Employer + appetizing = Emp-app: A combination rhyming dictionary, anagram generator and list of last year’s celebrity deaths.
Though it contains far more words than any other language, English always has room for more of them — as made abundantly clear in dozens of Invitational contests over the years. So it’s neologism time: This week: Combine the beginning and end, or the beginnings or ends, of any two words in a single Washington Post story or ad published March 21 to April 1 into a new word or two-word phrase, and define the result, as in the examples above from today’s Invite. The two elements don’t have to be full syllables, but they must each have at least two letters and one element can’t be a whole word (unless it’s part of a larger word that you found). You may add hyphens or change capitalization as you wish. You may use the beginning of a word as the end of your neologism, and vice versa. Please include the two words you’ve used, and preferably the page number from the print Post, or a link to an online article.
Winner gets the Inkin’ Memorial, the Lincoln-statue bobblehead that is the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a double prize: both a container of Anal Traveler hand sanitizer, donated by Phil Frankenfeld, and — because you really cannot be too careful these days — a bottle of Maybe You Touched Your Genitals hand sanitizer, donated by Nan Reiner. These would prove especially useful at the Flushies, the Style Invitational Losers’ annual awards dinner, on May 11.
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
or fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, April 1; results published April 21 (online April 18). No more than 25 entries per entrant per week. Include “Week 1014” 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 Chris Doyle; the alternative headline for the “next week’s results” line is by Tom Witte. Join the lively Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at
Report from Week 1010
in which we asked for captions for any of these products of Bob Staake’s clinically creative mind: After judging the estimated 1,300 entries, the Empress was jazzed to discover, after 1,010 Style Invitational contests, that two of the top four were from First Offenders, and the third-place guy got one blot of ink five years ago.
The winner of the Inkin’ Memorial
“Put dressing aside. Test turkey with fork. When done, set on table.” (John Glenn, Tyler, Tex.)
2. Winner of the “What’s Your Poo Telling You?” daily calendar:
Oscar Pistorius was never recognized when he wore his Mickey Mouse suit in public. (Karen Beck, Annapolis, Md., a First Offender)
The Koch brothers’ manservant begins his quest for the next Mitt Romney. (Michael Gaffney, Bethesda, Md.)
Every year in late February, the nation’s professional puppeteers travel to Florida for string training. (Lyle Brenneman, Washington, a First Offender)
Out of the picture: Honorable mentions
Akbar regretted having wished for the genie to make him “younger and taller.” (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)
How to put on a hat when your arms don’t reach the top of your head. (Tom Witte, Montgomery Village, Md.)
Standing alone atop the high ladder, little Pollyanna remained unfezzed. (Barry Koch, Catlett, Va.)
The youngest Wallenda decided his path to stardom with the Shrine Circus would be different from the rest of the family’s. (Paul Burnham, Gainesville, Va.)
Greg Louganis found out early what a “fez-plant” was. (Elden Carnahan, Laurel, Md.)
Baby loses his first tooth. Well, teeth. (Rob Huffman, Fredericksburg, Va.)
Jim Henson’s first attempt, Kermit the Fog, was not a big success. (Andrew Hoenig, Rockville, Md.)
Maurice finally pulled it off — strings with no deal attached! (Doug Hamilton, College Park, Md.)
The Downton Abbey staff was perplexed as to how this new dish — “spaghetti” — should be served. (Mark Raffman)
When the NFL thing didn’t work out, Manti Te’o tried his hand at puppetry. (Rob Wolf, Gaithersburg, Md.)
Jeeves is not quite sure how to clean his employer’s tapeworm collection. (David Garratt, Silver City, N.M.)
Frank Deford personally delivers this year’s swimsuits to the Sports Illustrated models. (Kevin Dopart, Washington)
Geppetto was beginning to regret giving Pinocchio those scissors for his birthday. (Art Grinath, Takoma Park, Md.)
Bill came to Gina’s for the turkey and stayed for the stuffing. (Danielle Nowlin, Woodbridge, Va.)
Both will make you feel tired afterward. (Martin Angebranndt, Arlington, Va, a First Offender)
Lady Godiva eventually got her revenge on Peeping Tom. (Danielle Nowlin)
There are some things that many guys find equally appetizing. (Howard Walderman, Columbia, Md.)
“I’d like some breast, please.” (Nan Reiner, Alexandria, Va.)
The new waitress misinterpreted what it meant to “wait on tables” at Hooters. (Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)
How blind dates often see one another. (David Garratt)
For Cartoons 3 and 4 together:
The dreams of a husband and wife, sleeping right next to each other, can be very different indeed. (Mark Raffman)
The old woman who lived in a shoe wasn’t about to let the Jolly Green Giant’s gallbladder go to waste, not with mouths to feed. (Stephen Dudzik, Olney, Md.)
Miss Borden was called to the morgue to identify the body. (Ward Kay, Vienna, Md.)
After her ninth child, Irma decides to get rid of the waterbed. (Jeff Shirley, Richmond, Va.)
Mary had to fight to keep her extra-spicy sausage down. (Jerry Birchmore, Springfield, Va.)
Lorena Bobbitt should never have married the Hulk. (Blair Thurman, Virginia Beach)
After a full day attending a bris with one side of the family and a St. Patrick’s Day bar crawl with the other, Esther experienced some peculiar dreams. (Danielle Nowlin)
Unfortunately, the Michael Jackson impersonator for tonight’s show wore the wrong nose. (Kevin Dopart)
Mickey didn’t mind having left his other glove in the club, but he thought he really ought to go back for the hand and the arm. (Mark Raffman)
During Prohibition, you could be less discreet at the Squeakeasy. (Dave Prevar, Annapolis, Md.; Rob Huffman)
An 85-year-old movie star can still turn heads. (Marie Baumann, Arlington, Va.)
It was a better mousetrap, but the $10,000 price tag limited the path-beaters. (Barry Koch)
The nightclub owner was surprised when his trusted bodyguard slipped him a Mickey. (Jim Reagan, Herndon, Va.)
Still running — deadline Monday night — is our contest for puns on names. See bit.ly/invite1013.
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 email@example.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.
Next week: Score 1 for the Style Invitational, or XX Humor, our contest celebrating the Invite’s 20th-anniversary retrospective by inviting you to enter any of the past contests mentioned that week.