Style Invitational Week 1241: Less taste, more fill-in — our not-crossword

Choose up to 25 words to fill in as you like and define them; plus
winning fake word origins

(Grid by Evan Birnholz/
By Pat Myers By Pat Myers

August 17 at 11:04 AM

Follow @PatMyersTWP //

(Click here to skip down <#report> to the fake portmanteau word derivations)

** *59 Across/(originally “noisemaker”)/: MOIST TATER: Menu euphemism
for “our fries are always soggy”*

*59 Across: NO ISN’T A YES: First rule taught at this year’s freshman

*At least once a year since 2006, we’ve presented you with a filled-in
crossword grid and asked you to supply your own creative clues for words
in the puzzle; this year you’ll see it probably around Christmastime.
Meanwhile, the Empress offers the third go-round (after 2010 and 2014)
of this oddball variation.

The grid pictured here is the solution to a puzzle by Washington Post
Sunday crossword constructor Evan Birnholz, from his website Devil Cross
— with one little difference: Evan has whited
out a bunch of the letters so that you can*give us a novel clue for any
word or phrase in which the remaining letters fit,* across or down, as
in the two examples above for the same set of letters. *NOTE: Your word
doesn’t have to cross with the other words; *just think about individual
across or down words. You may use a real word, name or multi-word phrase
or coin a new one. Please begin each entry with the location of the
first square (e.g. “14 Down”). The limit is, as usual, 25 entries; you
can send us 25 words or 25 entries for one word — the Empress is easy
that way. Your clue need not be as short as the ones for real crosswords
but shouldn’t be more than eight or 10 words.

Submit entries at this website: **
(all lowercase).

Winner gets the *Inkin’ Memorial
the Lincoln statue bobblehead that is the official Style Invitational
trophy — one of the last few before we come out with a new design.
Second place receives a solar-powered hand-waving baby Buddha, complete
with offensively silly grin — the kind you’ll see at the cashier’s stand
at a Thai restaurant. Found in Madrid, of all places, by Roy and Inge

*Other runners-up *win our “You Gotta Play to Lose”

Loser Mug or our Grossery Bag, “I Got a B in Punmanship.”
Honorable mentions get one of our
lusted-after Loser magnets, “No Childishness Left Behind”
“Magnum Dopus.”

First Offenders receive only a smelly tree-shaped air “freshener”

for their first ink). Deadline is Monday night, Aug. 28; results
published Sept. 17 (online Sept. 10). See general contest rules and
guidelines at . The headline
for this week’s results is by Barbara Turner; the honorable-mentions
subhead is by Nan Reiner. Join the Style Invitational Devotees group on
Facebook at / ./ “Like” Style
Invitational Ink of the Day on Facebook at
; follow @StyleInvite
on Twitter.

*The Style Conversational *The Empress’s weekly online column, published
late Thursday afternoon, discusses each new contest and set of results.
Especially if you plan to enter, check it out at

And from The Style Invitational four weeks ago . . .

In *Week 1236 *(delayed a week by the
out-of-order results of Week 1237), the Empress asked you to explain —
entirely falsely — that a particular word was derived from a combination
of two or more other words.

4th place:

*Harmony: *Combining *“harsh” and “alimony.”* “After the divorce, all
she wanted was some harmony in her life.” (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)

3rd place:

*Kale:* From *“kaka” and “vegetable,”* as in “These chips taste like
kale.” (Jesse Frankovich, Grand Ledge, Mich.)

2nd place

and the poop emoji pool raft

*Vote:* From *“vomit-salute,”* or react from the gut. “Last November,
like many Americans, I went to the polls and voted.” (Kevin Dopart,

And the winner of the Inkin’ Memorial:

*Commit = “completely” and “admit”:*“Thou shalt not commit adultery.”
(Chris Doyle, Denton, Tex.) **

Meh-tymologies: Honorable mentions

*Banter = “banal” + “chatter”:* The “Morning Joe” show is known for the
banter between its two stars. (Mark Raffman)

*Metro: *Verb combining *“met” and “zero,”* meaning “failed to live up
to expectations.” “Why didn’t you show up for our date last night?” “I
metroed.” (Duncan Stevens, Vienna, Va.)

*Covfefe:* A combination of *“coverage,” “strife” and “more strife.”*
(Jesse Frankovich)

*Baba ganoush:* The name for the gooey eggplant spread comes from Arabic
for *“grandmother” + “sneezed.”* (Barbara Turner, Takoma Park, Md.)

*Braces = “bras (for) faces,”* since they are worn in the inside, to
hold things in place and keep those things from pointing every which
way. (Hildy Zampella, Falls Church, Va.)

*Huge = “hubristic” + “garbage,”* as in “Believe me, it’s gonna be
huge!” (Jesse Frankovich)

*Climate:* Combination of *“climb” and “fabricate,”* which is how you
know not to believe any of those reports that temperatures are rising. —
J. Inhofe (Duncan Stevens)

*Constipation: “constant” + “anticipation.* (Barbara Turner)

*Coitus = “co-” + “it” + us”: *The transformation of two individuals
into a single beast, albeit one with two backs. (Gary Crockett, Chevy
Chase, Md.)

*College = “colossal” + “privilege”: *“The college kids complained about
having to take exams the day after the election.” (Mark Raffman)

*Complex = “complete” + “excrement”: *An adjective used increasingly by
political leaders. “Our health care bill is complex, so you should pass
it immediately, without reading it. Trust us, it’s great.” (Lorraine
Hricik McMillan, Alexandria, Va.)

*Congress = “constantly” + “regress”: *“Congress — on a steady course.”
(Mark Raffman)

*Healthy:* Combines *“hot” and “wealthy”: *“Really, all I want is a guy
who’s healthy.” (Chris Doyle)

*Cupid:* A combination of *“cute” and “stupid.”* “Once again, Cupid got
me right in the, um, heart.” (Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)

*Glamour* comes from Anglo-Norman slang, from the phrase *“egg
l’amour,”* or “If you were an egg, I’d get you over easy.” (Barbara Turner)

*Implant:* Surgical procedure derived from*“implausibly” and “buoyant.”*
(Duncan Stevens)

*Peon:* Combination of *“pee” and “on.” *Duh. (Warren Tanabe, Annapolis,

*Respects =* *“resents” + “inspects”: *“Nobody respects women more than
me.” (Chris Doyle)

*Skins = skinflint + morons.* “The Skins failed to reach a long-term
deal with Kirk Cousins.” (Mark Raffman)

*Congrats: * Like “baad” becoming “good,” this early American insult
that *likened national legislators to rodents *became a word of
celebration. (Ken Gallant, Conway, Ark.)

*Dinner: * Combination of *“dalliance” and “sinner,”* which is why you
have to be very, very careful about your dinner partner. — M. Pence
(Duncan Stevens)

*Latte:* From*“lather” and “waste.” *“In 1842, Ishmael Balena, a
Venetian barber, invented the latte.” (Kevin Dopart)

*Guru:* From *“guy (with) rupees.”* From the ancient Indian belief that
being really rich means being really smart. (Warren Tanabe)

*Stud: “stupid” + “clod.” *“All the Miss Universe contestants told
Donald he was such a stud.” (Kevin Dopart)

*Still running — deadline Monday night, Aug. 21: our contest for
limericks featuring “gh-” and “gi-” words. See