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Week 903: Combine congressmen's names in a 'bill'; and the backward crossword

Saturday, January 15, 2011;

Week 903: Bill us now

Dold-Boozman-Carney Act to regulate Tilt-a-Whirl operators

A congressional shake-up is swell news for the Invitational, since it means that we'll have plenty of freshmen's names to work with for our (usually) biennial "joint legislation" contest - beloved by many, behated by a few. This week: Combine the names of two or more new members of Congress as co-sponsors of a bill.

See a list of the more than 100 new members (with pronunciations) at washingtonpost.com/styleinvitational.

Winner gets the Inker, the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a set of fabulous 5-by-7 charcoal-and-pastel prints of the four "Golden Girls" actresses in a lovely zombie motif, complete with white eyes and bloody mouths, drawn by Los Angeles artist Chuck Hodi. Donated by Denise Sudell of Cheverly, who asks to be identified as "a Loser groupie."

Note: Starting with next week's Invite, we move back to Sundays after three-plus years on the Saturday shift. Find us on the back page of the new Sunday Style tabloid section, inside the Arts section, Jan. 23.

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, Jan. 24. Put "Week 903" 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 Feb. 13. No purchase required for entry. Employees of The Washington Post, or their immediate relatives, are not eligible for prizes. Pseudonymous entries will be disqualified. The revised title for next week's results was submitted by Roy Ashley. The honorable-mentions subhead is by Pam Sweeney.

Report from Week 899

in which we gave you a filled-in crossword grid and asked for creative clues. The Empress received thousands of entries for the 37 across-words and 37 downs; here are the best. Note that some of these clues require you to think flexibly; for example, the clue for TOO featuring Stedman has to be read as "To O." Bob Klahn, who constructed the crossword just for us, reviewed the entries below and thought the funniest was for OHOH, the cleverest for the MINIMALARIA combo.

THE WINNER OF THE INKER

21 Down, MINIMAL: With 2 Down (ARIA), disease transmitted by tseensy flies. (Kevin Dopart, Washington)

2 ABBA: Hebrew for father and Swedish for pop (Kathy Hardis Fraeman, Olney)

3 PAYSCALE: So-Pay-Me-I've-No-Lat-te-Dough (Barry Koch, Catlett, Va.)

4 LEPEW: Where to put your derriere on Sunday (Michael Baker, Elkridge)

Coming up Shortz: honorable mentions

HARDC: Last three syllables from Michelle Rhee's mouth on her way out the door (Paul Burnham, Gainesville)

ABBA: Blood type for Chang and Eng Bunker (Craig Dykstra, Centreville)

TRIAL: Heene balloon destination (Kevin Dopart)

TRIAL: For O.J., a Cochran-bull story (Barry Koch)

OWOE: What Elmer Fudd exclaimed when he saw the caviar (Bern Saxe, Springfield)

SLOB: Acronym for "several lunches on blouse" (Beverley Sharp, Washington)

PALERMO: Udall compared with Vaughn (Christopher Lamora, Guatemala City)

TEACAKE: Christine O'Donnell takes it (Tom Murphy, Bowie)

TEACAKE: The "Girls of the Glenn Beck Rally" calendar (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase)

SAIDSO: What the fifth Von Trapp kid did (Danny Bravman, Chicago)

TOKORI: Ancestral home of Lloyd, Beau and Jeff (John Shea, Philadelphia; Dixon Wragg, Santa Rosa, Calif.)

EMPRESS: Mars Co.'s candy-labeling machine (Kevin Dopart; Pie Snelson, Silver Spring; Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn)

TOO: A kvetch's favorite word (Lawrence McGuire, Waldorf)

TOO: Opening words of Stedman's love note (Chris Doyle, from a cruise ship off Cozumel, Mexico)

PAYSCALE: The wages of fin (Ann Martin, Bracknell, England)

WHOWON: A question Washington fans rarely have to ask (many entrants)

WHOWON: What happened at the U.N. intramural softball tournament (Gary Krist, Bethesda; Todd Carton, Wheaton)

ARSON: Our boy the pyromaniac (Lindsay McClelland, Fairfax, a First Offender)

ARSON: Directions for British toilet seat (Mark Barbour, Fairfax)

LEANTOS: Diet corn chips (Edward Gordon, Austin)

PLUG: Hair-brained idea (Kyle Hendrickson, Frederick)

PLUG: Gulp down the wrong way (Jeff Contompasis; Edmund Conti, Raleigh, N.C.)

PERON: Juan or another (Phyllis Reinhard, East Fallowfield, Pa.)

HIDE: Cab Calloway's favorite "working girl" (Nan Reiner, Alexandria)

ACID: What a casino worker wears in New Jersey (Dave Prevar, Annapolis)

ACID: El's more accomplished brother (Jeff Brechlin, Eagan, Minn.; Peter Boice, Rockville)

HORN: Naughty nurse (just about everyone sent this)

HTTP: Letters that launched a thousand leaks (Jeff Loren, Manassas)

TOETOTOE: Pre-electronic form of digital flirtation (Howard Walderman, Columbia)

TOETOTOE: You may have to go this way if you can't see eye to eye (Steve Hoglund, Washington, who last got ink in 1997)

ABSCOND: "Nice ____," said Hillary to her predecessor in the State Dept. gym (Nan Reiner)

ABSCOND: To steal because you're in a crunch (Christopher Lamora)

BROKE: Since the banks ain't this, we don't fix 'em (Kevin Dopart)

SURREAL: Artsy people's term for "What the hell?" (Jeff Contompasis)

LOLA: Highest grade awarded for a tweeted joke (Tom Murphy; Tom Panther, Springfield)

PLEASEDO: How Molly Malone's lover felt when she cried, "Cockles and muscles!" (Nan Reiner)

SAUDI: "Naw, tain't Volvo" (Craig Dykstra)

SAUDI: He's at the top of the OPECking order (Chris Doyle)

OHOH: What Santa says when he can't get back up the chimney (many entrants)

Next week: Dear us, or Letters entertain you

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