Style Invitational Week 1263: Playing the short game

Combine Olympic country codes for novel matchups; plus winning

Above and below are our new Loser Magnets for honorable mentions,
designed as always by Bob Staake. They may be the size of a business
card, but the Empress orders only 500 of each — and so they’re really
limited-edition Staake mini-prints. And they’re not for sale, of course:
You gotta play to lose. The slogans were inking entries in our 2015
contest for magnet ideas; “We’ve Seen Better” is by Brendan Beary,
“IDiot Card” by Beverley Sharp. (Magnet design by Bob Staake for The
Washington Post/ Idea by Brendan Beary)
By Pat Myers By Pat Myers

January 18

Follow @PatMyersTWP //

(Click here to skip down <#report> to the winning euphemisms from Week 1259)

*If Canada (CAN) played the Netherlands (NED), the cheering from the
stands would sound oddly inauthentic. *(Duncan Stevens)

*If Honduras (HON) played Estonia (EST) in soccer, there would be no
cheating and diving, for once.* (Chris Doyle)

*If Germany (GER) played the University of North Dakota (UND), there
would be running, jumping, yelling, cheering . . . * (Duncan Stevens)

This week’s contest developed froma recent brainstorm
the Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook, where the power of
1,500 brainy brains is frittered away day after day. (Join up
and the Devotees will anagram your name in more
ways than you thought possible.) The Olympics are coming up, and
although it’s a Winter Games year, that won’t stop the Empress from
wildly broadening our own game: *This week: Using the three-letter
Olympic national abbreviations and/or the abbreviation for any college,
tell what would happen if one abbreviated team played another, * as in
the examples above from the Facebook back-and-forth. Naturally, it
doesn’t matter if the country or school doesn’t really field a team in
whatever sport you might cite. Find the Olympic abbreviations (on
Wikipedia) at * *
(here is a printable PDF
for colleges with football teams (via Reddit), see
* *(anda PDF for
them as well
You may also use valid abbreviations for non-football schools. *Note:
*If you give the abbreviation without saying what it stands for, the
Empress will toss you off the field.

The second of this year’s Loser Magnets. (Design by Bob Staake for The
Washington Post; slogan by Beverley Sharp)

Submit up to 25 entries at the website **
(all lowercase).

Winner gets the *Lose Cannon,

* our Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives, apropos of this
week’s globally conscious contest, *The Official Style Invitational
Yodeling Pen,* a.k.a. Jodelkulli, brought back from Munich by Loser
Since Week 22 Elden Carnahan. Listen to it — and you really must — at

*Other runners-up *win our “You Gotta Play to Lose”
Mug or our Grossery Bag, “I Got a B in Punmanship.”
Honorable mentions get one of our new
lusted-after Loser magnets, “We’ve Seen Better”
“IDiot Card.”

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

for their first ink). *Deadline is Monday night, Jan. 29; *results
published Feb. 18 (online Feb. 15). See general contest rules and
guidelines at . The headline
for this week’s results is by Jesse Frankovich; Jesse also wrote the
honorable-mentions subhead. Suzanne Barnhill offered up the PDFs for the
abbreviations. 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 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 . . .

* For *Week 1259,* after hearing that
staffers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had been
advised not to use seven certain terms
budget documents, the Empress ran a contest for euphemisms, terms that
make unpleasant concepts seem less so. Of course, most of the civilized
world doesn’t need to disguise “science-based” or “diversity.”

4th place:

*Imprisoned: *Scouting locations for the next Harvey Weinstein movie.
(Ben Aronin, Washington)

3rd place:

*Starving:* In the faminy way. (Jesse Frankovich, Grand Ledge, Mich.)

2nd place

and the Mustard Marvin gadget
gross-flavored jelly beans
*Serial groper: *Outreach engineer. (Ivars Kuskevics, Takoma Park, Md.)

And the winner of the Lose Cannon:

*Excrement: *Gross domestic product. (Melissa Balmain, Rochester, N.Y.)

Differently funny: Honorable mentions

*Recession:* Fun-size economy. (Bill FitzPatrick, Rochester, N.Y., a
First Offender)

*Shameless:* Morally liberated. (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)

*Climate change: *Thermal advancement. (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)

*Pimples:* Beacons of youth. (Jeff Shirley, Richmond, Va.)

*Sluggish: *Brisk-averse. “Our waiter at Slackers was chatty but
extremely brisk-averse.” (Frank Osen, Pasadena, Calif.)

*Treason:* Situational patriotism. (Drew Bennett, West Plains, Mo.)

*Alzheimer’s disease: *Cognitive decluttering. (Melissa Balmain)

*Bad in bed:* Horizontally challenged. (Frank Osen)

*Projectile vomiting: *The fountain of you. (Jeff Shirley)

*Slaughterhouse: *Animal destiny accelerated fulfillment center. (Jesse

*Binge drinking:* Imbibitional capacity determination. (Chris Doyle,
Denton, Tex.)

*Body fat:* Core insulation. (Mark Raffman)

*Sociopathic:* Indifferently abled. (Kevin Dopart, Washington)

*Cancer:* Personal growth. (Mark Raffman)

*Collusion:* Special opportunity for international cooperation. (Jesse

*Corruption:* Market-based governance. (Ben Aronin)

*Rotten meat:* E. coli sanctuary. (Melissa Balmain)

*Dating someone underage: *Mentoring. (Steve Honley, Washington)

*Death:* Medical bill abatement process. (G. Smith, Vienna, Va.)

*Electric chair:* Power seating. (David Kleinbard, Mamaroneck, N.Y.)

*Halloween vandalism: * Free-range eggs. (Bill FitzPatrick)

*Hideously ugly: * Fashion-forward. (Frank Osen)

*Helicopter parent: *Intergenerational life coach. (Harold Mantle,
Walnut Creek, Calif.)

*Metro delay:* Station aesthetics admiration session. (Duncan Stevens,
Vienna, Va.)

*Murder:* Surprise assisted death. (Davey FitzPatrick, Rochester, N.Y)

*Rudeness:* Unvarnished courtesy. (Kevin Dopart)

*Solitary confinement: *Quiet time. (Davey FitzPatrick)

*Swastika:* Foldable “X.” (Kevin Dopart)

*War:* Future History Channel programming. (Melissa Balmain)

*Wino:* Metabolism-challenged fermented-carbohydrate consumer. (Kevin

*We also invited the opposite — dysphemisms, terms that cast concepts in
a worse light: *

*Critical reasoning skills: *Satan’s mind games. (Jeff Shirley)

*Evidence-based:* Disloyal. (Warren Tanabe, Annapolis, Md.)

*Nuclear button:* Micropenis. (Daniel Helming, Maplewood, N.J.; Randy
Lee, Burke, Va.)

*Subjective: *Whatever. (John O’Byrne, Dublin)

*Fry cook:* Arteriosclerosis engineer. (Jesse Frankovich)

*Optimized:* Slowed. — Tim Cook, Cupertino, Calif. (Jeff Contompasis)

*Family-friendly:* ZZZZ. (Rob Huffman, Fredericksburg, Va.)

*Still running — deadline Monday night, Jan. 22: our backward-crossword
contest. See *