"The Fair to Middling Pumpkin" is one of the "answers" in this week's Ask Backwards contest. You write the questions. (Bob Staake for The Washington Post/with apologies to Charles Schulz)

(Click here to skip down to the winning GHI, HGI, GGG, etc., phrases)

A. The Fair to Middling Pumpkin.
Q. What did Linus wait up for until the Witching Half-Hour?

A. Elon Musk cologne.
Q. What reminds you of burning tire rubber and is so strong you could smell it from space?

● Elon Musk cologne.
● It’s a popular drinking game, of course.

● $3.33 an hour.

● A pith helmet.

● Flake, cake and rake.

● The Fair to Middling Pumpkin.

● The Supreme Court’s softball team.

● Superman’s hat.

● An almost-everything bagel.

● The room where it happened.

● The womb where it happened.

● This week’s least watched podcast.

● Two man buns.

● And so we named him Kanye.

● Grace at the Trumps’ Thanksgiving dinner.

It’s the contest that keeps on contesting, ever since the Empress’s predecessor, the Czar, introduced it in Week 24, more than 25 years ago: Above are 15 “answers.” Tell us the questions. Do one or more, up to a total of 25 A&Q’s. Write the answer first, followed by the question.

Submit entries at the website wapo.st/enter-invite-1302 (all lowercase).

Winner gets the Lose Cannon, our Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives an Icky Squeezy Two-Pack: a gratifyingly gooey eyeball with some crudely drawn veins and what seems to be an inadvertent cataract starting across the iris; and Sticky the Poo, a poop emoji that not only squishes in one’s hand but also “ ‘splats’ & sticks to any flat surface — like walls and doors!” We’re excited just from quoting the package! Both donated by Loser Dave Prevar.

Other runners-up win our “You Gotta Play to Lose” Loser Mug or our Grossery Bag, “I Got a B in Punmanship” (or perhaps a new design). 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. 29; results published Nov. 18 (online Nov. 15). See general contest rules and guidelines at wapo.st/InvRules. The headline for this week’s results is by Jesse Frankovich; Jesse also wrote this week’s honorable-mentions subhead, “Insteadlines” is by Tom Witte and “Webster Diving” by Jon Gearhart. Join the Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at on.fb.me/invdev. “Like” Style Invitational Ink of the Day on Facebook at bit.ly/inkofday; 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 wapo.st/styleconv.

And from The Style Invitational four weeks ago . . .

IGH-jinks: Report from Week 1298

In Week 1298, continuing through the alphabet in a contest we started two years ago, we asked what organizations, practices, etc., might take the abbreviation GHI, HIG, IGH, etc., or GGG, HHH, III, or in between.

4th place:

GHI: Graham Hysteria Index: “Well, he wasn’t screaming and clawing the drapes, so I’d give today’s speech about an 4.3 on the GHI.” (Frank Osen, Pasadena, Calif.)


Eye-grabbing swag: One of two yucky squeezies for this week's second prize. (Pat Myers/The Washington Post)
3rd place:

GHI: “Go hump internally”: PG-13 alternative to “GFY.” (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase, Md.):

2nd place

and the gadget that shoots bottle caps:
HIG: Heroes in Government: Committee that now honors the best sandwiches in Washington. (Edward Gordon, Austin)

And the winner of the Lose Cannon:

GGG: Gentlemanly Gynecological Guidance: Catchy new name for the all-male antiabortion congressional coalition. (Kevin Mettinger, Warrenton, Va.)

HIH: Honorably Inferior Humor

GGG: Golden General Guideline: Treat others as you would wish to be treated, except the ones you don’t like. (Jesse Frankovich, Grand Ledge, Mich.)

HGI: Human-generated imagery: A new special-effects variation on CGI — in which, for example, a filmmaker could make it appear that a character is running by having the actor move from one place to another very quickly. (Hildy Zampella, Alexandria, Va.)

IHG: Inflatable Human Gatherings Corp.: At IHG, we’ll make your crowd size look HUGE. (Jeff Shirley, Richmond, Va.)

IHG: Intestinal Hijinx Group: First rule: Don’t talk about Fart Club. (Jeff Shirley)

HGI: Hansel & Gretel Initiative: This media project exposes greedy business owners who pay their workers bread crumbs. The owners call it a witch hunt. (Greg Dobbins, Boynton Beach, Fla.)

IGH: Instant Growth Hormone: Discreet term for Viagra. (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.; Warren Tanabe, Annapolis, Md.)

GGI: Graphite-Generated Image: What I put on my invoice for a pencil doodle. — Bob Staake , Chatham, Mass. (Jeff Contompasis)

GHI: Giraffe-hippo interbreeding: After that unfortunate gipporaffe project, a code name for unethical scientific whimsy. (Bird Waring, Larchmont, N.Y.)

GHG: Good Homes & Gardens: A magazine for those who just want to keep up with the Joneses, without the pressure to be Better. (Ken Gallant, Sequim, Wash.)

IGI: International Gathering of Introverts: “Holding Sparsely Attended Conventions Since 1962.” (Diane Lucitt, Ellicott City, Md.)

And Last: HIH: Highly Hypothetically Hardly Intelligent Humor: Ink. (May Jampathom, Oakhurst, N.J.)

And we have extra space this week for some previously unseen losers of past contests:

Insteadlines: More 'typos' from Week 1297

In Week 1297 we asked you to change a real headline by one character, then write a bank head, or subtitle, to explain the resulting story. See the original ink at wapo.st/invite1301.

Immortal comic combat wombat
Marvel unveils first marsupial superhero
(Chris Doyle, Denton, Tex.)

3 charged with huge hug fraud on investors
Promised warm embraces, delivered only awkward handshakes
(Gary Crockett)

FAA bill could cut excessive air fees pees
Airplane toilet doors to open after 60 seconds (Chris Doyle)

Duo’s spell smell is unbroken
College roommates enter fourth week of ‘no deodorant until graduation’ pledge
(Ivars Kuskevics, Takoma Park, Md.)

In the Southwest, it’s still full steam stream ahead
Feel-the-burn scientists claim chili peppers improve urine flow
(Lawrence McGuire, Waldorf, Md.)

Metro weighing big- pig-event fare hikes Special rates proposed for next alt-right rally
(Ann Martin, Brentwood, Md.)

Montgomery schools to provide condoms condos
‘Back seats of parents’ cars are too uncomfortable these days,’ argues county sex ed administrator
(Rick Haynes, Ocean City, Md.)

Doctor put on probation must inform unform patients
Patients’ faces fall over reverse facelifts
(Dan Steinbrocker, Los Angeles)

And Last:
Kavanaugh offers details on birth mirth control comments
Judge argues that banning Style Invitational is ‘in the public interest’
(William Kennard, Arlington, Va.)

Webster diving: More new-word poems from Week 1296

In Week 1296 we asked for short poems featuring one of 35 words recently added to Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary. See the original ink at wapo.st/invite1300.

Nanobot, a very tiny robotic tool
Robots, robots everywhere,
At home, at work, at play.
They even offer sexbots now,
The future is today!
Last week the White House ordered one,
But when asked “What size? What price?”
They said, “Just add it to the debt,
A nano should suffice.”
(Dave Zarrow, Reston, Va.)

Avo (avocado);
guac (guacamole)

My recipe for guac is simp — there’s not a lot of prep:
Two avos, half a mato, some cilan and one hot pep.
(Jesse Frankovich)

Still running — deadline Monday night, Oct 22: our contest for “Fib” mini-poems, 20 syllables over 6 lines. See wapo.st/invite1301.

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