Week 1277: Come into Beeing — a new word contest

Plus: The Losers’ winning nominations for government posts

(Bob Staake for The Washington Post)
By Pat Myers By Pat Myers Email the author

April 26 at 9:57 AM Email the author


(Click here to skip down <#report> to the winning ideas for Cabinet

*UBATRIE --> Burbitate: * To yield to the instinctive pull outside the
city upon becoming parents.

*UBATRIE --> Truebut:* Someone who’ll never concede the point.

*UBATRIE --> Rubaitat:* An Omar Kháyyam poem inscribed on your arm.

In February we ran another neologism contest based on the ScrabbleGrams
word game. This week, at the suggestion of Loser Alex Blackwood, we rip
off honor a similar but significantly different game: It’s called
Spelling Bee, and it’s one of the “variety puzzles” in the Sunday New
York Times. Every week in Spelling Bee — soon to become adaily feature
online, according to Eric von
Coelln, the NYT’s puzzle director — constructor Frank Longo presents six
letters of the alphabet arranged in a circle, daisy-style, around a
seventh letter. The goal is to list as many real words as you can that
include that central letter plus /any / of the other six, used as often
as you want in the word. And that last aspect is the nut of *this week’s
contest: From any of the 15 Spelling Bee letter sets listed below, coin
a new term of one or two words and define it humorously, *as in Alex’s
examples above. *You may also supply an especially clever or funny
definition of a real term.*


Loser Frank Yuen models this week's second prize. Frank wanted to title
this photo "Crustasian." (Pat Myers/The Washington Post )

Here are the rules we’ll use (we’re ignoring the central-letter
requirement of the real game):

*— The word or compound-word term must be at least five letters long. *

*— You may use as few of the letters in a set as you like.*

— *You may not use any letters that aren’t in the set (hyphens are okay).*

*— You may use any letter in the set as often as you like. *So you might
come up with a word that’s, say, eight letters long but use only three
letters in the set.

As always, you may submit up to 25 entries total; the Empress doesn’t
care if you find 25 words from a single set or you use all 15.

*— Please begin /every/ entry with the letter set you’re using, on the
same line as your word and definition. * This lets the Empress sort the

Submit entries at the website *wapo.st/enter-invite-1277*
(all lowercase).

Winner gets the *Lose Cannon,

* our Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a red felt beanie
with a merry felt crab waving at you on top of it. Modeled here by Loser
and incorrigible punster Frank Yuen, who was visiting from New York and
joined a group of Losers and Style Invitational Devotees for lunch,
where he posed in the crab hat in the middle of the restaurant. Frank
suggested that his portrait be titled “Crustasian.” Um, no.

*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
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, May 7; *results
published May 27 (online May 23). See general contest rules and
guidelines at wapo.st/InvRules . The headline
for this week’s results is by Dave Prevar; Chris Doyle wrote the
honorable-mentions subhead. Join the lively Style Invitational Devotees
group on Facebook at on.fb.me/invdev . “Like”
Style Invitational Ink of the Day on Facebook at bit.ly/inkofday
; 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 wapo.st/styleconv

And from The Style Invitational four weeks ago . . .

*In *Week 1273 * we asked your suggestions
for who (or what!) should fill various Cabinet and other federal posts.
Submitted by too many: *Michelle Duggar for secretary of labor,* *David
Petraeus for Veterans Affairs,* *Moses for chief of staff (he could make
his staff work wonders) *and *Vladi­mir Putin for election commissioner,
secretary of state — or president, *since he’s been in charge already.

4th place:

*Sean Spicer* should run the Census Bureau — it will be so exciting to
have 4 billion people in this country. (Duncan Stevens, Vienna, Va.)

3rd place:

*Mrs. Ben Carson* as secretary of transportation, as she’s an expert on
the undersides of buses. (Ira Allen, Bethesda, Md.)

2nd place

/and the Body Parts Sushi gummy candy
*Daniel Snyder* to head the Bureau of Indian Affairs: Him very qualified
paleface. (Rob Huffman, Fredericksburg, Va.)

And the winner of the Lose Cannon:

As he knows the score on what happens in Russian hotel rooms,
*Christopher Steele *can run the Pee Score — What? You spell it how?
Never mind. — E. Litella (Duncan Stevens)

Reductions in farce: Honorable mentions

Metro chief*Paul Wiedefeld *for the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration. He would improve the safety of our roads by letting one
car onto them every 20 minutes. (Duncan Stevens)

*Bryce Harper *for head of both NOAA and NASA: The man knows how to go
deep /and/ launch them into orbit. (Stephen Litterst, Newark, Del.)

*Hunter S. Thompson* for director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco,
Firearms and Explosives: Okay, he’s dead, but look at the level of
experience in all four departments. (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)

*Anthony Scaramucci* for chairman of the President’s Council on Physical
Fitness: He’s suggested some very interesting flexibility exercises.
(Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)

*Moses* would make a good ambassador to China — no one else can handle
the Red C the way he can. (Tom Witte, Montgomery Village, Md.)

*April the Giraffe* should be labor secretary because she could be
expected to stay in the position for a long, long time. (Hildy Zampella,
Alexandria, Va.)

*Eric and Donald Trump Jr.* to run the Fish and Wildlife Service: Who
better to rid the country of the animals destroying our national parks
and waterways? (Chris Doyle, Denton, Tex.)

To head the Council of Economic Advisers, I nominate *my Aunt Ruby,* who
never once failed to make a mountain out of a molehill. I mean, that’s
pretty economical. (Danielle Nowlin, Fairfax Station, Va.)

*Joan of Arc* for press secretary. She is already used to the working
environment. (Ken Rosenau, Bellingham, Wash.)

*LeBron James* for secretary of transportation because he’s always
traveling. (Roy
Ashley, Washington)

For head of NOAA:*Noah!* After all, he’s been around for a long time and
knows a thing or two about rising sea levels. (Alison Thompson, Sudbury,
Mass., a First Offender)

*Rosie Ruiz* for Head Start
director: Because this
time, maybe she can make it work. (Frank Osen, Pasadena, Calif.)

*Scott Pruitt* for HUD secretary: Because who knows more
abouthigh-quality, low-cost housing?

(John Glenn, Tyler, Tex.; Frank Mann, Washington)

*Gumby* to head EPA: He’s eco-friendly green for liberals; he’s made
from petrochemicals for conservatives; and being small and flexible, he
could fit in any lobbyist’s pocket — so no need for a condo! (Jeff
Shirley, Richmond, Va.)

*Superman* for Homeland Security: Who better to protect our borders than
someone who stands for truth, justice and the American way! Wait, he’s
an undocumented alien? (Ward Kay, Vienna, Va.)

*The Skipper *from “Gilligan’s Island” for secretary of education: Has
firsthand knowledge of just how wrong a charter can go. (Steven Honley,

*Vanilla Ice *as the lone ranger of the Department of Justice: It would
be . . . Just Ice. (Chris Damm, Charles Town, W.Va.)

*Vladi­mir Lenin *for secretary of state: He’s been lying in it for 94
years. (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase, Md.)

*Wile E. Coyote *for secretary of transportation — because $3 trillion
buys a /lot /of bridges and tunnels if you’re building them with a
paintbrush . (David Patch,
Toledo; Frank Mann)

*Stormy Daniels* for secretary of education: Not only did she star in
“Teacher’s Pet,” but she has worked under Trump before. (Drew Bennett,
West Plains, Mo.)

Despite their current legal battles, *Stormy Daniels* would make a great
secretary of energy for President Trump. She’d be quite the expert on
strip mining and, um, fracking. (Hildy Zampella)

*Donald Trump* for speaker of the House, seeing as he’s already a woofer
and a tweeter. (Duncan Stevens)

*Yosemite Sam *as national security adviser. As with John Bolton, his
favorite phrase is “This means war!” Also, he has a better mustache
. (William
Pifer-Foote, Leesport, Pa., who last got Invite ink almost 18 years ago)

*Still running — deadline Monday, April 30: our limerick contest. See
wapo.st/invite1276 . * *DON’T MISS AN
INVITE!* Sign up here to receive a
once-a-week email from the Empress as soon as The Style Invitational and
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the columns.