(Click here to skip down to the winning word chains from Week 1299.)
Skinchilla: The least warm fur stole ever.
Bling shift: The time between the end of your day job and closing time at the club.
Crone fruit: Pitted prunes.
Here’s a brand-new contest idea from Hall of Fame Loser Jeff Contompasis. Jeff was seeing a commercial for the show “Trading Spaces” but, as someone who has occasional incidents of dyslexia, kept reading the logo as “Spading Traces.” And so, as a True Loser, he suggested a contest with digraphs — blends of two letters, either vowels or consonants, that make one simultaneous sound. This week: Replace a digraph in an existing word or phrase with another digraph to make a new term, as in Jeff’s own examples above, and describe the result. It’ll probably be funnier if the original term is recognizable, and a funny sentence showing how the word might be used is always welcome. While there are various technical definitions of “digraph,” ours will be of two adjacent letters, and will include silent letters.
Submit entries at the website wapo.st/enter-invite-1303 (all lowercase).
Winner gets the Lose Cannon, our Style Invitational trophy.
Second place receives our Deluxe Culinary Gift Pack courtesy of Loser Connie Schott of West Plains, Mo.: There’s an apron emblazoned with the “Squirrel Pot Pie” logo of the Ozark Heritage Festival, from right in West Plains, and — nope, sorry, no squirrel pot pie, but the next best thing: two big sticks of Roadkill, which is like a Slim Jim but instead of beef and chicken, its ingredients include “venison, elk, wild boar (meat from feral swine) . . . pheasant, rabbit . . .” Perhaps it’s a diet like this that accounts for the disproportionate presence of three denizens of West Plains (population 12,000) among the Loser Community, accounting for 240 blots of Style Invitational ink, including 10 wins. I’m thinking it’s the elk.
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, Nov. 5; results published Nov. 25 (online Wednesday, Nov. 21). See general contest rules and guidelines at wapo.st/InvRules. The headline for this week’s results is by Jesse Frankovich; Dave Prevar and Tom Witte each submitted this week’s honorable-mentions subhead. 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 discusses each new contest and set of results. Especially if you plan to enter, check it out at wapo.st/styleconv.
WORD SERIES MVPs: THE CHAINS OF WEEK 1299
In Week 1299 we posted a list of words that were recently added to Merriam-Webster’s Scrabble dictionary, and asked the Losers to take any two of the words and create a word chain to link them, by meaning, similar sounds or both. Hildy Zampella’s elegantly pithy “LISTICLE > testicle > NUTJOB” made the Empress wish she hadn’t stated a minimum of six words in the chain.
Baffled by some of the connections? Click on the links in the chains below for explanations or at least hints.)
Bestie > old chum > shark bait > American Bar Association > “I like beer” > Dos Equis > XX > “Twenty Ways to Please Your Man” > listicle (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)
and the real snapping-turtle skull:
Sho (old Tibetan currency) > “Show me the money!” > Tom Cruise > “Risky Business” > Paul Manafort > singing > Aretha > urethra > golden shower > ew! (Jesse Frankovich, Grand Ledge, Mich.)
Zen > Buddhist > Christian > Fletcher Christian > Mutiny on the Bounty > paper towels > Hurricane Maria > "Wind in the Willows" > Mr. Toad's Wild Ride > Stormy Daniels > substorm (Kevin Dopart, Washington)
Farro (a grain) >wheat > Wil Wheaton > Star Trek > Patrick Stewart > Saint Patrick > St. Louis > Arch > Archibald Cox > Watergate > Deep Throat > “Deep Throat” > nutjob (Neal Starkman, Seattle)
Puggle (pug-beagle) > boxer > Oscar De La Hoya > Georgetown Prep > Brett Kavanaugh> boys will be boys > Green Mountain Boys > Vermont > Ben & Jerry’s > Cherry Garcia > the Grateful Dead > Phish > rootkit (computer hacking tools) (Chris Doyle)
Puggle > snuggle > foreplay > four-ply > Cottonelle > president’s foot > cankles (fat ankles) (Jeff Shirley, Richmond, Va.)
Bizjet > airplane > “Don’t call me Shirley” > Shirley Temple > Good Ship Lollipop > Pudding Pops > Bill Cosby > 3 to 10 > “3:10 to Yuma” > Jeff Flake > snowflake > Snow White > Grumpy > frowny (Kevin Dopart)
Sriracha > Tabasco > Louisiana > New Orleans > Mardi Gras > “Girls Gone Wild” > spring break > Springsteen > “Born in the USA” > born again > Mike Pence > lap dog > puggle (Drew Bennett, West Plains, Mo.)
Vape > inhale > Bill Clinton > Hillary Clinton > server > Serena Williams > Robin Williams > standup > Viagra > yowza (Tom Witte, Montgomery Village, Md.)
Mulloway (a kind of fish) > jewfish > gefilte fish > carp > carpe diem > seize the day > search and seizure > Julius Caesar > Veni Vidi Vici > Gaul > Macron > macaron (Mark Raffman)
Conlang (an invented language) > High Valyrian > “GoT” > Got Milk? > spilled milk > no use crying > “No Woman, No Cry” > reggae > Rasta > ganja > wacky tobacky > vape (Bill Dorner, Indianapolis)
Emoji > emotion > jealousy > Othello > checkers > exchequer > Brexit > EU > ew (Jim Blue, Gaithersburg, Md.)
Aquafaba (water in which beans were boiled) > chickpeas > chicks pee > “the dossier” > Christopher Steele > Bethlehem Steel > “Away in a Manger” > Mangia bene > arancini (Italian rice balls) (Mark Raffman)
Sriracha > red beans > sriracha > red beans > sriracha, sriracha > red beans > sriracha, sriracha, sriracha > red beans > yowza (Warren Tanabe, Annapolis, Md.)
Truther > whatever > whatever > whatever > whatever > nutjob (Mark Raffman)
Facepalm > Palm Beach > Mar-a-Lago > Lagos, Nigeria > Nigerian prince scam > catfish > mulloway (Pam Sweeney)
Bitcoin > cybercash > Johnny Cash > “Ring of Fire” > “You’re Fired!” > “Celebrity Apprentice” > “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” > F minor > D minor > minor edema > cankle (Mark Raffman)
Santoku (chef’s knife) > cleaver > Beaver > Oregon > “Portlandia” > Fred and Carrie > Carrie Underwood > Underwood Deviled Ham > Mason Reese > Reese Witherspoon > gag me with a spoon > ew (Chris Doyle)
Schneid (losing streak) > losers > Style Invitational > Empress > impress > flattery > flatter the E > “The best E!” > bestie (Eric Nelkin, Silver Spring, Md.)
Still running — deadline Monday night, Oct. 29: Our perennial Ask Backwards contest. See wapo.st/invite1302.
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