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Style Invitational Week 872: Make a word out of a name; and geeky musings


(Bob Staake for The Washington Post)

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Saturday, June 5, 2010

Agrab: Scramble to answer the phone (Alexander Graham Bell).

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Geke: Someone who prances around downtown screaming during rainstorms (Gene Kelly).

The District's own Kevin Dopart, whose perfect combination of impressive smarts, obsessive persistence and massive geekiness (see this week's results) have helped him become the top-Losing Loser in each of the past four years, suggests another neologism contest based on people's names: Combine the first parts of each word in a famous person's or character's name -- in order -- and define it or use it in a sentence that somehow refers to its source, as in Kevin's own examples above. You must use at least the first letter in each word in the name.

Winner gets the Inker, the official Style Invitational trophy. And for the lucky person who'd never be seen in a Loser T-shirt, second place wins this stylish drop-waist dress designed and created from two T-shirts from early in the Empress's reign (hence the slogan "Under New Mismanagement") by 60-time Loser Barbara Turner of Takoma Park, who models it here.

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 Loser Magnets. First Offenders get a smelly, tree-shaped air "freshener" (Fir Stink for their First Ink). 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, June 14. Put "Week 872" 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 to be published July 3. 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 Kevin Dopart; this week's honorable-mentions subhead is by Craig Dykstra.

Report from Week 868

in which we asked rather unspecifically for nerdy, quantitatively leaning musings:

The winner of the Inker

"Why isn't Santa's workshop always portrayed in darkness in the days before Christmas? Um, winter? High northern latitude? Any of this sinking in?" (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn)

2. the winner of the lame-wordplay book "Pun Enchanted Evenings":

Oh sure, you've got Hitler and Stalin, but when it comes to real extermination, only Cain killed a fourth of the world's total population. (Russell Beland, Fairfax)

3. They say that the U.S. president is the most influential person in the world. But based on percentage of annual income, Barack Obama's 2 cents' worth is only 1/30 of a cent compared with your average pole dancer's. (Lois Douthitt, Arlington)

Geek tragedy: Honorable mentions

It's ironic that the lead in "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" was played by Zero Mostel, since the Romans had no numeral to represent zero.

(Craig Dykstra, Centreville)


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