Style Invitational Week 1428: The Tile Invitational VIII
Add to list
Make new words from ScrabbleGrams letter sets; plus top NYT Spelling Bee neologisms
(Bob Staake for The Washington Post)
By Pat MyersMarch 18
(Click here to skip down to the winning NYT Spelling Bee neologisms)
The letters ADNRSUW rearrange to SUNWARD.
But you could also make:
ADNRSUW > URNWAD: The sodden lump of grounds and filter you have to take out of the coffeepot.
ADNRSUW > UNDRAWS: What a pencil eraser does, at least till it gets dirty, at which point it un-undraws.
ADNRSUW > RUS-WAND: A hammer or sickle.
As we present this week’s winning neologisms drawn from letter sets of the New York Times Spelling Bee game, we’ll return once again to a similar — but notably different — challenge, based on the syndicated feature that’s appeared in The Post for decades: At the bottom of this page are 40 seven-letter “racks” taken from the 2005 “Big Book of ScrabbleGrams.” This week: Create a five-, six- or seven-letter word (or phrase) by scrambling the letters of any of the sets and define it, as in the examples above from one of this week’s sets.
The difference between ScrabbleGrams and Spelling Bee is that this time, you may use each letter in the set only once in your word (think of arranging Scrabble tiles). (If the set contains two of the same letter, you may use them both, of course.)
How to format your entry: Begin every entry with the letter set you’re unscrambling — look at the examples again, please! please? — so the Empress can sort them all into 40 tidy groups and compare similar entries. Don’t put the letter set and your word on different lines, because you will ruin the sorting and make the E tear at her curls.
Submit up to 25 entries at wapo.st/enter-invite-1428 (no capitals in the Web address). Deadline is Monday, March 29; results appear April 18 in print, April 15 online (this is why the tax deadline was extended).
Winner gets the Clowning Achievement, our new Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a “You’re Invited” coffee mug celebrating the podcast all about The Style Invitational, complete with a classic Bob Staake cartoon. Host Mike Gips wraps up Season 1 this week with Episode 12, a zingy half-hour with Super-Loser Mark Raffman, who’s managed to get about a dozen different “Be Our Guest” parodies into the Invite — and offers one more just for the podcast. Listen at bit.ly/invite-podcast or at Apple Podcasts or Spotify.
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 wapo.st/InvRules. The headline “Buzz Words” was submitted by both Jesse Frankovich and Roy Ashley: Dave Prevar wrote the honorable-mentions subhead. Join the lively Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at on.fb.me/invdev; “like” the Style Invitational Ink of the Day on Facebook at bit.ly/inkofday; 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 at wapo.st/conv1428.
And from The Style Invitational four weeks ago …
Buzz words: Spelling Bee neologisms from Week 1424
In Week 1424 we once again saluted the addictive New York Times word game Spelling Bee, presenting 30 of its past seven-letter “hives” and asking you to coin a new term from any of them. As with the Bee, you could use any letter more than once — or not at all, except that you had to use the first letter of the set. The Empress was flooded with 1,700 entries, many from Bee fans. (The E showed a shortlist of this week’s entries to Sam Ezersky, who masterminds the Bee for the Times; see his faves in this week’s Style Conversational column, published late afternoon Thursday, March 18, at wapo.st/conv1428.)
From BAMNRTU > Bun tuba: Unfortunate generator of sound (and more). “The other guy in the elevator played the bun tuba pretty much all the way to the 39th floor.” (Dan Helming, Trenton, N.J.)
Complete with a Staake cartoon of Mike Gips and generic Loser; the other side says “Schlock and Haw.”
CAILMNR > Miracall: When you answer your phone and your young adult offspring says: “Hi, Mom, how are you doing? … No, I don’t need any money, just wanted to say hello.” (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)
and the ‘awful sounds’ noisemaker:
CAILMNR > Clam mail: Louis DeJoy’s new “improvement” on snail mail. (Frank Osen, Pasadena, Calif.)
And the winner of the Clowning Achievement:
BEFILON > Foible file: Where your brain stores the memories of every mistake you ever made so it can bring them all out when you're trying to fall asleep. (Danielle Nowlin, Fairfax Station, Va.)
TIMPRUY > Pity: Honorable mentions
— MAGAbyte: A unit of digital disinformation. (Stephen Dudzik, Olney, Md.)
— MAGAbaby: A person who deserves support and protection, until the person is born. (Mark Raffman)
— Gabbage: Talk show content. (Stu Segal, Charlotte, who last got Invite ink in Week 138, 1995)
— Maybe-get: An item you put in your shopping cart noncommittally, so you can decide later whether to actually purchase. (Diane Parham, Columbia, S.C., a First Offender)
— Lavity: Potty humor. (Sarah Walsh, Rockville, Md.)
— Tabby alibi: “I couldn’t have knocked over the plant, Your Honor — I was napping the entire day in question.” (Jesse Frankovich, Lansing, Mich.)
ACFILRY > Caffilry: Emergency reinforcements in the form of java. “When you hit that midmorning wall, it’s time to call in the caffilry.” (Eric Nelkin, Silver Spring, Md.)
BEFILON > BFFN: Best friend for now. “Just being honest with my abbreviations,” Mona explained. (Steve Honley, Washington)
— Buttbra: It lifts, but ideally doesn’t separate. (Kevin Dopart, Washington)
— Numbrr: What Dad sets the thermostat to in winter. (Jesse Frankovich)
— Bamarunt: The Crimson Tide lineman who’s only 285 pounds. (Nancy McWhorter, Isle of Palms, S.C., who last got Invite ink 21 years ago)
— Fibillion: Such a big number, you wouldn’t believe how big! “Just my golf courses are easily worth a fibillion.” (Pete Morelewicz, Fredericksburg, Va.)
— Febillion: How much Jeff Bezos made last month. (Mike Caslin, Round Hill, Va.)
CAILMNR > Camcalm: The veneer of sanity we project on Zoom calls. “After tossing the cat off the laptop, then wiping up the resulting coffee spill, Joan swiftly sat in her chair, composed herself, and exuded total camcalm just as the meeting began.” (Hannah Seidel, Alexandria, Va.)
DALNRUY > Aynrandy: How amorous capitalists act. “I kissed her ear, whispering ‘deregulation,’ and she became totally aynrandy.” (Jeff Shirley, Richmond)
EACLTYZ > Lay-Zee: The acclaimed nap artist. (Tom Witte, Montgomery Village, Md.)
— Hick dickie: Just the collar and surrounding six inches of a T-shirt. (Drew Bennett, West Plains, Mo.)
— CheckHide: A game repeatedly played by dining partners. “No, I’ll pay!” “No, I insist!” “This one’s mine!” “You paid last time!” Winner: “Okay, but the next one’s on me.” (Kathleen Delano, McLean, Va.)
FACELPT > Faceflap: Mouth of a nonstop talker. “Jeez, will you tie down your faceflap for just one minute?” (Ann Martin, Brentwood, Md.)
— Theheck: What Southerners cook out of their vegetables. (Mia Wyatt, Ellicott City, Md.)
— Nicki ’n’ Keith ’n’ Ken: A Minaj à trois. (Chris Doyle, Denton, Tex.)
LBDFINO > Li’lbido: You at 50 versus you at 20. (Pete Morelewicz)
LDGNOUY > Nonnounology: The study of how nouns get verbed and then texted, messaged, Skyped, Facebooked and Instagrammed. (Frank Osen)
LBIMOTY > Lobotomommy: What a sleep-deprived mother of an infant can feel like. (Bill Dorner, Indianapolis)
LDGNOUY > Logyn: What’s on the first page of the website where you make your Pap smear appointment. (Jeff Hazle, San Antonio)
MACHNOR > Rancorman: “Now that Rush is gone, Tucker seems to be assuming the Rancorman mantle.” (Bob Kruger, Rockville; Marli Melton, Carmel Valley, Calif.)
— Mortarboardom: That feeling when it’s been 45 minutes and the dean just started calling up the G’s. (David Peckarsky, Tucson)
— Doormatador: A really bad bullfighter. (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)
— Lint-Mint: A fuzzy piece of candy that you find in the pocket of the jacket you never wear, when you suddenly realize you have bad breath. (Frank Osen; Diane Parham)
— Milliton: One thousandth of a ton, or two pounds. “I’ve started my diet six months ago and I’ve already lost a milliton!” (Jack Doherty, Great Mills, Md.)
— No-u-canto: An aria with impossibly high notes. (Tom Witte)
— Urñata: A fun way to spread your loved one’s ashes. (Jeff Hazle)
— Cancún U-turn: A quick reversal of an extremely unpopular decision. “When the teachers threatened to quit en masse, the superintendent made a Cancún U-turn and declared that learning would remain virtual after all.” (Eric Nelkin)
VAEGLUY > Luvvy-Guvvy: The feeling that once pervaded Albany, N.Y. (anachronism). (Steve Smith, Potomac, Md.)
BEFILON > Enbee: Include a word in the New York Times game that nobody uses anywhere else, like “enhalo.” (Kevin Davis, San Diego, a First Offender)
ABEGMTY > Beegamy: Equal commitment to your spouse and a certain daily word game. (Steve Langer, Chevy Chase, Md.)
And Last: LBIMOTY > Looblot and tootblot: Invitational ink earned with a toilet or fart joke. “I’m not proud of it, but about two-thirds of my inks are looblots or tootblots.” (Bill Dorner)
And Even Laster: KCEHINT > Ink tithe: “Why, Empress, what greasy palms you have!” (Jesse Frankovich)
Still running — deadline Monday night, March 22: our contest for “A, or B” puns about historic events. See wapo.st/invite1427.
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 letter sets for use in Week 1428: