Greetings and salutations, hugs and kisses, bacon and eggs, etc. I’m seeing double after judging the plays on “X-and-Y” phrases of Week 1065. There were many entries, probably close to 2,000, of which I got to share 39 this week. (There’s a slight chance that there will be a few more next week, but that’s only if management decides that this photo of next week’s prize either is too risque for the print paper or just won’t come out in black-and-white.)
As I mention in the introduction of this week’s results, entrants to this contest had rather expansive interpretations of the phrase “slightly alter,” the instruction I gave in Week 1065, even though I specified, “I mean that it should be clear in the new version what the old one is.” I had neglected to make it “should be clear to someone besides yourself.” Some people helpfully included the expressions they were playing on; otherwise I wouldn’t be about to figure out that “Kiss and clap” was a slight change to “this and that.”
Sometimes, though, there were slight changes — sometimes just one letter — that threw me anyway. I had a hunch that I was missing something obvious in a few of the mystifying entries, so I enlisted the help of the Style Invitational Devotees on Facebook. They didn’t get “kiss and clap” either, but Alex Blackwood figured out that “puck and axe” was — it seems obvious now, though others were guessing “pluck and wax” — “pick and axe.” And “sake and ice cream” confused everyone except Bill Strider, who realized immediately that it was for “cake and ice cream,” although he didn’t see the definition referring to “Japanese girls.” Chris Doyle guessed, probably correctly, that “antimony and fleas” was playing on “macaroni and cheese.” But several people could tell me that “do ’em and glue ’em” was “doom and gloom” — which convinced me that Ray Gallucci’s entry was inkworthy. It got an honorable mention.
So if you don’t get one or more of today’s inking entries, I wouldn’t be surprised; what’s obvious to some is clearly not to others. Just ask on the Devotees page.
Three of this week’s four top winners are veterans of the Winners & Losers’ Circle: It’s Frank Osen’s fourth win and 12th “above the fold”; Beverley Sharp has now been up there a ridiculous 40 times; and Larry Gray, who’s been Inviting just since Week 923, already has six. But Toronto’s Stuart Rogers, who landed in fourth place with “comings and gorings,” will get a FirStink for his first ink, along with his choice of Loser Mug or Grossery Bag, since Stuart’s only previous appearance in the Invitational was for his contest idea for “wellerisms” (Week 958). Aren’t I incredibly generous to break my own one-prize-per-week rule to give him a $5 mug or bag and a $1 air “freshener”? American dollars, too!
With Malitz Toward ... This week’s pick by David Malitz, editor of the Style half of the Arts & Style section, is Warren Tanabe’s “hot and brothered.”
I counted 16 entries that had great phrases but whose definitions didn’t live up to them — maybe I can put them up to the Loser Community in a future contest, as we’ve done in the past for neologisms that would use better definitions.
I’m on vacation next week, so I’m afraid that people who got ink this weekend will have to wait another week for their prizes.
Some unprintable entries from this week are at the bottom of this column. Don’t go there if you have any taste.
Christopher Lamora’s examples for this contest made me laugh, which probably blinded me a bit to its vagueness. But sometimes, fairly unstructured contests can yield classics. See what you come up with.
I’ve now seen a full-length parody, a partial parody and several poems — all wickedly good — composed expressly for this year’s Flushies, the Loser Community’s annual award luncheon, to be held Saturday, May 10, at the Holiday Inn College Park. And it seems we’ll even have keyboard accompaniment from a longtime Inviter who hasn’t appeared at a Loser event in more than a dozen years. I’ve heard from lots of people who plan to come, but I don’t see their names on Elden Carnahan’s RSVP list. Send him an e-mail to let him know you’re coming, although your check is your official reservation. Details here.
There’s no Conversational next week; I’m away, and the results published in next week’s Invitational are extra honorable mentions from a few recent contests. For questions and discussion about next week’s new contest, Week 1069, go to the Devotees page.
Well, I guess it’s maybe time to start packing for an eight-day trip to England that we’re leaving for in about three hours. Happy Easter (and some more of Passover), everyone!
*From a non-inking entry by Rob Cohen
There’s no accounting for taste when there isn’t any to count.
A wang and a prayer: The rhythm method. (Bill Rippey)
S--- and run: A particularly nasty Halloween prank (Neal Starkman)
Bear food and pregnant: Yogi gets a twofer! (Beverley Sharp — tooo graphic, even for a cartoon character)
Balls and strokes: A chain of sperm bank franchises (Jeff Shirley)
Rhythm and blows: The ideal girlfriend (Vic Krysko) (yuck!!)
Tit and run: A topless 5K (Tony Arancibia)