The Style Invitational
Week 568: Tome Deftness
Sunday, July 25, 2004; Page D02
What happened when your mom found out what you were looking at online?
The last time I saw Paris.
So what was the highlight of your South Pacific vacation?
What do you call it when you don't appreciate the value of money?
This week's contest, suggested by nonstop contest-suggester Peter Metrinko of Plymouth, Minn.: Make a pun or similar wordplay on a book title, as in the examples above. Groaners are fine, as in the examples above. First-place winner receives the Inker, the official Style Invitational Trophy. First runner-up wins a pair of shot glasses from the Hard Rock Cafe of Singapore.
Other runners-up win the coveted Style Invitational Loser T-shirt. Honorable mentions get one of the lusted-after Style Invitational Magnets. One prize per entrant per week.
Send your entries via fax to 202-334-4312 or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline is Monday, Aug. 2. Put the week number in the subject line of your e-mail, or it risks being ignored as spam. Include your name, postal address and phone number with your entry. Contests are judged on the basis of humor and originality. All entries become the property of The Washington Post. Entries may be edited for taste or content. Results will be published Aug. 22. No purchase required for entry. Employees of The Washington Post, and their immediate relatives, are not eligible for prizes. Pseudonymous entries will be disqualified. The revised title for next week's contest is by Seth Brown of North Adams, Mass.
Report from Week 564, in which we asked you to give new definitions for existing words. But first, some momentous news: With his blots of ink this week, Chris Doyle of Forsyth, Mo., passes into the Style Invitational Hall of Fame with his 500th printed entry, joining the rarefied circle of Chuck Smith, Jennifer Hart, Russell Beland and Tom Witte. And he has done it astonishingly quickly: Except for a single appearance in 1994, Chris -- who recently retired as the chief actuary for the Defense Department -- has been entering the Invitational for just over five years, in which time he's had 20 wins and 80 runners-up. Even you can do the math.
Back to Week 564: There's a trick to reading some of these entries: You have to pronounce the words differently. For example, the first Honorable Mention below is pronounced as a one-syllable word. Get it? Good. No? Aw, c'mon, look at it again.
Third Runner-Up: Apiary:An apartment shared by three bachelors.
(Jon Reiser, Hilton, N.Y.)
Second Runner-Up: Registry: To give your final answer. (Ry Schwark, West Linn, Ore.)
First Runner-Up, winner of the "Mona Lisa" paint-by-numbers set: Juggernaut: A flat-chested woman. (Maja Keech, New Carrollton)
And the winner of the Inker: Gypsum: The primary ingredient in car undercoating. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)
A Dictionary of Honorable Mentions:
Abed: Defeated in a debate. (Tom Witte, Montgomery Village)
Alleviate: When you realize there isn't a word for it on the tip of your tongue, you invent a neologism. (Phil Frankenfeld, Washington)
Asinine: Seven of Nine's ex-husband. (Stephen Dudzik, Olney)
Asinine: An almost perfect derriere. (Robin D. Grove, Chevy Chase)
Aspic: Vote. (Ned Bent, Oak Hill)
Bedpan: To have an affair with a man who never grew up. (Chris Doyle, Forsyth, Mo.)
Bordello: A lackadaisical greeting by service industry workers. (Brendan Beary, Great Mills)
Bouffant: The typeface used for subtitles in foreign horror films. (Dan Blitz, Gaithersburg)
Butter: More callipygian. (Tom Witte)
Castigate: The bass-fishing tournament scandal. (Richard Lempert, Arlington)
Cowl: What a 3-year-old sings at Christmas. (Dan Blitz)
Crocodiles: Calls from telemarketers. (Andrea Kelly, Brookeville)
Curvaceous: Built to bring the dog out in a man. (Tom Witte)
Define: To lose one's looks. (Tom Witte)
Destroy: De tale of a dyslexic. (Russell Beland, Springfield)
Diadem: To remain a staunch liberal all your life. (Tom Witte)
Downplay: To pillow-fight. (Kyle Hendrickson, Dunkirk)
Dubious: A cigarette that looks suspiciously like a joint. (Chris Doyle)
Effusive: Given to torrents of vulgarity. (Seth Brown, North Adams, Mass.)
Empress: Use a phony title to increase one's self-esteem. (Stephen Litterst, Ithaca, N.Y.)
Encounter: The guy at the FCC whose job is to tally racial slurs made by shock jocks. (Tom Witte)
Epoxy: Infected with a computer virus. (Greg Arnold, Herndon)
Erosion: An atomic particle that charges sexual desire. (Dave Prevar, Annapolis)
Exit: The person who's just tagged someone. (Russell Beland)
Filibuster: A breast-implant surgeon. (T.L. Vernon, Verona, Va.)
Flaccid: A Spaniard who walks with a limp. (Stephen Dudzik)
Flatulent: A rental property. (Tom Witte)
Fly-casting: Throwing out allure by ogling a man's rod and reel. (Chris Doyle)
Forlorn: The feeling when you realize that "Saturday Night Live" isn't very funny anymore. (Bill Spencer, Exeter, N.H.)
Frijoles: A church without a collection plate. (Russell Beland)
Fuchsia: Flowery language used on the Senate floor. (John O'Byrne, Dublin)
Gambling: An ankle bracelet. (Jerry Pannullo, Kensington)
Gauche: What librarians do. (Sara St. Thomas, Winchester, Va.)
Hardscrabble: The all-consonant version. (Chuck Smith)
Homogeneous: Oscar Wilde. (Chuck Smith)
Hundred: Fear of Baltimore waitresses. (Pam Sweeney, Germantown)
Incandescent: Going over the falls in a barrel. (Steve Fahey, Kensington)
Infantry: Boys being boys. (Tom Witte)
Infest: A West Virginia wedding reception. (Ned Bent)
Lumbago: An RV made of wood. (Russell Beland)
Macadam: The prototype Apple computer. (Tom Witte)
Meander: A lovers' stroll. (Seth Brown)
Paparazzo: What Dustin Hoffman called his dad in "Midnight Cowboy." (G. Smith, Reston)
Parasites: What one sees from the Eiffel Tower. (Peter Levitan, Sherman Oaks, Calif.)
Pastoral: When you know what your spouse wants without her asking. (Stan Kegel, Orange, Calif.)
Petard: Something that slows the progress of animal rights. (Russell Beland)
Podiatry: Inadequate nutrition. (Dave Prevar)
Predicament: That embarrassing wait for the Viagra to kick in. (Milo Sauer, Fairfax)
Prescient: A gift from a drunk. (William R. Zamojcin, Vernon, Conn.)
Prestidigitator: Someone with a painfully strong handshake. (Thomas B. Jabine, Washington)
Pshaw: A terse pan of "Pygmalion." (Bill Spencer)
Rampage: Parchment. (Tom Witte)
Relay: Something you and your spouse did every night of your honeymoon, but not on your fifth anniversary. (Thad Humphries, Warrenton)
Rubberneckers: A couple practicing very safe sex. (Ross Elliffe, Picton, New Zealand)
Serendipity: An extremely toxic chemical hair-straightening agent. (Bruce W. Alter, Fairfax Station)
Shiva: A cutting remark that you grieve for a week over having said. (Paul Kocak, Syracuse, N.Y.)
Soda: Totally obvious to a teenager. (Mark Young, Washington)
Thorny: What Sylvester suffered after ACL surgery. (Dave Komornik, Danville, Va.)
Undine: Puke. (Russell Beland)
Wrap: A song about safe sex. (Tom Witte)
Next Week: Anthem Is as Anthem Does, or No Way, 'O Say'
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