Style Invitational Week 1358: What to your wondering eyes will appear?
Rearrange words in ‘A Night Before Christmas.’ Plus winning neologisms.

(Bob Staake for The Washington Post)
Pat Myers
November 14, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. EST
(Click here to skip down to the neologisms “discovered” in a word search grid)

“All I should care to see for Christmas? Just that they threw that spite-filled creature out of the White House — it would not be a moment too soon!”

“I just shook my head and spoke a little dash-dash-dash word when I saw how each pedler had all the toys and stockings out so soon before Christmas.”

Back in February 2017, the Empress invited readers to write something using only words that appeared in the new president’s inaugural address, and as always with our “word bank” contests, the Invite got a passel of astonishing entries. This time, at the suggestion of Ubiquitous Loser Jesse Frankovich, we’ll use a piece of writing that’s a bit more palatable to some of us: Write a humorous passage — a “quote,” an observation, a joke, a dialogue, a poem, anything — using only words that appear in “A Visit From St. Nicholas” (a.k.a. “The Night Before Christmas”), the 1823 poem by Clement Clarke Moore, as in Jesse’s examples above. Since the versions printed online differ slightly, please use the one at (also at That will give you 545 words to work with, including the repeated ones).


A “visit” from St. Nick in the form of mini-jelly beans. Just half of this week's second prize.
A “visit” from St. Nick in the form of mini-jelly beans. Just half of this week's second prize.
The details: You may use a word only as many times as it appears in the poem; for example, you may use “chimney” up to three times, but “would” only once. You must use the whole word as it appears (“toys” but not “toy”), except that when words are joined by hyphens, you may use each half individually. Also, you may change capitalization and punctuation however you like. You may attribute your “quote” to someone else, and add a title.

And a holiday gift from Jesse: An alphabetical list of all 545 words, including repeats, appears in the Empress’s Style Conversational column at

Submit up to 25 entries at (no capitals in the Web address). Deadline is Monday, Nov. 25; results will appear Dec. 15 in print, Dec. 12 online.

Winner gets the Lose Cannon, our Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives an Invite-Style Sugar-Plum Two-Pack: a little plastic Santa and plastic reindeer that each poop tiny jelly beans. Donated by Loser Cheryl Davis.

(Grid made by
(Grid made by

Other runners-up win our “You Gotta Play to Lose” Loser 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” (FirStink for their first ink). See general contest rules and guidelines at The headline for this week’s results is by Jeff Contompasis; Duncan Stevens 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.

And from The Style Invitational four weeks ago . . .

Har weaves: Word-search neologisms from Week 1354
In Week 1354 the Empress posted a randomly constructed word search grid (above) and asked the Loser Community to “discover” new terms by starting at any letter and snaking around the grid in any and all directions.


4th place:
G-14. CANARY LEG: What the fashion model ate as her Thanksgiving drumstick. (Raymond Gallucci, Frederick, Md.)

3rd place:
G-2: POLITE-SIZED: Large enough not to offend, small enough to stomach. “He helped himself to a polite-sized portion of the kale casserole: ‘Wow, it’s so . . . warm.’ ” (Frank Osen, Pasadena, Calif.)

2nd place
and the book ‘Where Underpants Come From’:
B-2: SAUDI OIL? OK, AID! A different quid pro quo. (Mike Creveling, La Plata, Md.)

And the winner of the Lose Cannon:
I-17: DoveSwanGiantRat: You knew someone would try to one-up the turducken. (Sam Mertens, Silver Spring, Md.)

E-10 their hearts out: Honorable mentions
B-3: ABEAROMA: That scent of old pennies. (Joanne Free, Clifton, Va.)

C-10: NEPOMAT: The person best qualified to represent a nation overseas, who just happens to be the president’s relative. (Jesse Frankovich, Lansing, Mich.)


C-14: DYI: Did Yourself In, or the result of the DIY with the house wiring. (Tango Fulham, Alexandria, Va., a First Offender)

C-16: ANGSTIGATOR: Someone who causes a majority of Americans to feel concerned (76 percent), confused (70), exhausted (67), angry (65) and frightened (56). (Jesse Frankovich)

C-18: ADLANDS: Godforsaken area of the Internet where you end up through an accidental click. (Eric Nelkin, Silver Spring, Md.)

C-7: MAYONAID: Benefit concert starring Kenny G and Michael Bolton. (Frank Osen)

D-10 GUDWIG: Beethoven’s better-coifed brother. (Chris Doyle, Denton, Tex.)

D-14: GRECIAN AERATOR: A bathtub fart. “Excited by his Eureka moment, Archimedes displaced some more water when he set off a giant Grecian aerator.” (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase, Md.)

E-15: REWIVE: To have an “I do”-over. (Jon Ketzner, Cumberland, Md.)


G-4: [IN/OUT VERB]: Something clearer than “expletive” to use in redacted documents. (Mark Raffman, Reston)

H-15: INTERNAL OGLE: Meditation for narcissists. (Gary Crockett)

H-8: ALT-LEGIBLY: How the president tweets. (David Stonner, Washington)

I-3: MLKING: What the King estate does when demanding huge fees to air a clip of the “I Have a Dream” speech. (Duncan Stevens, Vienna, Va.)

I-7: UNJOB: Fire. (J. Larry Schott, West Plains, Mo.)

I-8: BUTTBREAK: Intermission after a long first act. (Lynne Larkin, Glenn Dale, Md.)

J-15: MONOPLY: Very thin toilet paper. If that’s what’s available, do not pass or go. (Eric Nelkin)

J-17: POORK: just beans. (Dudley Thompson, Cary, N.C.)

M-2: ZEALOG: An obsessive fan’s diary. “Dear Zealog: Trash day jackpot — recovered some of her nail clippings this morning!” (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)


N-10: BLOOPHOLE: The space between fielders where the baseball drops. (Raymond Gallucci)

O-12: NOOZE: Less than riveting journalism. “Skip the Ambien, hon, and read this eight-part series on magnesium mining.” (Melissa Balmain, Rochester, N.Y.)

O-16: KINK COLE: He called for his pipe, he called for his bowl, and he called for his diddlers three. Mark Raffman)

P-2: GROENR: A bad “Simpsons” joke. (Bill Spencer, Cockeysville, Md.)

J-13: LOSER LOUVRE: My box of Style Invitational crap prizes. (Gary Crockett)

G-19: DWEEBDOM: The realm of those who’d spend nearly two weeks poring over a grid of letters to find made-up words in an effort to have that fact published in a national newspaper. (Jesse Frankovich)

Still running — deadline also Monday night, Nov. 25: Our contest for song parodies about current events. See