The Style Invitational, Week 837: Mash Up Two Comic Strips; and the Results of Our Top Word Contest

(Bob Staake for The Washington Post)
Saturday, October 3, 2009

It's not a good time to get into the comic strip business: Despite the ever-growing need for humor in our lives, newspapers have been cutting way back on the number and size of the funnies they run. Here's a way to free up some space, suggested some time ago by Stephen Dudzik of Olney and just the other day by Michael Kilby of Wildau, Germany: Combine two comic strips that appear in The Washington Post or at and describe the result, as in the example above. You don't have to have a "mash title," as this one does; you can instead explain what happens when one or more characters of one strip join those in the other.

Winner gets the Inker, the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place gets a cool old-fashioned flip book showing, when you flip from the front and from the back, Mickey Mantle batting left and batting right. Donated by Andrew Hoenig.

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 or by fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, Oct. 12. Put "Week 837" 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 Oct. 31. 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 Tom Witte; this week's honorable-mentions name is by Beverley Sharp.

Report From Week 833

Our perennial contest in which we asked you to take a real word, name or multi-word term -- this time beginning with M, N, O or P -- and add or subtract one letter, substitute one letter or transpose two adjacent letters, and describe the result: Once again, lots of wickedly clever neologisms among the 2,500 entries -- but no one played on "neologism."

Incredible Milestone Alert: With last week's results, Kevin Dopart of Washington bounded across the 500-ink line as the seventh and by far the speediest member of the Style Invitational Hall of Fame: Kevin began entering the Invite only four years ago. His E-Z key to success? Just enter every single contest for 200-plus weeks, with a ton of entries every week -- including 163 (!) for the contest below -- most of them strikingly clever and funny.

The Winner of the Inker

Mulatte: Rejected name for Starbucks' new half-coffee/half-milk drink. (Pam Sweeney, St. Paul, Minn.)

2. the winner of the cans of genuine imported haggis and corn smut: Sparadigm: A model panhandler. (Kevin Dopart, Washington)

3. Cold Faithful: Spouse who won't sleep with you anymore, but at least isn't sleeping with anyone else, either. (Christopher Lamora, Arlington)

4. Parismonious: Describing the portions of food served at a French restaurant. (Judy Blanchard, Novi, Mich.)

A Change for the Worse: Honorable Mentions

Pathletic: Hopelessly uncoordinated. (Tom Witte, Montgomery Village)

Bordures : A store that specializes in bathroom reading material. (Paul Kocak, Syracuse, N.Y.)

Nowscaster: A Twitterer. (Craig Dykstra, Centreville)

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