Style Invitational Week 1479: It’s WordleVite!
Write a phrase of 5-letter words that works as a Wordle. Plus winning cheers for the Commanders and other D.C. institutions.
By Pat Myers
Yesterday at 10:34 a.m. EST

"Napoleon 2.0": Wordle-style progression by Melissa Balmain. (Bob Staake/For The Washington Post)

Click here to skip down to the winning songs and cheers for the Commanders and other D.C. institutions

First beach get-together of the summer

Winning a magnet in the Invite

You knew we couldn’t ignore this thing: Yes, of course, the Empress plays her daily Wordle grid — usually as soon as a new one drops at midnight, courtesy of the ubiquitous game’s new corporate overlord, the New York Times. She does not, however, announce to the world each day that she guessed the word in four tries (okay, maybe a few times when she got it in two). In recent weeks the E was pelted with suggestions to turn the puzzle into a Style Invitational contest — and after a one-two Loser punch from, first, David Kleinbard (“Nah, we’re a humor contest, not a puzzle”) and then Melissa Balmain (“Well, hmm, your examples are pretty persuasive”), we’re holding our breath and going with this week’s contest: Write a phrase or sentence consisting of two to six five-letter words or names, as in Melissa’s examples above, then define it or say something funny about it (that’s how it’s going to be more than a puzzle, capisce?).

AND the Wordle part: As the words progress from first to last, you’ll note which letters are in common with the final word. Once a letter is in the right, “green” place — the same place as it is in the final word (like the P in “pouty” above) — your subsequent words must keep those letters in their right places. You may reuse a “gray” letter that doesn’t appear in the final word. And you may use the letter a second time in the word, as in Wordle. Also, alas: Unlike the elegant Wordle grid, we won’t be able to present your word series in the three letter-matching colors (unless it’s the winner); just give us the words, in a single line, and the E will figure out the progression. More essential details in this week’s Style Conversational,

Submit up to 25 entries at (no capitals in the Web address). Deadline is Monday, March 21; results appear April 10 in print, April 7 online.

Winner gets the Clowning Achievement, our Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives — not in season but by November they’d be stale — a box of Day of the Dead-themed Pop-Tarts, found on a clearance rack by The Famed Jeff Contompasis of Ashburn, Va. Bet they have it all over such Halloween sugar-bomb equivalents as Count Chocula Monster Marshmallows.

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 new lusted-after Loser magnets, “A Small Jester of Appreciation” or “Close, but Ceci N’est Pas un Cigare.” First Offenders receive only a smelly tree-shaped air “freshener” (FirStink for their first ink). See general contest rules and guidelines at The headline “Cheer Hilarity” is by Chris Doyle; Jeff Contompasis 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: Along with more info on Week 1479, the Empress’s online column includes “A Czar Is Born,” a mini-history of the Invitational under her imperial predecessor, Gene Weingarten, written as part of a surprise tribute. See

And from The Style Invitational four weeks ago ...

Cheer hilarity: Fight songs and more for the Commanders (and other D.C. institutions)
In Week 1475 the Empress asked for songs and cheers for the newly named Washington Commanders — or, for those who don’t do D.C. football, for any other D.C. institution.

4th place:
Sung to "Lady Madonna"
Come on, Commanders, we’d like to see you win
Though we know you’ll likely take it on the chin.
You’ve got the money and the coaching staff
But our won–lost record’s just good for a laugh.

The coaches say we need a wide receiver,
Or maybe it’s free safeties that we lack.
Then the word comes down from Mister Snyder:
“Buy a quarterback!”

Come on, Commanders, you’ll be 13 and 4
If Mrs. Snyder shows the owner to the do-oor.
(Jerry Birchmore, Springfield, Va.)

3rd place:
The Textile Museum
To “Be Our Guest”
See a dress! See a dress! Smaller crowds, not so much stress;
Where’ve we got ‘em? Foggy Bottom! (Once was 23rd and S.)
Hey, you mugs, come see rugs! Natural History rocks and bugs
Are so boring—we’ve got satin, crepes and denims, lacy tattin’.
Dig a robe, peep a sash from our Asian costume stash,
Skip the WashMon’s thousand steps (well, more or less);
And while they’re still replacing all that Air and Spacing,
Reassess! Decompress! See a dress! (Duncan Stevens, Vienna, Va.)

2nd place and the turkey-leg-motif thigh-high socks:
2nd place and the turkey-legmotif
thigh-high socks:
To “Maria” from “West Side Story”
They’ve finally revealed our team’s new name:
Commanders, Commanders, Commanders, Commanders.
Like a 7-10 record, it’s pretty lame.
Commanders, Commanders, Commanders . . .
Commanders, we’ve rebranded as the Commanders!
An uninspiring name,
At least it’s not a shame...ful slur
Dan Snyder, we’ve got to get rid of Dan Snyder!
The guy is such a schmuck,
I’d like him to go f…ar away!
Let’s cele ... brate this ugly chapter’s ending
(Though we still have a few lawsuits pending.)
Seriously? Two years to come up with … Commanders?
The most “meh” name I’ve ever heard: Com-mand-ers.
(Marty Gold, Arlington — see Marty’s video in the online Invite)
▲ Written and sung by Marty Gold, Arlington, Va.

(If you don’t see the video above, click here.)

And the winner of the Clowning Achievement:
To “Danny Boy”
Oh, Danny boy, the fans, the fans are falling
Out of the stands at shoddy FedEx Field
And your behavior, truly quite appalling,
’Tis just your ownership we pray you’ll yield.
But come ye back, Commanders, into old D.C.
We may rename you once we're Snyder-free
Though with his stench, his team's initials, we agree
Oh, Danny boy, how well they fit: the WC. (Jeff Shirley, Richmond, Va.)

Sis boom blah: Honorable mentions
FedEx Field Fight Song
To “We Will Rock You” by Queen
Buddy, we're the fans of the Eagles, the Giants,
The Bucs, gonna fill up the stands Sunday!
We'll take over the place, there's lots of space,
Since D.C.'s own fans will not show their face!
We sing: We will, we will mock you!
We will, we will mock you!

Buddy you're the boss man, dross man,
Take another loss, there's no positive gloss Sunday,
You got staff to debase, you're in last place,
Gotta hire lawyers to help with your case.
We sing: We will, we will- mock you! … (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)

Cheer for Cherry Blossoms

Tourists make for thrilled consumers!

Come this spring, we’ll show our bloomers! (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)

The National Zoo
To “If I Only Had a Brain”
You can while away the hours as Xiao Qi Ji devours
Kaboodles of bamboo;
Pardon our propaganda,
But you'll find a cuddly panda
Only at the National Zoo!

We have many awesome mammals,
(Alas, we're out of camels,
Likewise, the kangaroo);
But cheer up! If you wanna
Come hang out with our iguana,
He'll be waitin' here for you!

Oh, I can't tell you why
The people flock to see
All the animals in our menagerie;
Perhaps the key?
Admission's free!

So if you are kinda fonda
The sloth or anaconda,
Here's whatcha gotta do:
Come enjoy all our species –
(Yep, we've cleaned up all their feces!);
See you at the National Zoo! (Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)

To the tune of the "Bonanza" theme:

We’ve got a team not winning much esteem -
Changing the name won’t take away the shame
Of the gold and burgundy.
One of the teams that Dallas really creams -
Lots of defeats and a lot of empty seats,
The pride of old D.C.
Every fan curses Dan
Since he took control.
Discontent, fortune spent,
Not one Super Bowl.
They’re in the news for the women they abuse -
Man at the top just couldn’t make it stop,
Said he was unaware.
Seems like a guy who maybe on the sly
Rules don’t apply, they’re for the little guy,
Not for a billionaire.
Years have passed since they last
Earned respect and fame.
Team was great, just first-rate -
Well, except their name.
We’ve got a team that nothing can redeem -
If you are through with Snyder and his crew,
Root for Baltimore! (Jonathan Jensen, Baltimore)

▲ Written and sung by Jonathan Jensen, Baltimore

(If you don’t see the video above, click here.)

Two Commanders cheers

Go Commanders, lead your troops

Together to the front!

Hit 'em once, hit 'em twice!

Hit 'em three times, punt! (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase, Md.)

It’s the COMMANDERS Anagram Cheer!

New name! Same team! One thing’s clear!

When was the start of all this mess?

Back in ’99: “COME MR. DAN S.”! (Dave Zarrow, Reston, Va.)

Metrorail I
To “Under the Sea”
You’re tired of fighting traffic, and willing to stand and wait,
Rub elbows with folks riffraffic … who don’t antiperspirate?
Come hang out in our old railcars (the new ones are on the fritz),
Those this-time-they-might-not-fail cars— In tunnels (no, don’t say “pits”).
Under D.C.! Under D.C.!
Things can get zany in depths subterranean, regularly!
Each color line has wacky quirks;
Sometimes your escalator works!
Really, you gotta try out WMATA
Under D.C.! (Duncan Stevens)

Metrorail II
To “Old Folks at Home” a.k.a “Swanee River”
Way down beneath the frenzied drivers, far, far below;
Come join the rush-to-work survivors – street traffic's much too slow!
Those delays will make you nervous – Metro saves you time!
Oops! Escalator's out of service; you'll have a long, long climb. (Beverley Sharp) .

Metrorail III
To “Sidewalks of New York”
Southeast, Northwest, all around the town
Metro riders are fuming ‘cause the trains keep breaking down
Maintenance can’t keep up; patrons filled with ennui
Hear “doors closing” and bail out – to the sidewalks of D.C. (Donna Saady, Rockville, Md.)
The Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Cheer

Our name’s up high! We’re overjoyed!

We’re pushing art, not opioid! (Kevin Dopart, Washington)

To the “Toreador Song” from “Carmen”
We’re the Commanders, not the Dub-F-T,
Redskins no more – that we abhor!
So, run out and buy those sweats and tees
While we jack up all the fees!
Open wallets, subsidies – throw cash galore:
That’s all Dan thinks fans are for. (Robert Blatt, Silver Spring, Md.)

To “Lawyers, Guns and Money”
Our logo is a W; that’s all good and well,
But with 10 defeats last year, it might as well be L.
So here we are on draft day, trying to make a pitch;
No Theismanns, Dougs or Sonnys — any owners want to switch? … (Frank Mann, Washington)

To “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen
We heard the news and asked, “How come
You chose a name that’s really dumb?
Just how much did you pay to your rebranders?”
You got rid of the racial slurs,
Though everybody here concurs
There’s no one who prefers the name Commanders!
The Commanders! The Commanders! …

Now Daniel Snyder loves to strut
While grabbing every woman’s butt
From senior staff to innocent bystanders.
But Dan, these women can’t say “Nope!”
When you begin to grab or grope.
So, just watch out for where your hand meanders.
It meanders, it meanders! The Commanders! The Commanders!

Our team may have a brand-new name,
But they’ll lose almost every game.
These aren’t just unsubstantiated slanders.
If they could only up their score,
We might not mock them anymore
And we would all adore the name “Commanders.”
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! We would all sing Hallelujah! (Barbara Sarshik, Vienna, Va.)

The National Archives
To “Smile”
File: what we do with papers.
Shredding gives us the vapors.
We’ll take stuff back from your sty, Former Guy.
We don’t care if your term was checkered—
We will preserve each record,
So that historians get to chew on you.
Don’t flush things down the potty—
We think that’s rather naughty.
You’ve got some nerve! We’ll take steps to preserve
All the docs you’re intent on hidin’—
We’d do the same for Biden.
Good stuff and bad we will compile.
Oh, yes, we’ll file. (Duncan Stevens)

"Better Ways" []

The trouble with Washington, or so it seems to me
Is that the really big decisions are always made subjectively.
Now it’s Commanders playing football in D.C.?
There must be better ways to change your image.

She said it really is our habit to intrude, that’s how
Your former name was deemed to be too racist and too rude
But please repeat yourself – to what did you allude when you said
Better ways to change your image.
Better ways to change your image.

Just get some good press, Jess.
Spend some more dough, Joe.
Be above reproach, Coach.
Just listen to me.

Sell the damn team, Vadim
Say Dosvedanya, Tanya!
Get out while you can, Dan.
And set us all free.

▲ By Craig Dykstra, Centreville, Va.; sung by Kate Nebel, Warrenton, Va.

(If you don’t see the video above, click here.)

To the “Cheers” theme
Being a fan in the reign of Dan saw cheers turn into jeers
Going to games just left us crying in $14 beers
How did it all go so astray?
Watch Dan fight, it may shed some light on quite a sordid tale
Handsy guys in limos, Mary Jo is on their trail
And Goodell will claim he didn’t know…
Sundays we want to go
And hail our home team by its name
One that doesn’t bring us shame
We want esteem, a new regime
An owner who’s not the same
We’re all for change but Commanders is kind of lame. (Steve Smith, Potomac, Md.)

Still running — deadline Monday night, March 14: Our contest to write a short poem using only a list of the 1,000 most common words. See

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