Style Invitational Week 1375: Mess With Our Heads
It’s our perennial bank headline contest. Plus new words from ScrabbleGrams ‘racks.’
(Bob Staake for The Washington Post)
(Bob Staake for The Washington Post)
Pat Myers
March 12, 2020 at 12:17 p.m. EDT
(Click here to skip down to the winning new words found in ScrabbleGrams “racks”)

Headline in an ad: Call today to connect with a senior living advisor
Style Invitational bank head: Or book a seance to connect with a senior dead one

Washington Post sports headline: Wizards fall with limited resources
Eye-of-newt shortage causes sorcerers to weaken, stumble on beards

It’s one of the Empress’s favorite perennial contests, since she used to write headlines for a living:

Reinterpret an actual headline (or a major part of it) by adding a bank head, or subtitle, as in the examples above. The headlines may be from any publication, print or online, dated March 12-23, 2020. Please give the source and date for the headline so the Empress can verify it; see details on the entry form.


What prize could set your heart aflutter more than a defibrillator T-shirt?
What prize could set your heart aflutter more than a defibrillator T-shirt?
Submit up to a total of 25 entries at (no capitals in the Web address). Deadline is Monday, March 23; results will appear April 12 in print, April 9 online.

Winner gets the Lose Cannon, our Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a very large dark T-shirt celebrating heart defibrillator operators, the ones who can make your berserk heart unberserk again with those emergency paddles. The legend: “If You Fib, I Will Paddle You.” Donated with heartfelt generosity by Loser Edward Gordon.

Other runners-up win their choice of our “For Best Results, Pour Into Top End” 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 “Rack ’n’ LOL” was submitted by both Chris Doyle and Kevin Dopart; Kevin, William Kennard and Jesse Frankovich all sent in the honorable-mentions subhead. Join the 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’s weekly online column reviews each new contest and set of results. Check it out at; this week (published late afternoon on Thursday, March 12) features classics from earlier Mess With Our Heads contests.

And from The Style Invitational four weeks ago . . .

Rack 'n' LOL: Winning ScrabbleGrams neologisms
Week 1371 was the seventh go-round of The Tile Invitational, in which we listed 45 “racks” from the ScrabbleGrams word game and asked readers to find a new word or phrase, of five to seven letters, from any of the racks.

4th place:
ABELMNU> UNBLAME: The Senate’s new role. “We need to unblame the president for today’s minor misstep,” McConnell stated after Trump’s order to bomb the Eiffel Tower. (Marli Melton, Carmel Valley, Calif.)

3rd place:
AAEGMPR > PRE-MAGA: Back when you could still talk to your brother-in-law at Thanksgiving. (Jonathan Jensen, Baltimore)


2nd place
and the ‘Meh’ cuff links:
AAFIPRT >AIRPAT: Gesture of condolence or friendship when touching isn’t a good idea. “The campaign asked Joe Biden to please replace hugs with airpats.” (John Hutchins, Silver Spring, Md.)

And the winner of the Lose Cannon:
AAEHRSY > HERSAY: What often gets less credence than himsay. "Nineteen women have accused me of harassment? That's just hersay." (Duncan Stevens, Vienna, Va.)

Hitting rack bottom: Honorable mentions
AAEHRSY > SHAREY: Mediocre wine you bring to a party. “Honey, it’s only the Thompsons. Let’s just take a bottle of sharey.” (Richard Franklin, Alexandria, Va.)

EIIMPRW > WE RIP: How Nancy Pelosi ends the sentence “When he goes low . . .” (Jesse Frankovich, Lansing, Mich.)

ABELMNU > LAB MENU: “Rats! I forgot to bring my lunch. But hey, that gives me an idea . . .” (Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)


AAEHRSY > EASY RAH: A fan who’s loyal to a fault. “You still have Redskins season tickets? Man, you’re such an easy rah.” (Duncan Stevens)

AAACLPS > A SCALP: Media slang for catching a photo of a lily-white pate under a flapping, gel-cemented nest of dyed yellow wool over a flaming-orange forehead. (Lynne Larkin, Vero Beach, Fla.)

AAAJMPS > PAJASM: The “ohhh” moment that comes from getting out of your work clothes putting on your warmest PJs on a cold evening. (Jeff Hazle, San Antonio)

AAAJMPS > SPAJAM: That gunk they charge $150 to smear on your face. (Sam Mertens, Silver Spring, Md.)

AABDNNO > NANABOD: The perfect comfy physique for snuggling with grandchildren. (Maggie Haring, Leesburg, Va.)

AABDNNO > NANODAB: How much Brylcreem would do ya. (Alan Zirkle, Fredericksburg, Va., who got his only previous blot of ink in 1998)

AABMNOT > NO BAM: “Emeril really doesn’t like your food, man.” (Lee Graham, Rockville, Md.)

AABMNOT > NOT BAMA: Unofficial tourism slogan of 49 states. (Duncan Stevens)

AACELPT > PAL ETC.: A friend with benefits. (Jonathan Jensen)

AACELPT > CAT-PLEA: “Get off my frickin’ keyboard!” (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)

AACELPT > EAT/CLAP: Pejorative term for a dinner theater. (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)

AADELMR > LARD ME: “I’ll have the refried beans.” (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase, Md.)

AADENNT > TAN END: The line across the forehead where the bronzer stops. (Jesse Frankovich)

AADENNT > DE NANA: “They wouldn’t give you a cookie? That’s okay, Grandma will take care of it.” (Duncan Stevens)

AADHILS > HI — SALAD: Extremely unlikely reply to “Hello, Mr. President. What can I get you for lunch?” (Jesse Frankovich)


AADILWY > AWAYLID: Beer-resistant cap. I always wear my Mets awaylid at Nationals Park. (John McCooey, Rehoboth Beach, Del.)

AADILWY > DIY LAW: Why bother with pesky Congress when you can make your own EZ executive order? (Jesse Rifkin, Arlington, Va.)

AAEGMPR> MAP RAGE: What families used to endure before lost dads had GPS to yell at. (Frank Osen, Pasadena, Calif.)

AAFFIRS > SAFFIAR: “I got this ring for just 500 bucks — look at the box and see what kind of jewel it is!” (Matt Monitto, Bristol, Conn.)

AAFFIRS > FAIR AF: What millennial would-be judges claim to be at their confirmation hearings. (Duncan Stevens)

AALMORY > YO ALARM: A clock that wakes you with a call like “Hey, you with the face! Get up.” (Barbara Turner, Takoma Park, Md.)

ABBDMOR > BARDOM: What many a high school freshman endures while studying “Romeo and Juliet.” (Danielle Nowlin, Fairfax Station, Va.)


ELORTTY > LET ROT: Short for “laissez-faire.” (Steve Honley, Washington)

ABDNOSX > ABNOX: Flaunting a perfect midsection. “That guy who wears the crop top in the gym to show off his six-pack — so abnox!” (Alex Steelsmith, Kailua, Hawaii, a First Offender)

ABEGMOR > ME GO BAR: Cookie Monster’s first words when daily filming ends. (Chris Damm, Charles Town, W.Va.)

ABELMNU > NUMBLE: To try to speak before the Novocain wears off. (Tom Witte, Montgomery Village, Md.)

ABILRRY > LIARY: A journal of one’s supposed activities. “Dear Liary: Today I won yet another Lose Cannon. I’m running out of shelf space!” (Eric Nelkin, Silver Spring, Md.)

ACDERSU > SAD ECRU: Ecru. (Todd DeLap, Fairfax, Va.)

EGINOSU > GENIOUS: A very stable, very smart person who is the BEST speller and don’t let the fake news tell you otherwise. (Mark Raffman)


GILRTUY> RU GILTY: Opening question in trials of the future, when the overburdened justice system tries all misdemeanors with plea bargains by text:
K GILTY (Lynda Hoover, Shepherdstown, W.Va.)

FLMMOUX > MF MXL: Obscenity uttered by a frustrated ancient Roman trying to fill out his federal income tax form. (Roy Ashley, Washington)

Still running — deadline Mon-day, March 16: Our contest for a mini-“rap battle” between two figures in history. See

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