Style Invitational Week 1500: These go to 15
Coin a new word or phrase whose letters add to 15 Scrabble points (no blanks!). Plus compare/contrast winners.

By Pat Myers

August 4, 2022 at 10:14 a.m. EDT

Click here to skip down to the winners of our latest compare/contrast contest

PIZA (3 + 1 + 10 + 1): What you get when the Domino’s guy tipped over his bag on the way to your house.

ZOOB: A co-worker who doesn’t get videoconference etiquette. “And then he took over the screen just to show he’d solved today’s Wordle in 3! What a zoob.”

CAFFOON: Someone who’s constantly spilling the coffee or leaving the pot on too long.

UNCAWTH: What it is when you don’t invite your colleagues to your cocaine orgies.

Astonishingly, The Washington Post has seen fit to publish 1,500 weeks of The Style Invitational — which means the Empress is 98 weeks more astonished than when she ran this same sort of contest for Week 1402. This week: Make up a word or phrase whose Scrabble letter values add up to exactly 15 (no blanks!) and define it, as in the examples above; “Piza” is by Our Own Bob Staake, and the rest are from Invite Obsessive Duncan Stevens, who rightly figured that the E had totally forgotten Week 1402. Your single word may not be eligible for English-language Scrabble; to check, just type in the word at to make sure it’s not valid. As with all our neologism contests, you’re welcome to use your word in a funny sentence to make your entry funnier, and you are not welcome to use your word in one that doesn’t. And remember, we’re not playing Scrabble, so feel free to, say, use three B’s even though there are only two in a Scrabble set, and it doesn’t matter if your long word would end up on two double-point squares on the board. Just count the points, okay?

Scrabble letter values:
1 point: A, E, I, O, U, L, N, S, T, R
2 points: D, G
3 points: B, C, M, P
4 points: F, H, V, W, Y
5 points: K
8 points: J, X
10 points: Q, Z

Submit up to 25 entries at (no capitals in the Web address). Deadline is Monday night, Aug. 15; results appear Sept. 4 in print, Sept. 1 online.

Winner gets the Clowning Achievement, our Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a pair of sturdy bright blue coat hooks in a handsome dog butt motif; we believe they’re from the wags at Ikea. Donated by Loser Daphne Steinberg.

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, “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 “Yuxtapositions” is by Jesse Frankovich; 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: The Empress’s weekly online column discusses each new contest and set of results. See this week’s, published late Thursday, Aug. 4, at

And from The Style Invitational four weeks ago ...

Yuxtapositions: Compare/contrast ink from Week 1496

Week 1496 was the latest installment of our contest in which the Empress posts a list of wacky items and the Losers say what’s similar or different about any two (or more). Numerous entries noted that 8 percent inflation and a banned book both result in high interest.

4th place:

The recurring exam dream is like 8 percent inflation: Both might culminate in a failed midterm. (Steve Smith, Potomac, Md.)

3rd place:

8 percent inflation and six Supreme Court justices: Things wouldn’t be so bad if we could just get it down to three or four. (Hannah Seidel, Alexandria, Va.)

2nd place

and the pack of Face Coasters:

A hypersonic missile and six Supreme Court justices: Look what I have in my pocket! — D.J.T., Mar-a-Lago, Fla. (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)

And the winner of the Clowning Achievement:

A hypersonic missile vs. a banned book: You can open-carry the missile in Texas. (Kevin Dopart, Washington)

Shame difference: Honorable mentions

A flushable wipe and six Supreme Court justices: They’re both up in my business. (Deb Stewart, Damascus)

Six Supreme Court justices vs. a worn-out toothbrush: Only the justices will control your cavities. (Kevin Dopart)

How is Elon Musk like six Supreme Court justices? Opposes all regulations, reneges on his promise, thinks he knows what’s best for everyone, dresses all in black … hell, might as well give him a robe. (Pam Shermeyer, Lathrup Village, Mich.)

A flushable wipe and a romance novel: They both bring a flush to the cheeks! (Katherine Schaepman, Locust Grove, Va., a First Offender)

A banned book vs. a romance novel: At a D.C. bookstore, you ask for one of these in a whisper while looking over your shoulder, and the other is part of a giant “read a banned book” display. (Karen Lambert, Chevy Chase, Md.)

Cat hair and a romance novel: Lots of nasty stuff on the furniture. (Jesse Frankovich, Lansing, Mich.)

8 percent inflation and Old Bay: They’ve both been added lately to every item in the grocery store. (Ben Aronin, Washington)

A magnetometer can detect the presence of a gun in the lobby. Six Supreme Court justices are a present to the gun lobby. (Lee Graham, Reston, Va.)

A magnetometer and six Supreme Court justices: Both are out to monitor what’s in your pants. (Ira Allen, Bethesda, Md.)

A romance novel vs. the LIV golf tour: In the novel, a traveling man gives his heart; in the other, he sells his soul. (Frank Mann, Washington)

A period-tracking app: Think “Mrs. Flo.” A banned book: Think “Mr. Fla.” (Kevin Dopart)

A terrible SNL sketch: “Did they really have to go there?” Being back at the office: “Did I really have to come here?” (Eric Nelkin, Silver Spring, Md.)

Six Supreme Court justices vs. 8 percent inflation: With the first, it’s bye-bye Roe; with the second, bye-bye Joe. (Chris Doyle, Denton, Tex.)

How are six Supreme Court justices like flushable wipes … Hey, has anybody seen my copy of the Constitution? (John Amberg, Alexandria, Va.)

Six Supreme Court justices vs. 8 percent inflation: The first did away with precedent; the second may do away with a president. (Jonathan Jensen, Baltimore)

The recurring exam dream and six Supreme Court justices: Both have taken many of us back over 50 years. (Chris Doyle)

A magnetometer vs. six Supreme Court justices: A magnetometer will stop a bad guy with a gun. (Karen Lambert; Kevin Dopart)

A hypersonic missile and the LIV golf tour: One is a costly project for ICBMs and the other is a costly project for icy MBS. (Gregory Huyck, Frederick, Md.)

In a romance novel, nobody suffers from 8 percent inflation. (Aaron Olszewski, Silver Spring, Md.)

A romance novel vs. cat hair: One involves mattresses and the other involves cat tresses. (Leif Picoult, Rockville, Md.)

Being back at the office vs. Elon Musk In one, you’re a bitter sitter; the other’s a Twitter quitter. (John Glenn, Tyler, Tex.)

A banned book and a period-tracking app: The app contains material that the State of Mississippi would find valuable. (Mark Raffman)

A banned book: Likely to be forbidden; Six Supreme Court Justices: Unlikely to be for Biden. (Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)

Cat hair and borscht are tied for the two worst aspects of finding cat hair in your borscht. (Daniel Galef, Tallahassee, Fla.)

Cat hair is like a worn-out toothbrush in that it’s been in my mouth way too much. (Sam Mertens, Silver Spring, Md.)

8 percent inflation and being back at the office: Yea, we’re all getting 8 percent raises! … Aren’t we? Hello? (Pam Shermeyer)

8 percent inflation can make your money worthless; a period-tracking app can keep your honey birthless. (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase, Md.)

A hypersonic missile vs. a terrible SNL sketch: Both end with a bomb, but the sketch takes forever to get there. (John Hutchins, Silver Spring)

Being back at the office vs. a period-tracking app: Some folks eagerly count the days until the office holiday party; some folks nervously count the days after it. (Barbara Turner, Takoma Park, Md.)

Being back at the office is like a worn-out toothbrush: It’s not so bad when you’re used to it, but coming back to it after two years? Gross. (Michie March, Ellicott City, Md. a First Offender)

Being back at the office vs. the recurring exam dream: In both cases you’re baffled and have no idea what you’re doing there, but in the dream you’re more prepared. (Karen Lambert)

A period-tracking app and a flushable wipe: If you don’t use the former, you may soon be using more of the latter. (Frank Osen)

A period-tracking app and six Supreme Court justices: Women everywhere are counting the days until their next wave of pain. (Jon Gearhart, Des Moines)

A terrible SNL sketch and being back at the office. Lots of bad jokes, forced laughter and getting up to go to the bathroom. And the SNL sketch isn’t much better. (Frank Mann)

A worn-out toothbrush: The bristles overused. Cat hair: The Bissell’s overused. (Chris Doyle)

A flushable wipe vs. borscht: One can clog your pipes, the other can clog your pipes. (Pam Shermeyer)

8 percent inflation: What you’ve earned is worth less. A Style Invitational second prize: What you’ve earned is worthless. (Jesse Frankovich)

8 percent inflation keeps people from running amok at the mall; a magnetometer keeps people from running amok on the Mall. (Karen Lambert)

Cat hair and Old Bay: I’d rather season my food with the former. — G. Weingarten, Washington (Jeff Contompasis)

A worn-out toothbrush and a Style Invitational second prize: There’s a market on eBay for the toothbrush. (Mike Gips, Bethesda; Leif Picoult)

A Style Invitational second prize: Alas, you got beat. Borscht: Alas, you got beet. (Jesse Frankovich)

A flushable wipe vs. a Style Invitational second prize: The wipe was designed to be to be flushed down a toilet. (Frank Osen, Pasadena, Calif.)

The recurring exam dream, a hypersonic missile, 8 percent inflation, Elon Musk, and six Supreme Court Justices: The first is the only nightmare on the list that you can wake up from. (Michael Stein, Arlington)

A romance novel: Naughty. Elon Musk: Haughty. The LIV golf tour: Saudi. A flushable wipe: Potty. A Style Invitational second-place prize: Shoddy (and potty). (Jesse Frankovich)

Still running — deadline Monday night, Aug. 8: Our caption contest for any of four Bob Staake cartoons. See

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Idea:(Duncan Stevens)
Examples:(Bob Staake; Duncan Stevens; Duncan Stevens; Duncan Stevens)
Title:(Jesse Frankovich)
Subhead:(Jeff Contompasis)
Prize:(Daphne Steinberg)