Week 753: Hot Off The Riddle

(Bob Staake for The Washington Post)
Saturday, February 16, 2008

What do you get when you cross an automobile with a household animal?

Wholesome answer: A carpet!

Style Invitational answer: In Kentucky, dinner.

We like to reach a broad readership here at The Washington Post: the Neiman Marcus habitue and the Wal-Mart bargain hunter, the sports fan and the arts aficionado, the wholesome sane person and the depraved cynical reprobate. In this spirit we offer this week's contest, suggest by Wholesome Sane Loser Peter Metrinko of Chantilly, the same Mr. Metrinko who posed for this publication with his face sticking out of his underpants. This week: Supply a simple riddle and both the wholesome answer and the (printable) Invitational answer. The wholesome riddles don't have to be original (you can find many online; Googling "riddles for kids" yields plenty), but the Invitational answers must be.

Winner gets the Inker, the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives, just in time to be late for Saint Patrick's Day, two fine prizes: brought back from Ireland by Beverley Sharp, a cute little ceramic ashtray in the shape of a toilet, decorated with shamrocks and the words "Rest your ash"; and brought back from Ireland by Wilson Varga of Alexandria, who happened to visit Loser 4 Ever John O'Byrne in Dublin, a shamrock-theme yo-yo. (John, by the way, reports that he plans to cross the pond in May simply to attend the Losers' annual award banquet, the Flushies. Talk about your shamrock-theme yo-yos.)

Other runners-up win their choice of a coveted Style Invitational Loser T-shirt or yearned-for Loser Mug. Honorable Mentions get one of the lusted-after Style Invitational Magnets. One prize per entrant per week. Send your entries by e-mail to losers@washpost.com or by fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, Feb. 25. Put "Week 753" 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 March 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 results is by Dave Prevar; this week's Honorable Mentions name is by Dave Zarrow.

Report From Week 749

in which we asked you to come up with entirely new meanings for existing words beginning with A- through H-, so that "Opus" cartoonist Berkeley Breathed wouldn't have to use our old ones anymore:

The Empress received untold zillions of entries for this contest -- so many that she's spreading the results over this week and next, with two sets of prizes. Kevin Dopart of Washington alone sent 288 entries. So when you see his name over and over below, just remember that the vast majority of Kevin's entries were blithely tossed into the trash, just as yours were.

Some of the results play a little hard to get, as it were: You have to pronounce the vowels in the word differently or break the syllables differently, or both. For example, "Headdress: Mister," by (who else) Kevin Dopart, is supposed to be read "he-address." Entries firmly of this type are italicized.

We also received some very clever descriptions of the words' actual meanings. Among the best of these was "Head cold: Rheum at the Top," by Chris Doyle. We'll do that contest again sometime, too.

4. Book: Ms. Derek, now that she's no longer a 10. (Alistair Beck, North Saanich, B.C., a First Offender)

3. Conning tower: A Madison Avenue skyscraper. (Mel Loftus, Holmen, Wis.)

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