Subtoil: Busywork that schoolkids have to do when their teacher’s out sick.
Subtoil: Busywork that schoolkids have to do when their teacher’s out sick.
Biolust: An unhealthy passion for microbes.
Slutbio: That clearly fabricated list of naughty interests and turn-ons next to the centerfold.
One of the most obsessive Losers of recent Invitational vintage is Jeff Contompasis, who lives in the outer suburbs and spends a lot of time on public transportation. And for the few moments he’s not working on Invite entries, he likes to play the syndicated ScrabbleGrams game that appears daily in The Post’s comics pages. Each ScrabbleGrams puzzle contains four sets of seven letters, and the object of the game is to form the highest-scoring (in Scrabble value) word for each set.
Jeff’s a regular in the Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook, in which the Devotees greet each new member with as many outrageous anagrams of the newbie’s name as they can muster. And he’s so facile at rearranging letters that in ScrabbleGrams, he often comes up with nifty alternatives to the actual six- or seven-letter words intended, as in his solutions for the seven letters above (actual word in mind: “sublot”).
For quite a while, Jeff’s been imploring the Empress to do a ScrabbleGram neologism contest, going so far as to buy a book with hundreds of letter sets. So we’ll give it a try — using some of the combinations from “The Big Book of ScrabbleGrams” as well as old Post puzzles — because we are so fond of Jeff’s Invite-geekitude: This week: Come up with a term by scrambling any of the letter sets in the list at the bottom of this column, and define it, as in the examples above. Unlike with most of our neologism contests, the word doesn’t have to be a brand-new term; you may also find an existing word and supply a novel, humorous definition for it. There’s no minimum word length, and we’re not playing for Scrabble points; the letters won’t have any point values. As usual, we’re looking for funny. As usual, don’t send more than 25 entries this week. If you don’t include the letter set with your entry, in the letter order we supply here, we won’t look at it.
Winner gets the Inkin’ Memorial, the Lincoln-statue bobblehead that is the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives the decidedly odd little photo book “Off the Wall: Fashion From East Germany, 1964-1980.” You’ll be treated to women posing in red palazzo pants in Red Square, as well as leisure suits that are the fashion equivalent of the Trabant putt-putt cars featured in the last spread. Donated by Loser Pie Snelson.
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, May 20; results published June 9 (online June 6). No more than 25 entries per entrant per week. Include “Week 1021” 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 Brendan Beary; the alternative headline in the “Next week’s results” line is by Beverley Sharp. Join the lively Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at on.fb.me/invdev.
Still running — deadline Monday night — is our “grandfoals” contest. See bit.ly/invitewk1020.
Report from Week 1017
in which we asked for “univocalic” headlines — either for real events or made-up ones — that included only one of the vowels A, E, I, O or U. (Just to ensure enough good stuff, we allowed the headlines to also include Y.)
The winner of the Inkin’ Memorial
Dimwit: ‘I’ll Hit Mississippi’s Hill Bigwig With Ricin, Inflicting Ill!’ FBI: WHICH Dimwit? (Nan Reiner, Alexandria)
2. Winner of the Basket Head basketball-hoop-on-head game: Self-Centered, Feckless Celeb Reese Regresses, Repents, Ends Demented Beer Benders (She’d Better — Sheesh! The Nerve!) (Dixon Wragg, Santa Rosa, Calif.)
3. Ex-Veep Cheney Gets Wet, Melts (Mark Hagenau, Derry, N.H.)
4. Doctors Botch Colonoscopy, Now Look for Lost Blowtorch (Frank Osen, Pasadena, Calif.)
Good tho not, y’know, wow: Honorable mentions
Barack’s Lass Sasha Rants, “Arrgh! Can’t Stand Dad’s ‘Dad Pants’!” (Dan O’Day, Alexandria)
Mass. SWAT Nabs Track-Day A-Hat at Small Yacht (Kevin d’Eustachio, Beltsville, whose name includes all five vowels)
1865: Mary L. Says Play ‘Wasn’t That Bad’ (Mark Raffman, R’st’n)
‘Dang!’ Drawls Alabama Gal as Crawdad Grabs Grandma (Laurie Morrison, Rockville, a First Offender)
Mitt, Big Bird Kiss, Fix Rift (Brendan Beary, Great Mills)
‘DWTS’ Scandal! Chaz, Marc Bachmann Samba at Gay Bash, Swap Bras! (Al Salas, Washington, a First Offender)
Miss Piggy Hits Skids, Living in Sty (Frank Osen)
N. Kor. Loco Moron Moons World (Hugh Pullen, Vienna)
NRA Stand — Arm All: Crank, Madman, Adam Lanza — Charms Satan (William J. Collinge, Gettysburg, Pa.)
‘A Lass, Alas:’ A Trans’s Dad’s Rants Gall Lambda (Melissa Balmain, Rochester, N.Y.)
Tom vows to hold Joy? OK.
John to hold Bob?
DC: OK. OK: Not OK. (Noah Meyerson, Washington)
Rand: Barack’s ‘Tax-Happy’! Barack: Rand’s ‘Bananas,’ ‘Dad’s Pawn’ (Michael Simon, Potomac)
Hong Kong Chow Chow: Dog Food or Food-Dog? (Doug Hamilton, College Park)
Ellen DeGeneres Weds Derek Jeter: “WTF?” Tweets Peeved Ex-GF Heche (Richard Liebmann-Smith, New York)
N.Y.C. Bigwig: Nixing Big Drinks Will Shrink Blimps (Mark Raffman)
TP Boycott Boosts Worth of Post’s Stock (Kevin Dopart, Washington)
BFF Tells Celeb’s Secret: ‘Helen Keller Peeked!’ (Konrad Schwoerke, Chapel Hill, N.C.)
Wiz Win Big!!! (Kidding.) (Steve Goldsmith, Springfield)
Boston horror. CNN scoop!? Oh. Wrong. Oops. (Nan Reiner)
Drunk Pulls Dumb Stunt — Puts Gun Up Butt, Hurls Slugs (Liza Recto, Lexington Park, Md.)
Karl Marx Had Vast Cayman Bank Stash! (Brendan Beary)
Ellen DeGeneres Tells GQ: Her Gender Preference? Spermless -- ‘The Fewer Testes the Better’ (Jeff Shirley, Richmond)
Ayn Rand Fans Aghast, Call Hallmark’s ‘Atlas’ ‘Schmaltzy Crap’; A. Hathaway Cast as “Sassy Lass” Dagny Taggart (Denise Sudell, Cheverly)
DA Says Baby Was ‘Flagrantly Fragrant’ (Lee Ballard, Mars Hill, N.C.)
“We Deserve the Dweeb -- Reelect Me,” Ex-Rep. Tweeter Tweets (Ellen Ryan, Rockville)
Bad Xmas! Santa’s Anagram, Satan, Nabs All Bags (Ann Martin, Bracknell, England)
Man’s Hand Awkwardly Grabs Lady Gaga’s Sham Mammary at Grammy Awards Bacchanal (Robert Schechter, Dix Hills, N.Y.)
Mitt’s Witticism: ‘I Win, Since I’m Still Rich’ (Robert Schechter)
Empress ‘Expected Better Jests,’ Gets ‘Senseless Excrement’ (Robert Schechter)
Jester Schechter: When He Enters, the Rest Get Less Press (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase)
Week Ten-Seventeen: Mr. Glenn Enters, Excels, Empress Decrees; The Rest? Sheer Dreck. (John Glenn, Tyler, Tex.)
Dimwit’s Winning Trick Is Fitting This Big Thing in SI’s Hit List (Trent Galbraith, Enfield, Nova Scotia)
LOSYRS X-PLOYT ‘Y’ ROOLYNG & OTHYR CH€P TRYCKS TO WYN (Elden Carnahan, Laurel)
See the Empress’s online column The Style Conversational (posted late Thursday afternoon), in which she 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: Reologisms, or Warmed Oeuvre, our Week 1018 contest to write a funny definition for any of 41 Loser-penned neologisms.
What can you make out of these? The ScrabbleGram sets for Week 1021