Style Invitational Week 1366: Tour de Fours XVI — the LIAR club
And we gave a second chance on 24 contests from the past year. Look what we got!
(Bob Staake for The Washington Post)
(Bob Staake for The Washington Post)
Pat Myers
Jan. 9, 2020 at 9:10 a.m. EST
(Click here to skip down to the winners of Part 1 of our annual retrospective)

EARILY: How strange is it that you remember every note of the theme music for a sitcom from 50 years ago?

PEQULIARITY: The desire to have an unusually spelled name. “That’s Marcq with a C and a Q … right, first C, then Q … Yeah, my mom was really into pequliarity.”

MATEARIAL: What you need lots of for a good sob story.

BARIAL: The preferred font for obituaries.

Once again, it’s the neologism contest we call Tour de Fours. And this week, at the suggestion of Loser Jon Gearhart at the inspiration of We Can’t Imagine Who: Coin a word or multi-word term that contains the letter block L-I-A-R and describe it, as in the examples above (the last two of them Jon’s). The letters may be in any order, but there can’t be any letters between them (you may insert a space or hyphen). You might enhance your entry by including an amusing example, or by showing how someone could use the word in real life, since there’s a good chance that someone else will send in the same term you did.

Curve-proud Venus of Willendorf, the crocheted version: This week's 2nd prize. (By Dawn Zurell from a pattern from
Curve-proud Venus of Willendorf, the crocheted version: This week's 2nd prize. (By Dawn Zurell from a pattern from

Submit up to 25 entries at (no capitals in the Web address). Deadline is Monday, Jan. 20; results will appear Feb. 9 in print, Feb. 6 online.

Winner gets the Lose Cannon, our Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a wonderful custom-made craftwork: It’s a replica — except that it’s crocheted — of the 29,000-year-old Venus of Willendorf, or, better, Woman of Willendorf, since the voluptuous five-inch-tall limestone figurine, discovered in Austria in 1908, predates anyone named Venus by at least 25,000 years. Ms. Willendorf, let’s call her, even has a wire inside so you can pose her. Handmade by local fiber artist Dawn Zurell from a pattern by, and donated by 16-time Loser J.J. Gertler.

Other runners-up win one of our new “For Best Results, Pour Into Top End” Loser Mugs 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 “Redoers’ Digest” is by Jon Gearhart; Jon Ketzner 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.

(Bob Staake for The Washington Post/From Week 1308, cartoon captions: Mike just can't get his pet ball not to do that rubbing on his leg thing in public. (Roger Dalrymple, Gettysburg, Pa.))
(Bob Staake for The Washington Post/From Week 1308, cartoon captions: Mike just can't get his pet ball not to do that rubbing on his leg thing in public. (Roger Dalrymple, Gettysburg, Pa.))

The Style Conversational: The Empress’s weekly online column, published late Thursday afternoon, Jan. 9, reviews each new contest and set of results. Check it out at

And from The Style Invitational four weeks ago …

Redoers' Digest: Winners from our retrospective contest
In Week 1362, Part 1 of our annual retrospective, we let you enter (or reenter) any of 24 contests from the first half of the past year.

4th place:
Week 1322, problematic inventions:
The Newfohuahua. (Ken April, Arlington, Va.)

3rd place:
Week 1323, shorten a movie title:
“3:10 to Yum[a]”: Instructional film for making the most of your microwave. (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)

2nd place and the book of Joan Crawford paper dolls:
Week 1307, change a term by one letter:
Receding heirline: Family you see less of since you lost your money. (Jon Gearhart, Des Moines)


And the winner of the Lose Cannon:
Week 1318, anagrams:
Article II, Section 4, of the Constitution: "The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors …"
Anagrams to (using every letter above): Before endorsing voodoo, Republicans promise heaven and reaffirm they're in fact foremost victims of reason. Biden and Clinton (sphincters!) have committed theft — federal crimes! Hill idiots cheer. (Kevin Dopart, Washington)

Laughedovers: Honorable mentions
Week 1307, change a letter:
Erros: The god of misguided love. (Jeff Contompasis)

Fondud: Aunt Edna’s Velveeta and Wonder Bread cheese surprise. (Sam Mertens, Silver Spring, Md.)

Adullery: An affair that’s even more boring than your marriage. (Tom Witte, Montgomery Village, Md.)


Week 1312, neologisms containing T-O-U-R in any order:
Bot-rus Bot-rus Ghali: Putin’s new representative to the U.N. (Mike Gips, Bethesda, Md.)

Sourteen: A stage of adolescence. “Don’t mind Janice, she hasn’t spoken to anyone since her sourteenth birthday.” (Frank Osen, Pasadena, Calif.)

“See Spot Run”: A candid series of children’s books for teaching them all about life, including “See Spot Run Up Debt,” “See Spot Run From His Problems,” “See Spot Run a Drug Ring” and “See Spot Run Off With a Younger Dog.” (Jesse Frankovich, Lansing, Mich.)

Week 1313, poems about people who died in 2018:
Mile runner Sir Roger Bannister
To offer Sir Roger a suitable toast
Tell folks that you’ll speak for five minutes, at most.
Then tell of his challenge, his triumph and more
And get to the finish in just under four. (Bob Kruger, Rockville, Md.)


Aretha Franklin
Aretha Franklin, Queen of Soul —
A singing legend we extol.
Now she’s gone, we pray that she
R. I. P-E-A-C-E. (Jesse Frankovich)

Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad
Though typically it’s a perfunctory task, it
Took them six hours to assemble the casket. (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)

Week 1314, “joint legislation” with congressional names:
The Fulcher-Fletcher-Finkenauer provision for printable alternatives to use after “mother.” (Jesse Frankovich)

Week 1315, crossword clues:
EARPLUGS: Role of tiny fingers when the president says, “La la la la la.” (Jesse Frankovich)

IFTHEN: Title of Fthen’s manifesto. (Duncan Stevens, Vienna, Va.)

IVORIES: One of the few things that men are still allowed to tickle. (Jesse Frankovich)

Week 1316, fake trivia citing “statistics”:
92 percent of clickbait uses this one weird trick. (John Hutchins, Silver Spring, Md.)


In a recent survey, 59 percent of Native Americans found the Washington Redskins offensive; the remaining 41 percent didn’t see them play this season. (John Hutchins)

Week 1318, anagrams:
What is Donald Trump’s morning “executive time?”
Anagrams to: Six a.m. dump, tweet, TV, radio. Lunch meeting? No, sir. (Chris Doyle, Denton, Tex.)

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”
Anagrams to: This line, it will never make tepid, boring new authors sound good. No! Unsafe! Go away, Satan! Austen’s off-limits. FACT. (Sarah Walsh, Rockville, Md.)

Articles of impeachment = The top criminal faces ’em. (Jesse Frankovich)

Week 1321, online reviews of given mundane products:
Shoelaces: “I bought the 54-inch green laces to use for my go-to party trick — sucking a pair up my nostrils and pulling them out of my mouth. Five stars. (Chris Doyle)


Week 1322, bad product ideas:
The solar-powered electric chair. (David Kleinbard, Mamaroneck, N.Y.)

Week 1323, clipped movie titles:
[A]Lice in Wonderland: A little girl regrets sharing a fedora with the Mad Hatter. (Robert Schechter, Dix Hills, N.Y.)

[The H]Unger Games: “The Odd Couple” takes a dark turn as Felix manipulates Oscar into a killing frenzy. (Jeff Contompasis)

Twelve Angry Me[n]: Ryan Reynolds goes for his Oscar in a remake of “Sybil.” (Stephen Litterst, Newark, Del.)

[P]Lay Misty for Me: A porn actor needs body doubles to finish the job. (Chris Doyle)

2001: A Space O[dyssey]: A couple of astronauts become the first members of the 200-Mile-High Club. (Chris Doyle)

[T]Ouch of Evil: Biblical epic that opens with the snake biting Eve. (Dottie Gray, Alexandria, Va.)

[O]Liver!: “Portnoy’s Complaint,” the musical. (Tom Witte)


As Good as It [GETS]: A modest baker declines to claim that his chocolate cake is “better than sex.” (Tom Witte)

Week 1324, folk tales as written by a particular author: Jack and Jill, by Ernest Hemingway
They had just returned from Pamplona. It was raining.
Their hangovers had more fight in them than the bull Ortonez had faced on Saturday.
“I say, Jack. I’ve got quite a thirst, really, old chap,” Jill said.
They looked at one another.
“I’m parched, too. I could murder some water,” Jack said.
“Let’s go, Jack, let’s do,” she said.
I watched them fall down the hill, first gradually, then suddenly.
Next thing I knew they were both dead.
Thirsts die hard. (Scott Stavrou, Plovdiv, Bulgaria, a First Offender)

Week 1326, foal names:
Spinoff x Van Beethoven = Centri-fugue (David Peckarsky, Tucson)

One Bad Boy x Gray Magician = Leroy Taupe (Duncan Stevens)

Sly x Rotation = Yls (Jeff Contompasis)

Week 1327, reinterpret a real headline by adding a bank head:
Headline: In an Indonesian cave, the oldest story ever told
Bank: Etching translated as ‘Wife no understand me’ (Duncan Stevens)

Former CIA official chosen for No. 2 job at Smithsonian
Disgraced ex-chief to collect National Zoo dung. (Jeff Contompasis)

Here are your chances of seeing a white Christmas
Norway, Vermont, Mar-a-Lago top Breitbart’s travel guide (John McCooey, Rehoboth Beach, Del.)

Week 1328, works by one writer told by another:
“Siddhartha,” by Leonard Cohen (to the tune of “Hallelujah”)
Unsettled in your mental state? Aflame with rancor, spite, or hate?
Got worries, teeming like they’re barracuda?
Then meet a dude who’s so serene, he never needs to vent his spleen;
So chill, it’s like he’s hanging in Bermuda.
He’s the Buddha, he’s the Buddha, he’s the Buddha, he’s the Bu-u-ddha. (Duncan Stevens)

Macbeth, by Sen. Lindsey Graham on Twitter:
Act I: If @ThaneOfCawdor becomes king, he will destroy Scotland.
Act II: I can only hope that our new ruler @ThaneOfCawdor strengthens this country, not himself.
Act III: It’s clear @ThaneOfCawdor is the strong, powerful leader Scotland needs!
Act IV: King @ThaneOfCawdor has rebuilt a weak throne into a monarchy in power, easily the greatest king Scotland has ever seen.
Act V: Lay off, Macduff. (Matt Monitto, Bristol, Conn.)

Week 1329, add your line to one by Shakespeare:
“By indirections find directions out” (“Hamlet”)
This Maps of Google app inspireth doubt. (Duncan Stevens)

“Can you remove this mole with laser spark?” (Sarah Walsh)
“Oh, no! It is an ever-fixèd mark.” (Sonnet 116)

Angels and ministers of grace defend us! (Hamlet)
We’ll need them, ‘cause our O-line is horrendous. (Dwayne Haskins, FedEx Field) (Duncan Stevens)

Week 1333, homophones
Jew-dishal system: One set for meat, one set for milk. (Robert Schechter)

Newspique: The daily @realDonaldTrump tweets. (Chris Doyle)

Vigilauntie: The old lady who caught you smoking pot and told your mom. (Jonathan Jensen, Baltimore)

Jock kitsch: “My husband’s Redskins cap, Wizards shirt, and Caps jacket are fine, but that pair of Nats briefs he’s had on since they won the World Series … (Chris Doyle)

And last, one more anagram:
Oh, no need to check this one, Empress. I promise you it’s an anagram.
Anagrams to: Success! Yea, I hope it gets me honor and ink, not more pain or shame. (Bill Dorner, Indianapolis) [Yea, it does check.]

Still running — deadline Monday night, Jan. 13: Write a poem about someone who died in 2019. See

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