Style Invitational Week 1346: AZ if — balancing acts

A brand-new neologism contest. Plus the winning combo-abbrevs.

(Bob Staake for The Washington Post)
By Pat Myers

Pat Myers

Editor and judge of The Style Invitational since December 2003
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August 22

(Click here to skip down <#report> to the winning abbreviation combos)

*B-Y: Bolshy: A Russian ballet company whose dancers suffer from stage
fright. * /(Bob Staake)/

*H-S: Hipatitis: Terminal coolness.* /(Tom Witte, Week 278)/

*S-H: Suckotash: A dish of corn, lima beans and tofu. * /(Russell
Beland, Week 278)/

*M-N: Mucussion: The drastic result of overly strenuous nose-blowing.*
/(Chris Doyle, Week 368)/

*M-N: Mushderloin: Result of a kick in the crotch. * /(Stephen Dudzik,
Week 156) /

This week’s contest was suggested to the Empress by the Royal Consort,
who sleeps in on Sundays later than the E does these days. He was lying
in bed, listening to the weekly Sunday Puzzle a few weeks ago on NPR’s
“Weekend Edition,” and heard the answer to a challenge posed by listener
Andy Blau:

Think of a word that is “alphabetically balanced,” or symmetrical: Its
first and last letters are the same distance from the beginning and end
of the alphabet; its second and second-to-last letters are, too; and so
on. He suggested BEVY — B and Y; E and V. The winning word: WIZARD. How
cool is that!

It’d be insane to ask you to produce totally balanced words, but I think
we could work it with the ends. *This week:* *Think of a /new /word or
two-word phrase that begins and ends — either way — with one of these
“alphabetically balanced” pairs, * as in the examples above, most from
earlier contests that happen to fit this week’s parameters:

*AZ, BY, CX, DW, EV, FU, GT, HS, IR, JQ (good luck!), KP, LO, MN*

Submit entries at *
* (all lowercase).

Winner gets the *Lose Cannon,

* our Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a /toiletklaver,/
or, as its Danish manufacturer translates it, *“bathroom piano”:* It’s
an electronic floor mat that you place in front of your commode so that
you may tap out a tune — perhaps “Let It Go” — on the keyboard diagram.
But can you do that /and /write Style Invitational entries in the same
session? Try to find out. Donated by Loser Since Week 120 Roy Ashley.

*Other runners-up *win our “You Gotta Play to Lose”
Mug or our “Whole Fools”

Grossery Bag. Honorable mentions get one of our lusted-after Loser
magnets, “Too-Weak Notice”

or “Certificate of (de) Merit.”

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

for their first ink). *Deadline is Tuesday, Sept. 3* (aw, don’t labor on
Labor Day); results published Sept. 22 in print, Sept. 19 online. See
general contest rules and guidelines at
. The headline “Short Fuses” is by Tom Witte;
Jesse Frankovich wrote the honorable-mentions subhead. Join the lively
Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at /
./ “Like” the Style Invitational Ink of the Day
on Facebook at /; / follow
@StyleInvite on Twitter.

*The Style Conversational: *The Empress’sweekly online column
discusses the week’s new contest and results.
This week, an answer key to the Week 1342 results. See it at .

And from The Style Invitational four weeks ago . . .


In *Week 1342 *we asked you to mash together
two abbreviations. If you can’t figure out some of the portmanteaus
below — the Empress herself spent lots of hours puzzling over the
1,000-plus entries — check out this week’s Style Conversational at
* * for an answer key.

4th place:

*J/KKK:* “Ha ha ha, of course I’m not racist! That was just a Halloween
costume.”/(Danielle Nowlin, Fairfax Station, Va.) /

Why just sit there when you can tap out a jaunty tune? This week's
second prize.

3rd place:

*PhDD: *Person who might have occasion to say, “Excuse me, my brain is
up here.” /(Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.) /

2nd place and the sarcasm sign

*WCCR:* The bathroom on the right./(Chris Doyle, Ponder, Tex.) /

And the winner of the Lose Cannon:

*UNICEFU:* "Every child's life is precious! . . . Oh, wait, those
children aren't from here." /(Danielle Nowlin) /

Short-term losses: Honorable mentions

*AARPG:* The ultimate “get off my lawn” weapon. /(Ira Allen, Bethesda, Md.)/

*AARPM:* 45s, 33s and still a few 78s/. (Rob Huffman, Fredericksburg, Va.) /

*AFL-CIOB/GYN:* For all your labor needs. /(Jeff Shirley, Richmond, Va.)/

*NSFWH:* Warning stamp on federal agency documents containing
facts./(Kevin Dopart, Washington)/

*AT&T&A:* Its cellphone agreement page features lots of naughty
pictures, but still no one reads it. /(Duncan Stevens, Vienna, Va.) /

*BCCNN:* Default email setting of White House junior staffers that
explains the continual “according to insiders” scoops. /(Stephen
Litterst, Newark, Del.) /

*BYOBNB:* Camping. /(Melissa Balmain, Rochester, N.Y.)/

*CCCPAC:* Annual gathering of conservative activists and their Soviet
supporters. /(Chris Doyle)/

*CRISPRBG:* The science that many Americans wish could keep the justice
around forever. /(Dottie Gray, Alexandria, Va.) /

*CVSTFU:* “Customer Smathers to the pharmacy desk — your stool softeners
are ready for pickup.” /(Frank Osen, Pasadena, Calif.)/

*DCAPTCHA: *“Select all images with a corrupt, power-hungry liar.”
/(Jesse Frankovich, Grand Ledge, Mich.)/

*ETASAP:* “Get your butt in here /now!” / /(Roger Dalrymple, Gettysburg,

*ETATMI:* “I’ll be there between 19 minutes 24 seconds and 21 minutes 7
seconds from now.” /(Roy Ashley, Washington) /

*FICOCD: *Obsessively checking your credit score after every
transaction./(Stephen Dudzik, Olney, Md.)/

*FOMOMG!: *What teens suffer when they have to put their phones away.
/(Bill Dorner, Indianapolis)/

*FUBARNR:* Spring break./(Kerry Humphrey, Arlington, Va.)/

*GMOMG*: “Check out the size of those tomatoes!” /(Kyle Hendrickson,
Frederick, Md.)/

*GOPDA:* Kissing the president’s butt in full view of your
constituents./(Jesse Frankovich)/

*HOVIP:* A clown car driver in the high-occupancy lane. /(Bob Kruger,
Rockville, Md.)/

*IBMAGA: *The company whose motto is “Don’t think.” /(Ward Kay, Vienna,
Va.) /

*IMDBFF:* That one acquaintance you only invite to hang out on pub
trivia nights. /(Matt Monitto, Bristol, Conn.)/

**IRSVP*: *“Please respond by April 15.” /(Jesse Rifkin, Arlington, Va.) /

*LMAOB/GYN:* “Ha ha, look at the speculum! Doesn’t it look like a duck?
Quack, quack! Okay, get back to work, there, Mr. Duck!” /(Danielle Nowlin)/

*MSRPOTUS:* The going rate for emoluments. /(Sam Mertens, Silver Spring,
Md.) /

*NARAla: *Uh, we’ve got some work to do. /(Sam Mertens)/

*NASAFTRA:* The dedicated men, women and FX artists who helped fake the
moon landing./(Stephen Dudzik)/

*NFLOL:* “We’re doing all we can to make the sport safer for the
players.” /(Mark Raffman)/

*NSFWD-40:* Lubricant for even more uses! /(April Musser Brand,
Alpharetta, Ga.)/

*OB/GYNRA:* A group that supports shotgun weddings. /(Jesse Frankovich)/

*OMBDSM:* “We really, really love budget cuts — deep, sharp, stinging
ones.”/(Kevin Dopart)/

*401KO:* Effect of Trump’s trade war on my retirement account. /(John
Hutchins, Silver Spring, Md.)/

*OMGCYA:* “Nobody wants to see you in that Speedo!”/(Jeff Strong,
Fairfax, Va.)/

*RSVPS:* Announcing to your hosts that you’ll also be bringing guests
they did not invite. “RSVPS: Fido will be coming, too — don’t worry,
we’ll bring carpet cleaner!” /(Kevin Dopart) /

*SAT&T:* The new “open phone” exam. /(Eric Nelkin, Silver Spring, Md.)/

*TMIHOP:* Telling the server that the Fresh ’N Fruity makes you Rooty
Tooty. /(Jean Sorensen, Herndon, Va.) /

*USUK: *America and Britain issue a joint declaration to the rest of the
world. /(Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase, Md.)/

*WTFIFA:* The 2022 World Cup in Qatar?/(Jim Derby, Rockville, Md.) /

*WTFLOTUS?*: Wearing a pith helmet in Kenya? /(Bill Dorner)/

*YMCAARP: *Favorite place of the Retirement Village People. /(Barbara
Turner, Takoma Park, Md.) /

*YMCAT: *Young men, a bunch of premeds/ I said young men, there’s plenty
of beds . . . /(Mike Gips, Bethesda, Md.)/

*YOLOTOH:* Better safe than sorry. /(Jesse Frankovich)/

*Still running — deadline Monday night, Aug. 26: Our contest for fake
trivia about food. See . *

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