Style Invitational Week 1042: Go SANE with a neologism in Tour de Fours X

By Pat Myers
Published: October 10

Kin*sane* *: * What your spouse’s family is.

D*ensa: * A club whose secret password is “It’s me.”

Di*e-nas*ty: A line of succession in which the monarchs didn’t tend to
expire in bed.

After several long-form contests recently, like the one with today’s
results, it’s time to get pithy again. And it just happens to be time
for our 10th annual Tour de Fours neologism contest, in which we give
you a block of four letters and you have to build a new word around it.
This week, in honor of an adjective that isn’t used much around this
town anymore: *Create a new word or two-word term containing the letter
block S-A-N-E — in any order, but consecutively — and define it,* as in
the examples above. New this year, because the Empress is feeling unduly
magnanimous: *You may also come up with a humorous definition of an
existing word, two-word term or name* containing this letter block. The
four-letter block may break across two words. Feel free to enhance your
entry by using your term in a funny sentence. Don’t feel free to use it
in an unfunny sentence.

Winner gets the Inkin’ Memorial
the Lincoln statue bobblehead that is the official Style Invitational
trophy. Second place receives the book “The Big Bento Box of Unuseless
Japanese Inventions,”

with 442 photographs documenting such gizmos as a rice bowl with a
mirror on one side to let dieters pretend they’re getting a bigger
portion, and little red-and-white umbrellas you attach to the tips of
your dressiest shoes. The book is a celebration of /chindogu,/ the
Japanese humor genre of inventing gadgets that sound like great ideas
until you think about them for a moment; it was won as a door prize by
the Empress’s long-suffering Royal Consort at this year’s Flushies, the
Invitational Losers’ annual awards “banquet.”

*Other runners-up *win their choice of a yearned-for Loser Mug

or the ardently desired Grossery Bag
Honorable mentions get a lusted-after Loser magnet
First Offenders receive a smelly tree-shaped air “freshener” (FirStink

for their first ink). E-mail entries to /
/ or fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is
Monday, Oct. 21; results published Nov. 10 (online Nov. 7). No more than
25 entries per entrant per week. Include “Week 1042” in your e-mail
subject line or it might be ignored as spam. Include your real name,
postal address and phone number with your entry. See contest rules and
guidelines at . The
subhead for this week’s honorable mentions and the alternative headline
in the “Next week’s results” line are by Chris Doyle. Join the lively
Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at /
,/ and click “like” on Style Invitational Ink of
the Day at / /.

*Report from Week 1038, in which we asked for long, convoluted answers to simple questions:

Okay, the logic in some of these is not how-you-say perfectly rigorous.

*The winner of the Inkin’ Memorial

*Why are boogers salty? *
Because boogers come from your nose,
and “rhino-” is a prefix that means “nose,”
and Ryan O’Neal starred in “Paper Moon,”
and the moon makes the tides rise,
and a rising tide lifts all boats,
and boats get barnacles,
and “barnacles” contains the letter block “nacl,”
and “NaCl” is the formula for salt. Duh./
(Chris Doyle, Ponder, Tex.)/

*2.* */Winner of the necktie depicting “romantic” cartoon pigs
* *Why do unicorns have horns?*
Well, unicorns don’t exist, much like moderate members of Congress who
are willing to work together to get something done, but moderate members
of Congress who are willing to work together to get something done are
the only ones who can save America, unless you count Superman, and
Superman can shoot red laser beams out of his eyes, and so can the
Devil, and the Devil has horns, and THAT is why unicorns have horns.
/(Danielle Nowlin, Woodbridge, Va.)/

*3.* *Why are you handing me the Pepto-Bismol? *
Because Pepto-Bismol can help if you’re not feeling healthy, and the
secretary of health and human services is a woman, and you know how
women like to gossip, or, in Haitian Creole, /tripoter,/ which is
pronounced “trip-otay,” which is how Buckwheat rated his first visit to
the big city, like D.C. is a big city, but not like AC/DC, which is a
band, like Uranus Explodes, which can occur if you eat green eggs and
ham. And if that’s what you’re having for breakfast, well, I gotta hand
it to you./(David Garratt, Silver City, N.M.)/

*4.* *Why did Jeff Bezos buy The Washington Post? *
The Washington Post serves D.C., home of the Redskins, “Redskins” is not
PC, PCs need drivers installed, drivers are found on golf courses, golf
courses are found at country clubs, some country clubs are all white,
Alawites are in Syria, Syria is a dystopia, a dystopia is depicted in
the film “Brazil,” the Amazon runs through Brazil, Jeff Bezos founded
Amazon, so it’s only right that Jeff Bezos bought The Washington Post.
/(Mike Gips, Bethesda, Md.)/

*Second strings: honorable mentions*

*Is the Loch Ness Monster real?*
Nessie belongs to the same family as Cookie Monster, who hangs out with
Big Bird, who’s related to Tweety Bird, who regularly bests Sylvester
the Cat, who shares a name with Sly Stallone, who played Rocky, which is
a mountain range often compared to Dolly Parton’s two biggest assets,
and those are about as real as Nessie. So sure. /(Randy Lee, Burke, Va.)/

*Why do good things come in small packages? *
Because good things come to those who wait, and weight is just a number,
and numbers don’t lie, and lye is a base, and a bass is a singer, and
Alvy Singer loved Annie Hall, and Ruth Hall starred in movies with John
Wayne, and John Wayne Bobbitt had a small package, and though even
though you wouldn’t describe John Wayne Bobbitt as “good,” it’s still
why good things come in small packages. /(Chris Doyle)/

*What is 1 + 1? *
In “Principia Mathematica,” Alfred North Whitehead took 362 pages to get
to 1 + 1, and a whitehead is a pimple, and pimple-faced geeks create new
technologies like toasters on the Internet, and a toaster often says
“Cheers,” and “Cheers” had Cliff as a regular, and the GOP uses a cliff
as a regular negotiation strategy in Congress, and Congress gives
lobbyists whatever they want. So, 1 + 1, at least in Washington, is
whatever you want it to be. /(Kevin Dopart, Washington) /

*Why do you insist that Obama is a Kenyan citizen?*
Obama’s mother is from Kansas;
Kansas is also home to Dorothy;
Dorothy’s dog is Toto;
Toto is a band that sang “Africa”;
Africa is home to the Republic of Kenya . . . /(Kristen Rowe, Silver
Spring, Md.) /

*Why do mimes have white faces?*
Well, mimes are silent, and silence is golden, and gold makes you rich,
and accepting shady contributions while you’re the governor of Virginia
also makes you rich, and reading a Post article about how you accepted
shady contributions while you were the governor of Virginia makes your
face go white, and that is why mimes have white faces. /(Danielle Nowlin) /

*Why is a cigar sometimes just a cigar? *
Because a cigar is a smoke, and smoke gets in your eyes, and the eyes
are the window to the soul, and Seoul is in Korea, and Korea loves Psy,
and psi is a letter in Greece, and Greece was once called Hellas, and
hell has no fury like a woman scorned, and the scorned woman in “Fatal
Attraction” was played by Glenn Close, and close only counts in
horseshoes, and Cigar was a horse, and that’s why sometimes a cigar is
just a cigar. /(Chris Doyle)/

*Which side is port?*
Port is wine. Wine is red. Reds are commies. Commies are leftists. So
port is left. /(Robert Rosen, Gaithersburg, Md., a First Offender) /

*Why are babies cute?*
Babies frequently soil their diapers, which means you have to wash the
diapers, but sometimes they’re so dirty that you put in way too much
detergent — for example, All — and then have to find some way to get the
All out, and everyone knows that babies are as cute as All
get-out./(Neal Starkman, Seattle) /

*Why is the noun form of “explain” spelled “explanation” rather than
* In the 1700s Samuel Johson vainly attempted to trace how “ex-plain”
changed in meaning from “no longer clear” to “expound,” which of course
means “no longer heavy.” Dispirited (though not actually sober), Johnson
wrote in the margin, “In the pursuit of explaination I realized I was
lost.” His clerk took that as face value, and that was that./(Brad
Alexander, Wanneroo, Australia)/

*Can any artist today be discussed in the same breath with the Old
Sure! Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel; Elvis sang “Crying in the
Chapel”; Janis Joplin sang “Cry Baby Cry”; Justin Bieber sang “Baby”;
Michelangelo also painted the Baby Jesus; and so when I think of Justin
Bieber, I think of Michelangelo. /(Kristen Rowe) /

*Why did the chicken cross the road?*
Because a chicken lays eggs, and eggs are oval, and so is the
president’s office, and the president was born in Hawaii, but Donald
Trump doesn’t believe this, and Trump is known for his combover, and
also does a Macy’s commercial with Sean Combs, better known as P. Diddy,
who was part of the tribute song “Better on the Other Side.” Which
explains why the chicken crossed the road./(Phyllis Reinhard, East
Fallowfield, Pa.) /

*I had the funniest entry. Why didn’t I win the Style Invitational? *
Because the Invitational is run by an Empress, and Empresses live in
Castles and people who live in castles ride around in carriages and
carriages are pulled by horses and horses eat hay. And hey, aren’t you
the guy that compared the Empress to a prostitute in week 1034? (Robert
Falk, Takoma Park, and he did; see “And Last”

*Why can’t I get ink in the Style Invitational?
*The winners must be funny. /(Edmund Conti, Raleigh, N.C.) /

*Still running — deadline Monday night: Our Week 1041 contest to answer
a question that’s posed in a song. (And if you happened to send such a
question for Week 1038, you can go ahead and send it again.) See*

/See the Empress’s online column The Style Conversational
(published late
Thursday), in which she discusses today’s new contest and results along
with news about the Loser Community — and you can vote for your favorite
among the inking entries, since you no doubt figured the Empress chose
the wrong winner. If you’d like an e-mail notification each week when
the Invitational and Conversational are posted online, sign up here
or write to the Empress at (note that in the
subject line) and she’ll add you to the mailing list. And on Facebook,
join the far more lively group Style Invitational Devotees
and chime in there. /

*Next week’s results: Shookspeare, * or *Flip
Us the Bard,* our contest to write something funny using only the words
in the “To be, or not to be” soliloquy from “Hamlet.”

© The Washington Post Company