a Washingtonian. H
386 The Game of Clue What are some clues that someone might be any of the provided characterizations? 3 H H H
383 A Kinder, Gender Nation Take an noun and give us a reason or two why it should be either masculine or feminine. U
381 Idiom Savant Take any well-known idiom, or expression, and invent an interesting derivation for it. H
380 The New-Name Offense Propose changes for the names of places and things that need it, either because there is something wrong with their name, or because another name would be so much more descriptive. H H H
377 Week MMDCXLIV 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 H H W
375 Show Us Up Combine the names of two existing TV shows (past or present) to make an entirely new show. Then, describe the show. 2 H
373 An Extra Large Challenge What should we put on the back of the new Style Invitational T-shirt? H H H H
370 No End in Sight Write the beginnings of sentences you don't want to hear the end of. H
368 Hyphen the Terrible Combine the first half of any hyphenated word in a story in today's paper with the second part of a different hyphenated word from the same story, and provide a new definition. H H H H H H H
367 Future Schlock Come up with a line that will surely not appear in an upcoming work. H H
366 Just Fulghum Come up with a list of at least three Major Life Lessons one can learn from any of the venues provided. H
365 Terse Verse Ask a question and then answer it with a rhyme. Your answer can be as many words as you wish, but all must have the same rhyme. 1 H H
364 Low Marks Come up with a new punctuation mark. Tell us what it looks like, and what it is used for, and use it in a sentence. H
363 It's Your Movie Take the title of any movie and make it the answer to a riddle. H H
359 It's No Party Come up with a new political party and its main political tenet. H
357 Coming to a Bad End Take some immortal line from literature or film and ruin it by adding a short phrase or sentence. H
356 Med Icks Invent a clever name for a new medical product, and specify the condition it would treat. H H
355 Seeing Stars Tell us ways we can attract celebrity participation to this contest. H
352 A Laff Riot Take the name of a company and/or its commercial product and provide it a new definition. H
351 Dubya Fun Take any well-known statement, expression, slogan, etc., and rewrite it the way Dubya might have said it. 2 H
349 Orienting Oneself Produce a haiku using only words found in today's Washington Post. Your entry must have three lines, the first containing exactly five syllables, the second containing exactly seven syllables, the third containing exactly five. H
348 When We're LXIV Fashion an entry by selecting one from each of the provided menu groups. H U
346 Greasy Kids Tough Take any news event from history, recent of ancient, large or small, and rewrite it in 100 words or fewer as it might have appeared in KidsPost. 1
345 Picture This What is going on in these cartoons? H U
343 Eastwood Ho. Create a Good-Bad-Ugly progression. H
342 Plainly Ridiculous Take any direct quotation from any article in today's Washington Post and translate it into "plain English." H
340 ASK BACKWARDS 12 You are on "Jeopardy!" Here are the answers. What are the questions? H
339 Campaignful Developments Come up with signs that a presidential campaign might be in trouble. H H
338 WHO WANTS TO WIN A TOILET? Propose even greater depths of shameless, tasteless sleaze to which Fox TV is likely to sink after the noisome debacle of "Who Wants to Marry and Multi-Millionaire?" H H H
337 DEGREES OF DIFFICULTY Take a quality you wish to quantify and devise the perfect icon to measure it. Then give us an example of the extremes. 5
336 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. 2 3 H H H H H H H H H H W
335 A LOVER'S SPAT Enter the contest that is run by the editor of your choice. 1 H
328 NICE CAPADES Send in some pleasant observation, in which you take a really cheerful or heartwarming view of something that less charitable people might conceivably see differently. H
327 ASK BACKWARDS You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? 1 H
325 THE BURMA ROAD Propose welcoming doggerel for states or cities patterned after Burma Shave signs. H H H H
324 A PREQUEL OPPORTUNITY OFFERING Come up with a "prequel" to some classic film or work of literature. You must produce a title and a brief plot summary, which or course must take place prior to the main action of the original work. H
323 THE CONGRESSIONAL RECORD INVITATIONAL Come up with not-quite-ready inventions, past or present. H
321 INTERPRET THIS Take any of the provided cartoon and come up with a matched pair of interpretations for what is happening. 3 H
320 WHAT KIND OF FOAL AM I? Mate any two of the horses qualifying for the Triple Crown races and come up with appropriate names for their foals. Maximum 18 letters and spaces. H H
319 REVERSE PSYCHOLOGY Create an original chiasmus, an ancient literary form in which meaning is derived by pairing two words or phrases, and then reversing their order. 2 H H H
318 HYPHEN THE TERRIBLE Combine the first half of any hyphenated word in a story in today's paper with the second part of a different hyphenated word from the same story, and provide a new definition. 4 H H H H
314 IT'S THE LIST YOU CAN DO Start with the name of a famous person, living or dead, real or fictional, either a full name or partial name. Progress through a series other names or phrases. Each name or phrase must be related to the prior item either by being a homophone or a definition. Eventually, arrive at a name or a phrase that is an appropriate pairing with the original name. H
313 THE STYLE INVITATIONAL SOUVENIR SHOP Come up with bad names for a new store at a mall. 3
312 BOOKS AND BOOKS Combine any two works of literature--no movies or TV--into one, give its title and describe it in a brief, appealing blurb that might appear in Publishers' Weekly. H
311 A JERRY-BUILT CONTEST Find cleverly disguised threats to public morality or hallowed American values that may be secretly lurking out there in our culture. H
310 IT'S LIKE THIS Come up with really lame analogies. H H
308 GIVE US NO MO Write an update version of those old children's selecting rhymes. Your rhyme must (1) rhyme and (2) conform, at least loosely, to a point-and-shoot cadence that permits the elimination of one item from a group. 1
307 IF YOU BOYCOTT THIS TASK / YOU WON'T WIN THE FLASK Come up with rhyming couplets to warn us about the perils of modern life. H H H H L
306 YOUNGIAN THERAPY Suggest ways in which the Style Invitational or any other Washington area institution can become more relevant to younger people. H H
305 ASK BACKWARDS CMXVI2 You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? H
304 TIME OF THE SIGNS Come up with appropriate signage to appear outside any business or retail establishment in the Washington area, including government offices. H H
303 BOOM TIMES Come up with old and new concerns for the baby boom generation. H
302 UNSTATED TRUTHS Come up with lines that you'll never hear the provided people say. H H H
301 PICTURE THIS What is happening in these cartoons? 2 H
300 A BRAND NEW CONTEST Come up with celebrity-brand products. H H
299 ANOTHER LEFTIST RAG Write the day's tabloid headlines with your left hand only. (This means you can use no keys to the right of 6, T, G and B.) 1
298 THE RIGHT STUFF Write a sentence, or phrase, or entire passage, using only your right hand on the keyboard. This means who may use no keys to the left of N, H, Y and 7. H
297 FREE FOR OIL Take any article in today's paper, and write an outraged letter to the editor about it that totally misses the point, either by misreading a word or misunderstanding the topic. H
296 BILL US LATER Choose among the names of any of the newly elected U.S. senators or representatives and propose a bill they might sponsor. H
295 PANEL DISCUSSION Supply the contents the missing panel in the provided cartoon strips. H
294 PRODUCT LIARBILITY Take the name of any commercial product and redefine it. 3 H
291 HYPHEN THE TERRIBLE Take any story in today's paper, find a word that breaks with a hyphen at the end of a line, and combine it with the second half of different hyphenated word in the same story. Then supply a definition for the new hybrid word. 3 H H H
289 PLAY IT AGAIN, SHAM Submit entries to any previous contest, ideas you might have thought of after the contest deadline had passed. H H H
287 BEFORE AND AFTERMATH Begin with a real name, append to it a word, name or expression that completes the bridge, and finally define the resulting phrase. H H H H H H
285 ELEVENIS, ANYTWO? Take a common phrase containing a specific number, add or subtract one, and explain the revised phrase. 2 H
284 ASK BACKWARDS MCLXVII You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? H H H
283 UH-OH Come up with "uh-oh" lines, statements that occur in the middle of a seemingly benign speech or conversation, suddenly alerting the listener that he is about to hear some bad news. 1
282 TAKING SNIDES Take any story anywhere in today's Post and append to it a single snide observation, concerning either the headline or the text of the story. 1 H
280 EXPRESSING IT NICELY Come up with colorful expressions for any of the six provided activities, to make them sound a little less tawdry. 5 H H
278 THE STALE INVITATIONAL Begin with a word. Add, subtract or change a single letter only, and then provide a new definition. H H H H W
276 SPIT THE DIFFERENCE Tell us the difference between any two of the provided items. H H
274 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. 1
273 UNSEENS WE'D LIKE TO SEE Provide examples of any of the provided categories of thing that will never happen. H H H
269 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
266 DEFINITELY WEIRD Take any word from the dictionary and redefine it. 7 H H H H
263 THE GAME OF THE NAME Propose a bad name for the provided categories. H
262 CAMPAIGN FOR ONE Design a line for Niels Hoven to deliver in his campaign for a student government office that will wake up a snoozing audience. H
260 IT'S A SNAP Come up with replacements for the two hackneyed answers: "Is the Pope Catholic?" and "When Hell freezes over." H
259 SPARE EXCHANGE, BUDDY? Take any phone number of any business or government office in the Washington area, translate the first two digits into their constituent letters and propose any appropriate one-word exchange. H H
258 IT'S A BIRD. IT'S A PAIN. Choose one or more of the provided super powers and tell us what you would do with it. H H
257 LET US PLAY Create a game, or a prank, that can be played using any two or more of the provided objects. H H W
256 THE PYLE INVITATIONAL Come up with hip, contemporary riddles and answers. The punch line must contain a painful pun. H
255 SCANDAL IN THE WIND Each of the provided items is somehow related to the current presidential scandal. Tell us how. H H H H H
254 DOUBLE JEOPARDY! Take any sentence appearing anywhere in today's Washington Post, and make up a question to which it could be a plausible answer. H
253 IT'S A PITY Enter any of the provided contests. Winners will be judged entirely on the basis of how pitiful an attempt at humor the entry is. E H
252 MAKE YOUR MOVIE Propose people who were the secret inspiration for famous movies. H H
251 QUOTH THE MAVEN Take any famous line, change it by one letter only (add, subtract or change a single letter), and reattribute it. E H H H
250 OH, GREAT Complete the sentence "Wouldn't it be great if …" H
249 BAD NEWS, GOOD NEWS Supply a silver lining for any scourge or social ill facing America or the world. H H W
248 STICKER SCHLOCK 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. H
245 LIKE FUN Complete any of the provided "A is like B because" sentences. H H
244 HYPHEN THE TERRIBLE Coin new words, and provide a definition, by combining the first half of a hyphenated word for any story in today's Post with the second half of another hyphenated word in the same story. 6 H H
243 VERSE THAN EVER Write a rhyming poem of two to eight lines as a tribute to someone famous who died in 1997, the more awful the better. We will particularly value rhymes that thud, and extremes of emotion and sentiment. 3 H
242 SACRED COW PIES Take cheap shots at sacred institutions only, places and things that are so noble and wholesome they are beyond reproach, from among the items provided. 5 H
241 CAN YOU BEAT THIS? Come up with headlines describing the defeat of one pro team by another. 3 H H
240 ADDING INSULT Come up with elegant insults directed at any famous person, living or dead, such as the real encomiums above. H
239 NAME THAT TOON Send us the captions for cartoons not provided. H
237 ASK BACKWARD You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? 1 H H
236 CALLING THE TOON. What is happening here? 4
234 THE JOKE'S ON YOU Complete any of the provided jokes as it would be told by someone famous, living or dead. H H
230 TALES FROM THE CRYPTOGRAM Take any proper noun--a person, a book, a movie, whatever--and create for it an appropriate cryptogram. H H H
229 WE CAN'T HEAR YOU Supply an example for any of the five "Things you don't want to hear" categories provided. 3 E H
228 MAKE MY DAY Supply advice to today's spoiled kids about how bad things were when we were growing up. H H
227 WILD PITCHES Come up worthy successors to Joe Camel. Name the product, and describe the totally inappropriate cartoon character that would be created represent it. 3 H
225 WE RESPECTfully decline to publish any dumb entries by YOU. Come up with signs for a T-shirt of a bumper sticker that hide the real message in tiny type. 5 W
223 ATTEMPTING REENTRY Submit entries to any past contest, so long as you never submitted them before. H
222 TRIP DEUCES Take the two subject listings at the top of any page of the Yellow Pages and create a dictionary definition for the compound word they form. H H H
220 RSVP Provide and answer to any of the dumb questions from Week 217. H
219 VERBOSITY Come up with new, obnoxious, self-conscious faux verbs and use them in sentences. H H
218 CALLING THE TOON Who are these people? What are they doing? H
217 NO QUESTION ABOUT IT Come up with truly stupid questions. 3
215 SON OF A PITCH Write lavish blurbs in 50 words or fewer so some sucker will want to pay a lot of money for the provided items. 3 H H
214 ASK BACKWARDS IX You are on "Jeopardy!" These are your answers. What are the questions? 3
212 DUMB AS THE POST Come up with even stupider crimes than those committed by Montgomery County's "gentleman burglars." H H H L
209 WE NEED SOME SEASONING Come up with the first signs of spring in Washington. H H H
207 TIED TO BE FIT Each of the eight provided items is related, in some fashion, to one or more of the provided individuals. You make the connections. E
206 HYPHEN THE TERRIBLE II Create a new word by combining the first half of any hyphenated word in today's newspaper with the second half of any other hyphenated word elsewhere in the same story, and supply a definition. H H H W
204 DOUBLE EXPRESSO Take any well-known colorful expression, and modernize it. 2 H H
200 CAPTION CRUNCH IV Supply a new caption to any photograph appearing anywhere in today's Post, to make it funnier. H
199 WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE? Tell us the difference between any two of the provided items. H H H
198 YOU MUST BE MAD II Come up with proposals designed to infuriate special interest groups. L
197 DAVE'S WORLD Make David Twenhafel laugh. Any sort of delightful drollery or amusing witticism will do, so long as it is not the sort of lowbrow fare we usually favor. H
196 YOU MUST BE MAD Come up with a contemporary Scene We'd Like to See. 3 H H H
195 THE MARTHIAN CHRONICLES Come up with items for Martha Stewart's December-January calendar of projects. 4 H H H
193 ASK BACKWARDS VIII You are on "Jeopardy!" Here are the answers. What are the questions? H H
191 GOING THROUGH A PHRASE Come up with phrase for an American English phrasebook that would provide no practical help whatsoever to a foreigner trying to get along in the United States. 1 H H H H
190 OFFICE YOU CAN'T REFUSE Come up with a Principle for the Workplace. H H
189 YOU CAN PRANK ON IT Come up with a hoax or prank that begins with any of the provided scenarios. H
188 BLANKETY BLANKS Complete any of the above sentences, substituting your own phrases for the well-known omitted words. H
186 CALLING THE TOON Who are these people? What are they doing? H
182 CAN YOU STOP THIS? Come up with a conversation stopper, a line likely to end all further discourse, perhaps even empty a room. H H H
181 YOU CAN TAKE IT TO DEBUNK Take a common slogan or saying and prove it wrong with at least one example. H
180 WHEN IN DOUBT, PUN Take any headline in today's Post and improve it by somehow turning it into a pun. H
178 DEEP THROATS Come up with Deep Thoughts, in the style of Jack Handey of "Saturday Night Live." A Deep Thought is a short, simple, seemingly inspirational observation that winds up being cynical, ironic, or just plain weird. H
177 SOUNDS LIKE TROUBLE Tell us what any of the provided sounds are. H H
175 FOSSIL FOOLS What would aliens mistakenly conclude about us from any of the provided items? H H
174 THE EDGE OF MIGHT Complete any of the four provided "you might" phrases. H
173 DEAD RECKONING Propose a question that might be asked by a living celebrity to a famous dead person. You must name the living person, name the dead person, and tell us the question. H H
171 ON SECOND THOUGHT Ideas that never got off the drawing board, for good reason. H H
169 DIFF'RENT JOKES Tell us the difference between any two of the provided items. H
168 LICENSE TO CARRY A PUN Come up with original jokes like those provided. H H H
164 MEAN MEANINGS Translate things politicians say into what they really mean. H W
163 WHAT KIND OF FOAL AM I? Take the list of all 1996 Triple Crown nominees, couple up any two of them, and propose an appropriate name for their hypothetical foal. The foal's name must fit in no more than 18 characters, including spaces. H
161 CAPITOL MISTAKES Come up with very, very bad advice for first-time visitors to Washington. H
160 SEEKING WISE GUYS Come up with cool new bad-guy terms. H H H H
159 ODDBALLS Which item in each series does not belong? Explain your answer. H
158 SO SUE US Come up with frivolous lawsuits. E H
157 WARNING SIGNS Complete any of these "you might be about to" warning sentences. H H
156 HYPHEN THE TERRIBLE Create new word by combining the first half of a hyphenated word with the second half of a hyphenated word. Both words must appear in the same story anywhere in today's Washington Post. Each entry must provide a definition for the newly created word. H H H H H
155 COMPARISON SHOPPING Explain the difference between any two of the above items. H
153 STUMP US Complete this sentence, "I should be elected President of the United States because…" and launch your campaign. 1 H
152 WE ARE CURIOUS (YELLOW) Take any headline in today's Washington Post and rewrite it in tabloid fashion so the story seems a lot more scandalous and/or lurid than it is. H
151 STRIP MINING Come up with a concept for a new, controversial strip to replace an existing one in The Post. H H
150 TRIAL BALLOONS What are the people saying? H
147 JUST FOR LIFFS Come up original liffs, which identify a familiar, tantalizing concept with a word to define, it pairs it with a perfectly good by underutilized words that just loafs around on maps and street signs. H
145 LOOIE, LOOIE Come up with paired, themed ladies' room and men's room signs for various types of public places. H
142 EXHIBITING BAD TENDENCIES Come up with the winner of next year's Turner Prize, which says its aim is to expand ideas of what is art. H
141 ASK BACKWARD VII You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? 1
140 WHAT IF YOU GIVE IT A TRY? Come up "What-If" scenarios and logical outcomes. L
139 EMPLOYMENT LINES Come up with jobs that make even your crummy job seem good. H H
138 LIST BUT NOT LEAST Come up with Top-10-style lists for any of the above four subjects. H H
136 NEW END IN SIGHT Come up with new endings to make literary classics more suitable for Hollywood in the 1990s. H L
135 JERRY-BUILT SOLUTIONS Come up with Seinfeld-isms: whiny, quirky musings on little questions of life. H
134 A SIMPLE CLERIHEW ERROR Revive clerihews. A clerihew is a biographical poem in four lines divided into tow rhyming couplets. The rhyme scene is aa bb. The first line of the clerihew must contain the name of the subject of the poem. The lines must be of disparate meter, the clunkier the better. L
133 LIKE, WOW. Come up with funny analogies. E H H
129 REMAKE US HAPPY Come up with alternative story lines to movie titles, new or old. H W
128 LIKE, DUH Come up with snappy answers to stupid questions. 4 H H
127 GADGET IF YOU CAN Choose one or more of these devices and describe their use. H H H
124 SPOON-FEED US. Come up with spoonerisms, expressions based on the transposition of the initial sounds of two paired words. H H H
123 WHY IS POOP FUNNY? Come up with creative answers to any of the five questions above that might be asked by a 5-year-old. H
121 IT'S NO USE Come up with useless products. H
120 SIMILE OUTRAGEOUS Come up with inept analogies, rotten comparisons as literary device. H
117 GIVE 'EM HELOISE Come up with a tribute to Heloise, that queen of inanely creative recycling. 2 H
115 THE MNEMONIC PLAGUE Come up with new mnemonic devices to remember complicated lists. H H
113 WHAT KIND OF FOAL AM I? Take a list of horses nominated to the Triple Crown races this year, choose any two, and propose a name for their offspring. W
111 ASK BACKWARDS V Here are the answers. What are the questions? W
110 DO NOT INHALE THIS PAGE Come up with absurd warning labels that might be found on common products. 3
106 DRAWING CONCLUSIONS Who are these people, and what are they doing? H H
104 HERE, DOGGEREL Create poems so bad they thud. The first line must be a name. The second line can be as long or as short as you wish. The third line must sound the same as the first line, using the name as a verb or some other part of speech. H
98 YOUR CHEATIN' ART Come up with titles for country music songs featuring any one or more of the following themes: cheatin', thievin', drinkin', truckin', lovin' or dogs. 4
96 STICK IT IN YOUR ERA Come up with a catch phrase for the 1990s. 2 H H
95 HOW'S THAT AGAIN? Take any headline appearing anywhere in The Post this week and completely rewrite the first lines of the story to put a different, unintended spin on it. H
94 WEEKS 1-93 Come op with a great answer to any previous Style Invitational contest, an answer you may have thought of after the contest was over. H H
93 I WANT THE MONGOOSE Tell us, in 50 words or fewer, why you must have this elegant piece of taxidermy featuring a snake being killed by a mongoose. H H
89 CHILD'S PLAY Come up with bad ideas for new toys for the Christmas season. H H
87 WEST EASY, ANN Come up with good things about West Virginia, in 50 words of fewer. H H
86 EXCUSES, EXCUSES Come up with funny excuses for various malfeasances. H H H
83 BEDROOM FARCE What questions were left out of the Great American Sex Survey? H
81 HEADS, YOU LOSE Take any two or more headlines anywhere in today's Washington Post, and combine them to make a funnier headline. H H
74 SHIRT HAPPENS In 10 words or fewer, what should the back of the "Year 2" T-shirt say? H
73 LUNACY Tell us what Neil Armstrong should have said upon stepping onto the moon's surface, instead of what he did, the greatest gaffe in the history of Historic Sayings. H
62 BAD NEWS BEARERS Come up with statements one would not want to hear from friends, relatives, service personnel, etc. 2 H
58 PLAY IT AGAIN, DENZEL Bring Casablanca into the 1990s. Write the opening of a plot outline, in 120 words or fewer. H
56 DO THE HOOKY POKEY Come up with inventive ways to call in sick or otherwise persuade your employer you must miss a day. H H H
55 ESCAPE CLAUSES Send us self-serving moral loopholes through which the enterprising 1990s transgressor can crawl. 1
46 WE WANT STUPID ENTRIES ONLY Make up a sentence that, were it not for this contest, would never be uttered. H
42 HEY, IT COULD BE WORSE There are worse things in life than the Washington Redskins. Just tell us what they are. 3 H
38 ASK BACKWARDS II You are on "Jeopardy!" Here are the answers. What are the questions? 5
35 LIGHT AT THE END? Tell the federal government what is should do with the 14-mile-long, 15-foot-diameter sausage-shaped tunnel it dug near Waxahachie, Tex., for the Superconducting Super Collider project that was scrapped by Congress last week. H H
32 FATAL ART ATTACK In 50 words or fewer, describe a performance art concept that might get public funding. Winners will be audacious enough to seem like art, but pretentious enough to seem to have a social "message." 2
31 INVITATION TO A DUAL Divide the world into two types of people. 2 H H
11 YOU GIVE US THE BACKS OFF OUR SHIRTS The back of the shirt needs a slogan, something that captures the spirit of The Style Invitational. What is that spirit? You tell us. 6
7 BEAT THE BANDS Come up with a name for rock bands. L

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"

or

"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 ...]