(Bob Staake for The Washington Post)

(Click here to skip down to the winning Googlenopes and Googleyups)

Winner of Week 1268, bogus trivia about the media:
Jeff Bezos meant to buy only a single issue of The Washington Post, but he didn’t have any small bills on him at the time. (Robert Schechter)

Winner of Week 1255, neologisms including the letter block S-A-N-T in any order:
Am-Nasty International: The president’s new name for the State Department. (Ann Martin)

Winner of Week 1279, “real” directions:
How to meditate:
1. Close your eyes and relax.
2. You’re not doing it right. (Mark Raffman)

Did you ever read the results of a Style Invitational contest and go, “Ohhhh — now I see what they wanted”? (“They” being that one woman who’s ever going to see your entry unless it gets ink.) This week and next, the Empress gives you another shot with our annual retrospective contest. This week we’ll cover 25 Invite contests from last November through May, encompassing such perennials as obit poems, foal “breeding” and various neologism contests, plus some one-offs like Yelp reviews for odd places, or good-natured modern curses.

Enter (or reenter) any Style Invitational contest from Week 1255 through Week 1281, except for Weeks 1257 and 1258, last year’s do-overs, and Week 1260, the 2018 “Year in Preview” (we’ll preview 2019 later). You may enter multiple contests as long as you don’t submit more than 25 entries in all. For contests asking you to use that week’s paper, use papers and online articles dated Dec. 6-17. For the obit poems, Week 1261, continue to write about people who died in 2017. You may resubmit non-inking entries from earlier contests.

How on earth are you going to find these old contests? Piece of cake, even if you don’t subscribe to this paper (though you should, you know). Go to the Loser Community’s own website, nrars.org, click on “Master Contest List,” and scroll way down to Week 1255 and below. Read the thumbnail contest descriptions, then click on the “E” icon for the online version of the week’s contest, or the “WP” for the print version. And check the results of that week’s contest (usually four weeks down the chart) to make sure your idea didn’t already get ink. Please give the week number plus a brief ID of the contest your entry is for (e.g., “Week 1291, bad product spokespeople”). See this week’s Style Conversational column at wapo.st/conv1309 for other ways (maybe better ones for you) to see all the contests.

Submit entries at wapo.st/enter-invite-1309 (all lowercase) — NOT the entry forms for those old contests.

Winner gets the Lose Cannon, our Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives one of our favorite prizes ever: It was picked up in Ukraine, from a Kiev street vendor, by Invite Fan but Not a Loser Rex Moser. Though Rex can’t read Russian or Ukrainian, he didn’t have any trouble recognizing the face of Vladi­mir Putin in full color on a roll of toilet paper. The accompanying wording turns out to translate to “Putin is a [ahem]-head” — a catcall that became popular among soccer fans during the annexation of 2014, and is also widespread (presumably more discreetly) in Russia.

Other runners-up win our “You Gotta Play to Lose” Loser Mug or our “Whole Fools” Grossery Bag. 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, Dec. 17; results published Jan. 6 (online Thursday, Jan. 3). See general contest rules and guidelines at wapo.st/InvRules. The headline “No-Hit Wonders” was suggested by both Jeff Contompasis and Jesse Frankovich; Chris Doyle and Jesse both suggested this week’s honorable-mentions subhead. Join the Style Invitational Devotees on Facebook at on.fb.me/invdev. “Like” Style Invitational Ink of the Day on Facebook at bit.ly/inkofday; follow @StyleInvite on Twitter.

And from The Style Invitational four weeks ago . . .


In Week 1305 the Empress asked you to find some interesting Googlenopes — phrases that don’t generate any Google hits, or “ghits,” as they’re now sometimes called. She also invited interesting Googleyups, phrases that are surprisingly out there already, as well as a set of Nopes and Yups provided together for irony. Some of the Googleyups below are Googlewhacks — just one hit. (The ones below worked at press time, at least for the E.)

4th place:

Googleyup: “Cows are smarter than you think” (a Googlewhack)
Googleyup: “Pigs are smarter than you think”
Googlenope: “Betsy DeVos is smarter than you think”
(Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)

Direct from Kiev, this week's 2nd prize. (The Russian obscenity is hidden in the photo; this much just says "la la la.”)
3rd place:

Googleyup: “Does your virginity grow back?” (101 results) (Mike Burch, Nashville)

2nd place

and the winner of the risque ‘Meat Romney’ barbecue apron:
Googlewhack: “Sarah Huckabee Sanders always tells the truth.” (The whole sentence: “Sarah Huckabee Sanders always tells the truth about absolutely nothing.”) (Lorna Jerome, Waldorf, Md., who will have the option to choose a less crude prize, like plastic dog poop)

And the winner of the Lose Cannon:

Googlenope: "No one invites me to LinkedIn." (Eric Nelkin, Silver Spring, Md.)

'Nopes were dashed: Honorable mentions

Googleyup: “I miss Karl Rove” (and indeed, a few of the 67 hits were sincere — but others included “I miss Karl Rove and Dick Cheney like a necromancer misses the Black Plague”) (Josh Feldblyum, Philadelphia)

Googlenope: “Chasidic twerking videos” (Google asked helpfully, “Did you mean: ‘Hasidic twerking videos’?” Fortunately, that was also a Googlenope.) (Daphne Steinberg, Alexandria, Va.)

Googleyup: “Please pull my fingernails out”
Googleyup: “Please kick me in the shins”
Googleyup: “Please scream in my ear”
Googlenope: “Please bring me airline food”
(Duncan Stevens, Vienna, Va.)

Googlewhack: “Antioxidant properties of donuts” (Mike Gips, Bethesda, Md.) (It’s also a Googlenope with the spelling “doughnuts”)

Googleyup: “Facebook makes me stupid”
Googlenope: “Facebook makes me smart”
(Kevin Dopart, Washington)

Googleyup: “Adam Sandler’s oeuvre” (although at least one refers to “the all-out idiocy of Adam Sandler’s oeuvre”) (Mike Gips)

Googlenope: “That controversial Hallmark Christmas movie” (Larry McClemons, Annandale, Va.)

Googlenope: “Your Mama is so monogamous” (Eric Nelkin)

Googlenope: “The comments section really advances the discussion” (Mike Gips)

Googleyup: “Do vegetarians eat carnivorous plants?”
Googlenope: “Do carnivorous plants eat vegetarians?” (Mark Raffman)

Googlenope: “How to unblock Rachel from Card Services” (Bill Dorner, Indianapolis)

Googleyup: “Louis Armstrong sucked”
Googleyup: “Billie Holiday sucked”
Googleyup: “Frank Sinatra sucked”
Googleyup: “Ray Charles sucked”
Googlenope: “Ella Fitzgerald sucked”
(Jonathan Jensen, Baltimore)

Googlewhack: “Sexy Ruth Bader Ginsburg Halloween costume” (referring to a lame gag in a flop movie of 2012) (Bill Dorner)

Googlenope: “Trendy new German restaurant” (Jonathan Jensen)

Googleyup: “What wine pairs well with dog?”
Googlenope: “What wine pairs well with porcupine?”
(Tom Witte, Montgomery Village, Md.)

Googleyup: “Our calm four-year-old” — but they all refer to dogs (Mark Richardson, Takoma Park, Md.)

Googlewhack: “Cannot wait to see Washington in the summer” (and it referred to Washington state) (Duncan Stevens)

Googlenope: “Empress of the Style Invitational action figure”
Googleyup: “Gene Weingarten action figure” (Bill Dorner)

Googlenope: “I didn’t deserve ink.” (Andy Schotz, Hagerstown, Md.)

Googlewhack: “Everybody loves the Empress” (Gregory Koch, Falls Church, Va.) (That single hit, alas, refers to Empress Elisabeth of Austria, 1837-98. Not a whole lot of love for empresses out there, we guess.)

Still running — deadline Monday, Dec. 10: Our contest for captions for Bob Staake cartoons. See wapo.st/invite1308.

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