Bob Gneiser says it's as if he has been carrying the answer around for years, just waiting for me to pose the question. So when I finally posed last month, it didn't take Bob long to pounce. His foresight -- and his speed -- have produced a winner.
Like 3,000 fellow wordsmiths, Bob was intrigued by the November version of our monthly neologism contest. It was:
What do you call the flash that a photocopying machine makes?
Bob's winning answer:
A fine play on the homemade alcohol, I thought. Also apt. After repeated applications, "white likening" gives you the same headache for which its liquid cousin is so famous.
Our winner is a well-known newsman for WMAL-AM radio. His mellow tones have graced the local airwaves (both radio and TV) for 28 years. And when we arranged to meet for Bob's victory lunch, he once again proved the oldest (and truest) saw in the media biz. We newsies always know the best places.
Bob's choice for himself and his wife, Carolyn, was Adirondacks, the spiffy new place at the east end of Union Station. A good meal and a good time was had by all. Hope you readers had as good a time reading Bob's coinage. I think it's wonderful.
This month's Almosts and Nearlies are pretty wonderful themselves. Front and center:
Phototwinthesis: David Hicks, of Northwest Washington.
Gliding Light: Harion Simpson, of Clinton, first, then many imitators.
Flashulence: Leslie Santapaul.
Repro-duck-shine: Former champ Patti North-Rudin, of Alexandria.
Canon Fire: David Landon Baird, of Atlanta, Jim Wimberly, of Arlington, Don Vovakes, of Charlottesville, Chuck Angelucci, of Richmond, and Tim Conner, of Arlington.
Flash in the Pan-asonic: Lyle Lieberman, of Bethesda, and Scott Rich, of Bowie.
Sins of the Flash: Debi Lansey, of Annandale.
Flare-annoya: Elizabeth Gaston, of Alexandria.
An Ape-arition: Bruce M. Lehr, of Silver Spring, and Jean Lawlor Cohen, of Chevy Chase.
Inclonedescence: Irv Engelman, of Columbia.
Rayproduction: Mary Oleson, of Chevy Chase.
For-Two-It-Us: Vilma Colon, of Burke.
Nova's Arc: Ted Halverson, of Gaithersburg.
Raycreation: Former champ Charles L. Vlcek, of Bowie.
Mimicray: Roy W. McLeese III, of Silver Spring.
Faxphorescence: Kemp Lear, of Spotsylvania, Va.
Blitzkleig: Kathryn Cockrell, of Alexandria, William Dunlop, of Takoma Park, and Nan Terpak, of Fairfax.
Dupernova: Dan Johnson, of Herndon.
Copylight Infringement: Bob Spalding, of Rockville, and Michael G. Chapman, of Southeast Washington.
Xer-Ouch!: Barbara Strandt, of Bethesda.
Eyesoremetrics: Steven Poyourow.
Canonading: Marge Brick, of Rockville.
Duplica-shine: Doug Oxford, of Hyattsville.
Flashsimile: Trish Pierce Cornelissen, of Springfield.
Eyeburnation: Anne M. Bach, of Gaithersburg.
Flash Wince: Former champ Mary Rose, of Arlington.
Ground Xerox: Michael Crow, of Northwest Washington.
Aurora Xeroxalis: Scott and Hilary Pierce, of Springfield.
Whipflash: Deborah M. Reyher, of Vienna.
Canon-eyes-ation: Robert Sutton, of Marshall, Va.
Copysheeno: Vicki Jacobson, of Alexandria.
And The Likeness Monster: Peggy Morrissette, of Brandywine.
Excellent as always, gang. Let's see if you can do it again. Here's the December challenge:
You and your spouse are hosting a Sunday dinner party. The guests duly arrive at 6 p.m., and dinner is duly served at 6:30. However, the Redskins are playing, in a West Coast game that started at 4 p.m. So while the entree is being served, the 'Skins are probably driving for the winning touchdown. You don't get up in the middle of dinner and turn on the television set because Mama raised you better than that. But the nagging urge to do so is called . . . .
First prize is that time-honored calorie-fest: A free lunch, at a restaurant of the winner's choice, in or sensibly near Washington. If the Redskins are playing while we eat . . . well, hey, you're on your own.
Rules: You may enter as often as you like, on one piece of paper or many. Each entry must bear a daytime and an evening phone number, including an area code. All entries become my property. Entries will not be accepted by phone and will not be returned. In case of duplicate entries, the one I receive earliest wins.
Please mail entries to Bob Levey, The Washington Post, Washington, D.C. 20071. Entries for the December contest must be received by Dec. 31.