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MASTER LIST OF ALL STYLE INVITATIONAL CONTESTS

Suggestions and questions are welcome and encouraged.

The Society wishes to thank Russell Beland, Chris Doyle, Kyle Hendrickson, and Pat Myers for their help in assembling the archive that is linked to from this page.

On the right you will see links to some representation of that Week's appearance in the paper:
Text file
Downloadable Microsoft Word version
htmlWebpage made from a Word file
HTMLWebpage from a search of the Post archives, or a scrape of an webpage findable with search engines
Webpage containing an image of the SI page
Downloadable PDF of the SI page
EDownloadable PDF of the e-version of the SI page

THEMES: Below are links to subsets of these contests, which I call "themes." Most of the contests have been assigned one or more themes, which are indicated with trigraphs. It was not easy going through more than a thousand synposes to make these subjective assignments, so please let me know of any adjustments that should be made.

ANA -- Anagrams
ANL -- Analogies
ART -- Art
ATH -- Athletics and Sports
BUM -- Bumperstickers
BUS -- Business and Commerce
CAP -- Captions
CAR -- Cartoons
COM -- Comics
CRO -- Crossword Puzzles
CUL -- Culture and Entertainment
DIF -- Differences
EPI -- Epitaphs
FIC -- Fictoids
GOO -- Google
HEA -- Headlines
HIS -- Historical
HOR -- Horses
HYP -- Hyphens
JEO -- Jeopardy
JOK -- Jokes
LAN -- Language
LEG -- Legislation
LET -- Letters
LIM -- Limericks
LIT -- Literature
MOV -- Movies
MUS -- Music
PIX -- Photos
POE -- Poetry
POL -- Political and Government
PRE -- Previous Contests
QUE -- Questions
REL -- Religion
ROR -- Rorschach Tests
SCI -- Science
SLO -- Slogans
STY -- Style Invitational
TEL -- Television
TSH -- T-shirts
WAS -- Washington
WOR -- Words

ALL THEMES

YEAR 1 BEGINS
PUB DATEWEEKTITLESYNOPSISEVENTUAL WINNERTHEMESREPORTLINKS
March 7, 1993SHEDDING THE SKINS? Come up with a new name for the Redskins. Douglas R. Miller WAS ATH    HTML   
March 14, 1993WRITE A MOTTO. WIN A MONSTROSITY. Maryland needs a new motto, a multi-purpose slogan suitable for placement on a state seal or a license plate. Something grand, something that embodies the full bodacious majesty of the state.  Oslo SLO POL    HTML   
March 21, 1993A STATUE OF LIMITATIONS Come up with a concept for a statue of someone -- anyone, dead or alive -- who doesn't currently have one. Bob Zane    HTML   
March 28, 1993[untitled] This week, a gripe-fest about modernity and other irritations. Complete this sentence: "If we can put a man on the moon, why can't we ... " Geri Klitsch
Heidi Klitsch
Tom Klitsch 
  HTML   
April 4, 1993THERE OUGHT TO BE A LAW Invent a creative piece of legislation based on skillfully juxtaposed names of actual U.S. senators and representatives. Jacki Drucker
Carol Vance 
LEG   HTML   
April 11, 1993PUTTING WORDS IN THEIR MOUTHS In 40 words or less, write a caption for either of these two generic cartoons drawn by famed Style Invitational artist Marc Rosenthal Chuck Smith CAR   HTML   
April 18, 1993BEAT THE BANDS Come up with a name for rock bands. Beverley Brown CUL   HTML   
April 25, 1993I AM SPURIOUS (YELLOW) Write a headline for the Weekly World News (Maximum length, 10 words) Byron Baker HEA   HTML   
May 2, 1993VANITY UNFAIR Create vanity license plates for famous people. Don Beale CUL   HTML   
May 9, 199310 A WEEK THAT WILL LIVE IN EUPHEMY Write us a funny euphemism. Erik Johnson WOR   HTML   
May 16, 199311 YOU GIVE US THE BACKS OFF OUR SHIRTS The back of the shirt needs a slogan, something that captures the spirit of The Style Invitational. What is that spirit? You tell us. Mary Pat Jones
Mary Pat Jones 
TSH STY   HTML   
May 23, 199312 HERE, DOGGEREL … Write a limerick. It must contain one of the following names: "Hillary Rodham Clinton," "Jack Kevorkian," "George Stephanopoulos" or "Bosnia-Herzegovina." Jimmy Nguyen LIM CUL   HTML   
May 30, 199313 ANAGRAMS = A MAN'S RAG Come up with a funny anagram for the name of a famous person or institution. All letters in the name must be used, and no letters may be left over. Donna Hughes-Hasle
John Hughes-Hasle 
ANA  10  HTML   
June 6, 199314 COLLECTIVE INSANITY Modernize collective nouns (as in a "pride" of lions or an "exaltation" of larks), inventing snide new names for groups of things. Stuart Segal WOR  11  HTML   
June 13, 199315 PUNCH US Complete any of the provided jokes in 75 words or fewer. Dan Thomas JOK  12  HTML   
June 20, 199316 I AM ADDICTED TO AN ASININE CONTEST… Come up with sleazy new topics for the daytime talks.  Kitty Thuermer
Mike Tidwell 
CUL  13  HTML   
June 27, 199317 REDUCTIO AD ABSURDUM Come up with an easy way to reduce the federal deficit, in 20 words or fewer. Steven King POL  14  HTML   
July 4, 199318 PUNCH US IN THE EAR Give us a motto for The Washington PostSusan Wenger WAS  15  HTML  
July 11, 199319 A RECYCLED IDEA THAT WAS NONE TOO GOOD TO BEGIN WITH Alter a well-known phrase or name by deleting, adding or changing only one letter, and then supply a definition for what results. Joseph H. Engel
David J. Zvijac 
LET WOR  16  HTML   
July 18, 199320 COMIC RELIEF Rewrite 60-year-old cartoons, filling in your own balloons, to make them funnier and more timely.  Tom Gearty CAR  17  HTML   
July 25, 199321 A SO-SO CONTEST Describe somebody--or something--through exaggerated comparison. Chuck Smith   18  HTML   
August 1, 199322 STUMP US Come up with slogans for the 1996 presidential campaign. R. Sharp POL  19  HTML   
August 8, 199323 HAPPY ENDINGS Modernize an old quote or expression by altering its ending. Pamela Zilly CUL  20  HTML   
August 15, 199324 ASK BACKWARDS You are on "Jeopardy!" Those are the answers. What are the questions? Jacob Weinstein JEO  21  HTML   
August 22, 199325 CAPTION CRUNCH Write a caption for any of these photos. Fritz Stolzenback CAP  22  HTML   
August 29, 199326 CASTING ABOUT FOR AN IDEA Name a political person (past or present) and the TV or movie role in which he or she could have been cast. John Mazza MOV POL TEL  23  HTML   
September 5, 199327 IT'S THE EPONYMY, STUPID Coin an eponym, a word or figure of speech based on the name of a famous person. You must define the word, and, if you wish, use it in a sentence. Sharon Kuykendall CUL  24  HTML   
September 12, 199328 MOTHERS-IN-LAW OF INVENTION Propose some drastic change in government to help the economy or otherwise improve the quality of life in America. E. Gaston POL  25  HTML   
September 19, 199329 AD NAUSEAM Come up with an unfortunate slogan for any real product, service, or organization. Tom Gearty SLO  26  HTML   
September 26, 199330 THE RORSCHACH OF THE CROWD Interpret any of the provided ink blots. Steven King ROR  27  HTML   
October 3, 199331 INVITATION TO A DUAL Divide the world into two types of people. Chris Rooney   28  HTML   
October 10, 199332 FATAL ART ATTACK In 50 words or fewer, describe a performance art concept that might get public funding. Winners will be audacious enough to seem like art, but pretentious enough to seem to have a social "message." Tom Gearty ART  29  HTML   
October 17, 199333 POST IMPRESSIONISM Give us the opening lines of a big story from American history as it might have been written by someone whose work appears in The Washington Post. Maximum 100 words. You must choose one of three news stories: "Lincoln Assassinated," "Stock Market Crashes" or "Man Walks on Moon." Stephen Licht HIS  30  HTML   
October 24, 199334 INSPECT A GADGET What do these machines do? Reef family CAR  31  HTML   
October 31, 199335 LIGHT AT THE END? Tell the federal government what is should do with the 14-mile-long, 15-foot-diameter sausage-shaped tunnel it dug near Waxahachie, Tex., for the Superconducting Super Collider project that was scrapped by Congress last week. Michael Sweet POL  32  HTML   
November 7, 199336 SCAM ON WRY Come up with a prank you can play, for fun, profit, or deliverance of a well-needed comeuppance. Kirby Lamb   33  HTML   
November 14, 199337 A STATE OF DISGRACE? Propose any of the following for D.C.: A State Name, A State Flower, A State Bird, A State Slogan, A State Capital, A Governor, An Insulting State Joke. Peggy Hyde
Gene Lawhun 
WAS  34  HTML  
November 21, 199338 ASK BACKWARDS II You are on "Jeopardy!" Here are the answers. What are the questions? Tom Meyer JEO  35  HTML   
November 28, 199339 WAY OUTSIDE THE LINES Name a new crayon color for the 1990s, with a description. Paul Styrene CUL  36  HTML   
December 5, 199340 NOT WRONG. JUST INCORRECT. What's next on the political correctness agenda? Steven King CUL  37  HTML   
December 12, 199341 READ-END COLLUSION Design a Style Invitational bumper sticker to be awarded to all Honorable Mentions. Stephen Dudzik BUM  38  HTML   
December 19, 199342 HEY, IT COULD WE WORSE There are worse things in life than the Washington Redskins. Just tell us what they are. Mike Thring WAS  39  HTML   
December 26, 199343 GOOD LORD! What does God look like? Tom Gearty REL  40  HTML   
January 2, 199444 ADVERB PUBLICITY Write us a Tom Swiftly or two, updated for the '90s. Each must include a reference to a famous person or institution. St. Andrew's Episcopal School Mrs. Airey's English class WOR CUL  41  HTML   
January 9, 199445 INVITATION TO A DUAL, II. Deliver us a Good News-Bad News scenarios. Linda K. Malcolm   42  HTML   
January 16, 199446 WE WANT STUPID ENTRIES ONLY Make up a sentence that, were it not for this contest, would never be uttered. Thomas Edward Knibb STY  43  HTML   
January 23, 199447 CAN YOU DO VERSE? Bad Valentine's Day poetry. Any rhyme scheme, any form of literary dysfunction. Michael Paulkovich POE  44  HTML   
January 30, 199448 SNIVEL WAR Beg for the coveted Style Invitational T-shirts. Daniel Riley TSH  45  HTML   
February 6, 199449 A SLALOM OCCASION Come up with events for a Washington Olympics. They can be winter or summer sports, based on bureaucracy or other themes peculiar to Washington, and must include a brief description of the event. Paul Styrene WAS ATH  46  HTML   
February 13, 199450 GIVE US THIS DAY There are no holidays between Presidents' Day and Memorial Day, a cheerless run of more than three months. Let's stick one in there, somewhere. The holiday should celebrate something or someone uniquely America. Tell us the date, the name of the holiday and how it should be observed. Laura M. Clairmont CUL  47  HTML   
February 20, 199451 CAPTION CRUNCH, VOL. II Supply captions for any of these pictures. Paul Kondis CAP  48  HTML   
February 27, 199452 PERJURED TESTIMONIALS Come up with inappropriate celebrity endorsements for real products. Chuck Smith   49  HTML  
YEAR 2 BEGINS
PUB DATEWEEKTITLESYNOPSISEVENTUAL WINNERTHEMESREPORTLINKS
March 6, 199453 CRUEL FETE Tell us how the Invitational has changed America. Paul Kondis STY  50  HTML   
March 13, 199454 ODD COUPLING Write comical combinations of famous name, by marriage or other conceit. Paul Sabourin   51     
March 20, 199455 ESCAPE CLAUSES Send us self-serving moral loopholes through which the enterprising 1990s transgressor can crawl. Helen Sheingorn   52  HTML   
March 27, 199456 DO THE HOOKY POKEY Come up with inventive ways to call in sick or otherwise persuade your employer you must miss a day. E. J. Wassmer   53  HTML   
April 3, 199457 CALLING THE TOON Who are these people, and what are they doing? Peyton Coyner CAR  54  HTML   
April 10, 199458 PLAY IT AGAIN, DENZEL Bring Casablanca into the 1990s. Write the opening of a plot outline, in 120 words or fewer. David Laughton MOV  55  HTML   
April 17, 199459 A GRAVE AFFAIR Write appropriate epitaphs for the not-yet-dead. Ira P. Robbins EPI  56  HTML   
April 24, 199460 ASK BACKWARDS III You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? Bruce Evans JEO  57  HTML   
May 1, 199461 NO HARD FEELINGS Fill in the balloons in these cheerful farewell panels drawn by Marc Rosenthal, the Style Invitational artist who is being replaced by Bob Staake. Chuck Smith CAR  58  HTML   
May 8, 199462 BAD NEWS BEARERS Come up with statements one would not want to hear from friends, relatives, service personnel, etc. Sarah Gaymon   59  HTML   
May 15, 199463 BAD ABOUT YOU Come up with a lame idea for a Style Invitational contest, an idea destined to create unfunny results. Elden Carnahan STY  60  HTML   
THE SCREW-UP
Week 64 inadvertently skipped
May 22, 199465 DESPERATELY SEEKING HUMOR Write a personal ad. It may be for a celebrity or for anyone in need of adroit euphemism. Nick Dierman WOR  61  HTML   
May 29, 199466 THE SON-OF-SMITH LAW In 50 words or fewer, what do we do about the Chuck Smith problem? Chuck Smith STY  62    
June 5, 199467 FAMOUS LAST WORDS Make up the last words of famous dead people whose last words are unknown. Peyton Coyner EPI  63  HTML   
June 12, 199468 GIVE US A SIGN Come up with new astrological signs for the 1990s, together with one day's horoscope. Christie Houser CUL  65  HTML   
June 19, 199469 LAYING DOWN THE LAW Send us some exciting new principles that explain why things happen they way they happen. Pat Scully SCI  66  HTML  
June 26, 199470 SOUNDS LIKE A BAD IDEA Come up with jokes based on noises. Chuck Smith JOK  67  HTML  
July 3, 199471 CAPTION CRUNCH III Come up with a new, funnier caption for any picture or illustration anywhere in today's newspaper. Richard E. Brock
Ellen Meyerson 
CAP WAS  68  HTML   
July 10, 199472 OH, HELL Come up with the perfect vision of Hell for a famous person, living or dead. Jackson Bross   69  HTML   
July 17, 199473 LUNACY Tell us what Neil Armstrong should have said upon stepping onto the moon's surface, instead of what he did, the greatest gaffe in the history of Historic Sayings. Stuart Segal HIS  70  HTML   
July 24, 199474 SHIRT HAPPENS In 10 words or fewer, what should the back of the "Year 2" T-shirt say? Cindi Rae Caron TSH  71  HTML   
July 31, 199475 CURSES! Come up with modern maledictions in the wise and entertaining Yiddish tradition. Joseph Romm LAN  72  HTML   
August 7, 199476 ADIOS. Tell us, in 40 words or fewer, what is great about August in Washington. It's August, and we're out of here. Sue Witner WAS  73  HTML   
THE VACATION
Column takes off three weeks
August 14, 1994        
August 21, 1994        
August 28, 1994        
September 4, 199477 THE RORSCHACH OF THE CROWD II What do these ink blots mean? Dennis Goris ROR  74  HTML   
September 11, 199478 SEEKING SMART MORONS Come up with an oxymoron for our times, an expression made bogus by the fact that it combines incompatible, contradictory ideas. Jessica Mathews
L. Woodall 
WOR  75  HTML   
September 18, 199479 TERROR-DACTYL Send us a double dactyl. The first line must be a nonsense phrase of five to seven syllables containing exactly two downbeats. The second line must be a name, in five to seven syllables but only two downbeats. The remaining six lines must contain four to seven syllables and two downbeats each, with Lines 4 and 8 rhyming. Somewhere in the poem, one line must consist of only one word. Kitty Thuermer POE  76  HTML   
September 25, 199480 NICK KNACKS Come up with a great nickname for any contemporary celebrity. Chuck Smith CUL  77  HTML   
October 2, 199481 HEADS, YOU LOSE Take any two or more headlines anywhere in today's Washington Post, and combine them to make a funnier headline. Dave Zarrow HEA WAS  78  HTML   
October 9, 199482 PICTURE THIS Who are these people, and what are they doing? Elden Carnahan CAR  79  HTML   
October 16, 199483 BEDROOM FARCE What questions were left out of the Great American Sex Survey?  Robb Mathews CUL  80  HTML   
October 23, 199484 THE WASHINGTON IRVINGS Come up with creative names for the high school football teams of real towns in America. Karla J. Dickinson ATH  81  HTML   
October 30, 199485 PLAY MYTHTY FOR ME Come up with new urban myths, those vaguely believable, wildly paranoid stories that circulate by word of mouth until they are generally accepted as true. Ben Lea CUL  82  HTML   
November 6, 199486 EXCUSES, EXCUSES Come up with funny excuses for various malfeasances. Joseph Romm   83  HTML  
November 13, 199487 WEST EASY, ANN Come up with good things about West Virginia, in 50 words of fewer. Dave Zarrow POL  84  HTML  
November 20, 199488 GIVE US SOME GOOD NEWS Come up with ways things are going to be different now that Republicans have ascended to power. Arthur Adams POL  85  HTML  
November 27, 199489 CHILD'S PLAY Come up with bad ideas for new toys for the Christmas season. Paul A. Alter CUL  86  HTML  
December 4, 199490 BILL US NOW Come up with funny legislation based on the names of the 102 freshman congresspersons. Jerry Pohl LEG  87  HTML   
December 11, 199491 ASK BACKWARD IV You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? Chuck Smith JEO  88  HTML   
December 18, 199492 PLOTBOILERS Tell us what excerpts from celebrities' novels might look like. Robert Pack LIT  89  HTML   
December 25, 199493 I WANT THE MONGOOSE Tell us, in 50 words or fewer, why you must have this elegant piece of taxidermy featuring a snake being killed by a mongoose. Judith Daniel STY  90  HTML  
January 1, 199594 WEEKS 1-93 Come op with a great answer to any previous Style Invitational contest, an answer you may have thought of after the contest was over. Gary McKethan PRE  91  HTML 
January 8, 199595 HOW'S THAT AGAIN? Take any headline appearing anywhere in The Post this week and completely rewrite the first lines of the story to put a different, unintended spin on it. Elden Carnahan HEA  92   
January 15, 199596 STICK IT IN YOUR ERA Come up with a catch phrase for the 1990s. Joseph Romm CUL  93  HTML 
January 22, 199597 NEWTONIAN PHILOSOPHY Come up with more Newt Gingrich philosophy to explain the differences between men and women, Democrats and Republicans, dogs and cats, whatever needs explaining. Greg Arnold POL  94  HTML 
January 29, 199598 YOUR CHEATIN' ART Come up with titles for country music songs featuring any one or more of the following themes: cheatin', thievin', drinkin', truckin', lovin' or dogs. Anthony Roisman
Lois Roisman 
MUS  95  HTML 
February 5, 199599 WHAT'S WRONG WITH THESE PICTURES? What's wrong with these pictures? George Wills CAR  96  HTML 
February 12, 1995100 THE JOKE'S ON YOU Retell any of these jokes as they would be told by some celebrity, living or dead. Paul Kondis JOK  97  HTML 
February 19, 1995101 [deliberately left blank] [deliberately left blank] Allan Grady   98   
February 26, 1995102 HELP! I'M A PRISONER IN THIS CONTEST Come up with fortune cookie messages that you would love to see, but never will. Jon Patrick Smith   99  HTML 
March 5, 1995103 SEND HELP. Come up with ways to raise some badly needed cash for the District of Columbia. Jim Martin WAS  100  HTML 
YEAR 3 BEGINS
PUB DATEWEEKTITLESYNOPSISEVENTUAL WINNERTHEMESREPORTLINKS
March 12, 1995104 HERE, DOGGEREL Create poems so bad they thud. The first line must be a name. The second line can be as long or as short as you wish. The third line must sound the same as the first line, using the name as a verb or some other part of speech. Jessica Mathews POE  101   
March 19, 1995105 WHAT'S THE BIG IDEA? Come up with Good Ideas and then convert them to Bad Ideas through slight changes in wording. Ira Moskowitz   102  HTML 
March 26, 1995106 DRAWING CONCLUSIONS Who are these people, and what are they doing? Pete Clime CAR  103  HTML   
April 2, 1995107 CLUSTERS' LAST STAND Take an actual star cluster, redraw the lines into a different image, and give it a new name. Joseph Romm
David Smith 
SCI  104  HTML 
April 9, 1995108 NEAR MISSES Come up with the first drafts of great lines in history, entertainment or literature. Joseph Romm HIS CUL LIT  105  HTML 
April 16, 1995109 SEND US YOUR MAIL PARTS We're looking for funny example of pidgin English that try to say one thing, but actually say something quite different. Cissie Owen LAN  106  HTML 
April 23, 1995110 DO NOT INHALE THIS PAGE Come up with absurd warning labels that might be found on common products. Elden Carnahan CUL  107  HTML 
April 30, 1995111 ASK BACKWARDS V Here are the answers. What are the questions? Tom Witte JEO  108  HTML 
May 7, 1995112 POOP FICTION Come up with the opening lines of a book so bad it will compel you to stop reading immediately; maximum 50 words. Kevin Mellema LIT  109  HTML 
May 14, 1995113 WHAT KIND OF FOAL AM I? Take a list of horses nominated to the Triple Crown races this year, choose any two, and propose a name for their offspring. Tom Witte HOR  110  HTML 
May 21, 1995114 THE JOKE'S ON YOU Come up with jokes to culminate in any of these six punch lines. Greg Arnold
Russell Beland
Jerry Pannullo 
JOK  111  HTML 
May 28, 1995115 THE MNEMONIC PLAGUE Come up with new mnemonic devices to remember complicated lists. Jacob Weinstein WOR  112  HTML 
June 4, 1995116 WRITE PURE POETRY Write a complete sentence using only the letters contained on the top row of a typewriter. Alternatively, you can use the letters of the first four lines of the standard eye chart. Jennifer Hart LET  113  HTML 
June 11, 1995117 GIVE 'EM HELOISE Come up with a tribute to Heloise, that queen of inanely creative recycling. Peyton Coyner
Gene Van Pelt 
CUL  114  HTML 
June 18, 1995118 WEAK 118 Take any photo caption or headline appearing anywhere in today's Post and alter its meaning by adding, deleting, or changing one letter. Elden Carnahan CAP HEA WAS  115   
June 25, 1995119 MUZAK TO OUR EAR Come up with unfortunate Muzak songs to hear on the while on hold. You can use either a song title or a lyric. Howard Tenenbaum MUS  116  HTML 
July 2, 1995120 SIMILE OUTRAGEOUS Come up with inept analogies, rotten comparisons as literary device. Jeffrey Carl ANL  117  HTML 
July 9, 1995121 IT'S NO USE Come up with useless products. Russell Beland BUS  118  HTML 
July 16, 1995122 THE UNKINDEST CUTE OF ALL Come up with a new story line for "Peanuts", some plot development of new character that will put the strip back on the road to relevance. Sarah Gaymon COM  119  HTML 
July 23, 1995123 WHY IS POOP FUNNY? Come up with creative answers to any of the five questions above that might be asked by a 5-year-old. Jill Gross   120   HTML   
July 30, 1995124 SPOON-FEED US. Come up with spoonerisms, expressions based on the transposition of the initial sounds of two paired words. Steven Papier LET  121     
August 6, 1995125 ASK BACKWARD VI You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? Elden Carnahan JEO  122  HTML 
August 13, 1995126 EVERYBODY'S TALKIN' What are these people, etc., saying or thinking? Peyton Coyner CAR  123  HTML 
August 20, 1995127 GADGET IF YOU CAN Choose one or more of these devices and describe their use. Kevin P. Riley CAR  124  HTML 
August 27, 1995128 LIKE, DUH Come up with snappy answers to stupid questions. Phil Plait   125  HTML 
September 3, 1995129 REMAKE US HAPPY Come up with alternative story lines to movie titles, new or old. Sarah Gaymon
Chuck Smith
Tom Witte 
MOV  126  HTML 
September 10, 1995130 NICELY STATED Create a fictional city to be humorously paired with a real state abbreviation. Tommy Litz POL  127  HTML 
September 17, 1995131 DROODLEYSQUAT Come up with "droodles," simple geometric drawings with funny explanations. Sally Booher ART  128  HTML 
September 24, 1995132 GIVE US THE BACKS OFF OUR SHIRTS. What should our loser's T-shirt say on the back? Your goal is to somehow capture the spirit of the contest. George C. Montgomery TSH  129  HTML 
October 1, 1995133 LIKE, WOW. Come up with funny analogies. Michael Connaghan ANL  130  HTML 
October 8, 1995134 A SIMPLE CLERIHEW ERROR Revive clerihews. A clerihew is a biographical poem in four lines divided into tow rhyming couplets. The rhyme scene is aa bb. The first line of the clerihew must contain the name of the subject of the poem. The lines must be of disparate meter, the clunkier the better. Jerry Belenker POE  131  HTML 
October 15, 1995135 JERRY-BUILT SOLUTIONS Come up with Seinfeld-isms: whiny, quirky musings on little questions of life. Russell Beland   132  HTML 
October 22, 1995136 NEW END IN SIGHT Come up with new endings to make literary classics more suitable for Hollywood in the 1990s. Jerry Podlesak MOV  133  HTML 
October 29, 1995137 VELVIS LIVES Come up with a title and/or art gallery blurb for this velvet Elvis painting. John Rather ART  134  HTML 
November 5, 1995138 LIST BUT NOT LEAST Come up with Top-10-style lists for any of the above four subjects. Fred Dawson CUL  135  HTML 
November 12, 1995139 EMPLOYMENT LINES Come up with jobs that make even your crummy job seem good. Virginia Maggi BUS  136  HTML 
November 19, 1995140 WHAT IF YOU GIVE IT A TRY? Come up "What-If" scenarios and logical outcomes. Russell Beland HIS  137  HTML 
November 26, 1995141 ASK BACKWARD VII You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? Mark Goldenberg JEO  138  HTML 
December 3, 1995142 EXHIBITING BAD TENDENCIES Come up with the winner of next year's Turner Prize, which says its aim is to expand ideas of what is art. Fred Dawson ART  139  HTML 
December 10, 1995143 IT'S MY PARODY (& I'LL TRY IF I WANT TO) Rewrite any common jingle of theme song in the style of famous writer. David Smith POE  140  HTML  
December 17, 1995144 JUST REBUS ALONE Come up with a rebus, a phrase or sentence composed of letters, pictures, and symbols. Your entry must contain at least two pictures or illustrations from today's Washington PostJonathan Paul WAS  141  HTML 
December 24, 1995145 LOOIE, LOOIE Come up with paired, themed ladies' room and men's room signs for various types of public places. Susan Reese CUL  142  HTML 
December 31, 1995146 IT'S LIKE THIS Produce an A and B to complete the expression "A makes about as much sense as B." Alan Evans WOR  143  HTML 
January 7, 1996147 JUST FOR LIFFS Come up original liffs, which identify a familiar, tantalizing concept with a word to define, it pairs it with a perfectly good by underutilized words that just loafs around on maps and street signs. Dave Harstad WOR  144  HTML   
January 14, 1996148 RORSCHACH OF THE CROWD IV Interpret these ink blots. Jennifer Hart ROR  145  HTML 
January 21, 1996149 O, NO! Come up with a palindrome, a line that reads the same backward and forward, and then use it as a punchline to a joke. Dave Ferry WOR  146  HTML 
January 28, 1996150 TRIAL BALLOONS What are the people saying? Rahul Simha CAR  147  HTML 
February 4, 1996151 STRIP MINING Come up with a concept for a new, controversial strip to replace an existing one in The Post. Joseph Romm COM WAS  148  HTML 
February 11, 1996152 WE ARE CURIOUS (YELLOW) Take any headline in today's Washington Post and rewrite it in tabloid fashion so the story seems a lot more scandalous and/or lurid than it is. Mike Hammer HEA WAS CUL  149  HTML 
February 18, 1996153 STUMP US Complete this sentence, "I should be elected President of the United States because…" and launch your campaign. Dan Kravitz POL  150  HTML 
February 25, 1996154 ENTER LAUGHING Make up a knock-knock joke. The subject of the third line must be something crude, silly, or profound. Kevin Cuddihy JOK  151  HTML 
March 3, 1996155 COMPARISON SHOPPING Explain the difference between any two of the above items. Chuck Smith DIF  152  HTML 
YEAR 4 BEGINS
PUB DATEWEEKTITLESYNOPSISEVENTUAL WINNERTHEMESREPORTLINKS
March 10, 1996156 HYPHEN THE TERRIBLE Create new word by combining the first half of a hyphenated word with the second half of a hyphenated word. Both words must appear in the same story anywhere in today's Washington Post. Each entry must provide a definition for the newly created word. Jean Sorensen HYP WAS  153  HTML 
March 17, 1996157 WARNING SIGNS Complete any of these "you might be about to" warning sentences. Stephen Breton   154  HTML 
March 24, 1996158 SO SUE US Come up with frivolous lawsuits. Sue Lin Chong CUL  155  HTML 
March 31, 1996159 ODDBALLS Which item in each series does not belong? Explain your answer. Christine Jackson   156   
April 7, 1996160 SEEKING WISE GUYS Come up with cool new bad-guy terms. Moe Hammond WOR  157  HTML 
April 14, 1996161 CAPITOL MISTAKES Come up with very, very bad advice for first-time visitors to Washington. Phil Plait WAS  158   
April 21, 1996162 MAY WE HAVE YOUR PRETENSION, PLEASE? Come up with the most pretentious original sentence possible. Tommy Litz   159  HTML 
April 28, 1996163 WHAT KIND OF FOAL AM I? Take the list of all 1996 Triple Crown nominees, couple up any two of them, and propose an appropriate name for their hypothetical foal. The foal's name must fit in no more than 18 characters, including spaces. Russell Beland HOR  160  HTML 
May 5, 1996164 MEAN MEANINGS Translate things politicians say into what they really mean. M. Schmidtman
Tom Witte 
POL  161  HTML 
May 12, 1996165 WHEEL OF TORTURE Complete any of the provided "Wheel of Fortune" phrases. Sarah Gaymon WOR  162  HTML 
May 19, 1996166 DOO WAH DOODY We are looking for really bad lyrics to real rock songs. Your lyrics must be from a reasonably popular song, and you must include the name of the singer or songwriter. Carolyn Armstrong
Scott Barney
Don Beale
Dave Ferry
Jane Hanna
Jessica Mathews
Dean Meservy
Arthur J. Murphy
Steve Rouzer
Sandy Tenenbaum
Jeff Wadler
Pam Wadler 
POE MUS  163  HTML 
May 26, 1996167 CRAPSEY Resurrect the "cinquain," a long-deceased poetic form, poems so ickily precocious and pretentious they make haiku look like Kipling. There are five lines, the first containing two syllables, the second containing four syllables, the third six, the fourth eight and the last, with grave finality and thunderous drama, only two. Your subject matter must be suitable for the 1990s. Christine Tabbert POE  164  HTML 
June 2, 1996168 LICENSE TO CARRY A PUN Come up with original jokes like those provided. Dave Zarrow JOK  165  HTML 
June 9, 1996169 DIFF'RENT JOKES Tell us the difference between any two of the provided items. David Smith DIF  166  HTML 
June 16, 1996170 THE ELEMENTS OF SMILE Why are these people smiling? Ned Bent CAR  167  HTML 
June 23, 1996171 ON SECOND THOUGHT Ideas that never got off the drawing board, for good reason. Jonathan Paul   168  HTML 
June 30, 1996172 POEDTRY An entire poetic form, making its global debut in the Style Invitational. The first line must contain only six words of one syllable each; the second line, three words of two syllables each; the third line, two words of three syllables each, and the final line a single word of six syllables. At least two lines must rhyme. The general subject matter should be mundane. Roger L. Browdy POE  169  HTML 
July 7, 1996173 DEAD RECKONING Propose a question that might be asked by a living celebrity to a famous dead person. You must name the living person, name the dead person, and tell us the question. Ken Kaufman CUL  170  HTML 
July 14, 1996174 THE EDGE OF MIGHT Complete any of the four provided "you might" phrases. Jon Miller
Brian Thurber 
 171  HTML 
July 21, 1996175 FOSSIL FOOLS What would aliens mistakenly conclude about us from any of the provided items? Art Grinath SCI  172  HTML 
July 28, 1996176 WRITE IN THE KISSER In the style of any famous author, write a description of any one of these people: Bill Clinton, Bob Dole, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Prince Charles or Sylvester Stallone. Kitty Thuermer   173  HTML 
August 4, 1996177 SOUNDS LIKE TROUBLE Tell us what any of the provided sounds are. Art Grinath   174  HTML 
August 11, 1996178 DEEP THROATS Come up with Deep Thoughts, in the style of Jack Handey of "Saturday Night Live." A Deep Thought is a short, simple, seemingly inspirational observation that winds up being cynical, ironic, or just plain weird. Joseph Romm   175  HTML 
August 18, 1996179 A CLOCKWORK, UM, UM, ... ER Write single sentences containing no fewer than three examples of rhyming slang. Roy Ashley
Russell Beland
Kevin Cuddihy
Richard DeMello
Stephen Dudzik
Tom Green
Mark Greenblatt
Tommy Litz
Jonathan Paul 
POE  176  HTML 
August 25, 1996180 WHEN IN DOUBT, PUN Take any headline in today's Post and improve it by somehow turning it into a pun. Jennifer Hart
Kate Renner 
HEA WAS  177  HTML 
September 1, 1996181 YOU CAN TAKE IT TO DEBUNK Take a common slogan or saying and prove it wrong with at least one example. Chuck Smith SLO  178  HTML 
September 8, 1996182 CAN YOU STOP THIS? Come up with a conversation stopper, a line likely to end all further discourse, perhaps even empty a room. Tom Henry   179  HTML 
September 15, 1996183 COCKNEY RHYMING SLANG II Create hawkers' rhymes for modern-day occupations like lobbyists, lawyers, talk show hosts, actuaries, etc., at a maximum of four lines. It must contain at least one rhyme. Elden Carnahan POE  180  HTML 
September 22, 1996184 ED ANGUISH Create an argument on some social issue, in 75 words or fewer, taking an extreme liberal view. John Kammer CUL  181  HTML 
September 29, 1996185 WONDERLUST Come up with replacements for the Seven Wonders of the World. To qualify, an object must really exist, and be manmade and, in some way, awesome. Don Maclean HIS  182  HTML 
October 6, 1996186 CALLING THE TOON Who are these people? What are they doing? Philip Vitale CAR  183  HTML 
October 13, 1996187 RACE TO THE FINISH LINE In 75 words or fewer, continue in a productive fashion the story line of the provided real first lines of famous literary works. Jonathan Paul
Susan Reese 
LIT  184  HTML 
October 20, 1996188 BLANKETY BLANKS Complete any of the above sentences, substituting your own phrases for the well-known omitted words. Joe Shepherd WOR  185  HTML 
October 27, 1996189 YOU CAN PRANK ON IT Come up with a hoax or prank that begins with any of the provided scenarios. Paul Kondis
Gary Lefkowitz 
 186  HTML 
November 3, 1996190 OFFICE YOU CAN'T REFUSE Come up with a Principle for the Workplace. John Kammer BUS  187  HTML 
November 10, 1996191 GOING THROUGH A PHRASE Come up with phrase for an American English phrasebook that would provide no practical help whatsoever to a foreigner trying to get along in the United States. Jacob Harley CUL  188  HTML 
November 17, 1996192 HILL'S BILLS Come up with bills any of the new members of Congress might jointly sponsor. Tommy Litz LEG  189  HTML 
November 24, 1996193 ASK BACKWARDS VIII You are on "Jeopardy!" Here are the answers. What are the questions? John O'Brien
Chuck Smith 
JEO  190  HTML 
December 1, 1996194 ADVICE SQUAD Answer any of the provided questions unwisely. Art Grinath   191  HTML 
December 8, 1996195 THE MARTHIAN CHRONICLES Come up with items for Martha Stewart's December-January calendar of projects. Stephen Dudzik CUL  192  HTML 
December 15, 1996196 YOU MUST BE MAD Come up with a contemporary Scene We'd Like to SeeArt Grinath
Bob Kulawiec 
 193  HTML 
December 22, 1996197 DAVE'S WORLD Make David Twenhafel laugh. Any sort of delightful drollery or amusing witticism will do, so long as it is not the sort of lowbrow fare we usually favor. Jennifer Hart STY  194  HTML 
December 29, 1996198 YOU MUST BE MAD II Come up with proposals designed to infuriate special interest groups. Bob Sorensen POL CUL  195  HTML 
January 5, 1997199 WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE? Tell us the difference between any two of the provided items. Rob Klotz DIF  196  HTML  
January 12, 1997200 CAPTION CRUNCH IV Supply a new caption to any photograph appearing anywhere in today's Post, to make it funnier. Jessica Mathews CAP  197  HTML 
January 19, 1997201 THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE Come up with a new element and its symbol, and provides a brief description of its chemical or physical properties. Irwin Singer SCI  198  HTML 
January 26, 1997202 THE ELEMENTS OF SMILE Interpret any of the provided computer emoticons, or "smileys." Alex Neill   199  HTML  
February 2, 1997203 CAN IT GET MUCH VERSE? Create Very Bad Poetry, containing banalities masquerading as profundities, overstretch metaphors, etc. Special attention should be paid to dreadful syntax and painful rhyme Charlie Steinhice POE  200  HTML 
February 9, 1997204 DOUBLE EXPRESSO Take any well-known colorful expression, and modernize it. Maja Keech CUL  201  HTML 
February 16, 1997205 SOME PIG Beg for the prize: convince us why you, and you alone, deserve to get it. Jon Williams STY  202  HTML 
February 23, 1997206 HYPHEN THE TERRIBLE II Create a new word by combining the first half of any hyphenated word in today's newspaper with the second half of any other hyphenated word elsewhere in the same story, and supply a definition. Tom Witte HYP  203   
March 2, 1997207 TIED TO BE FIT Each of the eight provided items is related, in some fashion, to one or more of the provided individuals. You make the connections. David Genser CUL  204  HTML 
YEAR 5 BEGINS
PUB DATEWEEKTITLESYNOPSISEVENTUAL WINNERTHEMESREPORTLINKS
March 9, 1997208 SEND IN THE CLONES Suggest question a commission to investigate the moral, legal and practical question raised by cloning might consider. Joan Schloo POL REL SCI  205  HTML 
March 16, 1997209 WE NEED SOME SEASONING Come up with the first signs of spring in Washington. Tommy Litz WAS  206  HTML 
March 23, 1997210 RANDOM MEMO Supply embarrassing "While You Were Out" phone messages that might be left for famous people, in plain sight, while they are away from their desks. Art Grinath CUL  207  HTML 
March 30, 1997211 GIVE US THE BACKS OFF YOUR SHIRTS Design the back of the fourth Style Invitational T-shirt, with anything that captures the transcendent indignity of this contest. Craig Ulander TSH  208  HTML 
April 6, 1997212 DUMB AS THE POST Come up with even stupider crimes than those committed by Montgomery County's "gentleman burglars." Sandra Hull   209  HTML 
April 13, 1997213 A SIN OF THE TIMES Submit campaign or other political practices that would be illegal and/or unethical. Bill Moulden POL  210  HTML 
April 20, 1997214 ASK BACKWARDS IX You are on "Jeopardy!" These are your answers. What are the questions? Greg Arnold JEO  211  HTML 
April 27, 1997215 SON OF A PITCH Write lavish blurbs in 50 words or fewer so some sucker will want to pay a lot of money for the provided items. Jerry Pannullo WOR  212  HTML 
May 4, 1997216 WHAT KIND OF FOAL AM I? Pair up any two of the 400-plus horses who have qualified for this year's Triple Crown races, and name their foal, in a maximum of 18 characters, including spaces. Larry Marcus HOR  213  HTML 
May 11, 1997217 NO QUESTION ABOUT IT Come up with truly stupid questions. Edith Eisenberg QUE  214  HTML 
May 18, 1997218 CALLING THE TOON Who are these people? What are they doing? Dave Yourell CAR  215  HTML  
May 25, 1997219 VERBOSITY Come up with new, obnoxious, self-conscious faux verbs and use them in sentences. Russell Beland WOR  216  HTML 
June 1, 1997220 RSVP Provide and answer to any of the dumb questions from Week 217. David Kleinbard QUE  217  HTML 
June 8, 1997221 SONG SUNG BROWN Pick any song, pick a well-known line, and give us the discarded first draft. If it is part of a rhyme, you must maintain the rhyme. Lily Fu Swenson POE MUS  218  HTML 
June 15, 1997222 TRIP DEUCES Take the two subject listings at the top of any page of the Yellow Pages and create a dictionary definition for the compound word they form. Robin Grove WOR  219  HTML 
June 22, 1997223 ATTEMPTING REENTRY Submit entries to any past contest, so long as you never submitted them before. Chuck Smith PRE  220  HTML 
June 29, 1997224 DRAWING CONCLUSIONS What is wrong with these pictures? Dan Kaplan CAR  221  HTML  
July 6, 1997225 WE RESPECTfully decline to publish any dumb entries by YOU. Come up with signs for a T-shirt of a bumper sticker that hide the real message in tiny type. Dan Kaplan
Tom Witte 
TSH  222  HTML 
July 13, 1997226 GOING WITHOUT Complete some variation of the expression "An A without a B is like a C without a D." Jonathan Paul WOR  223  HTML 
July 20, 1997227 WILD PITCHES Come up worthy successors to Joe Camel. Name the product, and describe the totally inappropriate cartoon character that would be created represent it. Dave Ferry CAR  224  HTML 
July 27, 1997228 MAKE MY DAY Supply advice to today's spoiled kids about how bad things were when we were growing up. Barry Blyveis CUL  225  HTML 
August 3, 1997229 WE CAN'T HEAR YOU Supply an example for any of the five "Things you don't want to hear" categories provided. Jennifer Hart   226  HTML 
August 10, 1997230 TALES FROM THE CRYPTOGRAM Take any proper noun--a person, a book, a movie, whatever--and create for it an appropriate cryptogram.  Don Juran LET  227  HTML 
August 17, 1997231 GIVING QUARTER Suggest a motto for the "tails" side of any of the state-themed quarters. Barry Blyveis SLO  228  HTML 
August 24, 1997232 PRIMAL URGES Update, for the millennium, the old "A is for Apple" reading primer. An entry must include the four letters in one of these blocks: A-D, E-H, I-L, M-P, Q-T, U-Z. Jacob Weinstein LET  229  HTML 
August 31, 1997233 SEEKING PARODY Take any paragraph appearing on Page A1 of today's Washington Post, and rewrite it in the style of any famous writer. Phil Frankenfeld WAS LIT  230  HTML 
September 7, 1997234 THE JOKE'S ON YOU Complete any of the provided jokes as it would be told by someone famous, living or dead. Stephen A. Simon JOK  231  HTML 
September 14, 1997235 ROOTS Make up historical explanations--they should be vaguely plausible--for the etymology of any term you wish. The term should be the punch line. Sue Lin Chong HIS WOR  232  HTML 
September 21, 1997236 CALLING THE TOON. What is happening here? Hank Wallace CAR  233  HTML  
September 28, 1997237 ASK BACKWARD You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? Bob Dalton JEO  234  HTML 
October 5, 1997238 CHALK IT UP TO STUPIDITY Propose apologies for yourself in the style of Bart Simpson writing on his blackboard. Jennifer Hart   235  HTML 
October 12, 1997239 NAME THAT TOON Send us the captions for cartoons not provided. Jennifer Hart CAR  236  HTML  
October 19, 1997240 ADDING INSULT Come up with elegant insults directed at any famous person, living or dead, such as the real encomiums above.  Phil Frankenfeld   237  HTML 
October 26, 1997241 CAN YOU BEAT THIS? Come up with headlines describing the defeat of one pro team by another. David Genser HEA  238  HTML 
November 2, 1997242 SACRED COW PIES Take cheap shots at sacred institutions only, places and things that are so noble and wholesome they are beyond reproach, from among the items provided. Charlie Steinhice POL CUL REL  239    
November 9, 1997243 VERSE THAN EVER Write a rhyming poem of two to eight lines as a tribute to someone famous who died in 1997, the more awful the better. We will particularly value rhymes that thud, and extremes of emotion and sentiment. Charlie Steinhice POE  240  HTML 
November 16, 1997244 HYPHEN THE TERRIBLE Coin new words, and provide a definition, by combining the first half of a hyphenated word for any story in today's Post with the second half of another hyphenated word in the same story. Robin Grove HYP  241  HTML 
November 23, 1997245 LIKE FUN Complete any of the provided "A is like B because" sentences. Dave Ferry WOR  242  HTML 
November 30, 1997246 OUR OWN DEVICES What do these contraptions do? Tell us in 50 words or fewer. Chuck Smith CAR  243  HTML  
December 7, 1997247 BLACK AND WHITE AND WED ALL OVER Propose the marriage of any two people, and the song they should not play at their wedding. The people must be a man and a woman. Chuck Smith MUS  244  HTML 
December 14, 1997248 STICKER SCHLOCK Come up with a message for our new, mildly sought-after Style Invitational bumper sticker, something that summarizes the grandeur and dignity of this stupid contest. Brian Broadus BUM  245  HTML 
December 21, 1997249 BAD NEWS, GOOD NEWS Supply a silver lining for any scourge or social ill facing America or the world. Tom Witte CUL POL  246  HTML 
December 28, 1997250 OH, GREAT Complete the sentence "Wouldn't it be great if …" Barry Blyveis WOR  247  HTML 
January 4, 1998251 QUOTH THE MAVEN Take any famous line, change it by one letter only (add, subtract or change a single letter), and reattribute it. Meredith Robinson LET  248  HTML 
January 11, 1998252 MAKE YOUR MOVIE Propose people who were the secret inspiration for famous movies. Charlie Steinhice MOV  249  HTML 
January 18, 1998253 IT'S A PITY Enter any of the provided contests. Winners will be judged entirely on the basis of how pitiful an attempt at humor the entry is. David Sherman PRE  250  HTML  
January 25, 1998254 DOUBLE JEOPARDY! Take any sentence appearing anywhere in today's Washington Post, and make up a question to which it could be a plausible answer. David Genser WAS QUE  251  HTML 
February 1, 1998255 SCANDAL IN THE WIND Each of the provided items is somehow related to the current presidential scandal. Tell us how. Drew Knoblauch POL  252  HTML 
February 8, 1998256 THE PYLE INVITATIONAL Come up with hip, contemporary riddles and answers. The punch line must contain a painful pun. Dave Ferry
Chuck Smith 
JOK  253  HTML 
February 15, 1998257 LET US PLAY Create a game, or a prank, that can be played using any two or more of the provided objects. Tom Witte   254  HTML 
February 22, 1998258 IT'S A BIRD. IT'S A PAIN. Choose one or more of the provided super powers and tell us what you would do with it. Christina Courtney   255  HTML 
March 1, 1998259 SPARE EXCHANGE, BUDDY? Take any phone number of any business or government office in the Washington area, translate the first two digits into their constituent letters and propose any appropriate one-word exchange. Elden Carnahan LET POL BUS  256  HTML 
YEAR 6 BEGINS
PUB DATEWEEKTITLESYNOPSISEVENTUAL WINNERTHEMESREPORTLINKS
March 8, 1998260 IT'S A SNAP Come up with replacements for the two hackneyed answers: "Is the Pope Catholic?" and "When Hell freezes over." Sue Lin Chong JOK  257  HTML 
March 15, 1998261 WHAT IF YOU GIVE IT A TRY II Alter some crucial moment in history, and then tell us the likely outcome. Andrew B. Gibson HIS  258  HTML  
March 22, 1998262 CAMPAIGN FOR ONE Design a line for Niels Hoven to deliver in his campaign for a student government office that will wake up a snoozing audience. Jonathan Paul POL  259   
March 29, 1998263 THE GAME OF THE NAME Propose a bad name for the provided categories. Erica Magram WOR  260  HTML  
April 5, 1998264 ASK BACKWARDS You are on "Jeopardy!" Here are the answers. What are the questions? Sue Lin Chong JEO  261  HTML  
April 12, 1998265 A SPORK OF GENIUS Come up with new products like the spork: combinations of two existing products that work together in some special way. Name the device and explain its function. T. J. Murphy BUS  262  HTML  
April 19, 1998266 DEFINITELY WEIRD Take any word from the dictionary and redefine it. Jacob Weinstein WOR  263  HTML  
April 26, 1998267 THE CONCEPT CONCEPT Come up with a situation for a "People Unclear on the Concept" cartoon. Describe the situation and supply any necessary dialogue. John B. Allen CAR  264  HTML   
May 3, 1998268 WHAT KIND OF FOAL AM I? Take the names of this year's Triple Crown nominees, mate any two of them, a propose a name for the foal. The foal's name must be contained in 18 characters, including spaces. Chris Kaufman HOR  265  HTML  
May 10, 1998269 SIGNS, AND THE TIMES Come up with new, helpful signage for downtown streets. You must state the problem, and propose the sign to rectify it. David Litman CUL POL  266  HTML 
May 17, 1998270 PALINODE--HAVE PUN, WILL TRAVEL Write a "palinode", retracting something said in an earlier poem. Your poem must be four lines long and contain at least one rhyme. Jon Chananie POE  267  HTML 
May 24, 1998271 YOGI BEARER Come up with new Yogi-isms, which seem to make sense, but collapse like a souffle when you poke it a little Phil Frankenfeld WOR  268  HTML 
May 31, 1998272 PICTURE THIS What is happening in these cartoons? Edward Mickolus CAR  269  HTML  
June 7, 1998273 UNSEENS WE'D LIKE TO SEE Provide examples of any of the provided categories of thing that will never happen. E. J. Lloyd   270  HTML 
June 14, 1998274 THE DROLL OF A LIFETIME Be the New Yorker comics editor, and explain to readers of The Washington Post why the provided jokes are charmingly witty. Sandra Hull WAS  271  HTML 
June 21, 1998275 THERE ONCE WAS CONTEST FROM NANTUCKET … Write a limerick in which the first line is about someone who comes from some place in the Washington area. Courtney Knauth LIM WAS  272  HTML 
June 28, 1998276 SPIT THE DIFFERENCE Tell us the difference between any two of the provided items. Russell Beland DIF  273  HTML 
July 5, 1998277 LIFE IN THE BLURBS Come up a simple plot summary to help attract the modern audience to any classic work of fiction. It must be literally true and defensible. Elden Carnahan LIT  274  HTML 
July 12, 1998278 THE STALE INVITATIONAL Begin with a word. Add, subtract or change a single letter only, and then provide a new definition. Tom Witte LET  275  HTML 
July 19, 1998279 TREACLE-DOWN THEORY Come up with a treacly and deeply moving piece of crap. It must somehow mine joy and goopy inspiration from the vicissitudes of life. It must also rhyme. Niels Hoven POE  276  HTML 
July 26, 1998280 EXPRESSING IT NICELY Come up with colorful expressions for any of the six provided activities, to make them sound a little less tawdry. Joe Kobylski WOR  277  HTML 
August 2, 1998281 CALCULATE THE ODDS Tell us which of the two provided items does not belong with the other two, and why. J. Larry Schott DIF  278  HTML 
August 9, 1998282 TAKING SNIDES Take any story anywhere in today's Post and append to it a single snide observation, concerning either the headline or the text of the story. Ralph Scott WAS  279  HTML 
August 16, 1998283 UH-OH Come up with "uh-oh" lines, statements that occur in the middle of a seemingly benign speech or conversation, suddenly alerting the listener that he is about to hear some bad news. Philip Vitale   280  HTML 
August 23, 1998284 ASK BACKWARDS MCLXVII You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? Jami Cashell JEO  281  HTML 
August 30, 1998285 ELEVENIS, ANYTWO? Take a common phrase containing a specific number, add or subtract one, and explain the revised phrase. Joseph Romm   282  HTML 
September 6, 1998286 CLINTOONS Make your own Clintoon, a comic strip consisting of any or all of the provided drawings. Meg Sullivan CAR  283  HTML  
September 13, 1998287 BEFORE AND AFTERMATH Begin with a real name, append to it a word, name or expression that completes the bridge, and finally define the resulting phrase. Douglas Riley WOR  284  HTML 
September 20, 1998288 PICTURE THIS What is happening in these pictures? Jonathan Paul CAR  285  HTML  
September 27, 1998289 PLAY IT AGAIN, SHAM Submit entries to any previous contest, ideas you might have thought of after the contest deadline had passed. Joseph Romm PRE  286  HTML 
October 4, 1998290 THE WORLD THEORIES Codify some of life's more populist theories. Chuck Smith CUL  287  HTML 
October 11, 1998291 HYPHEN THE TERRIBLE Take any story in today's paper, find a word that breaks with a hyphen at the end of a line, and combine it with the second half of different hyphenated word in the same story. Then supply a definition for the new hybrid word. Susan Reese HYP  288  HTML 
October 18, 1998292 PAYING THE BILL Propose appropriate punishments for President Clinton. Art Grinath POL  289  HTML  
October 25, 1998293 THE VERSE OF AMERICA Take any story in today's Washington Post and create a poem or song by stringing together various phrases from that story. Each phrase must be a least two words long. Greg Arnold POE  290  HTML 
November 1, 1998294 PRODUCT LIARBILITY Take the name of any commercial product and redefine it. J. Larry Schott BUS  291  HTML 
November 8, 1998295 PANEL DISCUSSION Supply the contents the missing panel in the provided cartoon strips. David Genser CAR  292  HTML  
November 15, 1998296 BILL US LATER Choose among the names of any of the newly elected U.S. senators or representatives and propose a bill they might sponsor. Mike Genz LEG  293  HTML 
November 22, 1998297 FREE FOR OIL Take any article in today's paper, and write an outraged letter to the editor about it that totally misses the point, either by misreading a word or misunderstanding the topic. David Genser WAS CUL POL REL  294  HTML 
November 29, 1998298 THE RIGHT STUFF Write a sentence, or phrase, or entire passage, using only your right hand on the keyboard. This means who may use no keys to the left of N, H, Y and 7. Barbara Collier LET  295  HTML 
December 6, 1998299 ANOTHER LEFTIST RAG Write the day's tabloid headlines with your left hand only. (This means you can use no keys to the right of 6, T, G and B.) Eric Lenning LET  296  HTML 
December 13, 1998300 A BRAND NEW CONTEST Come up with celebrity-brand products. Elden Carnahan BUS  297  HTML 
December 20, 1998301 PICTURE THIS What is happening in these cartoons? Jonathan Paul CAR  298  HTML   
December 27, 1998302 UNSTATED TRUTHS Come up with lines that you'll never hear the provided people say. Beverly Miller   299  HTML 
January 3, 1999303 BOOM TIMES Come up with old and new concerns for the baby boom generation. Elden Carnahan CUL  300  HTML 
January 10, 1999304 TIME OF THE SIGNS Come up with appropriate signage to appear outside any business or retail establishment in the Washington area, including government offices. David Genser WAS BUS POL  301  HTML 
January 17, 1999305 ASK BACKWARDS CMXVI2 You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? Stephen Dudzik JEO  302  HTML 
January 24, 1999306 YOUNGIAN THERAPY Suggest ways in which the Style Invitational or any other Washington area institution can become more relevant to younger people. Meg Sullivan WAS STY CUL  303  HTML 
January 31, 1999307 IF YOU BOYCOTT THIS TASK / YOU WON'T WIN THE FLASK Come up with rhyming couplets to warn us about the perils of modern life. Howard Walderman POE CUL  304  HTML 
February 7, 1999308 GIVE US NO MO Write an update version of those old children's selecting rhymes. Your rhyme must (1) rhyme and (2) conform, at least loosely, to a point-and-shoot cadence that permits the elimination of one item from a group. David Genser POE  305  HTML 
February 14, 1999309 A STINKING PILE OF THESES Write an all-purpose first line or paragraph for any doctoral dissertation, design to impress the heck out of academics. David Genser CUL  306  HTML 
February 21, 1999310 IT'S LIKE THIS Come up with really lame analogies. J. F. Knowles ANL  307  HTML 
February 28, 1999311 A JERRY-BUILT CONTEST Find cleverly disguised threats to public morality or hallowed American values that may be secretly lurking out there in our culture. Joseph Romm CUL POL  308  HTML 
YEAR 7 BEGINS
PUB DATEWEEKTITLESYNOPSISEVENTUAL WINNERTHEMESREPORTLINKS
March 7, 1999312 BOOKS AND BOOKS Combine any two works of literature--no movies or TV--into one, give its title and describe it in a brief, appealing blurb that might appear in Publishers' WeeklyMike Long LIT  309  HTML 
March 14, 1999313 THE STYLE INVITATIONAL SOUVENIR SHOP Come up with bad names for a new store at a mall. Brian Broadus WOR BUS  310  HTML 
March 21, 1999314 IT'S THE LIST YOU CAN DO Start with the name of a famous person, living or dead, real or fictional, either a full name or partial name. Progress through a series other names or phrases. Each name or phrase must be related to the prior item either by being a homophone or a definition. Eventually, arrive at a name or a phrase that is an appropriate pairing with the original name. Elisa Nichols   311  HTML 
March 28, 1999315 FERMENTING TROUBLE Write a rhyming poem, eight lines maximum, on the subject of cheese or any of the provided items. Niels Hoven POE  312  HTML 
April 4, 1999316 CALLING THE TOON What are these things? Jennifer Hart
Sandra Hull 
CAR  313  HTML   
April 11, 1999317 PICK US A WINNER Come up with flawed contest ideas, and the single, obvious, too-good-to-beat entry. Chuck Smith STY  314  HTML 
April 18, 1999318 HYPHEN THE TERRIBLE Combine the first half of any hyphenated word in a story in today's paper with the second part of a different hyphenated word from the same story, and provide a new definition. Chuck Smith HYP  315  HTML 
April 25, 1999319 REVERSE PSYCHOLOGY Create an original chiasmus, an ancient literary form in which meaning is derived by pairing two words or phrases, and then reversing their order. Craig McGowan WOR  316  HTML 
May 2, 1999320 WHAT KIND OF FOAL AM I? Mate any two of the horses qualifying for the Triple Crown races and come up with appropriate names for their foals. Maximum 18 letters and spaces. Dante D. Bruno HOR  317  HTML 
May 9, 1999321 INTERPRET THIS Take any of the provided cartoon and come up with a matched pair of interpretations for what is happening. Art Grinath CAR  318  HTML   
May 16, 1999322 YOU NAME IT Take a well known pair or group of names, extend one of them in some manner, and explain how the group dynamic changes. Tom Glynn   319  HTML 
May 23, 1999323 THE CONGRESSIONAL RECORD INVITATIONAL Come up with not-quite-ready inventions, past or present. Brian Broadus SCI BUS  320  HTML 
May 30, 1999324 A PREQUEL OPPORTUNITY OFFERING Come up with a "prequel" to some classic film or work of literature. You must produce a title and a brief plot summary, which or course must take place prior to the main action of the original work. Aaron Kravitz MOV  321  HTML 
June 6, 1999325 THE BURMA ROAD Propose welcoming doggerel for states or cities patterned after Burma Shave signs. Stephen Dudzik POE  322  HTML 
June 13, 1999326 COMIC RELIEF Look at today's comics pages, select one panel and one panel only from any comic strip, and rewrite the dialogue. David Genser COM  323  HTML 
June 20, 1999327 ASK BACKWARDS You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? David Genser JEO  324  HTML 
June 27, 1999328 NICE CAPADES Send in some pleasant observation, in which you take a really cheerful or heartwarming view of something that less charitable people might conceivably see differently. Janet Arrowsmith-Love   325  HTML 
July 4, 1999329 THE STYLE INVITATIONAL: HELL Take the name of a person or institution. Find within it a hidden message. You may add spacing and punctuation, but you may not move letters around. Chrissy Haynes
Russell Haynes 
LET  326  HTML  
July 11, 1999330 NERD PLANET FROM THE SUN Come up with comments from the Nerd Side even less interesting than the observation that the 21st century doesn't really start until 2001. Marcia Reecer   327  HTML 
July 18, 1999331 DRAWING ON CREATIVITY Come up with an idea for a fictional central character for a comic strip based in Washington, D.C., and the environs. Describe your character in as much detail as you wish, and give the strip a name. Elden Carnahan
Joyce Rains 
WAS COM  328  HTML 
July 25, 1999332 AUTHORS IN SEARCH OF A CHARACTER Come up with a three- or four-panel cartoon about any of the winning characters from Week 332. David Genser
Art Grinath
Chuck Smith
Meg Sullivan 
COM  329  HTML  
August 1, 1999333 GET A LOAD OF THIS TA-TA Submit episodes for the three winning strips from Week 331. There is no next week's contest. Chuck Smith COM  330, 332    HTML 
THE SABBATICAL
The Czar claims he is being sent on a secret half-year assignment, and that the Invitational may return with a new, invigorated format yet to be determined.
When the column resumed, the Czar began to use Roman numerals for the Weeks. He abandoned this scheme at the beginning of Year 11, resuming traditional numbering as if there had been no break.
YEAR 8 BEGINS
PUB DATEWEEKTITLESYNOPSISEVENTUAL WINNERTHEMESREPORTLINKS
August 8, 1999        
August 15, 1999        
August 22, 1999        
August 29, 1999        
September 5, 1999        
September 12, 1999        
September 19, 1999        
September 26, 1999        
October 3, 1999        
October 10, 1999        
October 17, 1999        
October 24, 1999        
October 31, 1999        
November 7, 1999        
November 14, 1999        
November 21, 1999        
November 28, 1999        
December 5, 1999        
December 12, 1999        
December 19, 1999        
December 26, 1999        
January 2, 2000        
January 9, 2000        
January 16, 2000        
January 23, 2000        
January 30, 2000334
(I) 
The New Style Invitational: Six Choice for Czar Vote for one of six possible editors of the Style Invitation, from among the current Czar and five worthy competitors. Jonathan Paul STY    HTML 
February 6, 2000335
(II) 
A LOVER'S SPAT Enter the contest that is run by the editor of your choice. Ben F. Noviello STY    HTML 
February 13, 2000336
(III) 
THE "STY"LE INVITATIONAL Choose any word and emphasize a single part of it, as though you were saying the word out loud with "air quotes" around the key part. Then redefine the word. You cannot alter the spelling of the word. Elden Carnahan
Tom Witte 
WOR  334, 335  HTML 
February 20, 2000337
(IV) 
DEGREES OF DIFFICULTY Take a quality you wish to quantify and devise the perfect icon to measure it. Then give us an example of the extremes. Elden Carnahan   334  HTML 
February 27, 2000338
(V) 
WHO WANTS TO WIN A TOILET? Propose even greater depths of shameless, tasteless sleaze to which Fox TV is likely to sink after the noisome debacle of "Who Wants to Marry and Multi-Millionaire?" Greg Pearson TEL  335  HTML  
March 5, 2000339
(VI) 
Campaignful Developments Come up with signs that a presidential campaign might be in trouble. Kelli Midgley POL  336  HTML 
March 12, 2000340
(VII) 
ASK BACKWARDS 12 You are on "Jeopardy!" Here are the answers. What are the questions? Sandra Hull JEO  336  HTML 
March 19, 2000341
(VIII) 
What's In a Name? Write something about any famous person that uses only the letters in his or her name. Richard Grossman LET  337  HTML 
March 26, 2000342
(IX) 
Plainly Ridiculous Take any direct quotation from any article in today's Washington Post and translate it into "plain English." Martin Bredeck WAS  338  HTML 
April 2, 2000343
(X) 
Eastwood Ho. Create a Good-Bad-Ugly progression. Teen Sheng JOK  339  HTML 
April 9, 2000344
(XI) 
What Kind of Foal Am I? Envision the mating of any two of the 387 horses qualifying for this year's Triple Crown, and propose a name for their foal. The foal's name must be contained in 18 or fewer letters and spaces. T. J. Murphy HOR  340  HTML 
April 16, 2000345
(XII) 
Picture This What is going on in these cartoons? David Genser CAR  341  HTML  
April 23, 2000346
(XIII) 
Greasy Kids Tough Take any news event from history, recent of ancient, large or small, and rewrite it in 100 words or fewer as it might have appeared in KidsPost. Mary Lou French HIS  342  HTML 
April 30, 2000347
(XIV) 
Capital Pun-ishment Take an expression, or a lyric for a song, or any recognizable line of prose, and make it the punchline of an awful pun. Bill Strider JOK LIT  343  HTML 
May 7, 2000348
(XV) 
When We're LXIV Fashion an entry by selecting one from each of the provided menu groups. Mike Elliott   344  HTML 
May 14, 2000349
(XVI) 
Orienting Oneself Produce a haiku using only words found in today's Washington Post. Your entry must have three lines, the first containing exactly five syllables, the second containing exactly seven syllables, the third containing exactly five. David Genser POE  345  HTML 
May 21, 2000350
(XVII) 
Employing Irony Propose bad career choices. David Genser   346  HTML 
May 28, 2000351
(XVIII) 
Dubya Fun Take any well-known statement, expression, slogan, etc., and rewrite it the way Dubya might have said it. Jonathan Paul POL  347  HTML 
June 4, 2000352
(XIX) 
A Laff Riot Take the name of a company and/or its commercial product and provide it a new definition. Jennifer Nelson BUS  348  HTML 
June 11, 2000353
(XX) 
Patently Silly What do these devices do? Jean Sorensen CAR  349  HTML  
June 18, 2000354
(XXI) 
Everyone's a Critic Adopt the style of a famous writer and review any of the provided dishes. Phil Frankenfeld LIT  350  HTML 
June 25, 2000355
(XXII) 
Seeing Stars Tell us ways we can attract celebrity participation to this contest. Jacob Weinstein STY  351  HTML 
July 2, 2000356
(XXIII) 
Med Icks Invent a clever name for a new medical product, and specify the condition it would treat. Chester Myslicki SCI  352  HTML 
July 9, 2000357
(XXIV) 
Coming to a Bad End Take some immortal line from literature or film and ruin it by adding a short phrase or sentence. Joseph Romm MOV  353  HTML 
July 16, 2000358
(XXV) 
Finish the Fire Finish "We Didn't Start the Fire," to summarize 1990 to the present. Chris Doyle MUS  354  HTML 
July 23, 2000359
(XXVI) 
It's No Party Come up with a new political party and its main political tenet. Jonathan Paul POL  355  HTML 
July 30, 2000360
(XXVII) 
No Competition Create a list of 25 names, each linked in some way to the name before, and you must begin and end with Mary Ann Madden. Chris Doyle   356  HTML 
August 6, 2000361
(XXVIII) 
Bad Libs Select one subject, one verb, and one object from the provided lists, and then answer the riddle you create. Edward Asher WOR JOK  357  HTML 
August 13, 2000362
(XXIX) 
Something Missing Tell us what is missing in each of the provided cartoons. Sam Rosenberg CAR  358  HTML  
August 20, 2000363
(XXX) 
It's Your Movie Take the title of any movie and make it the answer to a riddle. David Genser MOV JOK  359  HTML 
August 27, 2000364
(XXXI) 
Low Marks Come up with a new punctuation mark. Tell us what it looks like, and what it is used for, and use it in a sentence. Bob Dalton   360  HTML 
September 3, 2000365
(XXXII) 
Terse Verse Ask a question and then answer it with a rhyme. Your answer can be as many words as you wish, but all must have the same rhyme. David Genser POE  361  HTML 
September 10, 2000366
(XXXIII) 
Just Fulghum Come up with a list of at least three Major Life Lessons one can learn from any of the venues provided. Martin Bredeck CUL  362  HTML 
September 17, 2000367
(XXXIV) 
Future Schlock Come up with a line that will surely not appear in an upcoming work. Chuck Smith LIT  363  HTML 
September 24, 2000368
(XXXV) 
Hyphen the Terrible Combine the first half of any hyphenated word in a story in today's paper with the second part of a different hyphenated word from the same story, and provide a new definition. Chris Doyle HYP  364  HTML  
October 1, 2000369
(XXXVI) 
Punch Us Complete any of the provided jokes. Jennifer Hart JOK  365  HTML 
October 8, 2000370
(XXXVII) 
No End in Sight Write the beginnings of sentences you don't want to hear the end of. Bill Chang WOR  366  HTML 
October 15, 2000371
(XXXVIII) 
Ask Backward You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? Fred Hayes
Joseph Romm
Meg Sullivan 
JEO  367  HTML 
October 22, 2000372
(XXXIX) 
Trial Balloons Fill in the balloons. Stephen Dudzik CAR  368  HTML  
October 29, 2000373
(XL) 
An Extra Large Challenge What should we put on the back of the new Style Invitational T-shirt? Mike Elliott TSH  369  HTML 
November 5, 2000374
(XLI) 
Bill Us Later Take a well-known expression and update it for the new millennium. Twyla Vernon CUL  370  HTML 
November 12, 2000375
(XLII) 
Show Us Up Combine the names of two existing TV shows (past or present) to make an entirely new show. Then, describe the show. Jonathan Paul TEL  371  HTML 
November 19, 2000376
(XLIII) 
Apply Yourself Supply bad openings to college application biographies. Elden Carnahan   372  HTML 
November 26, 2000377
(XLIV) 
Week MMDCXLIV Provide a headline (and, if necessary, the first line of the text) for any article that will appear in The Washington Post on this day in the year 2050. Tom Witte HEA HIS  373  HTML 
December 3, 2000378
(XLV) 
Bill Us Now Come up with a bill sponsored by any of the newly elected U.S. senators and representatives, and explain the purpose of the bill. Dave Zarrow LEG  374  HTML 
December 10, 2000379
(XLVI) 
Rather Unusual Come up with lines that could be uttered by Dan Rather, with his unbearably folksy excesses. Jennifer Hart CUL  375  HTML 
December 17, 2000380
(XLVII) 
The New-Name Offense Propose changes for the names of places and things that need it, either because there is something wrong with their name, or because another name would be so much more descriptive. Lynne Filderman WOR  376  HTML 
December 24, 2000381
(XLVIII) 
Idiom Savant Take any well-known idiom, or expression, and invent an interesting derivation for it. Gordon Labow WOR  377  HTML 
December 31, 2000382
(XLIX) 
Pickup Schticks Write inept pickup lines, by either sex, to either sex. Jonathan Paul CUL  378  HTML 
January 7, 2001383
(L) 
A Kinder, Gender Nation Take an noun and give us a reason or two why it should be either masculine or feminine. Jim Martin WOR  379  HTML 
January 14, 2001384
(LI) 
What's Your Story? Take at least four of the provided cartoons, arrange them in any sequence you wish, and make up a funny story that they would illustrate. Sarah Gaymon CAR  380  HTML  
January 21, 2001385
(LII) 
Proceed Gingerly What is the still-secret invention, code-name "Ginger", that is said to meet the provided criteria? Ervin Stembol SCI  381  HTML 
January 28, 2001386
(LIII) 
The Game of Clue What are some clues that someone might be any of the provided characterizations? Judith Cottrill   382  HTML 
YEAR 9 BEGINS
PUB DATEWEEKTITLESYNOPSISEVENTUAL WINNERTHEMESREPORTLINKS
February 4, 2001387
(LIV) 
By Jingo Come up with a joke that could be written and understood only by a Washingtonian. Jonathan Paul WAS  383  HTML 
February 11, 2001388
(LV) 
Pitches in the Dirt Come up with a sales pitch to get any surplus product off the shelves. Mike Genz BUS  384  HTML 
February 18, 2001389
(LVI) 
Operation Overkill Present a solution to a problem that goes just a little too far. Saria Brewer   385  HTML 
The Uberczar and the Auxiliary Czar begin filling in temporarily for the Czar.
February 25, 2001390
(LVII) 
Canine Fashion Write: 1. A caption for the provided image explaining what is happening; 2. An explanation of why the image is not photography but art; 3. A description of what additional items might be needed to make the image complete. Sex and potty jokes will be disqualified. Kelli Midgley CAP ART  386  HTML  
March 4, 2001391
(LVIII) 
Spinning Out of Control Take an headline in today's Washington Post and create a subhead that spins the story in an opposite or unexpected direction. Sarah Gaymon HEA  387  HTML 
March 11, 2001392
(LIX) 
Everyone's a Comic Choose any panel of any comics strip in today's Washington Post and improve it by replacing the original speech and thought balloons with your own, Drew Knoblauch CAR  388  HTML  
March 18, 2001393
(LX) 
Things Could Be Verse Take any story in today's Washington Post and rewrite it into a rhyming poem of no more than eight lines. Geoff Shafer
Lindsay Shafer 
POE  389  HTML 
March 25, 2001394
(LXI) 
Life in the Blurbs Come up with a blurb used to sell a real or imagined book or movie that would be likely to have the opposite of the intended effect. Christina Mach LIT MOV  390  HTML 
April 1, 2001395
(LXII) 
Devilishly Clever Describe someone's special little corner of Hell. Andy Lees REL  391  HTML 
April 8, 2001396
(LXIII) 
April Foals Mate any two of the horses qualifying for the Triple Crown races and come up with appropriate names for their foals. Maximum 18 letters and spaces. Jonathan Paul HOR  392  HTML 
April 15, 2001397
(LXIV) 
Sins of Omission Omit a letter or letters from a real-life sign to create a name for a new business, comically different from the original. Describe the new business or include a slogan that explains it. Selma Mathias LET  393  HTML 
April 22, 2001398
(LXV) 
Animal Magnetism Make great literature and/or a significant expression of the human condition out of the provided randomly-selected words. Use whatever punctuation you choose and any of the words, but only those words, and use them only once. Brian Foster LIT CUL WOR  394   
April 29, 2001399
(LXVI) 
IT PAYS TO BE GENDEROUS Write a short film description that could persuade a woman that the guy movie he wants to see is really close to being a gal movie, or vice versa. Robin Grove MOV  395  HTML 
May 6, 2001400
(LXVII) 
Life Is Snort Write a "Life is Short" entry in under 100 words, in the voice of a celebrity, living or dead. Don Burdett CUL  396  HTML 
May 13, 2001401
(LXVIII) 
A Matter of Degree Describe a sign of some modest change in a situation and pair it with a sign of an extreme change in that same situation. Chuck Smith   397  HTML 
The Czar returns to duty.
May 20, 2001402
(LXIX) 
Spitting the Difference Tell us the difference between any two of the provided items. Jim Pond DIF  398  HTML  
May 27, 2001403
(LXX) 
Cry, Uncle! Write the beginnings of an obituary that will provide the details of what happened to the Style Invitational Uncle. Tom Witte EPI  399  HTML 
June 3, 2001404
(LXXI) 
Balloonacy Create a comic strip of one to four panels. For your dialogue or thought balloons, you may choose from the provided menu. You may invent one line of your own. Jonathan Paul CAR  400  HTML 
June 10, 2001405
(LXXII) 
The "Sty"le Invitational Take any word--this may include people or places--put a portion of it in "air quotes" and redefine it. You may not alter the spelling. Steve Fahey WOR  401  HTML 
June 17, 2001406
(LXXIII) 
Bum Steerage Offer some spectacularly bad advice to any of the provided people. David Moore CUL  402  HTML 
June 24, 2001407
(LXXIV) 
Adverbiage Come up with a witticism or a joke by making a pun out of an adverb. Unlike Tom Swiftlys, your adverb must modify not a verb but an adjective. Chris Doyle JOK WOR  403  HTML 
July 1, 2001408
(LXXV) 
What's In a Name? Take the name of any politician, living or dead, and construct an appropriate message from the letters of the name. You may use any letter as many times as you wish, and you may insert punctuation. Chris Doyle LET POL  404  HTML 
July 8, 2001409
(LXXVI) 
Nice Job, if You Get It Take anything that might need its image enhanced and rename it in a way the keeps its essential identity, but makes it seem nicer. Gary Patishnock   405  HTML 
July 15, 2001410
(LXXVII) 
Ask Backwards You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? Chuck Smith JEO  406  HTML 
July 22, 2001411
(LXXVIII) 
X's and Oaths Take any oath, pledge, declaration or slogan and update it. Jean Sorensen SLO  407  HTML 
July 29, 2001412
(LXXIX) 
Painful Climaxes Come up with statements that start really dramatically, but leave you sorta flat at the end. Ray Aragon
Cindy Coe 
 408  HTML 
August 5, 2001413
(LXXX) 
Bland Ambition Come up with one or more items from an underachiever's list of midlife resolutions. Gail Fiorini CUL  409  HTML 
August 12, 2001414
(LXXXI) 
No Rest for the Query Complete the provided rhetorical question by filling in the blanks. It must be a put-down. Paul Kocak   410  HTML 
August 19, 2001415
(LXXXII) 
Sentence Us to Death Take any sentence appearing anywhere in today's Washington Post, and invent a question that it answers. Russell Beland WAS QUE  411  HTML 
August 26, 2001416
(LXXXIII) 
Diff'rent Jokes Describe how things might have been different is famous person, living or dead, had had one of the provided conditions. Drew Knoblauch HIS  412  HTML 
September 2, 2001417
(LXXXIV) 
Initially Mistaken Take any name of person or thing, and construct an appropriate message using its letters, in order, as the first letters of the words of your message. Chris Doyle LET  413  HTML 
September 9, 2001418
(LXXXV) 
Xtreme Invitational Come up with signs you are overdoing it any in any of the provided categories. John Burton   414  HTML 
September 16, 2001419
(LXXXVI) 
Don't Spare the Rodney Come up with indications that one might not be getting no respect. Chuck Smith   415  HTML 
September 23, 2001420
(LXXXVII) 
Ha Anxiety Make us laugh. Russell Beland JOK  416  HTML 
September 30, 2001421
(LXXXVIII) 
Picture This These objects are not what they seem to be, at first glance. They are something else entirely. What are they? Jennifer Hart CAR  417  HTML  
October 7, 2001422
(LXXXIX) 
Taught Language Come up with lessons learned from (1) the movies, (2) popular songs, (3) romance novels or (4) the comics page. Bob Sorensen MOV MUS LIT COM  418  HTML 
October 14, 2001423
(XC) 
Roling With Laughter Take a character from one movie, use him or her to replace a character in a second movie, and then explain how this change would affect the second movie. Russell Beland MOV  419  HTML 
Reacting to the anthrax scare, the Invitational no longer accepts mailed-in entries.
October 21, 2001424
(XCI) 
Osama Chanted Evening Write poems about Osama bin Laden. Patricia Helmetag POE  420  HTML 
October 28, 2001425
(XCII) 
Hyphen the Terrible Take the first half of any hyphenated word from any story in today's newspaper and combine it with the second half of any other hyphenated word in the same story, and propose a definition of the new word you've created. Chris Doyle HYP  421  HTML 
November 4, 2001426
(XCIII) 
Captions Courageous Take any photograph of illustration from today's Washington Post and give it a more interesting caption. Jennifer Hart CAP  422  HTML 
November 11, 2001427
(XCIV) 
Skinned Come up with events that have a smaller chance of happening than the Redskins winning the Super Bowl. Sarah Gaymon ATH  423  HTML 
November 18, 2001428
(XCV) 
No Rest for the Query Answer any of the provided supposedly unanswerable questions in the voice of any famous person, living or dead. Elliott Schiff   424  HTML 
November 25, 2001429
(XCVI) 
Shark Instruments Tell us what would be a sign that any current institution--TV show, newspaper feature, magazine, business, etc.--has jumped the shark. Chris Doyle TEL CUL BUS  425  HTML 
December 2, 2001430
(XCVII) 
OMB Directive No. 2 Revisit any contest The Style Invitational has ever run, and rewrite out tawdry past by proposing a new first-prize winner serious and/or decorous enough to please the Ombudsman. Jonathan Paul PRE  426  HTML 
THE HIBERNATION
The Czar claims to be embarking on a secret mission, and promises that the Invitational will resume in January. During this time he will run profiles of top SI contestants, each of which will contain one lie.
December 9, 2001431
(XCVIII) 
Please Bear With Us … There is no contest. Czar ran biographies of Chuck Smith and Jean Sorensen, each containing one lie.      HTML 
December 16, 2001432
(XCIX) 
Sleeps With the Fishes. No contests until mid-January. Czar ran biographies of Chris Doyle, Sue Lin Chong, Paul Styrene, and Brian Broadus, each containing one lie.      HTML 
December 23, 2001433
(C) 
Takes a Break No contests until mid-January. Czar ran biographies of Russell Beland, Sarah Gaymon, John Kammer, and Paul Kondis, each containing one lie.      HTML 
December 30, 2001434
(CI) 
Takes a Breather No contests until mid-January. Czar ran biographies of Jennifer Hart, Jonathan Paul, Mike Genz and Robin Grove, each containing one lie.      HTML 
January 6, 2002435
(CII) 
Vegies Out No contests until mid-January. Czar ran biographies of Tom Witte, Dave Zarrow, Sandra Hull, and Kevin Cuddihy, each containing one lie.      HTML 
January 13, 2002436
(CIII) 
Takes a Powder The contest resumes next week. Czar ran biographies of Elden Carnahan, Stephen Dudzik, Joseph Romm, and Art Grinath, each containing one lie.      HTML 
January 20, 2002437
(CIV) 
The Telegraph Poll Tell us the beginning of a joke that badly telegraphs the punch line. Seth Brown JOK  428  HTML 
January 27, 2002438
(CV) 
What's the Pun Line? Ask a question and answer it, somewhere incorporating the name of a least one famous person. Chris Doyle QUE  429  HTML 
YEAR 10 BEGINS
PUB DATEWEEKTITLESYNOPSISEVENTUAL WINNERTHEMESREPORTLINKS
February 3, 2002439
(CVI) 
No Can Do Write signs of incompetence. Kyle Bonney   427  HTML 
February 10, 2002440
(CVII) 
Picture This What is going on in these cartoons? Chris Hill CAR  430  HTML 
February 17, 2002441
(CVIII) 
Spit the Difference Take any two nouns that appear on the front page of today's Washington Post and explain how the nouns differ from each other. Chris Doyle WAS  437  HTML 
February 24, 2002442
(CIX) 
Titletales Take any real book or movie, change one word slightly, and describe the resulting new product. Jeffrey Martin LIT MOV WOR  438  HTML 
March 3, 2002443
(CX) 
Sick Humor Come up with modern diseases of Washington life. Deborah Searson WAS  439  HTML 
March 10, 2002444
(CXI) 
Advice Squad Take any letter from today's advice columns and answer it in the voice of someone famous, living or dead. Mike Genz CUL  440  HTML 
March 17, 2002445
(CXII) 
Another Round of Bierce Add a few entries to Ambrose Bierce's famous "Devil's Dictionary." Mike Genz WOR  441  HTML 
March 24, 2002446
(CXIII) 
Poems Where the Heart Is Take any recent news event and summarize it in a rhyming poem of eight lines or fewer. Jennifer Hart POE  442  HTML 
March 31, 2002447
(CXIV) 
Acronimble Take any of the provided witty statements and use the first letters in each of the words to create a brand-new, unrelated funny statement. Jennifer Nelson LET  443  HTML 
April 7, 2002448
(CXV) 
What Kind of Foal Am I? Mate any two of the horses qualifying for the Triple Crown races this year and propose a name for their foal. No name may exceed 18 characters, including spaces. Mark Eckenwiler HOR  444  HTML 
April 14, 2002449
(CXVI) 
Cut and Pastiche Create a new, funny headline from the words of any headlines appearing anywhere in today's Post. You cannot subdivide words. Dave Zarrow HEA  445  HTML 
April 21, 2002450
(CXVII) 
Blues It or Lose It Write the first verse of a blues song expressing some Washington area woe. Bob Dalton WAS  446  HTML 
April 28, 2002451
(CXVIII) 
Make Your Pix Which two of the provided cartoons are related, and how? Dan Steinberg CAR DIF  447  HTML 
May 5, 2002452
(CXIX) 
Russellmania! (1) Design one or more steps for a 12-step program for the recovering Invitationalaholic; (2) Propose a devious method by which we might lure Russell Beland back. J. D. Berry STY  448  HTML 
May 12, 2002453
(CXX) 
Haiku 2 U2 Write a haiku summarizing the career of any American politician, living or head. A haiku is generally defined as a nonrhyming poem, of three lines. The first and last lines are five syllables; the middle line is seven. Daniel Horner POE POL  449  HTML 
May 19, 2002454
(CXXI) 
Ask Backwards You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? Sue Lin Chong JEO  450  HTML 
May 26, 2002455
(CXXII) 
Comixing Create new comic characters by crossing two existing characters, then describe the character. Seth Brown COM  451  HTML 
June 2, 2002456
(CXXIII) 
A Bad-Ask Contest You are still on Jeopardy!, and you still have to supply questions to the provided answers, but the winners will be the least funny answersMark Young JEO  452  HTML 
June 9, 2002457
(CXXIV) 
Letter Rip Give us the beginning of a letter to the editor that is certain never to see print. Fil Feit   453  HTML 
June 16, 2002458
(CXXV) 
It's a Setup Come up with joke setups for any of the provided punch lines. William Zamojcin JOK  454  HTML   
June 23, 2002459
(CXXVI) 
Stock Humor Look at any of the abbreviated company names in the Nasdaq or New York Stock Exchange listings in any newspaper's business section and suggest what business the companies might be in. Mike Hammer BUS  455  HTML   
June 30, 2002460
(CXXVII) 
Pompous Assets Come up the first paragraph of a review of a real book or movie, past or present, that is narcissistic, pretentious, and self-aggrandizing. Jonathan Paul LIT MOV  456  HTML 
July 7, 2002461
(CXXVIII) 
Punch Us Again Take any comic from the daily Washington Post during the next week and make it better by changing the contents of the final word balloon. Meg Sullivan WAS COM  457  HTML 
July 14, 2002462
(CXXIX) 
Cast Away Come up with a terrible bit of miscasting in a movie or TV show, past or present, real or imagined. William Rothstein MOV TEL  458  HTML 
July 21, 2002463
(CXXX) 
Retell Sales Give us the beginning of any well-known story as retold by any famous person, living or dead, except for Ronald ReaganJonathan Paul LIT  459  HTML 
July 28, 2002464
(CXXXI) 
Cursive Writing Come up with a new curse for this millennium. Art Grinath CUL  460  HTML 
August 4, 2002465
(CXXXII) 
Hyphen the Terrible Take the first half of any word or word combination in today's Post that is broken by a hyphen at the end of a line, and combine it with the second half of any other hyphenated word from the same story, and define the new word that is formed. James Pierce HYP  461  HTML 
August 11, 2002466
(CXXXIII) 
Spit the Difference Tell us the difference between any two of the provided items. Chris Doyle DIF  462  HTML 
August 18, 2002467
(CXXXIV) 
Get Your But in Here Produce a line that fits this structure: (Real thing based upon current events) is (word or phrase suggesting some quality) but (other word or phrase suggesting a dissimilar or incompatible quality), like (funny analogy). Elden Carnahan   463  HTML 
August 25, 2002468
(CXXXV) 
Ism This Stupid? Take any common prefix and attach it to any well-known "ism" and define the new term. Paul A. Stone WOR  464  HTML 
September 1, 2002469
(CXXXVI) 
Playing Check-In Suggest appropriate hotel check-in names for any celebrities, past or present, living or dead. Russell Beland CUL  465  HTML 
September 8, 2002470
(CXXXVII) 
Czar Har Take the name of someone famous, rhyme it with a product, and describe the unholy union. Brendan Beary POE  466  HTML 
September 15, 2002471
(CXXXVIII) 
Excuses, Excuses Come up with creative new excuses for not turning in homework, not filing your taxes on time, missing church or forgetting your spouse's birthday. Kelley Lund   467  HTML 
September 22, 2002472
(CXXXIX) 
Water Stupid Idea Propose bad ideas for saving water in the continuing drought. Roy Ashley   468  HTML 
September 29, 2002473
(CXL) 
Offensive Line Find what's offensive in any of the provided cartoons, and explain. Seth Brown CAR  469  HTML   
October 6, 2002474
(CXLI) 
Alphabettering Create a sentence that uses each letter the alphabet at least once but that would never be heard on the politically correct, genteel, rarified air of NPR. Milo Sauer LET  470  HTML 
October 13, 2002475
(CXLII) 
Bad Connection Take any two seemingly unrelated stories from anywhere in today's Washington Post and explain how their subjects are linked in some unholy conspiracy or other suspicious way.  WAS  471  HTML 
October 20, 2002476
(CXLIII) 
Portmanteautapping Make a new word by squishing together two existing words. The constituent words must share at least two letters. Meg Sullivan WOR  472  HTML 
October 27, 2002477
(CXLIV) 
A Load of Bulwer Give us the beginning of incompetently written novel. Brian Barrett
Bob Dalton
Chuck Smith 
LIT  473  HTML   
November 3, 2002478
(CXLV) 
Do You Mindset? Anticipate items for the Mindset List for the freshman class of the year 2020. Tony Noerpel CUL  474  HTML 
November 10, 2002479
(CXLVI) 
Invest Case Scenario Suggest new companies in which it might be unwise to invest. John Cogburn BUS  477  HTML 
November 17, 2002480
(CXLVII) 
In No Uncertain Terminations Come up with a way to stop any unwanted overture in its tracks. Barry Blyveis   476  HTML 
November 24, 2002481
(CXLVIII) 
Homonymphomania Create a new homonym of any existing word, and define. The new word must be spelled in such a way that is obviously pronounced identically to the original word. Michael Levy WOR  477  HTML 
December 1, 2002482
(CXLIX) 
Inspect Our Gadgets What are these gadgets? What do they do? Seth Brown CAR  478  HTML 
December 8, 2002483
(CL) 
Obitter Fate Give us an obit headline for some famous person, currently living or dead. Dan Steinberg HEA  479  HTML 
December 15, 2002484
(CLI) 
Manufracturing Take any product and explain how it would be different if it were designed by a different existing company. Milo Sauer BUS  480  HTML 
December 22, 2002485
(CLII) 
Asterisky Business Write a joke with a punch line depending on knowledge so esoteric that it requires an asterisked explanation. Seth Brown JOK  481  HTML 
December 29, 2002486
(CLIII) 
A Word From Our Co-Sponsors Come up with bills the new members of Congress might sponsor. Each bill must have at least two sponsors. Chris Doyle LEG  482  HTML 
January 5, 2003487
(CLIV) 
Eee! Rotica Come with a passage in a novel that ineptly describes hanky-panky. Marc Leibert LIT  483  HTML 
January 12, 2003488
(CLV) 
No Rest for the Query Come up with a vexing, funny question about life. John Durkin QUE  484  HTML 
January 19, 2003489
(CLVI) 
Combo, First Blood Combine two people whose names contain a common element, as in the examples above. Then describe the person, or provide a quote he or she might have uttered. Beverly Miller WOR  485  HTML 
January 26, 2003490
(CLVII) 
Eyes on Reprise Submit any good entries you might have thought of, for any previous contest, after the deadline passed. Helene Haduch PRE  486  HTML 
February 2, 2003491
(CLVIII) 
Hirschfeld Follies Try to figure out which celebrities Bob Staake is trying to draw in imitation of Al Hirschfeld. Ben Pitkin CUL  487  HTML 
February 9, 2003492
(CLIX) 
Cheap Tricks Come up with extreme cost-conserving measures for these difficult economic times. Lindsay Lacy POL  488  HTML 
February 16, 2003493
(CLX) 
A Major Offensive Find something anywhere in today's Washington Post and complain about it with absurd oversensitivity. Cecil Clark WAS  489  HTML 
February 23, 2003494
(CLXI) 
Quote-idian Take any extremely banal piece of familiar writing and rewrite it in the style of a famous writer, poet or lyricist. Jeff Brechlin LIT POE  490  HTML 
March 2, 2003495
(CLXII) 
Words of One Syl- … Um, Just Short Words Take some complex issue of any sort and explain it to all us morons entirely in words of one syllable. R. N. Oerter POL  491  HTML 
YEAR 11 BEGINS
PUB DATEWEEKTITLESYNOPSISEVENTUAL WINNERTHEMESREPORTLINKS
March 9, 2003496 The Style Invitational: The First Dreckade Submit new entries to any of the old contest listed, and try to beat The Very Best of the Past 10 Years. Jeff Brechlin PRE      
March 16, 2003497 Ask Backward You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? Kevin Cuddihy JEO  492, 493  HTML 
March 23, 2003498 Unamazing But True! Submit a true fact that is of absolutely no use, but interesting in a weirdly Invitationalist way. Milo Sauer STY  494  HTML 
March 30, 2003499 What Kind of Foal Am I? Mate any two of the horses qualifying for this year's Triple Crown and tell us the name of their foal. Maximum 18 characters, including spaces. Emily Lloyd HOR  495  HTML 
April 6, 2003500 Ergo-Nomics Create a sillygism--a syllogism that doesn't quite work. Dan Dunn WOR  496  HTML 
April 13, 2003501 Questionable Sentences Take any sentence appearing anywhere in today's Washington Post and make it the answer to a question. Tom Kreitzberg WAS  497  HTML 
April 20, 2003502 Picture This Who are these people? What are they doing? Elden Carnahan CAR  498  HTML   
April 27, 2003503 Doody and Muldoon Write poetry that out-Muldoons Paul Muldoon, the Princeton professor who won this year's Pulitzer Prize in poetry. Your poem must be a single quatrain, containing at least one rhyme and references to at least two body parts and one geographic name. Chris Doyle POE  499  HTML 
May 4, 2003504 Life Is Snort Write a schmaltzy last line of a "Life Is Short." David K. Ronka   500  HTML 
May 11, 2003505 The Rule of Dumb You are given $1 million. Conditions: (1) You must spend it all. (2) You must use it in a way that neither directly nor indirectly works to your financial benefit. (3) You may not use it to alleviate the suffering of anyone on Earth, or for any public-spirited project other than the joy of stupidity. Mark Briscoe   501  HTML 
May 18, 2003506 The Battle of All Mottoes Provide a slogan for any federal department agency, department, office, etc. Brendan Beary SLO  502  HTML   
May 25, 2003507 Crocktails Come up with a drink named for something or someone associated with Washington and describe the drink. Joe Cackler WAS  503  HTML 
June 1, 2003508 Letter Rip Take a word from the dictionary, add, change, or delete a single letter, and redefine the word. Jonathan Paul LET  504  HTML 
June 8, 2003509 Be a Real Card Come up with a greeting card rhyme for an un-greeting-card occasion. Joe Cackler POE  505  HTML 
June 15, 2003510 Universal Embarrassment What would you like to see Miss Universe Pageant contests asked live, on national TV? Sugar Strawn
Jack Welsch 
TEL  506  HTML 
June 22, 2003511 It All Impends Tell us what is something unusual about to happen in the provided cartoons. Dave Hebda CAR  507  HTML   
June 29, 2003512 Live On, Sweet, Earnest Reader Take the name of any person--living, dead, fictional--and use the letters of his name, in succession. To form the first letters of an expression appropriate to that person. Chris Doyle LET  508  HTML 
July 6, 2003513 It's Delete We Can Do Come up with very bad subject lines for spam e-mail--lines that will guarantee instant deletion, sight unseen. Tom Kreitzberg WOR  509  HTML 
July 13, 2003514 Ask Backwards You are on "Jeopardy!" These are your answers. What are the questions? Sanford Horn JEO  510  HTML 
July 20, 2003515 A Cellebration of Tasteful Living Come up with ways that Martha Stewart can prettify and improve her new prison surroundings using only her skills, her impeccable taste and those resources available to her. Chuck Smith CUL  511  HTML   
July 27, 2003516 Err Apparent Come up with unwise things to say in any of the provided circumstances. Milo Sauer   512  HTML 
August 3, 2003517 Insert Joke Here Slip a single bogus sentence into next year's State of the Union address, figuring the Prez will probably just read it right off the teleprompter. Craig Zimmerman POL  513  HTML 
August 10, 2003518 Say, Kids, What Time Is It? Fill in the blanks in the following sentence: "You know it's time to ------ when ------." Michael Connaghan CUL  514  HTML 
August 17, 2003519 Hey, Baby, What's Your Sector? Come up with pickup lines that could be heard only in Washington. Cindy Burnham WAS  515  HTML 
August 24, 2003520 I, Object These items were ordered by well-known people. Who ordered them, and why? Brendan Beary CAR  516  HTML   
August 31, 2003521 Hyphen the Terrible Take the first half of any hyphenated word in today's Washington Post (or Tuesday's USA Today) and combine it with the second half of any other hyphenated word in the same story, and define the new word it produces. Jane Auerbach HYP WOR  517  HTML 
September 7, 2003522 Being There Set the agenda for a flash mob, one of those existential, Web-arranged, sudden, pointless, instantaneous but brief gatherings of people at odd places, to do odd things. Sarah Gaymon CUL  518  HTML 
September 14, 2003523 Hard to Overstate Propose ways to make modern life just a little bit harder than it needs to be. Danny Bravman CUL  519  HTML 
September 21, 2003524 Around Things Moving Take the title of any book or movie, rearrange the words, and explain what the new book or movie is about. Russell Beland LIT MOV WOR  520  HTML   
September 28, 2003525 It Won't Belong Now Tell us which of three cartoons provided does not belong, and why. Russell Beland CAR  521  HTML   
October 5, 2003526 Conventional Wisdumb Answer any of the provided questions. Art Grinath QUE  522  HTML 
October 12, 2003527 Rite of First Defusal Come up with witty or bizarre things to say to defuse the tension in awkward moments. Mark Young CUL  523  HTML 
October 19, 2003528 Ask Backwards You are on "Jeopardy!" These are the answers. What are the questions? Elden Carnahan JEO  524  HTML 
October 26, 2003529 United We Stanza Summarize in four rhyming lines of verse any famous document, theory, principle or speech. Brendan Beary POE  525  HTML   
November 2, 2003530 Tri Harder Take any word, alter it in three ways--by adding a letter, by subtracting a letter and by changing a letter--and redefine all three new words. Brendan Beary LET  526  HTML 
November 9, 2003531 Your Cynic Duties Come up with a saying that sound as if it's going to be inspirational, but winds up being cynical, misanthropic or sad. Tom McCudden WOR  527  HTML 
November 16, 2003532 Short Pans Come up with a terse review (four words or fewer) of any work of art. Chris Doyle ART  528  HTML 
November 23, 2003533 Breed Apart Mate the clones of any two famous real people, living or dead--a male and a female, please--and hypothesize what traits or skills their offspring might have. Tom Witte CUL  529  HTML 
November 30, 2003534 The Feminine Touch Propose how any male-dominated occupation of institution would change if it suddenly became female-dominated. Tom McCudden BUS CUL  530  HTML 
THE CZAR IS DEAD, LONG LIVE THE EMPRESS
December 7, 2003535 Picture This Can you tell us what astonishing news Bob Staake is trying to pass on with cartoons? John Shea CAR  531  HTML   
December 14, 2003536 And the Horse He Rodin On Come up with some words we can stick in the back of The Inker. Josh Borken
Andrew Elby
Dave Zarrow 
STY  532  HTML   
December 21, 2003537 The New York Post Liven up any article appearing in The Washington Post or its Web site over the next eight days by giving it an irresponsibly sensationalistic headline. Milo Sauer WAS HEA  533  HTML 
December 28, 2003538 Try, Try Again Enter any previous Invitational. Your entry must be substantially different from the original winners. Drew Knoblauch PRE  534  HTML 
January 4, 2004539 Dead Letters Pay tribute in verse to someone who died in 2003. Bob Dalton POE  535  HTML   
January 11, 2004540 Revisionist History, or Badenov for You? State any news event (or old event) in the style of the Rocky-and-Bullwinkle teasers about the next show. Chris Doyle CUL  536  HTML 
January 18, 2004541 Celled Up the River Give us a delicious scenario, in which a cellphone yakker's yakking could be taken profitably out of context. Erika Reinfeld   537  HTML 
January 25, 2004542 Discombobulate Us Come up with both an object/situation and a neologism for it, something that Bob Levey would never have stooped to print in his column. Chris Doyle WOR  538  HTML 
February 1, 2004543 Read Our Leaps Fill any of readers of The Washington Post on Sunday, Feb. 29, 2032, on: (a) the day's lead news story; (b) the highest-flying company and its business; (c) the best-selling self-help book; and/or (d) the day's winning Style Invitational entry. Chris Doyle WAS BUS LIT STY HIS  539  HTML 
February 8, 2004544 You Gotta Have Heart Write us some valentine sentiments from one particular person (real or fictional) to another. Chris Doyle POE  540  HTML 
February 15, 2004545 Put It in Reverse Spell a word backward and define it, with the definition relating in some way to the original word. Tom Witte LET  541  HTML 
February 22, 2004546 A Nice Pair of Cities Choose any two or more real U.S. towns and come up with a joint endeavor they would undertake. Dudley Thompson POL  542  HTML 
February 29, 2004547 Give Us a Bad Name Take an existing product or business name and pair it with an incompatible one. Russell Beland BUS  543  HTML 
YEAR 12 BEGINS
PUB DATEWEEKTITLESYNOPSISEVENTUAL WINNERTHEMESREPORTLINKS
March 7, 2004548 Inklings Tell us about certain people's childhood experiences and behaviors that hint at their destinies. Walt Johnston CUL  544  HTML 
March 14, 2004549 Show Us Your Best Quantities Come up with novel units of measure, and explain or quantify them. Joseph Anthony SCI  545  HTML 
March 21, 2004550 Spring Cleaning Suggest creative uses for things you've already used, or never will use, or other disposable household thingies, singly or in combination. Bird Waring   546  HTML 
March 28, 2004551 Lost in Translation Find us some comical translations-and-back using Google translator. Feed some passage of English text into the tool--25 words max--and ask it to translate it into one of the five languages offered; then copy the result back into the tool and ask it to translate that back to English. Kevin Mettinger GOO LAN  547  HTML 
April 4, 2004552 What Kind of Foal Am I? Breed any two of the horses on a list of those qualifying for this year's Triple Crown races, and tell us a good name for their foal. Maximum 18 characters, including spaces. Kevin Cuddihy HOR  548  HTML 
April 11, 2004553 Picture This Tell us what's going on in on or more of the provided cartoons. Allan Moore CAR  549  HTML   
April 18, 2004554 Love the Tiny Tail Stain Write an anagram based on a name or event that's been in the news recently. Chris Doyle ANA  550  HTML 
April 25, 2004555 A Tsk, A Task Come up with a super-wholesome passage of 25 words or fewer that would likely be banned by the admirable, ever-vigilant Neopets.com site. Jane Auerbach WOR  551  HTML 
May 2, 2004556 So Zoo Us Combine any two kinds of animals, give its name and describe it. Greg Pearson WOR  552  HTML 
May 9, 2004557 Oh, for Namesakes! Take two people, real or fictional, who share some element of their names and explain the difference between them. Brendan Beary DIF  553  HTML   
May 16, 2004558 Set Us Right Send us conservative-leaning humor is any of the provided genres. Danny Bravman JOK  554  HTML 
May 23, 2004559 Your Slogan Here Come up with a clever slogan or sign for a business. Chris Doyle
Eric Murphy 
SLO BUS  555  HTML 
May 30, 2004560 The 97.5-Meter Dash Suggest some time- and cost-saving measures so the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens will open on time. Marc Leibert ATH  556  HTML 
June 6, 2004561 Deform of a Question Take any sentence appearing in The Washington Post or washingtonpost.com today through June 14, and make up a question to which the sentence could be an answer. Marc Leibert WAS QUE  557  HTML 
June 13, 2004562 The LMNs of Style Write a funny sentence (or more) that you spell with only the sounds of the names of letters and those of numbers 1 through 9. Milo Sauer LET  558  HTML 
June 20, 2004563 Take Two Take any two of the provided items and explain how they resemble or differ from each other. Mark Young DIF  559  HTML 
June 27, 2004564 Redefine Print Redefine any word from the dictionary. Chuck Smith WOR  560  HTML 
July 4, 2004565 Anthem Is as Anthem Does Give us a verse for an alternative U.S. national anthem, set to any well-known tune. Chris Doyle POE  561  HTML 
July 11, 2004566 Get Whack Type a two-word phrase into the Google search engine that produces exactly one result. Pam Sweeney GOO  562  HTML 
July 18, 2004567 A Running Gag Explain how any of the provided bizarre cartoons by Bob Staake relates to the current presidential campaign. Josh Tucker CAR  563  HTML   
July 25, 2004568 Tome Deftness Make a pun or similar wordplay on a book title. Wayne Rodgers WOR LIT  564  HTML 
August 1, 2004569 Murphy's Lore Give Eric Murphy advice he deserves on the provided questions. Mai Nguyen QUE  565  HTML 
August 8, 2004570 Timeline Rhyme Lines Produce colorful chronological couplets about some historical event. They must rhyme and be in good meter. Russell Beland HIS POE  566  HTML 
August 15, 2004571 A Tour de Fours Create and define a word that includes T, H, E, and S in any order. The letters must appear consecutively. Frank Mullen III LET  567  HTML   
August 22, 2004572 The Limerixicon Supply a limerick based on any word in the dictionary (except proper nouns) beginning with ai- through ar-. Brendan Beary LIM  568  HTML 
August 29, 2004573 Thine Ad Goest Here Propose biblical and other literary passage, poems, etc., that could benefit from product placement. Peter Metrinko POE REL LIT BUS  569  HTML 
September 5, 2004574 Boor Us Silly Come up with some unwise attempts at humor--one either likely to backfire or to create other unpleasant consequences. Tom Witte JOK  570  HTML 
September 12, 2004575 T Hee Hee Come up with new ideas for both front and back of the Loser T-shirts. Brendan Beary
Russell Beland
Sarah Gaymon 
TSH  571  HTML 
September 19, 2004576 Well, Excuuuuse Us! Come up with new excuses for any common human shortcoming or imperfection. Erika Reinfeld   572  HTML 
September 26, 2004577 Teledubbies Slightly change the title of a TV show, past or present, and describe it. Jack Cackler TEL WOR  573  HTML 
October 3, 2004578 Ask Backwards You are on "Jeopardy!" Above are the answers. Send us the questions. Robert Levin JEO  574  HTML 
October 10, 2004579 Another Brilliant Contest! Do Enter! Write us a sentence or phrase consisting of words beginning with consecutive letters, in the A-to-Z direction. Lawrence McGuire LET  575  HTML 
October 17, 2004580 United Nations Combine the names of any two countries in the world and describe the new hybrid country. Brendan Beary POL  576  HTML 
October 24, 2004581 Evil Things in Store Think of evil or just plain stupid practices that the staff of a retail or other establishment might perpetrate. Michael Cisneros BUS  577  HTML 
October 31, 2004582 Perversery Rhymes Update a nursery rhyme or children's song with an edgier text. Joseph Romm POE  578  HTML 
November 7, 2004583 Mess With Our Heads Take any headline, verbatim, from the Washington Post or its Web site from today through next Sunday, and reinterpret it by writing either a "bank headline"--or subtitle--or the first sentence of an article that changes the original meaning entirely. Michelle Stupak HEA  579  HTML 
November 14, 2004584 Deliver Us a Post Come up with some new Cabinet or other positions that the president could establish, and describe the job responsibilities. Russell Beland POL  580  HTML 
November 21, 2004585 It's Parody Time Offer, in the holiday spirit of goodwill, some advice--as constructive and unifying as Loserly suggestions always are--to our nation's leaders (or the loyal opposition) as we prepare for the next four years. This advice will be set to the tune of some winter holiday song, either religious or secular. Barb Sarshik POE  581  HTML 
November 28, 2004586 God's Will (and Won't) Complete either of the following: "If God hadn't wanted is to ----, God wouldn’t have ----"; "If God had wanted us to ----, God would have ----." Steve Fahey REL  582  HTML 
December 5, 2004587 The B-List Come up with an In-Out list for 2005, or other pairings. Joseph Romm CUL  583  HTML 
December 12, 2004588 Gadget If You Can Tell us what these nifty, indispensable items are. John Conti CAR  584  HTML   
December 19, 2004589 Hyphen the Terrible (New Edition!) Combine the beginning of any multi-syllabic word in this week's Invitational with the end of any other multi-syllabic word in this column (or in this week's Web supplement) to coin a new word, and then define it. Jeff Brechlin HYP WOR  585  HTML 
December 26, 2004590 Send Us the Bill Come up with a bill sponsored by any combination of the newly elected members of Congress and explain the purpose of the bill. Angela Murphy-Walters LEG  586  HTML 
January 2, 2005591 Dead Letters Write rhyming poems about notable personages who have died in the past year. Brendan Beary POE EPI  587  HTML 
January 9, 2005592 We Got Gamy Offer us a concise idea for a Super Bowl commercial, or some innovative halftime entertainment, or some inappropriate sponsors, or some ideas for improving the game itself. Peter Larsen ATH BUS CUL  588     
January 16, 2005593 Take This, Job, and … Come up with some entertainingly awful things that a Job's comforter might offer. A Job's comforter is someone who seems to be offering sympathy but instead just makes the person feel worse, either intentionally or unintentionally. Rob Poole   589  HTML 
January 23, 2005594 History Loves Company Name an appropriate corporate sponsor for some historical event or for someone's life story. Jim Getz
Jennifer LaFleur 
BUS HIS  590  HTML 
January 30, 2005595 Listing Precariously Take the two subject listings at the top of any page of the Yellow Pages and create a dictionary definition for the compound word they form. Bruce Alter WOR  591  HTML 
February 6, 2005596 Take Her Words for It Use the words of this week's Ask Amy advice column, as a pool from which to compose your own useful (or useless) thoughts. You may ignore or change capitalization or punctuation. Bob Dalton WOR  592  HTML 
February 13, 2005597 Eccchsibits Come up with some alternative museums and exhibits for the nation's capital. Joseph Romm WAS  593  HTML 
February 20, 2005598 Site Gags Come up with an appropriate name for a cafeteria--or meeting room, or an employee lounge, or some other workplace spot--for a particular institution. Robin Grove WOR BUS  594  HTML 
February 27, 2005599 So What's the News? Tell us what the illustrated events are. Brendan Beary CAR  595  HTML   
March 6, 2005600 Top of the Inking Tell us some ways the District of Columbia will change now that we have the Nationals. Dudley Thompson CUL ATH  596  HTML 
YEAR 13 BEGINS
PUB DATEWEEKTITLESYNOPSISEVENTUAL WINNERTHEMESREPORTLINKS
March 13, 2005601 Anticdotes Give us an untrue anecdote in response to one of the provided Editor's Query topics. Jeff Brechlin   597  HTML 
March 20, 2005602 Take a Letter -- Again Take a word, term or name that begins with A, B, C or D; either add on letter, subtract one letter, replace one letter, or transpose two letters; and define the new word. Seth Brown LET  598  HTML 
March 27, 2005603 Sui Genesis Take one of two of the 50 chapters of the KJV Book of Genesis and draw thou from them, using words in the order in which they appear in the original, your own passage. Michelle Stupak REL WOR  599  HTML   
April 3, 2005604 Fun for the Roses Breed any two of the horses on a list of those qualifying for this year's Triple Crown races, and tell us a good name for their foal. The name of the foal must be no more than 18 characters, including spaces. Lori Price HOR  600  HTML 
April 10, 2005605 Truly Stupendous Ideas Name two people with the same initials (the people can be living or dead, real or fictional) and explain how they are similar or different. Mark Eckenwiler DIF LET  601  HTML 
April 17, 2005606 The News Could be Verse Translate the fine prose of Washington Post articles into verse. Choose any article appearing in The Post of on its Web site from April 17 through April 25. Brendan Beary POE  602  HTML 
April 24, 2005607 Contest Fodder Created! Produce absurdly parochial views of historical events. Anne Clark HIS  603  HTML 
May 1, 2005608 Comeback Next Week Come up with original snide retorts to various rude questions or comments. Pam Dalrymple
Roger Dalrymple 
 604  HTML 
May 8, 2005609 A2D2 Give us some funny "corrections" to brighten up Page A2. Elden Carnahan WAS  605  HTML 
May 15, 2005610 MASH Find two well-known movies, plays, or TV shows whose title have a significant word in common, combine their titles, and describe the hybrid. Paul Whittemore MOV LIT TEL WOR  606  HTML 
May 22, 2005611 Ask Backwards, Erudite Edition You are on "Jeopardy!" Here are the sophisticated answers. You supply the questions. Barbara Turner JEO  607  HTML 
May 29, 2005612 Oh, and One More Thing What was the thing that didn't make the cut on any list? Tom Witte   608  HTML 
June 5, 2005613 Tour de Fours II Create and define a word that includes, consecutively, E, R, A and N. in any order. Danny Bravman LET  609  HTML 
June 12, 2005614 In-Stock Characters Pitch us an idea for a summer movie featuring two or more of the provided characters. Brendan Beary MOV  610  HTML 
June 19, 2005615 Airy Persiflage Write some jokes you'd like to hear in an airport announcement. Stephen Dudzik JOK  611  HTML 
June 26, 2005616 Picture This, Kids Supply title and one-sentence synopsis for Bob Staake new kids' project, incorporating any of the provided cartoons. Ron Stanley CAR  612  HTML 
July 3, 2005617 Best the Best Write something about any famous personage that uses only the letters in his or her name. Chris Doyle LET  613  HTML 
July 10, 2005618 Of D.C. I Sing Give us a song about Washington, set to a recognizable tune. Barb Sarshik POE MUS  614  HTML 
July 17, 2005619 WordCount Us In Write a poem of no more than four lines containing four or more consecutive words on the WordCount list. They must occur in the sentence in the order they appear on the list. Michelle Stupak POE WOR  615  HTML 
July 24, 2005620 Keep the Empress Employed Suggest some original, creative ways that The Post could increase its circulation. Art Grinath WAS  616  HTML 
July 31, 2005621 Questionable Journalism Take any sentence that appears in The Post or in an article in washingtonpost.com anytime through Aug. 8 and supply a question it could answer. Russell Beland WAS QUE  617  HTML 
August 7, 2005622 Our Sunday Constitutional Write an new article or amendment to the Constitution, using on the words contained in the existing document (including amendments). Marty McCullen POL WOR  618  HTML 
August 14, 2005623 Try to Remember Give us an original mnemonic for any list that someone might want to remember. Chris Doyle WOR  619  HTML 
August 21, 2005624 Limerixicon 2 Supply a limerick based on any word in the dictionary (except proper nouns) beginning with bd- through bl-. Chris Doyle LIM  620  HTML 
August 28, 2005625 Haven't Seen It Make up a new plot for an existing movie title. Kevin Jamison MOV  621  HTML 
September 4, 2005626 Course Light Come up with a comical college class, along with a description for the course catalog. Douglas Frank CUL  622  HTML 
September 11, 2005627 Per-Verse Write a limerick or other short poem with comically awful rhyming. Jesse Frankovich LIM POE  623  HTML 
September 18, 2005628 You Gotta Have Connections Choose any two or more items from the provided truly random list and describe how they are alike or different. David Smith DIF  624   
September 25, 2005629 Odd Couplings Marry or otherwise combine famous names and supply to result. Marcy Alvo   625   
October 2, 2005630 Hyphen the Terrible Combine the beginning and end of any two multisyllabic words in this week's Invitational, and then define the compound. Chris Doyle
Tom Witte 
HYP WOR  626   
October 9, 2005631 Picture This What's going on in any of these cartoons? Elwood Fitzner CAR  627     
October 16, 2005632 Live On, Sweet, Earnest Reader (Inc.) Give us an original backronym for a company or product. A backronym is a fake etymology that often gets in a little dig at the subject. Jonathan Guberman WOR BUS  628   
October 23, 2005633 Your Secret Here! Send us some original secrets (they don't have to be true). Art Grinath   629   
October 30, 2005634 Mess With Our Heads Take any headline, verbatim, appearing anywhere in The Post or on washingtonpost.com from today through next Sunday, and change its meaning by adding either a "bank headline," or subtitle, or the first sentence of an article that might appear under it. G. Smith HEA  630   
November 6, 2005635 I've Told You a Hundred Times Enter any Style Invitational from Week 536 to Week 631. Your entry must be substantially different from than original winners. Chris Doyle PRE  631     
November 13, 2005636 A Song From Tex Arcana Write a verse of a song about sea urchin sushi or any of the other provided ostensibly unlyrical topics. Brendan Beary POE MUS  632   
November 20, 2005637 Full Steam Ahead Write a steamy passage of a novel that's ostensibly by some well-known person who isn't a novelist. Jeff Brechlin LIT  633   
November 27, 2005638 The Little Bummer Boy Come up with an idea (and title, if you like) for an original Christmas movie or TV special that provides an antidote to all the sap, and give us a brief synopsis. P. H. Stevenson MOV TEL  634   
December 4, 2005639 What's the Small Idea? Do you have a senseless idea for improving the day-to-day lives of everyday Americans? Kevin Dopart CUL  635   
December 11, 2005640 Whassa Motto Wid You? Give us a slogan or motto for any of the states, the District or the U.S. Territories. Phil Frankenfeld SLO POL  636   
December 18, 2005641 Dreck of All Trades Come up with a business that combines two or more disparate products or services, and tell us its name and/or something else funny about it. Jane Auerbach BUS  637   
December 25, 2005642 It's Open Season Come up with a brand-new word and its definition. The words must begin with O, P, Q, R or S. Stephen Dudzik LET WOR  638   
January 1, 2006643 The Post's Mortems Give us a rhyming poem about some notable who died in 2005. Brendan Beary POE EPI  639   
January 8, 2006644 Winter Limp Picks Brighten up the Winter Olympics with some new events and rule. Alternatively, you can suggest a commercial or ad campaign that could be tied in with the Winter Games or one of its sports. Joel Knanishu ATH BUS  640   
January 15, 2006645 A Hearty Har Har Write up a Valentine's sentiment to any personage, or to someone in some generic category. Kevin Dopart
Chris Doyle 
POE  641   
January 22, 2006646 Warped Perspectives Tell us how two different types of people, animals, organizations, etc., would interpret any of the provided cartoons. Pam Sweeney CAR  642   
January 29, 2006647 Paste Imperfect Change a headline or sentence that appears in the Post or on washingtonpost.com through Feb. 6 either by deleting up to 40 consecutive characters from it or by adding 40 consecutive characters from the same article or ad. Stephen Dudzik HEA LET  643   
February 5, 2006648 Caller IDiot Name a product or company and supply a stupid question to ask the consumer hotline person. Kevin Dopart BUS QUE  644   
February 12, 2006649 Across the Wide What? Give us some Virginia-appropriate lyrics for "Shenandoah." Chris Doyle POE MUS  645   
February 19, 2006650 King Us Give us a scenario for a horror novel based on an anyday item. Russell Beland LIT  646   
February 26, 2006651 Show Us Some Character Add a character to a book or movie and tell us what happens in it. Jay Shuck LIT MOV  647   
March 5, 2006652 Ask Backward You are on "Jeopardy!" Above are the answers. You supply the questions. Sue Lin Chong JEO  648   
YEAR 14 BEGINS
PUB DATEWEEKTITLESYNOPSISEVENTUAL WINNERTHEMESREPORTLINKS
March 12, 2006653 It's the Eponymy, Stupid Coin a word or expression based on the name of a well-known person, define it, and perhaps use it in a sentence Russell Beland WOR  649   
March 19, 2006654 It Plays to Recycle Come up with funny ways to recycle things, people, writing (except for your old Invitational entries) or ideas. David Prevar   650   
March 26, 2006655 Laughing Inside Take any article appearing in The Washington Post or online on washingtonpost.com from today through April 3 -- the more serious and/or mundane its headline, the better -- and write a funny poem or other passage using only words that appear in that article. Chris Doyle POE  651   
April 2, 2006656 It's Post Time Breed any two from a list of 100 of the more than 400 3-year-old racehorses nominated for this year's Triple Crown races, and name their hypothetical foal. The foal's name cannot exceed 18 characters and spaces combined. Mark Eckenwiler HOR  652   
April 9, 2006657 Nuts Fruit Send in funny (but printable) images of real pieces of fruit. Jeff Brechlin PIX  653   
April 16, 2006658 Not in the Cards Send us ideas for cards that would likely be ruled "Funny, But No" by Hallmark by F&YYY by the Empress. Randy Lee LET CUL  654   
April 23, 2006659 Tell Us a Fib Compose a six-line poem with the following number of syllables per line: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8. It must be about a person or topic currently in the news, and two successive lines must rhyme. Brendan Beary POE CUL  655   
April 30, 2006660 Foaling Down: The Next Generation Breed any two of the winning "offspring" included in this week's results, and name THEIR foal. Pam Sweeney HOR  656   
May 7, 2006661 Name Any Good Movies Lately? Give us a funny new title for an existing movie. Tom Witte MOV  657     
May 14, 2006662 How Low Will You Go? Humiliate yourself for ink, and a stupid prize. Fred Dawson STY  658     
May 21, 2006663 Worth at Least a Dozen Words Interpret any of the provided cartoons as you see fit in a caption. Michelle Stupak CAR  659     
May 28, 2006664 A Thousand Times?! No! Come up with a new signature line for Russell Beland's -- or anyone else's -- e-mails. Howard Walderman   660   
June 4, 2006665 Your One-in-a-Million Coin the millionth words in the English language and define it. The word must end in -ion. Marty McCullen WOR  661   
June 11, 2006666 Bedevil Us Give a mini-sermon explaining how some innocuous object or event signals the End of Days. Brendan Beary REL  662   
June 18, 2006667 Questionable Journalism Take any sentence that appears in The Post or in an article on washingtonpost.com anytime from now through June 26 and supply a question it could answer. Kevin Dopart WAS QUE  663     
June 25, 2006668 Cut From the Chase Write an original John-Bunnell-style wrap-up to a crime story -- or one for a more minor transgression. Bob Sprague CUL  664   
July 2, 2006669 Huddled Messes Suggest some bad advice for new arrivals to this country (legal or illegal). Gordon Labow POL  665   
July 9, 2006670 A Test of Character Change a word or phrase by only one letter -- substitute one letter for another, add a letter or transpose two letters -- and explain how they are different or similar. Ben Aronin LET  666   
July 16, 2006671 Join Now! Hyphenate the beginning and end of any two multi-syllabic words appearing anywhere in the July 16 Style or Sunday Arts section, and then define the compound. Kevin Dopart HYP  667   
July 23, 2006672 Just Sign This Write a funny message for an overhead highway sign. Lisa Younce WOR  668     
July 30, 2006673 Mess With Our Heads Take any headline, verbatim, appearing anywhere in The Washington Post or on Washingtonpost.com from July 30 through Aug. 7 and reinterpret it by adding either a "bank headline," or subtitle, or the first sentence of an article that might appear under it. Fred Winter HEA  669   
August 6, 2006674 Limerixicon 3 Supply a humorous limerick based on any word in the dictionary (except proper nouns) beginning with ca-. Chris Doyle LIM LET  670   
August 13, 2006675 Cut Us Some Slack Come up with humorous ways to be lazy. Art Grinath   671   
August 20, 2006676 Tour de Fours III Coin and define a word containing -- with no other letters between them, but in any order you like -- the letters L, E, A and F. Fran Pryluck LET  672   
August 27, 2006677 The News Gets Verse Sum up wittily in verse -- but not a limerick -- any article appearing in The Post or on washingtonpost.com from Aug. 28 through Sept. 4. David Smith POE  673   
September 3, 2006678 Limerick Smackdown! Chris Doyle and Brendan Beary will go head to head in a series of 10 limericks.  LIM  674   
September 10, 2006679 Ask Backwards Here are the answers. You supply the questions to as many as you dare. Elwood Fitzner JEO  675   
September 17, 2006680 Rendered Speechless Provide dialogue to fill the balloons in any of these cartoons. Ned Bent CAR  676     
September 24, 2006681 Ticket to Write Write a jingle for a business (or its product), organization or government agency, set to a Beatles song. Jay Shuck POE BUS POL MUS  677   
October 1, 2006682 Punkin'd! Send us a funny, clever, entirely original photo featuring one or more pumpkins and/or other vegetables. Jane Auerbach PIX  678   
October 8, 2006683 What a Piece of Work String together words in a single scene, or two consecutive scenes, of "Hamlet" to produce on or more funny sentences, preferably unrelated to the original content. The words must appear in the order in which they appear in the play. Dennis Lindsay LIT WOR  679   
October 15, 2006684 Backtricking Spell a word backward and define the result, somehow relating the definition to the original word. Tom Witte LET  680     
October 22, 2006685 Thank it Over Tell us some things to be thankful for. Bruce Alter CUL  681   
October 29, 2006686 It's Baaaaack! Explain why you, or anyone else in particular, ought to have this fine oil-on-panel by Fred Dawson of Beltsville, or what it might be used for. Art Grinath ART  682      
November 5, 2006687 What Were They Thinking? Tell us (A) What someone might say in some situation, and (B) what that person was actually thinking when he said A. Peter Metrinko   683   
November 12, 2006688 Making Short Work Write a humorous six-word story. Michael Levy LIT WOR  684   
November 19, 2006689 Busted Play Come up with a more objectionable or stupid toy than a working fart-powered toy rocket. Chuck Smith BUS  685   
November 26, 2006690 Funnies: How Time Flies Pull Billy of "The Family Circus" -- or any of his comic strip neighbors in The Washington Post -- out of his time warp to a different age, era or place, and provide a short storyline or dialogue or caption. Martin Bancroft WAS COM  686   
December 3, 2006691 Haven't Got a Clue Make all the clues in the provided crossword ooh-clever or at least ah-that's-funny, even the little words. Chris Doyle CRO WOR  687   
December 10, 2006692 Reinkernation Enter any Style Invitational contest from Week 640 through Week 688. Every entry must include the word "three" or "third" or a creative variation. Kevin Dopart PRE  688   
December 17, 2006693 Everything Being Sequel Give a brief scenario for the sequel to a well-known movie. Andy Bassett MOV  689   
December 24, 2006694 Hopelessly Ever After Offer up a gloomy interpretation of any ungloomy piece of writing. Cy Gardner LIT  690   
December 31, 2006695 Dead Letters Write a poem about someone who died in 2006. Chris Doyle POE EPI  691   
January 7, 2007696 Send Us the Bill Come up legislation the newly-elected members of Congress might sponsor together. Pam Sweeney LEG  692   
January 14, 2007697 We Beg You To Differ Take any two items from the truly random provided list and explain why they are different or why they are similar. Dave Komornik DIF  693   
January 21, 2007698 Let's Get Personnel Send us some humorously creative questions that a job interviewer would ask an applicant, or some questions it might be fun to ask the interviewer. Russell Beland BUS  694   
January 28, 2007699 Our Greatest Hit Take a word, term or name that begins with E, F, G or H; either add one letter, subtract one letter, replace one letter, or transpose two letters; and define the new word. Brendan Beary
Barbara Turner 
LET  695   
February 4, 2007700 Stump Us Come up with someone's slogan for the 2008 presidential campaign. Ira Allen POL  696   
February 11, 2007701 Untitlement Here are the covers for what just might be Bob Staake's next four books. What are they called and what are they about? Andrea Kelly CAR ART LIT  697   
February 18, 2007702 Unreal Facts Come up with a comically false factoid. Joseph Romm   698, 699   
February 25, 2007 (We) Give Us a Break The Empress takes a day off from judging to go lounge poolside in the Imperial Hammock, taking care first to don the Imperial Parka and Earmuffs and Moon Boots.    699    HTML   E 
March 4, 2007703 Freak Trade Agreements Think of one thing to trade for another, and supply a short and funny explanation. Rick Haynes   700   
YEAR 15 BEGINS
PUB DATEWEEKTITLESYNOPSISEVENTUAL WINNERTHEMESREPORTLINKS
March 11, 2007704 Another Game of Tag Create vanity plates for well-known people, real or fictional. Phyllis Reinhard CUL  701   
March 18, 2007705 Simile Outrageous Come up with funny analogies, perhaps with some 21st-century references. Jay Shuck ANL  699   
March 25, 2007706 Questionable Journalism Take any sentence that appears in The Post or in an article on washingtonpost.com from March 24 through April 2 and come up with a question it could answer. Russell Beland WAS QUE  702   
April 1, 2007707 What Would YOU Do? Use only the words appearing in "The Cat in the Hat" to create your own work of "literature" of no more than 75 words. Chris Doyle WOR LIT  703   
April 8, 2007708 What Kind of Foal Am I? Breed any two from a list of 100 of the horses eligible for this year's Triple Crown races and provide an appropriate name for their foal. Mark Eckenwiler HOR  704   
April 15, 2007709 A Return Engagement Come up with some novel change to the tax code: a tax on something ought to be taxed, a credit for something that should be rewarded, what the $3 should go to instead of presidential campaigns, etc. Ernie Staples POL  705   
April 22, 2007710 Aw, Shoot Send us a funny, clever, entirely original photo featuring kitchen utensils and/or small household tools. Jeff Brechlin PIX  706   
April 29, 2007711 Join Now! Hyphenate the beginning and end of any two multi-syllabic words appearing anywhere in the April 29 or May 6 Style or Sunday Arts section, and then define the compound. Dennis Lindsay HYP WOR  707   
May 6, 2007712 Another Time Around the Track Breed any two of the winning "offspring" included in the results of Week 708, and name THEIR foal. Pam Sweeney HOR  708   
May 13, 2007713 Painings Name and interpret any of the provided paintings by Fred Dawson. Glen Crawford ART  709   
May 20, 2007714 Amalgamated Steal Merge two or more company or product names into a new, ORIGINAL company or product. Gregory Bartolett BUS  710   
May 27, 2007715 Your Mug Here Send us an idea for a slogan for the back of the new Loser T-shirt. Russell Beland
Chris Doyle
Lawrence McGuire
Beverley Sharp 
TSH  711   
June 3, 2007716 The Hard Spell Write a humorous poem featuring one of the 75 words we've selected from this year's National Spelling Bee. Brendan Beary POE  712   
June 10, 2007717 Pitch Us a No-Hitter Send us some genuine Googlenopes. A Googlenope is a phrase or very brief sentence that, entered into the Google search engine with quotation marks around it, produces no hits. Malcolm Fleschner GOO  713   
June 17, 2007718 Put Our Heads Together Create a new, funny headline from the words of any headlines appearing anywhere in a single day's Washington Post (or on washingtonpost.com) Mae Scanlan HEA  714   
June 24, 2007719 We Har the World Come up with a creative name for a sports team for a town or city anywhere outside the United States. Elwood Fitzner ATH  715   
July 1, 2007720 The Course of Humor Events Sum up a historical event in a two-line rhyme or other clever and pithy epigram. Chris Doyle POE HIS  716   
July 8, 2007721 Know Your Market For any of the provided photos, supply two captions: one that would appeal to The Style Invitational and one that would appear to the Harrisburg Patriot-News. Ben Aronin CAP STY  717   
July 15, 2007722 Let's Play Nopardy! We supply 12 phrases and you get to provide questions they might answer. The phrases were entries in our Week 717 contest, which asked for Googlenopes -- phrases that showed no previous hits from the Google search engine. Steve Ettinger   718   
July 22, 2007723 Name Your Poison Create a name and recipe for a cocktail and, if you like, describe when it might be served. Roy Ashley   719   
SATURDAY PUBLICATION BEGINS
July 29, 2007724 Abridged Too Far Sum up a book, play or movie in a humorous rhyming verse of two to four lines. Ellen Raphaeli POE LIT MOV  720   HTML 
August 5, 2007725 Beggars For Description Describe, without being boring, a cartoon to fit any of the provided captions. Cy Gardner CAR  721   HTML 
August 12, 2007726 Limerixicon 4 Supply a humorous limerick based on any word in the dictionary beginning with cl- through co-. Chris Strolin LIM WOR  722   HTML 
August 19, 2007727 We Get a C-Section Tell us some pros and cons of moving The Style Invitational to the Saturday Style section; or write us up some free promo-ad copying announcing the move. Seth Brown STY  723   HTML 
August 25, 2007728 Tour de Fours IV Coin and define a humorous word that includes -- with no other letters between them, but in any order you like -- the letters S, A, T and R. Tom Witte LET  724   HTML 
September 1, 2007729 Otherwordly Visions Take any sentence in an article or ad in The Washington Post or on washingtonpost.com from Sept. 1 through Sept. 10 and translate it into "plain English." Russ Taylor WAS WOR  725   HTML 
September 8, 2007730 Time-Wastes For Everyman Describe activities that make entering The Style Invitational seem like a constructive use of one's time. Anne Paris STY  726   HTML 
September 15, 2007731 Doo Process Describe for us a wildly inefficient and ridiculous way to produce or prepare an ordinary dish or beverage. Ellen Raphaeli   727   HTML 
September 22, 2007732 The Chain Gang Supply a chain of 25 names -- they may be names of people, places, organizations, products, etc., but they must be names -- beginning and ending with "George W. Bush." Danny Bravman POL  728   HTML 
September 29, 2007733 Just Drop It, Okay? Drop the first letter from an actual word or term to make a new word or term, and define it. Deanna Busick LET WOR  729   HTML 
October 6, 2007734 Turnaround Time Write a rhyming couplet containing two words that are anagrams of each other. Brendan Beary POE ANA  730   HTML 
October 13, 2007735 Look Back in Inker Enter any Style Invitational contest from Week 680 through Week 731. Anne Paris PRE  731   html 
October 20, 2007736 So, Should I Drive Like Your Brother? Ask a car-related question that would make the Car Guys crack up. If you're not into cars, you can also post a question for advice columnist Ask Amy or etiquette columnist Miss Manners. Chris Rollins QUE  732   html 
October 27, 2007737 No River, No Woods Send us a funny parody of a well-known song, with lyrics that commemorate an occasion other than Christmas or Hanukkah. Brendan Beary POE HIS  733   html 
November 3, 2007738 So What's To Liken? Take any two items from the utterly random list above and explain how they are different or how they are similar. Chuck Smith DIF  734   html 
November 10, 2007739 Lies, All Lies Give us some humorous fictional revelation about a current or past political figure. Joel Knanishu HIS POL FIC  735   html 
November 17, 2007740 Give Us a Hint Offer clues in various situations that something isn't working out well. Ben Aronin   736  html 
November 24, 2007741 Well, What Do You Know? Tell us what Major Life Lessons can be derived from any of these venues or situations. Fred Dawson   737   html 
December 1, 2007742 Clue Us In Give us a whole new set of clues to a crossword puzzle penned by Ace Constructor Paula Gamache. John O'Byrne CRO  738   html 
December 8, 2007743 Picture This Write a caption for any of these Bob Staake cartoons. Roger Dalrymple CAR  739   html 
December 15, 2007744 You OED Us One Make up a humorous and false definition for any of the words listed below. Bill Spencer WOR  740   html 
December 22, 2007745 Hurry Up and Slow Down! Suggest particular ways that would slow life down, or ways that would speed it up. Christopher Lamora CUL  741   html 
December 29, 2007746 We Err The World Give us a motto or short slogan for any country in the world. Thomas Murphy SLO POL  742   html 
January 5, 2008747 Boeing Us Silly Suggest some comical ways to improve air travel, either in general or for yourself. Beverley Sharp CUL  743   
January 12, 2008748 Dead Letters Write a humorous poem about a well-known personage who died in 2007. Brendan Beary POE EPI  744   html 
January 19, 2008749 Opus 266, No. 3 Take any common word or two-word term beginning with any letter from A through H and give it a new definition. Peter Metrinko
Pie Snelson 
LET  745   html 
January 26, 2008750 Hit Us With Your Best Shot: Photo Contest No. 4 Illustrate, any way you like, any of the provided five captions with your own original photo. Jeff Brechlin PIX  746   
February 2, 2008751 Strike Gold Slightly change the name of an existing or former TV show to create a program that can scab the writers' strike. Wilson Varga TEL  747    html 
February 9, 2008752 The Might-Mates Right Fill out any of these five "you just might" joke-templates. Kevin Dopart JOK  748    html 
February 16, 2008753 Hot Off The Riddle Supply a simple riddle and both the wholesome answer and the (printable) Invitational answer.  JOK  749    html 
February 23, 2008753a Get In Your Last Shot: Photo Contest's Final Days No new contest this week. While the sun never seems to set on the Empress, even she ventures outside the Forbidden City once in a while.    749    HTML   
March 1, 2008754 Canny Similarities Cite a humorous "uncanny similarity" between any two of the very different people listed above. Kelton Vincent
Larry Yungk 
DIF  751    html 
YEAR 16 BEGINS
PUB DATEWEEKTITLESYNOPSISEVENTUAL WINNERTHEMESREPORTLINKS
March 8, 2008755 Take Another 'Whack Send us a phrase of two or more words that produces exactly one Web page on the Google search engine and describe the phrase. Michael Levy GOO  752    html 
March 15, 2008756 Mess With Our Heads Take any headline, verbatim, appearing anywhere in The Post or on washingtonpost.com from March 15 through 24 and reinterpret it by adding a "bank head," or subtitle. Christopher Lamora HEA  750    html 
March 22, 2008757 Gorey Thoughts From A to Z Send us some rhyming alphabet-primer couplets. Beth Baniszewski POE LET  753    html 
March 29, 2008758 Wrong Address Using any of the words of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, in whatever order you like, create your own passage. Barry Koch HIS WOR  754    html 
April 5, 2008759 What Kind of Foal Am I? Breed any two of the 100 horses eligible for this year's Triple Crown and provide an appropriate name for their foal. Cy Gardner HOR  755   
April 12, 2008760 Whacky Buildup Describe any of these Googlewhacks in the form of a question, "Jeopardy"-style. Kevin Dopart GOO JEO  756   
April 19, 2008761 Strip Mining Supply the text for any or all three of these Bob Staake comic strips. Randy Lee CAR  757   
April 26, 2008762 Look This Up in Your Funk & Wagnalls Supply the pair of terms listed at the top of a page of any print dictionary to indicate the first and last listings on the page, and define that hyphenated term. Pam Dalrymple WOR  758     
May 3, 2008763 Another Time Around the Track Breed any two of the winning "offspring" included in this week's results, and name THEIR foal. Kevin Dopart
Pam Sweeney 
HOR  759   
May 10, 2008764 Can You Up Chuck? Come up with entirely new and funny Chuck Norris Facts. Robert Gallagher CUL  760   
May 17, 2008765 It's Doo-Dah Day Write humorous lyrics commemorating any of the 50 states of the District, set to any of these Stephen Foster songs. Barry Koch POE POL  761   
May 24, 2008766 Think to Shudder Come up with scenarios that are even more awkward (and more imaginative) than the wincers mentioned above. David Prevar   762    
May 31, 2008767 Questionable Journalism Find any sentence (or a substantive part of a sentence) that appears in the Post or in an article on washingtonpost.com from May 31 through June 9 and come up with a question it might answer. Beverley Sharp WAS QUE  763    
June 7, 2008768 The Events Described Herein Are Entirely Fictitious Come up with fictitious movie trivia. Russell Beland MOV FIC  764    
June 14, 2008769 Splice Work If You Can Get It Combine two words -- overlapping by at least two letters -- into what's know by polysyllabic types as a portmanteau word, and by the rest of us as mash word, and define it. Rick Haynes WOR  765    
June 21, 2008770 A Knack for Anachronism Take a famous historical moment, literary passage, or movie scene and place it in an entirely different age. Rick Haynes
Peter Metrinko 
HIS LIT MOV  766    
June 28, 2008771 Groaner's Manuals Come up with a humorous name for a guide or manual for, or a book about, a particular enterprise or organization. Beverley Sharp WOR BUS  767    
July 5, 2008772 Make It Simile, Stupid Translate a sentence or two of literature or other good writing so that "Los Angeles residents under 40" can appreciate it. Mike Ostapiej LAN LIT CUL  768    
July 12, 2008773 Always Looking for Sects Coin a religion or belief system and tell us its basic tenet or distinguishing characteristic. Lawrence McGuire REL  769    html 
July 19, 2008774 Tour De Forks Supply a name for a restaurant dish named after someone (or some product or organization) and describe it. Kevin Dopart BUS CUL  770    
July 26, 2008775 Ad-dition Combine the beginning and end of any two words appearing in any single advertisement in The Post or on washingtonpost.com, from today through Aug. 4, and then define the new word. Beth Morgan HYP WOR  771    
August 2, 2008776 An Act of Sunny Side Note the silver lining in some otherwise disappointing turn of events. Drew Bennett   772    
August 9, 2008777 Limerixicon 5 Supply a humorous limerick featuring any English word, name or term beginning with the letters da-. Chris Doyle LIM WOR  773    
August 16, 2008778 Tied Games Combine any two sports or nonathletic activities into a single sport or game. Hugh Pullen ATH  774    
August 23, 2008779 Gripe for the Picking Rant about any issue that wouldn't make your top 100 for airing in The Post. Chris Rollins WAS  775    
August 30, 2008780 Location, Location, Location Say how you know you're in a particular place. Brendan Beary   776    
September 6, 2008781 Our Greatest Hit Start with a word or multi-word term that begins with I, J, K or L; either add one letter, subtract one letter, replace one letter or transpose tow adjacent letters; and define the new word. Barry Koch LET WOR  777    
September 13, 2008782 That's the Ticket! Explain why any of the items on the list below is qualified to be President of the United States. Rick Wood POL  778    
September 20, 2008783 The Shill Game Name a celebrity or fictional character to endorse a real product or company. Marty McCullen BUS CUL  779    
September 27, 2008784 Words to The Wiseacres Give us some proverbs for 21st-century life. Michael Dailey CUL  780    
October 4, 2008785 The Ballad Box Write a short, humorous song somehow relating to the presidential campaign, set to a familiar tune. Andy Pike
Barb Sarshik 
POE POL  781    
October 11, 2008786 Top of the Staake So get your thoughts provoked for No. Umpteen of our cartoon caption contest. Ned Bent CAR  782      
October 18, 2008787 Tour de Fours V Coin and define a humorous word that includes -- with no other letters between them, but in any order -- the letters M, N and E. Tom Witte LET WOR  783    
October 25, 2008788 The Back End of a Bulwer Give us a comically terrible ending of a novel. LuAnn Bishop LIT  784    
November 1, 2008789 Doctrine in The House? State a humorous, original "doctrine" for a person or other entity. Kevin Mellema POL  785    
November 8, 2008790 If Only! Explain how the world would be different had some event not occurred. Chris Doyle POL HIS CUL  786      
November 15, 2008791 The 1K Club Supply a chain of 20 names -- they may be names of people, places, organizations, products, etc., but they must be names -- beginning and ending with "Chris Doyle." Brendan Beary STY  787     
November 22, 2008792 Clue Us In Compile a set of funny alternative clues to a crossword penned by Ace Constructor Paula Gamache. Judith Cottrill CRO  788    
November 29, 2008793 Take The Fifth Enter any Style Invitational contest from Week 725 through Week 789. Each entry must include the word "five" of "fifth" or something fiveish, or -- depending on your favorite anniversary tradition -- something involving (a) wood or (b) silverware. Rob Cohen PRE  789    
December 6, 2008794 Ripped Off From the Headlines Send us some Onion-type headlines. Malcolm Fleschner HEA  790    
December 13, 2008795 Stimulate Us Tell us what the government ought to be spending our money on. Russ Taylor POL  791    
December 20, 2008796 Sincerest Flattery Make up a pun on a familiar name of a real of fictional person and provide a fitting description or quote. Christopher Lamora JOK  792    
December 27, 2008797 Be Resolute Make a humorous resolution for some particular person or institution to accomplish next year. Christopher Lamora POL BUS  793    
January 3, 2009798 Dead Letters Write a humorous poem commemorating someone who died in 2008. Jeff Brechlin POE EPI  794    
January 10, 2009799 Send Us the Bill Come up with legislation that, given their names, two or more freshman senators or representatives might sponsor together. Dudley Thompson LEG  795    
January 17, 2009800 Compairison Briefly define or sum up an existing word or short phrase, then change it very slightly and do the same with the result. Lawrence McGuire WOR  796    
January 24, 2009801 Ask Backwards You are on "Jeopardy!" Here are the answers. You supply one or more of the questions. Kevin Dopart JEO  797    
January 31, 2009802 Dreck TV Suggest a new cable TV channel, with a description or example of its programming. John O'Byrne TEL  798    
February 7, 2009803 The Pepys Show Write a humorous diary or journal entry for someone, famous or not, for any point in history. Jeff Brechlin HIS  799    
February 14, 2009804 Our Type o' Joke Change a headline by one letter, or switch two letters, in a headline (or most of a headline) appearing on an article or ad in The Washington Post or on washingtonpost.com between Feb. 14 and 23, and elaborate on it in a "bank" headline (subhead) or a brief first sentence of an article that would run under it. Jay Shuck HEA  800    
February 21, 2009805 Brand Eccchs Give us an original name in any of the above categories (not an actual badly named product). Cy Gardner BUS  801    
February 28, 2009806 DQ Very Much Give us a phrase or sentence that would nip a potential relationship in the bud (or elsewhere). Greg Dobbins
Ed Gordon
Peter Metrinko 
 802    
YEAR 17 BEGINS
PUB DATEWEEKTITLESYNOPSISEVENTUAL WINNERTHEMESREPORTLINKS
March 7, 2009807 Pretty Graphic Expressions Express some insight as an equation or other mathematical expression. Phyllis Reinhard SCI  803    
March 14, 2009808 Take Us At Our Words Create a humorous poem or other writing using only the words contained in this week's Style Invitational column or results. Russell Beland POE WOR STY  804    
March 21, 2009809 Unkindest Cutlines Supply cutlines, or captions, for any of these newspaper photos. Elizabeth Molye CAP  805    
March 28, 2009810 What Kind of Foal Am I? Breed any two of the more than 400 horses eligible for this year's Triple Crown races and provide an appropriate name for their foal. Jonathan Paul HOR  806    
April 4, 2009811 Rock-Bottom Lines Tell us a sign that the economy couldn't get worse. John Russell Tuohy BUS CUL  807    
April 11, 2009812 Rx-Related Humor Offer up some entirely false medical or psychological "fact." Stephen Dudzik SCI  808    
April 18, 2009813 Aw, Shocks Give us a humorous example of the "shocking -- not." Jeff Hazle   809    
April 25, 2009814 There Will Be Bloodline Breed any two of the winning "offspring" included in this week's results, and name their foal. Lois Douthitt
Jennifer Rubio 
HOR  810    
May 2, 2009815 Wittecisms Create an original word containing -- in any order -- at least a W, and I, two T's and an E. Tom Witte LET WOR  811    
May 9, 2009816 Googillions Come up with an original phrase that generates at least 1 million listings on a Google search. Jeff Brechlin GOO  812    
May 16, 2009817 Flopflip Reverse the first half and second half of a word or name and define the result. Erik Wennstrom WOR  813    
May 23, 2009818 Name the Day Cite an actual holiday or one of those silly commemorative days, weeks or months for which you can find previous evidence, and supply a snarky description or slogan. Don Kirkpatrick CUL  814    
May 30, 2009819 Art Re-View These objects are not what they seem to be, at first glance. They are something else entirely. What are they? Brendan Beary CAR  815      
June 6, 2009820 Be Mister Language Person Supply a Mister Language Person-type question and answer. Kevin Dopart LAN QUE  816    
June 13, 2009821 Spit the Difference How are any of the items on the list above alike or different? Dan Ramish DIF  817    
June 20, 2009822 For Real Folks Suggest some attractions for a Festival of Real American Folklife. Wayne Rodgers CUL  818    
June 27, 2009823 Wryku Compose a humorous (or at least wry or clever) haiku. Dave Zarrow POE  819      
July 4, 2009824 Jestinations Give us a slogan for any city or town. Jay Shuck SLO POL  820    E 
July 11, 2009825 Disinstrumentals Write some words to music that has no words. Chris Doyle POE MUS  821     E 
July 18, 2009826 The Inside Word Take any word -- this may include the name of a person or place -- put a portion of it in quotation marks, and redefine the word. Mike Ostapiej WOR  822     E 
July 25, 2009827 Caller Idiot Name a real product or company and supply a stupid question or complaint for the consumer hotline person. Jeff Hazle BUS QUE  823      E 
August 1, 2009828 Inhuman Puns Make a pun on the name of a familiar group, organization or company, and describe it or provide a quote from it. Craig Dykstra BUS JOK WOR  824    
August 8, 2009829 Limerixicon 6 Supply a humorous limerick prominently featuring any English word, name or term beginning with the letters di-. Andrew Burnet LIM WOR LET  825    E 
August 15, 2009830 Mess With Our Heads Take any headline, verbatim, appearing anywhere in The Post or on washingtonpost.com from Aug. 14 through Aug. 24 and reinterpret it by adding a "bank head," or subtitle. Beverley Sharp HEA  826    
August 22, 2009831 A Big To-Do Name a "bucket list" item for a well-known real or fictional character. Rick Haynes LIT  827    
August 29, 2009832 Clue Us In You supply one or more clues for the words in a filled-in grid. Jim Lubell CRO  828    
September 5, 2009833 Our Greatest Hit Start with a real word or multi-word term or name that begins with M, N, O, or P; add one letter, subtract one letter, replace one letter or transpose two adjacent letters; and define the new word. Pam Sweeney WOR LET  829    
September 12, 2009834 Fractured Compounds Combine two full words within any single article appearing in The Washington Post or on washingtonpost.com into a hyphenated compound word, and define or otherwise describe the result. Sylvia Betts HYP WOR  830    
September 19, 2009835 Tour de Fours VI Coin and define a humorous word that includes -- with no other letters between them, but in any order -- the letters T, H, R, and E. Tom Witte LET  831    
September 26, 2009836 Other People's Business Describe what might happen if any of the above institutions (a) were run by an institution of your choice or (b) ran an institution of your choice. Bruce Alter POL BUS REL  832    
October 3, 2009837 Strip Search Combine two comic strips that appear in The Washington Post or at washingtonpost.com/comics and describe the results. Craig Dykstra WAS COM  833    
October 10, 2009838 Picture This Provide a caption for any of these pictures. Andrew Hoenig CAP  834    
October 17, 2009839 Overlap Dance Overlap two words that share two or more consecutive letters -- anywhere in the word, not just at the beginning or end -- into a single longer word, and define it. AND your portmanteau word must begin with a letter from A through D. Patricia Casey LET WOR  835    
October 24, 2009840 Frittering away the neurons Give us some more colorfully useful phrases; they don't have to be in the X'ing-the-Y form. Elwood Fitzner   836    
October 31, 2009841 Food for naught Alter the name of a food or dish slightly and describe the result. Dave Zarrow   837    
November 7, 2009842 Ask backwards Here are your 12 possible answers. Tell us your joke in the form of a question, please. Judy Blanchard JOK JEO  838    
November 14, 2009843 Prefrains Provide a sentence or two of lead-in to the first line of a well-known book, poem, or song. Stephen Dudzik LIT MUS POE  839    
November 21, 2009844 Healthy choice Enter any Style Invitational from Week 790 through Week 840, except for Week 793 and Week 798. John Shea PRE  840    
November 28, 2009845 Reologisms Write a description for any of 50 genuine Loser-created neologisms. Russell Beland WOR  841    
December 5, 2009846 Season's gratings Write a brief (50 words or fewer) holiday letter from a personage from past or present, or from fiction. Peter Metrinko HIS LIT  842    
December 12, 2009847 Questionable journalism Find any sentence (or a substantive part of a sentence) that appears in The Post or in an article on washingtonpost.com from Dec. 11 through Dec. 21 and come up with a question it might answer. George Vary WAS QUE  843    
December 19, 2009848 Up and addin' Compose a humorous rhopalic sentence (or multiple sentences) in which each word is one letter longer than the previous word. Chris Doyle LET WOR  844    
December 26, 2009849 Homonymphomania Create a new homonym (or homophone) for any existing word and define it. Christopher Lamora WOR  845    
January 2, 2010850 Dead letters Write a humorous poem about someone who died in 2009. Brendan Beary POE EPI  846    
January 9, 2010851 Going to the shrink Downsize the title of a book, movie or play to make it smaller or less momentous and describe it. Adam Beland
Russell Beland 
LIT MOV  847    html 
January 16, 2010852 Small, Let's get Write a rhopalic sentence (or fanciful newspaper headline) in which each successive word is one letter shorter. Jeffrey Contompasis LET WOR  848    html 
January 23, 2010853 It's easy as DEF Create a brand-new word of phrase that contains a block of three successive letters in the alphabet; the series must go forward in the alphabet, not backward. John Glenn LET WOR  849    html 
January 30, 2010854 What's not to liken? Produce one or more similes in any of the following categories. Russ Taylor   850    html 
February 6, 2010855 The news could be verse Sum up an article (or even an ad!) in any Washington Post print or online edition from Feb. 6 through Feb. 15 in verse. David Smith POE WAS  851    html 
February 13, 2010856 Titled Puerility Here are some untitled book covers. For any of them, tell us a title and synopsis of a book that will never by published. Jeffrey Contompasis ART LIT  852    html 
February 20, 2010857 All FED Up Create a brand-new word of phrase that contains a block of three successive letters in the alphabet -- but the series must go backward through the alphabet. Tom Witte LET  853    html 
February 27, 2010858 Same OED Make up a false definition for any of the words listed below. Michael Gips WOR  854    html 
March 6, 2010859 Can't goods Cast a joke in one of the forms listed above. Beverley Sharp JOK  855    html 
YEAR 18 BEGINS
PUB DATEWEEKTITLESYNOPSISEVENTUAL WINNERTHEMESREPORTLINKS
March 13, 2010860 Ten, Anyone? Humorously define or describe something or someone in exactly 10 words. Phil Frankenfeld WOR  856    html 
March 20, 2010861 It's incumbent upon us Combine the names of two or more freshman members of Congressman to create "joint legislation." This week's pool of legislators includes only those who were elected to their seats before 1994, the first year we ran the freshman contest. Jonathan Paul LEG  857    html 
March 27, 2010862 Be cheerful Send us a cheer or fight song for any pro sports team or any national team.  POE MUS ATH  858    html 
April 3, 2010863 It's Post time Breed any two of 100 of the almost 400 horses eligible for this year's Triple Crown races, and name the foal. Pam Sweeney HOR  859    html 
April 10, 2010864 Oonerspisms Spoonerize a single word or a name by transposing different part of the word (more than two adjacent letters), and define the resultant new term. Ann Martin WOR  860    html 
April 17, 2010865 No Googlenopes left Come up with a humorous Googlenope. Mark Richardson GOO  861    html 
April 24, 2010866 Natalie Portmanteau Begin with a real name; append to it a word, name or expression so that they overlap; and finally define (humorously, of course) the resulting phrase. Malcolm Fleschner WOR  862    html 
May 1, 2010867 Back in the saddle Breed any two of the foals in today's results -- OR one foal with one of the actual horses used in today's entries, and name the grandfoal. Barry Koch HOR  863    html 
May 8, 2010868 Count the ways Give us some musings of a technical wonk. Jeffrey Contompasis SCI  864    html 
May 15, 2010869 Clue us in Send us funny, clever clues for any of the words already in this grid. Dana Austin CRO  865    html 
May 22, 2010870 Let's play Nopardy Describe any of the above phrases in the form of a question. Russell Beland QUE  866    html 
May 29, 2010871 Remarquees Change a movie title by one letter (or number, if the title includes a number) and describe the new film. Gary Crockett LET MOV  867    html 
June 5, 2010872 Har Monikers Combine the first parts of each word in a famous person's or character's name -- in order -- and define it or use it in a sentence that somehow refers to its source. Cliff Kellogg WOR  868    html 
June 12, 2010873 Back to Square 1A Replace the shaded letters in this grid with your own letters to come up with a different word or phrase -- either an existing word or one you make up -- and define it humorously. Cathy Lamaze CRO  869    html 
June 19, 2010874 Stat Us Write a funny Facebook status line. Dudley Thompson CUL  870    html 
June 26, 2010875 Fail Us Give us a funny Learn From My Fail-type lesson, 30 words or fewer, true or not, in your own words or attributed to a famous personage. Drew Bennett CUL  871    html 
July 3, 2010876 Oilies but goodies Write lyrics somehow related to the oil spill, set to an existing tune. Mae Scanlan POE MUS  872    html 
July 10, 2010877 Quipped from the headlines Write a rhyming couplet about some matter in the news. Brendan Beary POE CUL  873    html 
July 17, 2010878 Safety in blunders Tell us a way to make the nation more secure. Jon Graft SCI POL  874    html 
July 24, 2010879 Say Venn Express some sentiment in the form of a Venn diagram. Russell Beland   875    html 
July 31, 2010880 Our greatest hit Start with a real word or multi-word term or name that begins with Q, R or S; add one letter, subtract one letter, replace one letter with another, or transpose two adjacent letters; and define the new word. Lennie Magida WOR LET  876    html 
August 7, 2010881 What's in a name? Take the name of a person or institution. Find within it a hidden message. Russell Beland LET BUS POL  877    html 
August 14, 2010882 Limerixicon VII Supply a humorous limerick prominently featuring any English word, name or term beginning with the letters dr-. Carole Lyons LIM LET  878    html 
August 21, 2010883 Same difference Choose any two items from the list above and exp Craig Dykstra DIF  879    html 
August 28, 2010 Not this week, honey No new contest this week -- it's the first break that the Empress has given the Obsessive Losers since February 2008.    880    HTML   E 
September 4, 2010884 Rekindling the spork Combine two devices or other products to make a new one. Scott Weinstein BUS  881    html 
September 11, 2010885 Mess with our heads Take any headline, verbatim, appearing anywhere in The Post or on washingtonpost.com from Sept. 10 through Sept. 20 and reinterpret it by adding a "bank head." Elden Carnahan HEA  882    html 
September 18, 2010886 Look both ways Give us a new term that's a palindrome and define it. Tom Flaherty WOR  883    html 
September 25, 2010887 Plus-Fours Write a limerick whose third or fourth line is one of those listed above. Stephen Gold LIM  880, 882    html 
October 2, 2010888 It's the eponymy, stupid Coin a word or expression based on the name of a well-known person, define it, and perhaps use it in a sentence Jeffrey Contompasis WOR  884    html 
October 9, 2010889 Tour de Fours VII Coin and define a humorous word that includes -- with no other letters between them, but in any order -- the letters P, O, L and E. Chris Doyle LET WOR  885    html 
October 16, 2010890 Double-teaming Combine the names of any two pro sports teams -- even from different sports -- and describe the result. Keith Maynard ATH  886    html 
October 23, 2010891 Mirror, Mirror Write a word-palindrome sentence, in which the first and last words are the same; the second and next-to-last, etc. Peter Jenkins WOR  887    html 
October 30, 2010892 Get a move on Change the location of something for humorous effect. Provide an explanation if you wish. Drew Bennett   888    html 
November 6, 2010893 Give us a hint Write a humorously witty story in 25 words or fewer. Jeffrey Contompasis WOR  889    html 
November 13, 2010894 Look Back in Inker Enter any Style Invitational from Week 841 through Week 890 (except for Week 844). Craig Dykstra PRE  890    html 
November 20, 2010895 Picture this Supply a caption for any of these cartoons. Douglas Frank CAR  891    html 
November 27, 2010896 Other people's business Describe what might happen if any of the above institutions (a) were run by an institution of your choice or (b) ran an institution of your choice. Larry Yungk BUS REL POL  892    html 
December 4, 2010897 Catch their drift Take any sentence from an article of ad in The Washington Post or washingtonpost.com from Dec. 3 to Dec. 13 and translate it into "plain English." Danny Bravman WAS LAN  893    html 
December 11, 2010898 Pre-current events Predict some humorous news event that would happen in 2011. Arthur Adams CUL  894    html 
December 18, 2010899 Clue us in Send us funny, clever clues for any of the words already in this grid. Kevin Dopart CRO  895    html 
December 25, 2010900 Dear us! Submit a "Dear Blank" letter to us instead. Chris Doyle   896    html 
January 1, 2011901 Dead Letters Write a humorous poem about someone who died in 2010. Christopher Lamora POE EPI  897    html 
January 8, 2011902 What's the good news? Take any sentence, or substantive part of a sentence, or a headline from an article or ad in The Washington Post or washingtonpost.com from Jan. 7 to Jan. 18 and make it sound upbeat (or not so bad). Dixon Wragg WAS  898    html 
January 15, 2011903 Bill us now Combine the names of two or more members of Congress as co-sponsors of a bill. Jeff Brechlin LEG  899    html 
January 23, 2011904 We move on back Move the first letter in a word or name to the end of that word and define the resulting word. Marian Carlsson
Dave Garratt 
LET WOR  900    html 
January 30, 2011905 Anticdotes Give us an untrue anecdote responding to one of these past Editor's Query topics. Gary Crockett WAS  901    html 
February 6, 2011906 Your mug here Give us a new design for the Loser Mug. Edmund Conti
Michael Gips
Howard Walderman 
STY  902   html   E 
February 13, 2011907 Naming rite Come up with a creative, somehow fitting sponsor for some public facility or part of one. Tom Panther   903    html 
February 20, 2011 Give it a rest No new contest this week.    904    HTML   E 
February 27, 2011908 Recast away Fire an actor or actress from a movie or TV show, past or present, and offer a replacement for the role. Gary Crockett MOV TEL  905    html 
March 6, 2011909 Reprizing Suggest humorous uses for one or more of the items above, alone or in combination. Kevin Dopart CAR  906    html   E 
YEAR 19 BEGINS
PUB DATEWEEKTITLESYNOPSISEVENTUAL WINNERTHEMESREPORTLINKS
March 13, 2011910 Your ad here Slightly alter an advertising slogan so that someone else could use it. Rachel Braun SLO BUS  907    html 
March 20, 2011911 Help! Create a short humorous dialogue -- or a monologue featuring one party -- of a phone call to 911, or a call for help to someone else. Russell Beland   904    html 
March 27, 2011912 Pair-a-phrase Lift a word that appears inside a longer word; pair it with the original word to create a phrase; and define it. Michael Reinemer WOR  908    html 
April 3, 2011913 Bring up the rear Move the last letter of an existing word or name to the front of the word, and define the new term. Kyle Bonney LET  909    html 
April 10, 2011914 Foaling around Breed any two of 100 of the almost 400 horses eligible for this year's Triple Crown races, and name the foal. Jonathan Paul HOR  910    html 
April 17, 2011915 Picture this Write a caption for any of the cartoons pictured here. Jack Hingel CAR  911    html 
April 24, 2011916 Bank shots Take any headline, verbatim, appearing anywhere in The Post or on washingtonpost.com from April 22 through May and reinterpret it by adding a "bank head," or subtitle. John Shea HEA  912    html 
May 1, 2011917 Wryku Write a haiku--a sentiment that can be broken into three lines with exactly five syllables in the first lien, seven in the second, five in the third--on any subject that's been in the news in the last couple of weeks. Danny Bravman POE CUL  913    html 
May 8, 2011918 Colt Following Breed any two "foals" in today's results, or one foal with one of the real horse names used in today's entries--and name the "grandfoal." The name may not exceed 18 characters, including spaces, and your entry shouldn't remotely duplicate any of today's results. Pam Sweeney HOR  914    html 
May 15, 2011919 Good Luck With 13 Alter a 13-letter word, phrase or name by one letter (add a letter, drop a letter, switch two letters somewhere in the word, or substitute one letter for another) and describe the result. David Ballard LET  915    html 
May 22, 2011920 Sarchiasm Write an original chiasmus, in which the elements of a phrase are inverted for comedic effect. John Shea WOR  916    html 
May 29, 2011921 Give Us Willies Write an original Little Willie poem, perhaps reflecting our current era. This is a venerable four-line genre in which Master W. does some nasty thing and doesn't tend to learn to be a Good Boy by poem's end. Kevin Dopart POE  917    html 
June 5, 2011922 A Banner Week Write entirely new, humorous lyrics to the tune of “The Star-Spangled Banner”; they can be on any subject. Gary Crockett POE  918    html 
June 12, 2011923 Chemical Wordfare Create a new chemical element or other chemical term. Christopher Lamora SCI  919    html 
June 19, 2011924 Doomed to repeat it Create "Unreal Facts" about history. Judy Blanchard HIS FIC  920    html 
June 26, 2011925 A remeaning task Redefine a word in the dictionary beginning with I through O. Jamie Pazur LET WOR  921    html 
July 3, 2011926 Outrageous fortunes Come up with a fortune cookie line that you'd like to see. Ward Kay   922    html 
July 10, 2011927 Drive-By Shoutings Write a very short four-line “poem” promoting a product or company, or offering advice to drivers; the poem must rhyme, in ABAB or ABCB rhyme scheme. A fifth, non-rhyming line may state the product name or a conclusion. Beverley Sharp POE BUS  923     E 
July 17, 2011928 Play feature Use the title of a movie as the answer to a riddle or other question. Tom Witte MOV QUE  924    html 
July 24, 2011929 Now sit right back ... Write a funny song introducing a TV show, past or present. Nan Reiner MUS TEL  925     E 
July 31, 2011930 We WANT stupid complaints! Complain comically unreasonably about some innocuous thing appearing in the print Post or on washingtonpost.com over the next week or the previous few days. Peter Jenkins WAS  926    html 
August 7, 2011931 Limerixicon 8 Supply a humorous limerick significantly featuring any English word, name or term beginning with the letters ea- through -el. Chris Doyle LIM  927    html 
August 14, 2011932 We'll call them your-mama jokes Tell us an original "your mama" joke. Ben Aronin CUL  928    html 
August 21, 2011933 Stories that count (to 56) Write a humorous story in exactly 56 words.  WOR  929    html 
August 28, 2011934 Same difference Explain how any two items in the provided list are similar or different. Rob Huffman DIF  930    html 
September 4, 2011935 The 400 blows Write a humorous poem--choose your form--about the Virginia earthquake, Hurricane Irene or another well-known natural event. Matt Monitto POE CUL  931    html 
September 11, 2011936 Hoho contendere Slightly alter a well-known foreign-language term and define it. Greg Deye LAN WOR  932    html 
September 18, 2011937 Staake it to him Write a caption for any of the five pages or details pictured from some of Bob's more than 50 picture books. Stephen Dudzik CAR ART LIT  933    html 
September 25, 2011938 Free and Lear Write a limerick using the first two lines of any of Edward Lear's 115 limericks plus your own remaining three lines. Hugh Thirlway LIM  934    html 
October 2, 2011939 MASH 2: The Retread Combine two movie titles and describe the result. Kathye Hamilton MOV  935    html 
October 9, 2011940 Our type o' headline Change a headline by one letter, or switch two letters, or change spacing or punctuation, in a headline (or most of a headline) appearing on an article or ad in The Washington Post or on washingtonpost.com from Oct. 7 through Oct. 17, and elaborate on it in a "bank" headline (subhead). Kevin Dopart HEA LET  936    html 
October 16, 2011941 They don't say! Give us a quote that a particular person, present or past, real or fictional, sooo wouldn't have said. Larry Flynn HIS  937    html 
October 23, 2011942 Singular ideas Give us an idea for a contest for which there's likely only one good entry. Beverley Sharp STY  938    html 
October 30, 2011943 Ask backward XXIX You are on "Jeopardy!" You supply the questions for as many of the provided answers as you like. Danny Bravman JEO  939    html 
November 6, 2011944 Uh, yeah, it's just you Give us one or more "Is it just me" questions. Neal Starkman QUE  940    html 
November 13, 2011945 Laugh-baked ideas Cleverly depict a person, event or phenomenon of the 21st century — real history as well as scenes from movies, books, videos, etc. — using edible materials, and send us a photo of your creation. Alethea Dopart
Kevin Dopart 
PIX HIS MOV LIT  941    html 
November 20, 2011946 Another round of Bierce Write a clever definition of a word, name or multi-word term. Melissa Balmain WOR  942    html 
November 27, 2011947 Tour de Fours VIII: Neologisms Come up with a new word or two-word term that includes the letter block N-O-E-L, in any order but with no other letters between them, and define it. Eric Fritz LET WOR  943    html 
December 4, 2011948 Look back in Inker Enter any Style Invitational contest from Week 891 through 94 (except for Week 896, which was the same contest for the previous year). David Prevar PRE  944    html 
December 11, 2011949 Putting the SAT in satire Give us an analogy using "a is to b as x is to y." Edmund Conti WOR  946    html 
December 18, 2011950 Of all the nerve! Give us a humorous example of hypothetical chutzpah. Nan Reiner   945    html 
December 25, 2011951 Say that again Double a word, or use a word and its homophone, to make a phrase, and define it. Kathy Fraeman WOR  947    html   
January 1, 2012952 Dead Letters Write a humorous poem about someone who died in 2011. Stephen Gold POE EPI  948    html 
January 8, 2012953 Clue us in Come up with creative, funny clues for the words and multi-word terms in the crossword puzzle that's already run in The Post. Seth Brown CRO  949    html 
January 15, 2012954 Bring on the 'fight' jokes Tell us an original joke ending with “And then the fight started.” David Genser JOK  950     
January 22, 2012955 Twits' twist Create a phrase by combining a word or phrase with an anagram of that word or phrase, and define or describe it. Nancy Schwalb ANA WOR  951    html   
January 29, 2012956 Give us some bad ideas Finish any of the provided "You know" phrases. Noah Meyerson   952    html 
February 5, 2012957 Fearful Symmetry Write a clever passage who successive words are on letter longer until the middle of the passage, and then become one letter shorter. Bird Waring LET WOR  953    html   
February 12, 2012958 All's Weller Write a "wellerism," a sentence that starts with a quote, often a short proverb, and goes on to include some sort of wordplay on something in the quote. Jason Russo WOR  954    html   
February 19, 2012959 Out of network Move a current or former TV program (or type of programming) to a different network and explain what would change. Kurt Stahl TEL  955    html   
February 26, 2012960 Raving reviews Send us a creative "review" for any of the provided items that are listed on Amazon. Melissa Balmain BUS CUL  956    html   
March 4, 2012961 The end of our rhops Write a funny passage or headline whose words all have the same number of letters. Chris Doyle LET HEA WOR  957    html   
YEAR 20 BEGINS
PUB DATEWEEKTITLESYNOPSISEVENTUAL WINNERTHEMESREPORTLINKS
March 11, 2012962 Questionable journalism Take any sentence (or a mjaor part of it) that appears in the Post or in an article on washingtonpost.com anytime from now through March 19 and supply a question it could answer. Cathy Lamaze WAS QUE  958    html 
March 18, 2012963 The overlap dance Send us a Before & After "person" who name combines two people's names, real or fictional (okay, you can use animals' names, too), and describe the person in a funny way. Gil Glass WOR  959    html   
March 25, 2012964 The Grossery Bag? Suggest a design and/or slogan to go on the side of the ardently desired Style Invitational Loser Bag. Melissa Balmain SLO STY  960    html   
April 1, 2012965 Foaling around Breed any two of the horses in this year's Triple Crown races and name their foal. Susan Thompson HOR  961    html   E 
April 8, 2012966 Inkremental change Start with any word or name, and create a series of words that change by one letter at a time, until you come up with a related word or name. Dave Zarrow WOR LET  962    html   
April 15, 2012967 Overlap dance II Create a phrase that overlaps two terms, each of two words or more, and describe the result. Mae Scanlan WOR  963    html 
April 22, 2012968 Take us for grants Come up with a proposal to the National Science Foundation or other research-funding organization for a study based on a stupid hypothesis. Robert Schechter SCI  964    html 
April 29, 2012969 Colt following Breed any two "foals" in today's results, and name the grandfoal. Kathy El-Assal HOR  965    html   
FIRST INKIN' MEMORIAL AWARDED IN REPORT FROM WEEK 966
May 6, 2012970 Couple it Take a line from any well-known poem and pair it with your own second line to make a humorous couplet. Brendan Beary POE LIT  966    html 
May 13, 2012971 Double booking Come up with a double book with a humorous connection; the first title must be an actual book, while the other may be your own fictitious title or a second real book. Jeff Brechlin LIT  967    html   
May 20, 2012972 Trends and neighbors Choose any two items on the provided list and explain how they are alike or different. Bird Waring DIF  968    html   
May 27, 2012973 A real triple crown The horses in this week's list either produced no inking "foals" in Week 965, or ran in the Kentucky Derby but weren't on the initial list. "Breed" any two and name the foal. Kevin Dopart HOR  969    html 
June 3, 2012974 Eat our dust! Write a limerick humorously describing a book, play, movie, or TV show. Chris Doyle LIM LIT TEL MOV  970    html   
June 10, 2012975 Gone mything Debunk a "Sixth Myth" about one of more of the recent "5 Myths" topics provided. Tom Witte CUL  971    html   
June 17, 2012976 Join now! Combine the beginning and end of any two words or names in this week's Style Invitational or Style Conversational columns to make a new term, and define it. Robert Schechter HYP WOR  972    html   
June 24, 2012977 Lost in Translation 2.0 Translate a line of text from English into another language using Google Translate; then copy that result and translate it back into English. You may also make intermediate steps into one or more other languages. Kevin Dopart GOO LAN  973    html   
July 1, 2012978 A reason to rhyme the news Write a short verse about something that's been in the news recently. Nan Reiner POE CUL  974    html   
July 8, 2012979 The madding crowd Suggest funny, original ways to tick people off. John Shea   975    html   
July 15, 2012980 Def jam Supply a humorous definition for any of the provided Loser-penned neologisms. Paul Burnham WOR  976    html   
July 22, 2012 You can't lose this week! Because there’s not a new contest this week. Three and a half weeks from now, the Empress will be lounging on an exotic (okay, Delaware) beach, blissfully disconnected from this newspaper's "content management system," Methode, better known within the newsroom as "that piece of [not 'blueberry pie'] Methode."    977    HTML   E 
July 29, 2012981 Feeling testy Write a question that "ought to" be on a qualifying test for a particular job. Barry Koch BUS  978    html 
August 5, 2012982 The parody line Set your own, humorous words to the tune of a well-known song--except that you must preserve one of the original lines. Nan Reiner POE MUS  979    html 
August 12, 2012983 Limerixicon IX Supply a humorous limerick significantly featuring any English word, name or term beginning with the letters "eq-" through "ez-". Brendan Beary LIM LET  980    html   
August 19, 2012984 Another brilliant contest Write something whose words begin with consecutive letters of the alphabet. Christopher Lamora LET      html 
August 26, 2012985 What art art thou? Tell us which Style Invitational contest any of the provided Bob Staake cartoons might be illustrating. Beverley Sharp CAR  981    html   
September 2, 2012986 Hear here! Give us a sentence or short dialogue that would be a lot funnier if a word in it were mistaken for a homophone of that word. Mark Richardson
Beverley Sharp 
WOR  982    html   
September 9, 2012987 Bank shots Take any headline, verbatim, appearing anywhere in The Washington Post or on washingtonpost.com from Sept. 6 through Sept. 17 and reinterpret it by adding a "bank head," or subtitle. Melissa Balmain HEA  983   html 
September 16, 2012988 A faster break Suggest ways to make sports and other leisure activities more time-efficient or exciting. Martin Bancroft ATH  984    html   
September 23, 2012989 On the double Come up with a double or multiple profession, and explain how each job complements the other(s). Jeff Hazle BUS  985    html 
September 30, 2012990 Indecent relations Pair two people, real or fictional, who have the same last name; say how they're alike or different, or something they might do (even in fantasy), as a pair. Robert Schechter DIF  986    html 
October 7, 2012991 Tour de Fours IX Create a new word or two-word term containing the letter block V, O, T, and E and define it. Laurie Tompkins LET WOR  987    html   
October 14, 2012992 Mittsterpiece Theatre Suppose public-TV shows, past or present, were turned out onto the open market to make a living on commercial TV. Tell us what would happen. Neal Starkman BUS TEL  988    html   
October 21, 2012993 Versus, verses Write a short "rap battle" between any two characters, real or fictional. Amanda Yanovitch POE  989    html 
October 28, 2012994 Stick it to us Suggest a slogan for one of our two new honorable-mention Loser Magnets for 2012-2013. Bruce Carlson SLO STY  990    html 
November 4, 2012995 Ask backwards We give you the "answers" and you supply jokes in the form of a question. Mark Raffman JEO  991    html   
November 11, 2012996 A Life-Time opportunity Combine two magazines or journals and describe the result, supply a marketing pitch, or suggest a story or two that it might publish. Lawrence McGuire CUL  992    html 
November 18, 2012997 Unworthy causes Name a dubious charity and describe its mission. Mark Raffman   993    html   
November 25, 2012998 Set the law on us Suggest an odd law for a particular place in the world. Beverley Sharp POL  994    html   
December 2, 2012999 Drectrospective Enter any Style Invitational contest from Week 946 through Week 995, except for Week 948. Lawrence McGuire PRE  995    html 
December 9, 20121000 We now have 4 digits; you now have 7 letters Choose any word, name or two-word term beginning anywhere from T through Z; then add one letter, drop one letter, substitute one letter for another, or transpose two adjacent letters, and define the result. Jeffrey Contompasis LET WOR  996    html   
December 16, 20121001 Make us ROFL Give us a funny, original acronym. Dayna Fellows LET WOR  997    html 
December 23, 20121002 Wring out the OED Make up a false definition from any other the listed OED words. Frank Osen WOR  998    html 
December 30, 20121003 Just do it Use a well-known advertising slogan for a different company, organization or product to humorous effect. Brendan Beary SLO BUS POL  999    html E 
January 6, 20131004 Dead letters Write a humorous poem about anyone who died in 2012. Nan Reiner
Robert Schechter 
POE EPI  1000    html E 
January 13, 20131005 Send us the bill Name a piece of legislation "cosponsored" by two or more of the 98 new House and Senate members provided. Rick Haynes LEG  1001    html E 
January 20, 20131006 It's a ... a ... Create a new superhero (or due) and describe the superpower, or not-very-superpower. Michael Reinemer CUL  1002    html E 
January 27, 20131007 Clue us in Come up with creative, funny clues for the words and multi-word terms in the provided grid. Barbara Turner CRO WOR  1003    html   
February 3, 2013 Primping for our big day There's no new contest this week, because four weeks from now, the Empress will devote this entire space to a celebration of the Style Invitational's 20th anniversary.    1004    HTML   E 
February 10, 20131008 Switched reels Re-arrange all the words in the title of a movie, and describe the resulting work. Roy Ashley WOR MOV  1005    html   E 
February 17, 20131009 What's in a name? Write something about some person, real or fictional, using only the letters in the person's name. Matt Monitto LET  1006    html E 
February 24, 20131010 Picture this Write a caption for any of the five provided cartoons. John Glenn CAR  1007    html E 
March 3, 20131011 Top these! Try your hand at any of the contests mentioned in this look back. Robert Schechter PRE      html  
YEAR 21 BEGINS
PUB DATEWEEKTITLESYNOPSISEVENTUAL WINNERTHEMESREPORTLINKS
March 10, 20131012 The news at 5 Write a limerick about a recent news event. Kevin Dopart LIM CUL  1008    html   
March 17, 20131013 Har monikers Write a riddle that uses a pun of a person's name in the answer. Natalie Beary JOK WOR  1009    html   
March 24, 20131014 Join now Combine the beginning and end, or the beginnings and ends, of any two words in single Washington Post story or ad published March 21 to April 1 into a new word or two-word phrase, and define the result. Michael Gips WAS WOR  1010     E 
March 31, 20131015 Faux re mi Give us some humorously false trivia about music or musicians. Paul Kondis MUS FIC  1011    html   E 
April 7, 20131016 Foaling around Breed any two of the horses nominated for this year's Triple Crown races and give the foal a name humorously reflecting the names of the parents. Mark Eckenwiler HOR  1012    html   E 
April 14, 20131017 Vowel play Write a "univocalic" newspaper headline -- one that uses only one vowel throughout. Nan Reiner LET HEA  1013     E 
April 21, 20131018 Reologisms Write a clever, funny definition for any of the Loser-concocted neologisms from Week 1014 as well as from Week 1000 that deserve better definitions than their creators offered at the time. Rob Huffman WOR  1014    html   E 
April 28, 20131019 What a turnoff Tell us some creative things that children and families could do during Screen-Free Week. Art Grinath CUL  1015     E 
May 5, 20131020 Colt following Breed any two of this week's winning foals and name the grandfoal. Laurie Brink HOR  1016   html   E 
May 12, 20131021 'Gram theft Come up with a term by scrambling any of the letters sets in the provided list, and define it. Frank Osen LET  1017     E 
May 19, 20131022 What's the diff? Explain how any two of the provided items are alike or different. Michael Gips DIF  1018     E 
May 26, 20131023 Hai there, Martians! Write one or more humorous haiku that will greet the Martians or share a little nugget of what life is like on Earth. Rob Huffman POE  1019     E 
June 2, 20131024 Gorey thoughts Send us some edgy rhyming alphabet-primer couplets. The pairs are AB, CD, EF, GH, IJ, KL, MN, OP, QR, ST, UV, WX, and YZ. Jennifer Gittins-Harfst LET POE  1020   HTML   E 
June 9, 20131025 In so many words Create an original backronym for a name or other term, especially one that's been in the news lately. Jay Cummings WOR CUL  1021   HTML   E 
June 16, 2013 (We) give us a break The Empress is spending a week touring her dominions and so she's giving you a week off as well.    1022   HTML   E 
June 23, 20131026 'Might' makes ink Give us a joke using any of the using any of the provided "you might be" templates. Chuck Smith JOK  1021   HTML   E 
June 30, 20131027 Built for two Give humorous related names for any pair of features in a given building, organization, etc. Phil Frankenfeld BUS POL  1023   HTML   E 
July 7, 20131028 Joint Legiflation Combine the names of two or more of the First Congress senators and/or representatives to create "joint legislation". Doug Hamilton LEG  1024   HTML   E 
July 14, 20131029 Ditty Harry Write a descriptive theme song for a well-known movie, set to a well-known tune. Mark Raffman MOV MUS POE  1025   HTML   E 
July 21, 20131030 The cinquain feeling Write a clever cinquain. The five-line form is straightforward: first line, two syllables; second line, four syllables; third line, six; fourth line, eight; fifth line, two. Nan Reiner POE  1026   HTML   E 
July 28, 20131031 The 'Sty'le Invitational Choose any word, name, or short term; emphasize a key, suddenly pertinent part of it with quotation marks; then redefine the word. Barbara Turner WOR  1027, 1026   HTML   E 
August 4, 20131032 Hid stuff Explain the symbolism "obviously" evident in any well-known site, artwork, etc., in 75 words or fewer. Jeff Shirley ART  1028   HTML   E 
August 11, 20131033 LimeriXicon Supply a humorous limerick significantly featuring any English word, name or term beginning with "fa-". Matt Monitto LIM  1029   HTML   E 
August 18, 20131034 What's to like? Supply an original joke of the form "I like my [your choice] the way I like my [something else of your choice]: [some clever, funny parallel]." Robert Falk JOK  1030   HTML   E 
August 25, 20131035 The Empy 500 Explain what news Bob Staake is trying to tell in any of the provided drawings. Michael Gips CAR  1031   HTML   E 
September 1, 20131036 Just for liffs Use a real place name, from anywhere in the world, as a new term. Joel Knanishu WOR  1032   HTML   E 
September 8, 20131037 Outrage us Find something offensive about an inoffensive name of a product, organization, place, etc. Robert Falk BUS  1033   HTML   E 
September 15, 20131038 It's like this, see Answer a simple question with a ridiculously argued answer citing various connections and parallels. Chris Doyle   1034   HTML   E 
September 22, 20131039 Shookespeare Combine any of the words in Hamlet's "To be, or not to be" soliloquy, in any order, to create a humorous sentence or longer passage. Craig Dykstra WOR POE  1035   HTML   E 
September 29, 20131040 IRS my case Schedule A: Suggest a novel way for the government to determine taxes.

Schedule B: Suggest a deduction that you'd like to take, or that some real or fictional person or past or present might like to take.

Schedule C: Suggest a cause you'd rather check off $3 for. 

Edmund Conti POL  1036   HTML   E 
October 6, 20131041 What have you got to lose? Answer a question, real or rhetorical, that appears in a song. Trevor Kerr MUS QUE  1037   HTML   E 
October 13, 20131042 Tour de Fours X: Go SANE Create a new word or two-word term containing the letter block S-A-N-E -- in any order, but consecutively, and define it. Chris Doyle LET  1038   HTML   E 
October 20, 20131043 Rechanneling celebrity Describe a TV reality show featuring a celebrity pursuing some unlikely endeavor. Tim Livengood TEL  1039   HTML   E 
October 27, 20131044 Play it safe Come up with a comically safety-conscious rule for the workplace or elsewhere. Stan McCoy CUL  1040   HTML   E 
November 3, 20131045 Songs for the asking Take a sentence, phrase or title forms a song and provide a funny question it might answer. Larry Gray MUS QUE  1041   HTML   E 
November 10, 20131046 Derive us crazy Offer a bogus but funny explanation of how a particular expression originated. Frank Osen HIS WOR  1042   HTML   E 
November 17, 20131047 Bank shots Quote a headline appearing in The Washington Post, washingtonpost.com or another publication, print or online, dated Nov. 14 to Nov. 25, and supply a humorous "bank" headline that either misinterprets it or comments wryly on it. Danielle Nowlin HEA  1043   HTML   E 
November 24, 20131048 Ask Backwards You supply the questions to as many of the provided answers as you like. Mark Raffman JEO  1044   HTML   E 
December 1, 20131049 Be rating Come up with a new movie rating and describe it. John Shea MOV  1045   HTML   E 
December 8, 20131050 Just redo it Enter any Style Invitational contest from Week 1000 through Week 1046. Brendan Beary STY  1046   HTML   E 
December 15, 20131051 Love the tiny tail stain! Create an anagram -- a text with the letters rearranged -- of any text (except merely someone's name), of any length, referring to something or someone in the news. Kevin Dopart ANA  1047   HTML   E 
December 22, 20131052 Clue us in Come up with up to 25 creative, funny clues for the words and multi-word terms that appear in the provided grid. Brendan Beary CRO  1048   HTML   E 
December 29, 20131053 Questionable journalism Quote an actual sentence, from The Washington Post, washingtonpost.com, or another print or online publication dated between Dec. 26 and Jan. 6, and follow it with a question that the sentence might answer. John Folse QUE  1049   HTML   E 
January 5, 20141054 Dead letters Write a short, humorous poem commemorating someone (or maybe even something) who died in 2013. Gary Crockett EPI  1050   HTML   E 
January 12, 20141055 Oh, K! This week, to commemorate both Kevin Dopart and his 1K ink blots: Change a word, phrase of name by adding one or more K's, and define your new term. Kristen Rahman LET  1051   HTML   E 
January 19, 20141056 Weather or nuts Coin a term relating to the weather, climate, etc. -- either literal or figurative -- and define it. Megan Durham WOR  1052   HTML   E 
January 26, 20141057 Sportin' lie Give us some fake sports trivia. Seth Tucker ATH FIC  1053   HTML   E 
February 2, 20141058 Eastwood Ho Create a good-bad-ugly progression. Beverley Sharp JOK  1054   HTML   E 
February 9, 20141059 With parens like these … Add some words in parentheses to a well-known song title to make it funnier in some way. Mark Raffman WOR MUS  1055   HTML   E 
February 16, 20141060 Picture this Write a caption, or captions, for one or more of the provided cartoons. Ward Kay CAR CAP  1056   HTML   E 
February 23, 20141061 Less taste, more fill-in Give us a novel clue for any word or phrase in which the remaining letters in the provided crossword puzzle fit, across or down. Jeffrey Contompasis CRO  1057   HTML   E 
March 2, 20141062 Scanning the headlines Write a rhyming poem about something currently in the news. Danielle Nowlin POE  1058   HTML   E 
YEAR 22 BEGINS
March 9, 20141063 Same difference Take any two items from the provided list and explain how they're similar or different. Dave Letizia DIF  1059   HTML   E 
March 16, 20141064 HistoRebuffs Alter some moment in history and tell us -- in no more than about 50 words -- the likely outcome. Gary Crockett HIS  1060   HTML   E 
March 23, 20141065 The ands have it Slightly alter ANY well-known phrase in the form "A-and-B" -- it doesn't have to be Latinate/Anglo-Saxon -- and define it. Frank Osen WOR  1061   HTML   E 
March 30, 2014 (We) give us a (spring) break There's no new contest this week, because the Empress will be on assignment overseas four weeks from now.    1062  
April 6, 20141066 It's mating season "Breed" any two from the provided list of 100 of the 3-year-old racehorses nominated for this year's Triple Crown and name the foal to reflect both names. Jim Stiles HOR  1063   HTML   E 
April 13, 20141067 A(t)tribute to your wit Alter a well-known quote slightly and attribute it to someone else. Nan Reiner WOR  1064   HTML   E 
April 20, 20141068 An iffy proposition Suggest some humorous action that you would take if you were in someone's position, more or less in the form "If I were _____ my first act would be _____." Ben Aronin   1065   HTML   E 
April 27, 20141069 It's a small, small world Write a humorous poem of no more than eight lines -- it doesn't have to rhyme -- using only the top 1,000 words on Wiktionary.org's list of the most common among 20 million words found in movie and TV scripts. Ward Kay
Mark Raffman 
POE WOR  1062, 1063, 1064, 1065   HTML   E 
May 4, 20141070 Colt following -- our grandfoals contest "Breed" any two of the foal names that got ink this week, and name the offspring to reflect the parents' names. Danielle Nowlin HOR  1066   HTML   E 
May 11, 20141071 A pair of threes Choose two or three entities represented by a single three-letter combination at bit.ly/3letterabs and say how they are alike or different. Rob Huffman LET DIF  1067   HTML   E 
May 18, 20141072 The Tile Invitational Come up with a 5-, 6-, or 7-letter term by scrambling any of the given seven-letter ScrabbleGram sets, and define it. Brendan Beary LET  1068   HTML   E 
May 25, 20141073 Bank shots: Mess with (y)our heads Quote a headline appearing in the Washington Post, washington.com or another publication, print or headline, dated May 22 to June 1, and supply a bank" headline that either misinterprets it, as in the examples above, or comments wryly on it. Michael Gips HEA  1069   HTML   E 
June 1, 20141074 Let's go parody-hopping Describe a stage or movie musical in a parody of a song from a different musical. Nan Reiner POE MOV  1070   HTML   E 
June 8, 20141075 Falsity is Job One Send us some fictoids about cars and trucks and driving and stuff. Robert Schechter FIC  1071   HTML   E 
June 15, 20141076 Dactyly fractyly Send us some double dactyls that conform to Gene Weingarten's rules. Jeremy Horowitz DAC  1072   HTML   E 
June 22, 20141077 Time marches Swiftly Give us a novel Tom Swifty, playing on either an adverb or a verb (e.g., "We care about the little people, the BP chairman gushed"). Greg Arnold WOR CUL  1073   HTML   E 
June 29, 20141078 Hyphen the Terrible Combine one side of any hyphenated word or compound term with one side of another word to make a new hyphenated term, and define it humorously. Both halves must appear in the same issue of The Post or another print newspaper, or in writing published the same day on washingtonpost.com or another online publication.  HYP WAS  1074   HTML   E 
July 6, 20141079 Little piddle riddle Ask a question and answer it with a rhyme.  POE QUE  1075   HTML  E 
July 13, 20141080 McGonagall with the windiness Memorialize a modern "tragedy" in a poem burdened with hilariously overwrought verse; lame, forced rhymes; and painfully uneven meter. Get the badness across in one verse of no more than eight lines.  POE  1076   HTML  E 
July 20, 20141081 It's the stupidity, stupid Write us stupid questions that will make us laugh.  QUE  1077   HTML  E 
July 27, 20141082        
August 3, 20141083        
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August 24, 20141086        
August 31, 20141087        
September 7, 20141088        
September 14, 20141089        
September 21, 20141090        
September 28, 20141091        
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October 19, 20141094        
October 26, 20141095        
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