Contest 3: Extreme Travel Olympics
Few towns are more competitive, or more international, than Washington.
Which is why we invite you to compete in the inaugural event of the Extreme Travel Olympics. For this competition, we are looking for the traveler who lives (at least temporarily) in the Washington metropolitan area, and who has gathered the greatest number of different countries' stamps on a single passport. Yup, it's that easy. If you think your passport is among the most richly endowed, shut up and prove it. Send us a letter, e-mail or fax (see below) listing each country you have visited under this single passport, and the dates of each visit. Multiple visits to the same country count as only one country; we're looking for breadth here, not depth.
The passport may be expired. Extra pages, as permitted under State Department guidelines, are acceptable. But multiple passports issued during the same 10-year period may not be combined. In other words, if you've replaced your passport instead of adding on pages, you're out of luck for this maddeningly arbitrary measure of travel prowess. And please spare us the shaggy-dog stories about the lost passport with 23 stamps that you know would put you over the top.
If you are among the entrants with the most countries claimed, the ETT judging staff will arrange to verify the authenticity and accuracy of your claims by examining your passport in person. If you are subsequently caught exaggerating your travel in your entry, the ETT judges will see to it that your hubris is fully punished, perhaps with an eternity in Hell.
We have no idea what the winning number of different countries visited will be: 12? 120? 1,220? If you're not sure whether your total will pass muster, send a note along anyway. As anyone who hopes to compete in the Extreme Travel Olympics already knows: Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Deadline for entries is Friday, Oct. 15, at 10 a.m. Send entries by e-mail (email@example.com; put the words "Extreme Travel Trivia" in the subject field), fax (202-334-1069) or U.S. mail (Extreme Travel Trivia, Washington Post Travel section, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071). Winners receive a Travel section mug. One entry per person per contest. Employees of The Washington Post are ineligible to win prizes. Entries become property of The Washington Post, which may edit, publish, distribute and republish the information in any form, including paper and electronic media.
Results from Contest 1: Closing the Vowel Gap
In Contest 1, we asked you to airlift letters from a vowel-rich geographic feature in Australia to a counterpart in the consonant-choked land of Ukraine -- and then use the combined letters to create an anagram that somehow describes this ridiculous enterprise.
Those who got the concept, really got the concept -- with the exception of one certain Style Invitational regular who will remain nameless, except she's Jennifer Hart of Arlington, and she's clearly lost a step during that contest's hiatus, if she doesn't mind us saying so. But the others were great. The winners:
Second Runner-up: Kate Curtis, Kensington.
Mootwingee, Australia, plus Sverdlovsk, Ukraine, equals: "Send vowels to Kiev, Mr."
Great slogan, but Kate! You failed to employ the "g" and the "o," a clear violation of international anagram laws! Yes, we could have let you add "Go" to your entry and win, but . . . nah.)
First Runner-up: Kate Schlech, Arlington.
Goombalie, Australia, plus Tsyurupynsk, Ukraine, equals: "Best in play, your mug's OK."
Off the point, but an ingenious act of flattery, which will get you . . . first runner-up.
. . . and the winner of the preposterously oversize Travel section mug is: Roger Moyer, Washington.
Bundooma, Australia, plus Anan'yiv, Ukraine, equals: "Ivan, man, do buy an O."
Right-on theme, culturally astute and a long-awaited victory for a (till now) mugless ETT regular.
Next week: Winner from Contest 2, Geo-Charades