You won't forget the food at IHG, the International House of Gastroenteritis. (Bob Staake for The Washington Post)

(Click here to skip down to this week’s winning neologisms)

IHG: International House of Gastroenteritis: For a limited time try our Jellied Moose Nose Pancakes With Durian Syrup!

IGH: International Graduates of Hogwarts: Once you’ve mastered Expelliwampum — paying through the nose — you’re in.

IGH: Institute of Giant Heads: They’ve asked the president to be a spokesman because he’s such a swell(ed) guy.

It’s our third go-round — we also went round in 2016 and 2017 — of a contest in which we march through the alphabet three letters at a time. But this time the Empress is going to broaden it a little by letting you repeat letters: Make up some entity that might take a three-letter abbreviation of GHI, HGI, GGG, GHH, etc., and then humorously describe it, as in the examples above by Bob Staake (the first one) and Loser Jon Gearhart (who reminded the Empress that it had been more than a year since we toured the DEFs). You might also supply an especially brilliant description of an actual thing that could take one of these abbreviations. It’s all right to add “the,” “of,” etc., as in the examples. See this week’s Style Conversational column for some of the inking entries from Weeks 1179 and 1238. (Jeff Shirley and Jesse Frankovich also reminded the E about this contest before Jon finally wore her down.)

Submit entries at the website (all lowercase).

Winner gets the Lose Cannon, our Style Invitational trophy. Second place gets the Cap Zappa, a gadget that not only pops open your beer bottle but then can shoot the bottle cap “over 5 metres.” Donated by Mike Creveling.

Other runners-up win our “You Gotta Play to Lose” Loser Mug or our Grossery Bag, “I Got a B in Punmanship.” Honorable mentions get one of our lusted-after Loser magnets, “We’ve Seen Better” or “Idiot Card.” First Offenders receive only a smelly tree-shaped air “freshener” (FirStink for their first ink). Deadline is Monday night, Oct 1; results published Oct. 21 (online Oct. 18). See general contest rules and guidelines at The headline for this week’s results is by Jon Gearhart; Chris Doyle wrote the honorable-mentions subhead. Join the Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at “Like” Style Invitational Ink of the Day on Facebook at; follow @StyleInvite on Twitter.

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 . . .


In Week 1294 we asked the Loser Community to discover new words in the random word-search grid below, by choosing a starting letter and snaking around in any or many directions. Several people told of a “fonduel” with long, skinny forks.

4th place:

J-4: ALARMOPATH: An extreme worrywart. “Nellie stayed up all night fretting that she might be an alarmopath.” (Jesse Frankovich, Grand Ledge, Mich.)

3rd place:

F-7: MaTOO: Reminder that sexual harassment did not start yesterday. (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)

2nd place

and the book “The Gas We Pass”:
P-5: ZITSEN: The other red-nosed reindeer. (Dudley Thompson, Cary, N.C.)

And the winner of the Lose Cannon:

N-16: DJ DIZZY G: Rudolph W. Giuliani's secret hip-hop name: "I'm a long-in-the-tooth sleuth for truth-isn't-truth — kind of goof, like I'm dipped in vermouth or I fell off a roof, trying to prove there's no proof . . ." (Frank Osen, Pasadena, Calif.)

Good griddance! Honorable mentions

M-12: MYCOLD: The worst possible affliction, much more debilitating than yourcold. (J. Larry Schott, West Plains, Mo.)

D-9: DUNNOIST: Sarah Sanders’s real job description. (Dave Silberstein, College Park, Md.)

C-6: GROPY: The eighth dwarf, known for his uncontrollable little hands. (Annie Westover, Alexandria, Va., a First Offender)

B-2: XXXDRTY: The license plate you least want to see on your grandma’s car. (Bill Dorner, Indianapolis)

L-14: BARFONDUE: “And this artisanal cheese is actually cultured from human toe bacteria.” (Frank Osen)

M-5: FEMPATHY: A man’s effort to relate to a woman’s troubles. “Jacob, did you say you’re wearing an underwire jockstrap?” (Don Juran, Rockville, Md., who last got Invite ink in 1998)

C-1: XXXZOO: Where you can watch the camels hump. (Roger Dalrymple, Gettysburg, Pa.)

E-14: MIDIOT: A half-wit — or, I guess, a three-quarter wit. (Bob Kruger, Rockville, Md.)

L-15: UnderCNN: Where the whoopee cushion is placed in the White House briefing room. (Bob Kruger)

G-8: WMATAPOX: A rash of problems brought on by stress in a confined space. (Nancy Della Rovere, Silver Spring, Md.)

A-10: MOROL . . . B-12: MAREL . . . G-3: MDRAL: Oh, well, if I can’t spell it, guess I don’t have to be it! — D.J.T., Washington (Ellen Ryan, Rockville, Md.)

A-13: OMAROSININE: Crazy like a crying lowlife dog. — D.J.T. (Jesse Frankovich)

A-2: BROZO: The relative who always ends a family gathering with “hold my beer.” (Connie Schott, West Plains, Mo.)

A-4: OOH OOH STOP: Right there, almost got it, that’s it! (Gordon Cobb, Marietta, Ga.)

A-8: SLOMEMORATE: To take two days to lower the flag to half-staff. (Jesse Frankovich)

B-14: FOURARM: What Vishnu does when forewarned. (Paul White, Gainesville, Va., a First Offender)

C-1: XXXROTH: Stormy Daniels’s retirement fund. (David Peckarsky, Tucson)

C-4: HOOHAM: You know how they say you can eat every part of a pig? Well, there’s a delicacy made from female hogs. . . (Ward Kay, Vienna, Va.)

C-4: HRRKTOO: How to spell “hairball” in Phlegmish. (Jon Gearhart, Des Moines)

D-3: TOOSIT: Responds that they’ve also done that. “No matter what experience I describe, Jim always toosit.” (Rick Haynes, Ocean City, Md.)

D-7: VOMITOM: A zero-star review from The Post’s restaurant critic. (Ben Aronin, Washington)

D-7: VOMITOMA: A telltale bruise on the forehead from throwing up in the toilet all last night. (Frank Osen)

F-10: BILLG: Where Trump puts invoices from his contractors. (David Peckarsky)

F-5: TOOTOO: A plus-size ballet skirt. (Chris Doyle, Denton, Tex.)

F-5: TOPMARX: What you need to graduate Phi Beta Kapital. (Chris Doyle)

G-15: DULLY: An eatery specializing in bologna on Wonder bread. (Roy Ashley, Washington)

G-17: DT U LYR: A popular blue-state license plate. (Ellen Ryan)

G-9: SPORTOZOA: The Very Little League. (Rivka Liss-Levinson, Washington)

H-2: WED: How to Get a Divorce, Step 1. (Howard Walderman, Columbia, Md.)

J-4: ABREVIMATING: “Are we almost finished? I think I left something on the stove.” (Frank Osen)

K-4: BARDER: To sing for your supper. (Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)

K-9: MAINLYBBQ: The Texas food pyramid. (Ward Kay)

L-14: BUG: Russia’s national insect. (Barry Koch, Catlett, Va.)

N-7: DANGRY: Of a mild-mannered person, hopping mad. “Bobbie Sue is really dangry. I just heard her say “Darn it all to heck!” (Danielle Nowlin, Fairfax Station, Va.)

O-1: GRITZY: Upscale Southern: “Ribs, collards and POLENTA?” (Beverley Sharp)

And Last: P-10: DRUEL: A two-man race for Loser of the Year. (Tom Witte, Montgomery Village, Md.)

Still running — deadline Monday, Sept. 24: our contest for “typos” in headlines. See

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