Once again, it’s our backward-crossword challenge: We give you the filled-in grid to an actual puzzle — this one, by Bob Klahn of the CrosSynergy syndicate, ran Aug. 12 on washingtonpost.com — and you come up with creative, funny clues for the words and multi-word terms in the grid. Yes, we noticed that there aren’t any numbers in the grid — that’s because you don’t need them, silly; just list each word along with your clue for it. The clues should be brief, but they need not be as short as for a real crossword. (By the way, this is an American crossword, not a British-style one in which the clue contains an anagram of the desired word.) Our usual limit of 25 entries per person remains in effect. See bit.ly/xwordclues1007 for a list of Bob’s original clues.
Winner gets the Inkin’ Memorial, the bobblehead that is the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a small jar — brought back from Istanbul by Loser Mike Gips — labeled “Aprodisaique for Man and Women” and adorned with a silhouette of a very small male person with an enormous — well, something that doesn’t need any aprodisaique. (If you are under 18 or have actual taste, I’ll send you another prize instead.)
Other runners-up win their choice of a yearned-for Loser Mug or the ardently desired Grossery Bag. Honorable mentions get a lusted-after Loser magnet. First Offenders receive a smelly, tree-shaped air “freshener” (FirStink for their first ink). E-mail entries to email@example.com or fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, Feb. 4; results published Feb. 24 (online Feb. 21). No more than 25 entries per entrant per week. Include “Week 1007” in your e-mail subject line or it might be ignored as spam. Include your real name, postal address and phone number with your entry. See contest rules and guidelines at wapo.st/inviterules. The subhead for this week’s honorable mentions is by Jonathan Hardis; the alternative headline in the “next week’s results” line is by Brad Alexander. Join the lively Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at on.fb.me/invdev.
in which we asked you to take a well-known ad slogan and repurpose it for another company or organization. Some funny ideas were sent by practically everyone: “What’s in your wallet?” for Trojan condoms and for the IRS; “the quicker picker-upper” for Red Bull, for Match.com and for Viagra (also for Viagra: “You can do it. We can help” and “We bring good things to life”); “the antidote for civilization” for the NRA; “Snap! Crackle! Pop!” for the American Chiropractic Association; “Home of the Whopper” for the U.S. Capitol and for Fox News; “When you care enough to send the very best” for Navy SEAL Team 6; “Think outside the bun” and “Don’t leave home without it” for Hanes underwear; and, of course, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste” for the Style Invitational. So many First Offenders this week we’ll just mark them with asterisks.
Find Your Own Road (Saab) for the D.C. snow removal office. (Brendan Beary, Great Mills, Md.)
2. Winner of the raving self-published book: It Keeps Going and Going and Going (Energizer batteries) for Viper Car Alarms (Neal Starkman, Seattle)
3. If Only Everything in Life Were as Reliable as a Volkswagen (VW) for Viagra (Dana Austin, Falls Church, Va.)
4. Blow Your Own Bubble (Bubble Yum) for Fannie Mae (Steve Heyman, Chicago*)
When It Absolutely, Positively Has to Be There Overnight (Federal Express) for Santa’s Workshop (Cheryl Davis, Arlington, Va.)
Take Aim Against Cavities (Aim toothpaste) for the TSA (Brendan Beary)
Cover the Earth (Sherwin-Williams) for BP (David Kleinbard, Jersey City)
Sooner or Later, You’ll Own Generals (General Tire) for Lockheed Martin (Dion Black, Washington; Joe Godles, Bethesda, Md.)
Born 1820, Still Going Strong (Johnnie Walker) for Hugh Hefner (Amanda Yanovitch, Midlothian, Va.)
We Never Forget Who We’re Working For (Lockheed Martin) for Grammarly proofreading software (Russell Beland, Fairfax)
Think Outside the Box (Apple) for Maryland Cremation Services (Mike Gips, Bethesda, Md.; Jerry Birchmore, Springfield, Va.)
Little Place, Big Taste (Checkers restaurants) for La Leche League (Roger Hammons, Ashburn, Va.)
That Frosty Mug Sensation (A&W root beer) for K2 Skis (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)
Fair and Balanced (Fox News) for the Swedish gymnastics team (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase, Md.)
Because That’s the Kind of Mom You Are (Rice Krispies) for Boone’s Farm (Jeff Brechlin, Eagan, Minn.)
Like a Rock (Chevy trucks) for Bisquick (Ed Rader, Alexandria, Va.*)
Have It Your Way (Burger King) for the National Association of Certified Professional Midwives (Susan Vavrick, Springfield, Va.)
Go to Work on an Egg (British Egg Marketing Board) for Viagra (Phyllis Reinhard, East Fallowfield, Pa.)
Handbuilt by Robots (Fiat) for the Romney campaign (Steve Heyman)
Curiously Strong (Altoids) for Lance Armstrong (Jeff Contompasis)
Don’t Get Mad. Get Glad (Glad trash bags) for Zoloft (Daniel Bender, Bethesda, Md.*; Trent Galbraith, Enfield, Nova Scotia*)
Behold the Power of Cheese (American Dairy Association) for Nikon (Daniel Bender)
Think Small (VW Beetle) for the Texas Office of the Governor (Kevin Dopart, Washington)
The Joy of COLA (Pepsi) for the Social Security Administration (Jonathan Hardis, Gaithersburg, Md.; Dudley Thompson, Cary, N.C.)
Get a Piece of the Rock (Prudential) for Costa Cruises (Dudley Thompson)
What’s the Worst That Can Happen? (Dr Pepper) for Microsoft (Andy Bassett, New Plymouth, New Zealand)
Engineered to Move the Human Spirit (Mercedes-Benz) for the Spanish Inquisition (Julius Sanks, Ashburn, Va.)
Help, I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Get Up (LifeCall) for the U.S. Congress (Linda Nemo, Germantown, Md.*)
I’d Walk a Mile for a Camel (Camel cigarettes) and We Do Chicken Right (KFC) for the Zoophile Interest Group (Neal Starkman; Dion Black)
Raise Your Hand if You’re Sure (Sure antiperspirant) for the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (Robert Schechter, Dix Hills, N.Y.)
A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Waste (United Negro College Fund) for the Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center (Christina Courtney, Gettysburg, Pa.)
Play. Laugh. Grow. (Fisher Price) for Viagra (Harry Gross, Centreville, Va.*; David Messing, Washington*)
Go. There’s Nothing Stopping You (AirTran) for Depends (Mary Binseel, Clarksville, Md.*)
. . . And You’re Done (Amazon. com) for National Funeral Directors (Jeff Hazle, Woodbridge; David Kleinbard; Kevin Dopart)
Still running — deadline Monday night — is our contest to come up with a funny superhero. See bit.ly/invite1006.
Visit the online discussion group The Style Conversational, in which the Empress discusses today’s new contest and results along with news about the Loser Community — and you can vote for your favorite among the inking entries, since you no doubt figured the Empress chose the wrong winner. If you’d like an e-mail notification each week when the Invitational and Conversational are posted online, write to the Empress at firstname.lastname@example.org (note that in the subject line) and she’ll add you to the mailing list. And on Facebook, join the far more lively group Style Invitational Devotees and chime in.
Next week’s results: Dead Letters, or Finishing Touchés, our Week 1004 contest for poems about people who died in 2012.