An Invite perennial in its umpety-umpth incarnation, Ask Backwards is a contest in which we give you the “answers” and you supply jokes in the form of a question. We’ve usually compared this contest to “Jeopardy!,” but it’s really like Johnny Carson’s giant-hatted Carnac the Magnificent (A. “The La Brea Tar Pits”; Q. What do you have left after eating the La Brea Tar Peaches?”), which itself was preceded by Steve Allen’s Question Man (“A. Chicken Teriyaki. Q. Who was the last surviving member of the Japanese air force?”).
Anyway, here are 12 “answers,” several of which were supplied this week by Weingarten the Magnificent, a shambling but kindly-looking man we found on the sidewalk near Washington’s Eastern Market.
• Wikipedia Jones
• The thing that goes “Woo”
• A hug from Chris Christie
• A legitimate belch
• Sanskrit, Aramaic and Pig Latin
• The Marine Corps Marathon
• The Apple Core Marathon
• Gangnam Style section
• Pork belly with two sides
• Google Mirth
• A mink baculum
• The La Brea Tar Pits
The Style Invitational
The Style Invitational is The Post’s weekly humor/wordplay contest, serving up since 1993 an irreverent mix of highbrow and lowbrow -- haughty and potty -- in genres ranging from neologisms to cartoon captions to elaborate song parodies. A new contest appears at washingtonpost.com/styleinvitational every Friday.
Winner gets the Inkin’ Memorial, the bobblehead that is the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place is a genuine mink! Well, a genuine mink baculum. A baculum is a penis bone. This one is about the size of a sewing needle, with a little hook on the end. Donated by deservedly retired biology teacher Mike Creveling.
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, possibly the new model whose slogan will be determined in last week’s contest, Week 994. 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, Nov. 12; results published Dec. 1 (online Nov. 29). No more than 25 entries per entrant per week. Include “Week 995” 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 Kevin Dopart; 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 991
in which we asked you to coin a new term incorporating the letters V, O, T and E, in any order but with no other letters between them:
The winner of the Inkin’ Memorial
Tevow: An electronic device that suppresses displays of religious fervor that occur during secular events. “I tevowed the Country Music Awards and watched the whole thing in 12 minutes.” (Laurie Tompkins, Rockville, Md.)
Winner of the 1946-vintage Army surplus athletic supporter:
(noun): A polite refusal of an invitation. “I have yoga class on Tuesday nights, so I gave the White House a lovetobut on the state dinner.” (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase, Md.)
(noun): A piece of really bad advice. “Obama’s advisers sure gave him an Eve-to-Adam when they told him to ‘stay calm’ during the first debate.” (Mae Scanlan, Washington)