Style Invitational Week 1416: The Year in Redo, Part 2
Enter (or reenter) any of 24 recent contests. Plus winning song anagrams.
Bob Staake for The Washington Post
Bob Staake for The Washington Post
Pat Myers
Dec. 23, 2020 at 10:01 a.m. EST
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(Click here to skip down to the inking song title/lyric anagrams)

F-fluent: What a lot of tots have become after learning new vocabulary at home from their stressed-out parents. (Dan Helming, Week 1391, for new words that don’t contain C, O, V, I or D)

If 2020 were a Christmas tree, Charlie Brown would look at it and say, “Let’s get the big shiny pink one instead.” (Matt Monitto, Week 1398)

“Downton Abbey” updated for 2020: Lord and Lady Grantham struggle with the challenges created by social distancing — especially dressing themselves. (Jonathan Jensen, Week 1403)

This week we continue our 2020 do-over (oh, yes, Lord, please) with a second chance on any — or all — of 25 recent contests, including limericks, cartoon captions, foal names, fake trivia, up to this week’s song anagrams.

What says "2020" better than a face mask in a festive Dumpster Fire print? This week’s second prize, handmade by Loser Rebekah Bundang.
What says "2020" better than a face mask in a festive Dumpster Fire print? This week’s second prize, handmade by Loser Rebekah Bundang.
This week: Enter (or reenter) any Style Invitational contest from Week 1388 through 1412. You may enter multiple contests as long as you don’t submit more than 25 entries in all.


See descriptions and links for all the old contests, plus more important details, in this week’s Style Conversational column at (published late afternoon Wednesday, Dec. 22).

Please begin each entry with “Week [xxxx]” plus a brief ID of the contest your entry is for (e.g., “Week 1402, 14-point Scrabble words”). If you don’t subscribe to The Post, email me at and, after I ask you why the heck not, I’ll give you alternative directions.

Submit up to 25 entries at (no capitals in the Web address). Deadline is Monday, Jan. 4; results appear Jan. 24 in print, Jan. 21 online.

Winner gets the Clowning Achievement, our new Style Invitational trophy. Second place wins a face mask in Dumpster Fire print cotton, handmade by Loser Rebekah Bundang. Lovely and appropriate as it is, let’s hope it won’t be needed all that far into 2021.


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, “No ’Bility” or “Punderachiever.” First Offenders receive only a smelly tree-shaped air “freshener” (FirStink for their first ink). See general contest rules and guidelines at The headline “Let’s Do the Twist” is by Jon Gearhart; 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; and follow @StyleInvite on Twitter.

The Style Conversational: The Empress’s weekly online column discusses each new contest and set of results. See this week’s, published late afternoon Wednesday, Dec. 23, at

A new “You’re Invited” podcast episode: Mike Gips interviews 750-time Loser Beverley Sharp, who gained a new, somewhat secret identity with the Invite. See it and seven previous episodes at


And from The Style Invitational four weeks ago . . .

Let's do the twist: Anagrammed songs from Week 1412
In Week 1412 the Empress offered up a choice of anagram challenges involving songs: (a) Choose a line, or even multiple lines, from a song and rearrange all the letters; or (b) anagram the song’s title and, optionally, give the revised title some parody lyrics.

Today’s winner goes a giant step further: It rearranges all three verses of the carol “Away in a Manger” — that’s 432 individual letters in its 116 words — into the rhyming poem below.

4th place:
It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas anagrams to
(Jesse Frankovich, Lansing, Mich.)

3rd place:
Carol of the Bells =
See how the fat, soft belly fat,
Seems to appear when winter’s here.
Not getting out, just getting stout,
Skin getting white, pants getting tight.


Watching the game, always the same,
Nachos and beer sure to appear.
Large pizza, please, with extra cheese,
No, that won’t do — we’ll order two.

Can’t ride a bike, can’t take a hike,
Burgers and fries, no exercise.
Parties are fun, food by the ton,
Eggnog and booze, can’t see my shoes.

Very very very very listless!
Very very very very listless!

Step on the scale, face turning pale,
So out of shape, big hulking ape.
King ... Kong ... King ... Kong!
(Jonathan Jensen, Baltimore)

2nd place
and the inflatable antlers:
Have yourself a merry little Christmas, let your heart be light . . . =
Be rather cheery, for Mr. Yuge-Mitts lost it all. (Helluva year, this.) (Matt Monitto, Bristol, Conn.)

And the winner of the Clowning Achievement:
All three verses, 432 letters, of "Away in a Manager" anagrammed into this poem (which can almost be sung to the hymn tune):


My keen Christmas wish here is to help all I meet,
Share joy and goodwill as I walk down the street.
To give my time freely and ask not for pay,
And cherish that duty every minute, each day.

To reward the jobless, even though I am broke,
And hide noble deeds with a shrug or a joke.
To seek to be jolly, decent, godly, serene,
And toil restlessly, bear these said tasks unseen.

To buy all the beers when I go to a bar,
The landlord at the inn will think I am a star.
I'll carry a banner, reading "Jesus Is Love."*
(*If I win the lottery, cancel all the above.)
(Tony Crafter, Sevenoaks, England, a First Offender; the text of "Away in a Manger" appears at the bottom of this page)

Honorable mentions
The Jackson 5’s ABC = ACB
Well, you’re on the SCOTUS now, gal,
Doing things you never did before.
Five may be key, a clear guarantee,
But we’d like to have one vote more.
Now, now, now, we’re gonna show you (show you, show you)
What you’re here for, gal,
Sit yourself down, take a seat.
The chief’ll now be free to turn up the heat.


ACB, chosen by DJT!
No leftie like RBG!
ACB, 6 to 3, Amy, make it be!
(Chris Doyle Denton, Tex.)

O Christmas Tree =
O techno-geek, O techno-geek,
My smart TV’s not booting!
O techno-geek, O techno-geek,
Something is not computing!
Here sit I sad, on Boxing Day,
My gadgets strewn in disarray,
There’s no amount I wouldn’t pay
To get your troubleshooting.
(Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)

“I made it out of clay” =
OILY FACTOTUM IDEA: The janitor at the Second Temple in Jerusalem figured out how to make one jar of oil last for eight days: He bought it at Costco. (Dave Zarrow, Reston, Va.)

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year =
. . . I’ve a vest in the attic
That attracts so much static,
I’m bound to appear
In the ugliest sweater this year! (Frank Osen, Pasadena, Calif.)


It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year =
IT’S THE TEDIOUS, FLOWERY, MOTH-EATEN MF’R: What department store clerks call every carol on the 30-minute music loop. (Barbara Turner, Takoma Park, Md.)

“Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” = EVER MOURNING A TENDER GRAY BROAD (Jesse Frankovich)

Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer =
But her new implants — gifts — made her much cheerier,
And lifted Gramps, her pants and her posterior.
(Frank Osen)

The Twelve Days of Christmas =
. . . On the sixth day of Christmas the Donald tweeted me
Six innuendos,
Four idle threats,
Three big lies,
Two enormous boasts
And a hot cup of covfefe!
(David Smith, Stockton, Calif.)

Santa Baby =
Baby Satan, I love your feet (the right and the left)-- they’re cleft!
That’s a really cute tail, Baby Satan —
I must admit, you’re growin’ on me!” — Rosemary (Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)


The Christmas Shoes = SMASH HIT RETCHES SO (Kevin Dopart, Washington)

Baby, It’s Cold Outside:
I really can’t stay (Eat d’bloody biscuits!)
What will they say? (Eat d’bloody biscuits!)
I know this is rude (Eat d’bloody biscuits!)
But you bought too much food (Eat d’bloody biscuits!) (Sarah Walsh, Rockville, Md.)

The Little Drummer Boy:
Hum, we told him; no lyrics, just hum.
Just stay on middle C—a fine rule of thumb.
He had no use for that (he’d had too much rum);
He tried for high B-flat! We wish he’d kept mum;
Made us look dumb; now we’re all glum.
Next year’s carol sing, we’ll leave out that bum—
Wouldn’t just hum. (Duncan Stevens, Vienna, Va.)

What child is this who laid to rest on Mary’s lap is sleeping? =
Who’s this lad a-crying whilst animals stir? I hoped to sleep. (Matt Monitto)

And Last:
I Walk the Line =
Each time my name gets printed in The Post,
Reporters badger me from coast to coast.
The glare of fame just vexes me the most.
Drives me to drink. Well, I hate ink! (that beleaguered Jonathan Jensen)

Still running — deadline Monday night, Dec. 28: Part 1 of our Year in Redo, to enter Weeks 1360-87. See

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 Style Conversational go online every Thursday, complete with links to the columns.

The text of “Away in a Manager” that Tony Crafter used to make his Clowning Achievement-winning anagram (including the title and subtitle):
AWAY IN A MANGER: A Traditional Carol
Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,
The little Lord Jesus laid down His sweet head.
The stars in the bright sky look down where He lay,
The little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.

The cattle are lowing, the Baby awakes,
But little Lord Jesus no crying He makes.
I love Thee, Lord Jesus; look down from the sky
And stay by my side ’til morning is nigh.

Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay
Close by me forever and love me, I pray.
Bless all the dear children in Thy tender care
And take us to Heaven to live with Thee there.