Horse Fly x Always Dreaming = Pigs Fly. But dozens of Losers WILL get ink in Week 1222. (Bob Staake/For The Washington Post )

(Click here to skip down to the winning bank heads of Week 1218)

Horse Fly x Always Dreaming = Pigs Fly
Irap x Talk Logistics = Jay Zzzzzzz
Gummy x Takeoff = Goo Bye!

This year, four weekends from now, marks the 143rd annual running of the Kentucky Derby. And this weekend marks the 143rd — no, it only seems that many — the 23rd annual Style Invitational foal-naming contest, usually our most heavily entered of the year. At the bottom of this column is a list of 100 of the more than 400 racehorses nominated for this year’s Derby, Preakness and Belmont; your job is to “breed” any two names and name the “foal” to reflect both of them, as in the examples above. (We know, every one of them is male and some are gelded.) As in actual Thoroughbred racing, a name may not exceed 18 characters including spaces, but one or more of the characters may be punctuation marks or numerals. You may run words together, but the name still should be easy to read. Make sure you spell the original horse names correctly in your entry, or the sorting program devised for the Empress by Loser Jonathan Hardis might toss it into the virtual manure pile. Please use the “Name A x Name B = Foal Name” format in the examples. As always, you may send as many as 25 entries.

Submit entries at this website: (all lowercase).

The winner of the Derby gets $2 million, but our winner gets the Inkin’ Memorial, the Lincoln statue bobblehead that is the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives, apropos of our mating contest, “Leading Youth to Abundant Life,” a genuine 1934 hardcover book (it’s dated 1936 by one early owner) intended as a manual for religious-school teachers; it advises, for instance, how to deal with a girl who has been “reading Bible passages which deal with sex relationships.”

Other runners-up win our new “You Gotta Play to Lose” Loser Mug or our Grossery Bag, “I Got a B in Punmanship.” Honorable mentions get one of our new lusted-after Loser magnets, “No Childishness Left Behind” or “Magnum Dopus.” First Offenders receive only a smelly tree-shaped air “freshener” (FirStink for their first ink). Deadline is Monday night, April 17; results published May 7, the day after the Derby (but online May 4, so you can follow our winning horses). See general contest rules and guidelines at The headline for this week’s results and the honorable-mentions subhead are both by Jesse Frankovich. Join the Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at “Like” Style Invitational Ink of the Day on Facebook at

The Style Conversational The Empress’s weekly online column --published late Thursday afternoon — discusses each new contest and set of results. Especially if you plan to enter, check it out at

And from The Style Invitational four weeks ago . . .


Week 1218 was the latest running of our venerable Mess With Our Heads contest; this year, entrants could select a headline from any publication dated March 9-20 and add a bank head, or subtitle, that either reinterprets it or comments wryly.

4th place:

Washington Post headline: Tillerson appears to give ground during visit to Beijing
Fake bank head:
Chinese officials debate meaning of bag of dirt as a diplomatic gift
(Jeff Hazle, San Antonio)

3rd place:

Post: March is a time of madness, vasectomies
Fake bank: Which explains why the top seeds often don’t make it through
(Hildy Zampella, Falls Church, Va.)

2nd place

and the golf-ball-into-window decal:
New York Times: Letter From Foreign Policy Experts on Travel Ban
(Jesse Frankovich, Lansing, Mich.)

And the winner of the Inkin’ Memorial:

Post: Can we be civil enough to save democracy?
“%&$#@ no!” agree libtards, wingnuts
(Ellen Ryan, Rockville, Md.)


The White House serves up a red herring
President puts ketchup on everything
(Bruce Alter, Fairfax Station, Va.)

Person arrested on White House grounds after scaling fence
Rex Tillerson fails again to get meeting with Trump
(Ira Allen, Bethesda, Md.)

Senate votes to ditch standing rules
Members may sit during national anthem, lie anytime
(Chris Doyle, Denton, Tex.)

Flynn Was Paid to Represent Turkey During Campaign
President signs executive order banning Thanksgiving
(Steve Price, New York)

As a New Relationship Is Tested, Turkey Keeps High Hopes for Trump
Spicer still defending boss’s erratic behavior (Jon Gearhart, Des Moines)

White House fence-jumper in secure zone for 17 minutes
President announces contest to rename ‘secure zone’
(Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase Md.)

Trump’s Foreign Policy Doctrine
Surprisingly detailed document uses all 140 characters
(Melissa Balmain, Rochester, N.Y.)

President Trump, the king of flip-flops
Wasting away again in Mar-a-Lago-ville
(Dave Matuskey, Sacramento)

For His Supporters, Nothing Has Changed
Still Size 42 Small
(Dan Helming, Maplewood, N.J.)

Picking pockets
Euphemism for ‘nostrils’ fails to increase social acceptance
(Kevin Dopart, Washington)

Staples to close 70 more stores
Cash-strapped retailer has no money for padlocks
(Gregory Koch, Falls Church, Va.)

Trojans Blitzed by Barrage of 3-Pointers
Greek soldiers spring from gift horse, attack with tridents
(Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)

Why we’re unlikely to find any Russian ties in Trump’s tax returns
Because they’re made in China
(Roy Ashley, Washington)

Fox’s rabies test is positive, police say
Hannity, O’Reilly found foaming at mouth, as usual
(William Kennard, Arlington, Va.)

Art of Empathy
Long-lost ‘Canterbury Tales’ chapter centers on kindly but boring character
(Steve Honley, Washington)

Eight OTs almost were not enough
Local pastor delighted in turnout for Bible study class (Chris Doyle)

Republicans may keep focus on leaks in Russia hearing
Even they want to hear stories about the hotel hookers
(Brendan Beary, Great Mills, Md.)

Cuba advances, will face Israel next
Scientists stunned by turbo plate tectonics
(Andy Schotz, Frederick, Md.)

Report: U.S. lacks system for spotting, defusing homegrown extremist threats
Electoral college is ineffectual, researchers find
(Dave Matuskey)

Grain Mixed, Livestock Higher
Cattle ranchers blame stray seeds from neighboring pot farmers
(Warren Tanabe, Annapolis, Md.)

New Commander Returns to Fold
Retired pilot decides he prefers paper airplanes after all
(Beverley Sharp)

Kids Free With Select Packages (from a hotel ad)
Amazon Prime offers choice of tykes — with two-day shipping
(John O’Byrne, Dublin)

U.S. pushes China on North Korea
Massive bulldozers deployed to bury hostile country
(Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)

Massive scale of CIA’s digital efforts revealed
Agency has given the finger to 127 countries, document shows
(Chris Doyle)

Uber drops tool used to thwart regulators
Company says fired lawyer was ‘too annoying, even for us’
(Mark Raffman)

Coalition air strikes hit record
World cheers as final Tiny Tim LP is destroyed
(Lynne Ann Larkin, Vero Beach, Fla.)

Purple Line construction faces more delays
Harold still can’t remember where he put crayon
(Dave Matuskey)

Confused by Redskins meltdown? Use this handy translation
Daniel Snyder = [expletive deleted]
(Nan Reiner, Boca Raton, Fla.)

Barack Obama is picking UNC to beat Duke in the NCAA title game
Ex-prez selects 2 teams from large swing state out of sheer habit
(John Hutchins, Silver Spring, Md.)

Canada moves slowly on pot
Cellphone ban considered for public toilets
(Larry Carnahan, Peabody, Mass.)

D.C. plans a statue of Barry
Bitch Construction Co. to set up the monument (Ira Allen)

And last: Human exploitation to the nth degree
Self-styled Empress takes advantage of Invite contestants, Amnesty charges (William Kennard)

And even laster: Trump budgets for a dumber, dirtier America
Federal funds to underwrite Style Invitational-based curriculum for junior high (Jeff Hazle)

Still running — deadline Monday night, April 10: our contest to describe the child of any two people in history. See


These 100 horses were drawn from a list of more than 400 Triple Crown nominees published by; “breed” any two and name the foal for Week 1222, above.

First: Do the Empress — and yourself — a favor and . . .

Don’t “breed” two names and use a third name from the list for the “foal.” People do this every year and never get ink because it’s just too easy to do. And just two horses at a time, please. (We’re just romantic that way.)

Don’t number your list of entries. Numbers at the beginning of a line will give fits to our name-sorting system. You’ll have to count to 25 on your 25 fingers.

Type each entry on a single line. This is essential. If you have the parents’ name on one line and the foal on another, little Junior is going to get lost from the parents when we do The Big Sort. Remember, use this format: Horse A x Horse B = Foal Name

Observe the 18-character limit, including spaces and punctuation marks. In other Invite contests, the Empress has occasionally given ink to an entry that didn’t technically fit the rules, if it was especially clever or funny. But there’s no give on the letter limit on horse names — it’s part of the challenge.

(For a printable three-column list, click here.)

Action Everyday
Always Dreaming
American Anthem
Battalion Runner
Bee Jersey
Big Gray Rocket
Blueridge Traveler
Bobby Abu Dhabi
Bonus Points
Bronze Age
Classic Empire
Classic Rock
Cloud Computing
Comma Sister
Convict Pike
Downhill Racer
El Areeb
Fact Finding
Fast and Accurate
Fillet of Sole
Foggy Night
Gorgeous Kitten
Guest Suite
Haul Anchor
Hey Mike
High Frequency
Horse Fly
Hot Dad
Irish War Cry
It’s Your Nickel
J Boys Echo
Just Move On
Local Hero
Lookin at Lee
Made You Look
Master Plan
Midnight Pleasure
Mo Town
My Blue Heaven
No Dozing
No More Talk
One Liner
Pat on the Back
Practical Joke
Rapid Dial
Rowdy the Warrior
Run for the Cup
Running Mate
Solo Saxophone
State of Honor
Stone Hands
Talk Logistics
Term of Art
The Hardest Way
The Stranger
The Walk
Three Rules
Thunder Snow
True Timber
Tunnel Vision
Vending Machine
Warrior’s Club
Whole Lotta Luck
Wild Shot