Style Invitational Week 1450: Putting ‘anoid’ in humanoid
Describe something we do as a space alien would see it. Plus novel crossword clues.

(Bob Staake for The Washington Post)
By Pat Myers
Today at 10:08 a.m. EDT

(Click here to skip down to the winning crossword clues)

Captcha: The ability to recognize crosswalks, buses, etc., is rare and highly prized in this civilization; humans with that skill are entitled to special benefits.

On one particular autumn day, humans customarily eat a large meal, then trample one another seeking electronic equipment, seemingly regretting their failure to film the meal sufficiently.

Long lines at certain polling places: Elections in urban areas must present such wrenching choices that people take hours to ponder their options. In rural regions, however, voters can readily decide the agricultural-policy issues presented.

Little bendy Bigfoot comes complete with a “scat sample.” How prizey!
Little bendy Bigfoot comes complete with a “scat sample.” How prizey!
You are an anthropologist from the future. Or you are a visiting space alien. Or perhaps a visiting space alien anthropologist from the future. This week: Humorously describe some aspect of our current society as a space alien and/or future anthropologist might interpret it, as in the examples above by 692-time Humanoid Loser Duncan Stevens, who suggested this contest.

Submit up to 25 entries at (no capitals in the Web address). Deadline is Monday, Aug. 30; results appear Sept. 19 in print, Sept. 16 online.

Winner gets the Clowning Achievement, our Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a cute bendy Bigfoot toy, complete with a can of “Bigfoot scat poo sample.” Truth be told, this Bigfoot is more like Littlefoot, being about five inches tall. Then again, it does make the Footster harder to find. Donated by Invite fan Dan Huff.

(L.A. Times crossword published in The Post July 11; copyright 2021, Tribune Content Agency)
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 “Lentil Fill-Ins” is by Dave Prevar; Chris Doyle 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 at

The “You’re Invited” podcast: Fifteen half-hour episodes, including dish from the Empress and the Czar, and tips from top Losers. See

And from The Style Invitational four weeks ago . . .

Lentil fill-ins: The partial crossword of Week 1446
In Week 1446 I presented a filled-in version of a recent crossword — but I covered a number of squares with lentils (see below). Then I asked the Losers to supply their own choice of letters to replace the lentils in any word or phrase, then give a creative clue. Here are the best among almost 1,200 entries.

See this week’s Style Conversational at (published late afternoon Thursday, Aug. 19) for a host of hilarious plays on the lentilized PANTSONFIRE and other longer answers. (Click here to see the uncovered grid with the actual words.)

4th place:
P-AY > pBAY: Buy your clean urine sample here! (Leif Picoult, Rockville, Md.)

3rd place:
BO - - E > BOWIE: Famous for being big, shiny and cutting-edge in the 1970s — and the 1830s (Coleman Glenn, Huntingdon Valley, Pa.)

2nd place
and the canvas bag picturing heroic Obama a la Mao:
R-E > ROE: Supreme Court case that Supreme Court nominees may or may not have heard of, have no opinion about, and certainly are not intending to overrule (John Hutchins, Silver Spring, Md.)

And the winner of the Clowning Achievement:
T- - N > TEEN: I'm working on the definition, OKAY? (Roy Ashley, Washington)

Clues-lose situations: Honorable mentions
-HU-B-AR > THUG BEAR: National park resident, infamous for jacking pick-a-nic baskets, changes his serene name (Lawrence McGuire, Waldorf, Md.)

-P-R- > SPORT: What Grandpa calls you when he forgets your name (Daniel Galef, Tallahassee)

-O-EL > BOWEL: If you snarf an entire box of Cheerios at one sitting, you will have a ___ of cereal. (Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)

-EAR - - > FEARTV: New name for Fox News? (Leif Picoult)

A-NE- > AWNET: The all-puppies-and-kittens YouTube channel. (Beverley Sharp)

-AN-SON-I-E > PANTS ON FILE: How the fashion police track down repeat offenders (Coleman Glenn)

-AN-SON-I-E > PANTS ON MICE: One way to control the rodent population (Lenard King, Richmond, Va., a First Offender)

-AN-SON-I-E > PANTS-ON FINE: What the Norwegian beach handball team has to pay for not wearing bikini bottoms (Miriam Nadel, Vienna, Va.)

A-T- > ALT-U: Liberty University. (Daniel Helming, Whitemarsh, Pa.)

B-R-STA > BORISTA: Long-winded coffee server: “Let’s walk through the flavor profile of Tuvaluan Botarga . . .” (Frank Osen, Pasadena, Calif.)

B-R-STA > BARDSTA: They serve up poems with your coffee. “Your double half-caf mocha Frappuccino/ Will soon arrive, as fast as a neutrino.” (Duncan Stevens, Vienna, Va.)

BAN- > BANK: If you owe it $10,000 and don’t have it, you’re in trouble. If you owe it $10 million and don’t have it, it’s in trouble. (Roy Ashley)

-CA- > ACAI: The kale of berries (Jeff Rackow, Bethesda, Md.)

DO-T- -L-ME: DOCTOR LAME: One of the few Marvel characters not to get a movie (John Hutchins)

DO-T- -L-ME > DON T. TOLD ME: Rioter’s reason for storming the Capitol (Sarah Walsh, Rockville, Md.; Jesse Frankovich, Lansing, Mich.)

E - E > EEE: The shores the Marines sing about. (Steve Glomb, Alexandria, Va.)

F-R - - > FARGO: Yoda’s travel plans in the Midwest (Bird Waring, Larchmont, N.Y.)

I - - > IFA: International Fonetic Alphabet (Steve Honley, Washington)

IN-NE- - > INANEST: The _____ bird, the cuckoo, still lives ____ (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase; Jonathan Jensen, Baltimore)

-LDIES: ALDIES: Gore’s final inconvenient truth (Jesse Frankovich)

LE-O-B-O-N > LEMON BROWN: One of the new “back of the fridge” Crayola colors (Coleman Glenn)

LE-O-B-O-N > LEMON BROWN: The sourest man in the whole damn town. (Frank Mann, Washington)

NA - E > NAKE: Disrobe someone (synonym: “nu”) (Daniel Galef)

-O-EL > NOHEL: Anti-circumcision activist (Neal Starkman, Seattle)

O-I-E > OUIEE: Response to “Would you like to ride the French roller coaster?” (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)

P-O-IP > POODIP: What makes crudités even cruder (Robert Schechter, Dix Hills, N.Y.)

P- -P > PAMP: What some diapers do (Duncan Stevens)

R-A- -S > REARMS: What a starfish amputee does. (Gary Crockett)

SW- -T- - - -LOT- - > SWEET CHARLOTTE: Original Neil Diamond title before he realized the only rhyme he could think of was “harlot” (Todd DeLap, Fairfax, Va.)

SWE--T----LOT-- > SWEET CHARLOTTE: What we never hear the King of England say in “Bridgerton.” (Steve Honley)

SW- -T- - - -LOT- - > SWEATS THE LOTTO: Bets the milk money on Powerball (Steve Dantzler, Brookeville, Md.)

-H-N K-R > THINKOR: _____ thwim (Steve Glomb)

A-C- -RS> ANCHORS: They plumb the depths, both at sea and on TV. (Beverley Sharp; Kevin Dopart, Washington)

D-NY > DO NY: What they said after Debbie did Dallas (Ken Gallant, Sequim, Wash.)

- -E > WHE: The middle of nowhere (Chris Doyle, Denton, Tex.)

-EI--S > HEIRS: Wills often split these (Jon Gearhart, Des Moines)

FO- - -ED > FOG-EYED: Wearing glasses with your mask (Chris Doyle)

- -TER > WATER: Substance formerly found in Lake Mead (John Hutchins)

-P-R- > SPURT: Something your body does when you’re a teenager going through puberty. (Daniel Galef)

And Last: -SI > F SI: Abbreviated form of “No ink again!?” (Mark Raffman)

And Even Laster: - - GY > EGGY: Your face when the Empress emails you with a screen shot showing that your favorite pun has 769,000 Google hits (Erika Reinfeld, Medford, Mass.)

Still running — deadline Monday night, Aug. 23: Our “before and after” contest to combine two names. See

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