Style Invitational Week 1056: Brainstorming new weather terms, plus
the un-crossword

By Pat Myers
Published: January 16

*Phileas Fog: Heavy mist that dramatically increases your travel time.*

*Microshaft: The infinitesimal ray of sunlight that occasionally pierces
the Seattle clouds.*

We’ve weathered a polar vortex, a superstorm, a derecho — and have
expanded our vocabulary with each crazy meteorological event. Loser Mike
Gips suggests that we ought to enlarge the lexicon even more: *This
week: Coin a term relating to weather, climate, etc. — either literal or
figurative — and define it, *as in Mike’s examples above. Just do us
this favor: Skip the joke about how the U.S. Capitol is a source of hot
air; I think I receive a Congress/hot-air joke from someone or other in
just about every contest I’ve judged — and I haven’t given any of them
ink in the last 500-plus contests either.

Winner gets the Inkin’ Memorial
the Lincoln statue bobblehead that is the official Style Invitational
trophy. Second place receives a climate-themed prize, at least if you
stretch the term absurdly: It’s a hefty glass snow globe (actually a
glitter globe) on a gaudy gold plastic base. Inside, being glittered on,
is a leather-vested black-and-white cow doing a wheelie on a motorcycle.
A Harley-Dairyson, perhaps. Or a Cowasaki. Donated by Loser Cheryl
Davis, who has donated many similarly elegant prizes over the years,
such as Shells Playing Poker.

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

or the ardently desired “Whole Fools” Grossery Bag.
mentions get a lusted-after Loser magnet, either the Po’ Wit Laureate

or Puns of Steel.
Offenders receive a smelly tree-shaped air “freshener” (FirStink

for their first ink). E-mail entries to /
/ or, if you were born in the 19th century,
fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, Jan. 27; results published Feb.
16 (online Feb. 13). No more than 25 entries per entrant per week.
Include “Week 1056” 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 is by Kevin Dopart; the alternative headline in the “next
week’s results” line is by Kevin Dopart. Join the lively Style
Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at /
,/ and click “like” on Style Invitational Ink of
the Day at / /

*Report from Week 1052, our perennial Clue Us In contest, in which we published a filled-in
crossword grid from an earlier Washington Post, and asked you to
contribute novel clues for any of the words.

Some funny ideas were
submitted by too many Losers for individual credit, such as “ACID: A
generic Spanish hero,” and “ACTUAL: An order to the cast from a
frustrated director.” Some of the /real/ set of clues
, by puzzle constructor Bob Klahn, trumped the
Losers’ entries, so Bob gets a magnet, too.

*The winner of the Inkin’ Memorial:*

*BAGPIPES: *Scotland’s drone program/(Brendan Beary, Great Mills, Md.)/

*2. * *Winner of the Vietnamese elixir

including both a preserved scorpion and a preserved snake:*
*GRAFT:* How politicians get money to grow on trees/(Barry Koch,
Catlett, Va.)/

*3. * *ICE: * H^_2 O^^3 _/(Rob Huffman, Fredericksburg, Va.)/

*4. * *IRAN: *Paul Ryan’s revised marathon claim/(Mark Richardson,
Takoma Park, Md.) /

*Less taste, more fill-in: honorable mentions*

*MORAN: *What an idiot calls another idiot /(Jim Stiles, Rockville, Md.;
Bill Verkuilen, Brooklyn Park, Minn.)/

*EGGS:* They break up with chicks after getting laid /(Alex Jeffrey,
Columbia, Md.) /

*PLACE:* Fancy toilet paper (hyphenated)/(Steve McClemons, Arlington,
Va., who last got Invite ink in 2006) /

*SPOT:* Lady Macbeth’s annoying dog/(Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.) /

*APRON: *What the well-dressed woman wears — R. Santorum/(Jesse Ellis,
Fairfax, Va., a First Offender) /

*ESPN: *Answer to “Where’s Chris Berman? He’s supposed to be on air
right now!” /(Craig Dykstra, Centreville, Va.)/

*GUESTTOWEL:* Newspaper in Your Mama’s bathroom /(Jeff Shirley,
Richmond, Va.) /

*SMOG:* It makes haze while the sun shines /(John O’Byrne, London)/

*BAGPIPES: *Susan Boyle’s singing voice/(Rob Pivarnik, Stratford, Conn.)/

*ROSA:* Parks in front of a bus /(Bob Klahn, Wilmington, Del.) /

*IOWA: *fascinating place, for two weeks every four years/(Elden
Carnahan, Laurel, Md.) /

*LAVA:* Pompei circumstance /(Robert Schechter, Dix Hills, N.Y.) /

*LAVA: *Top-rated loo (hyphenated) /(Ann Martin, Falls Church, Va.) /

*CROCI:* Final score in Nile conflict: Canoeist 0, / ______ /(Mark
Richardson) /

*ROCKCANDY:* Michaele Salahi’s new job description

/(David Ballard, Reston, Va.) /

*ROCKCANDY:* Cliff bar /(Jonathan Hardis, Gaithersburg, Md.) /

*ONE:* Where to keep up with the Kardashians (two words)/(Chris Doyle,
The Villages, Fla.; Kevin Dopart, Washington)/

*POPSINGLES:* New diet product from Orville Redenbacher/(Andy Promisel,
Fairfax, Va.) /

*POPSINGLES:* My wife gets mad at me when I do this into a stripper’s
thong /(Alex Jeffrey) /

*MOUE:* McKayla Maroney’s
claim to fame/(Dan Ramish, Washington) /

*WADE:* What you might do following DUI plumbing /(Beverley Sharp)/

*WADE:* What Elmer Fudd uses to kill bugs/(Neal Starkman, Seattle) /

*TORUS:* “The Heavenly Donut”; zodiac sign of Homer Simpson /(Larry
Gray, Union Bridge, Md; Ann Martin) /

*CIAO:* Eat and run /(Kathy El-Assal, Middleton, Wis.; Nan Reiner,
Alexandria, Va.)/

*OBOE:* Penetrating wind /(Bob Klahn) /

*CZECH:* Eastern European bouncer /(Robert Schechter)/

*OBIE:* Award won by “Baby Doc: The Musical”/(Christopher Lamora, Los
Angeles) /

*GUESTTOWEL:* Something you bring when staying overnight at your son’s
bachelor pad /(Dave Prevar, Annapolis, Md.) /

*LUCKYROLL: *Sushi made with “mystery fish”/(Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.) /

*ICKY:* The Bluegrass State’s failed tourism campaign to counter I ♥
NY./(Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.) /

*EBOOK:* A more convenient format for the literary classics you still
won’t read. /(Lawrence McGuire, Waldorf, Md.) /

*IRE:* What you get when your land is out of potatoes. /(Edmund Conti,
Raleigh, N.C.) /

*RACK:* Scrumptious part of both Lamb Chop and Shari Lewis/(Ward Kay,
Vienna, Va.) /

*CAPO:* Text-message summary of Gov. Jerry Brown’s State of the State
address./(Dave Prevar) /

*CAPFUL:* Given to shouting on the Internet /(Chris Doyle) /

*DOCK:* Julius Erving’s relative Kenny /(Ben Aronin, Arlington, Va.;
Jonathan Hardis) /

*STONEAGE:* Count the rings on Keith Richards to get this /(Steve

*ROWE: *The fifth-worst place to sit at a Justin Bieber concert./(Roger
Dalrymple, Gettysburg, Pa.) /

*ICE:* It can send a chill up an undocumented worker’s spine./(Jeff
Contompasis) /

*FUNK:* Odd-smelling but cutely shaped breakfast cereal (hyphenated)
/(Danielle Nowlin, Woodbridge, Va.)/

*FUNK:* Text message that makes Kim Jong Un-happy (acronym) /(Mike
Ostapiej, Mount Pleasant, S.C.) /

*LINGO:* He wrote “Octopus’s Jargon” /(Jonathan Hardis)/

*LINGO:* Cheer at Houston Rockets
game /(Steve

// *Still running — deadline Monday night:* Our neologism contest for
words in which you add or substitute one or more K’s. 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: Questionable Journalism, * or *Ask-It Cases, *our
perennial contest in which you choose any sentence out of the paper and
make up a funny question that it could answer. See

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