Style Invitational Week 873: Fill in a crossword, plus readers' punnish clues

Saturday, June 12, 2010

45 Down: POSTA: A newspaper that's sometimes saucy, sometimes cheesy, but almost always filling, especially for the price.

Four weeks ago we presented you with a completed grid of a crossword and asked you to come up with novel clues for its words, many of which appear in today's results. While devoting his typical absurd amount of time on that Invite, Craig Dykstra came up with an idea for another contest:

The grid that appears today is the same one by Paula Gamache that we printed four weeks ago -- but with most of the boxes shaded in (click grid link for a printable version). This week: Replace the shaded letters in any of the words with your own letters to come up with a different word or phrase -- either an existing word or one you make up -- and define it humorously, as in the example above. It doesn't matter if the grid no longer works as a crossword. Label your word with the grid number it starts with, e.g., "42 Across," or else it gets tossed. Maximum number of entries: 25 -- the Empress needs a break and you, sir or madam, need a life.

Winner gets the Inker, the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a prize that the Empress wishes had come in time for the foal-naming contests: It's one of those novelty key chains with a little rubbery animal (in this case a horse) that you squeeze to make "poop," then unsqueeze to make unpoop. Well, in true Loserly fashion, this horse suffered some injury and is permanently stuck in the poop mode. Donated by the well-contained Loser Drew Bennett.

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 or by fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, June 21. Put "Week 873" 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 10. No purchase required for entry. Employees of The Washington Post, and their immediate relatives, are not eligible for prizes. Pseudonymous entries will be disqualified. Both the revised title for next week's results and this week's honorable-mentions subhead are by Kevin Dopart.

Report from Week 869

in which we asked you to come up with novel clues for any of the words in the actual crossword shown here: So many Losers offered a new clue for every freakin' word; however, we lack the freakin' space to show them. Here are the best. Note that some of these clues require you to read the word creatively; for example, the clue for BETE needs to be read as "Bet E."

The Winner of the Inker

57 Across: IRONLADY: The ferrous maiden of them all (Dana Austin, Falls Church)

2. winner of the Baby Shower "gun" that shoots out "infants": 1 Down: DODO: One mixed-up DOOD (Craig Dykstra, Centreville)

3. 22A: AETNA: Latin for "we don't cover that" (Peter Metrinko, Gainesville)

4. 44D: PRYNNE: She studied male anatomy and got an A (John Winant, Arlington)

Downgridded: Honorable mentions

1A: DEADLAST: Either Paul or Ringo (Mike Hammer, Arlington)

Good name for an embalming fluid (Phil Battey, Alexandria; Fred Dawson, Beltsville; Ann Martin, Bracknell, England)

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