Style Invitational Week 1010: A good old caption contest, and the crossword clues


(Bob Staake for The Washington Post)
February 21, 2013

Every week in this space we feature a cartoon by Bob Staake, the Pen Who Will Not Be Stopped. But it’s been almost a year since we’ve done our perennial contest in which we ask Bob to draw several bizarre renderings and ask readers to write captions for them. This week: Write a caption for any of these five cartoons. When several people come up with the same humorous idea, it will be the funniest writer who wins.

Winner gets the Inkin’ Memorial, the Lincoln-statue bobblehead that is the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives this “What’s Your Poo Telling You?” daily calendar, with fascinating factoids on every page (Aug. 28: “Why Can’t You Smell Your Own Poo, but Others Can?”; Feb. 6: “The Menstool Cycle: When men who live together poo on the same cycle”). Donated by Brendan Beary, who already knows what he’s being told.

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 losers@washpost.com or fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, March 4; results published March 24 (online March 21). No more than 25 entries per entrant per week. Include “Week 1010” 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 was submitted by both Tom Witte and Kevin Dopart. Join the lively Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at on.fb.me/invdev.

Report from Week 1007

in which we presented the filled-in crossword grid shown on this page, and asked you to come up with creative, funny clues for any of the words: As always with the results of our Clue Us In contests, some of the clues require some mental flexibility to read; for example, the two clues for ARE below are “era” backward, and “a Re.” (The real clues for this crossword — by master constructor Bob Klahn — include many clever ones as well. See bit.ly/xwordclues1007 for the list.) As in past years, not all the words in the grid get ink below, and some are represented by more than one clue — it was about what was funny, not in getting a complete list. First Offenders are designated by asterisks.

The winner of the Inkin’ Memorial

RAH: The Egyptian god who demanded sacrifices of human pyramids (Barbara Turner, Takoma Park, Md.)


(Bob Klahn — CrosSynergy)

2 . Winner of the little jar of Turkish “Aprodisiaque”: BET: Bettor if you do; better if you don’t. (Edmund Conti, Raleigh, N.C.)

3 . HOMEMADE: Terrifying adjective with “fireworks” and “condoms.” (*Craig Whitaker, Rockville, Md.)

4 . GEEZERS: A good name for an ear-hair plucker (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase, Md.; Christopher Lamora, Guatemala City)

Cluesers: honorable mentions

AGELIMIT: Death (Barry Koch, Catlett, Va.; David Garratt, Silver City, N.M.)

ARE: Era of reflection (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)

ARE: Between a female deer and a name I call myself (Pie Snelson, Silver Spring, Md.)

ASSIST: What the proctologist’s nurse does (Danielle Nowlin, Woodbridge, Va.)

ASSIST: Saddle sore (Don Kirkpatrick, Waynesboro, Pa.)

AVON: Someone else you don’t want calling when your wife is home alone (Bill Smith, Reston, Va.)

AVON: An old Chevy shifted into R. (Dave Prevar, Annapolis; Konrad Schwoerke, Chapel Hill, N.C.)

BOA: Female Portuguese water dog (*Judy Livingston, Hopewell, N.J.)

BOA: Bank whose MO is the credit squeeze (Chris Doyle, Ponder, Tex.)

BOBBIN: ___ Laden, Osama’s reclusive Western cousin. (John Glenn, Tyler, Tex.)

BOBBIN: Hope chest (*Doug Hamilton, College Park, Md.)

BOBBIN: Gen. Lee’s casket (David Garratt)

BOBBIN: Ratman’s sidekick (Ann Martin, Bracknell, England)

CHILIPEPPER: If you can’t stand the heat, get it out of the kitchen (Chris Doyle)

DEFT: Hearing-impaired rapper (Gerald Diamond, London, Ontario)

DLO: Roy Wood’s fourth try at a hit band before succeeding (Lawrence McGuire, Waldorf, Md.)

DLO: Mr. Green who did the even more censored version of “[Forget] You” (Jonathan Hardis, Gaithersburg)

DRILLRIG: Stand-alone GOP energy platform (David Genser, Poway, Calif.)

EXPENSES: The most creative fiction being written today (Ward Kay, Vienna, Va.)

ELI : Boston area term meaning “second-rate” (Mark Raffman, Harvard Law, ’86)

ELI: Robert ___, general in the Chinese remake of “Gettysburg” (Doug Hamilton)

FRAT: Do these madras shorts make me look ___? (Roger Hammons, Ashburn, Va.)

FRAT: Where a high GPA is secondary to a high BAC (Rob Huffman, Fredericksburg, Va.)

GAEL: Irish blowhard (Tom Murphy, Bowie, Md.)

GEEZERS: Teenagers’ parents (*Eileen Brandy, Silver Spring, Md.)

HARRIDANS: Where the “Real Housewives” shop on trips to London (Dixon Wragg, Santa Rosa, Calif.)

INS: You need these to get a green card from them (Mike Gips, Bethesda, Md.)

LENT: Mr. T’s abstemious brother (Roy Ashley, Washington)

LOGON: Basic fire-building instruction (Phyllis Reinhard, East Fallowfield, Pa.)

LOGON: John Holmes’s expression for “I’m ready to work” (*Glenn Estridge, Clarksville, Md.)

MITE: A little mixed-up item (Jeff Contompasis)

MITE: Small branch of N. England geek school (Glenn Estridge)

NEON: Gas you pass in Vegas (Chris Doyle, Ponder, Tex.)

NEON: Item now on ’Skins medical evaluation checklist (Jim Reagan, Herndon, Va.)

ODDS: They bring out the bets in us (Chris Doyle)

OFFPEAK: Metro-speak for “never” (Steve Offutt, Arlington, Va.)

OFFPEAK: Euphemistic tweet about Everest mishap (Howard Walderman, Columbia, Md.)

OTELLO: Wow, contact Winfrey immediately! (Nan Reiner, Alexandria, Va.)

POTEEN: Super-size sub sandwich in N. Orleans (Christopher Lamora,; Roy Ashley)

PURPLEPROSE: What yellow journalism is often written in (Skip Livingston, Hopewell, N.J.)

REASONER: Elected successor to the Decider (*Eric Marx, Chevy Chase, Md.)

REED: What Bambi sees in the reflecting pond (Danielle Nowlin)

REED: A straw in the wind (Chris Doyle)

RESTEDON: Prehistoric ancestor of the house cat (Ben Aronin, Arlington, Va.)

REVSUP: Congregation’s asleep, but ____ (Ken Gallant, Conway, Ark.)

ROTO: Texting acronym for “ream out the office.” “The boss was ROTO’ing all morning.” (Chris Doyle) SAVIOR: Anyone within shouting distance when you need toilet paper (William Stutzman, Millersburg, Ohio)

SERPENT: “Repents” in a sneaky way (Edmund Conti)

SHATNER: Aged Canadian ham (*Ann Bietsch, Shippensburg, Pa.)

SLEUTH: Stalker’s preferred term (Trevor Kerr, Chesapeake, Va.; Roger Dalrymple, Gettysburg, Pa.)

SPEECHES: Ambien competitor (David Garratt)

STEPLIVELY: Instruction never called out by the director of a zombie movie (Paul Burnham, Gainesville, Va.)

TEE: With “hee,” common interjection when Sen. Rand Paul says, “If I were president ...” (David Genser)

TYPEC: How to make hubby chubby (*Alex Jeffrey, Columbia, Md.)

PEG + TOES: A pirate’s minor handicap (Mark Raffman)

STEPLIVELY + GEEZERS: Comment heard during Zumba time at the Tough Love Senior Center (Larry Gray)

Next week: Our 20-year retrospective!

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 losers@washpost.com (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.

Still running — deadline Monday night — is our contest to write something about a person using only the letters in his name. See bit.ly/invite1009 .

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