Volenta: Corn mush dish baked with mushrooms, cream and rodent.
Lemonlemon: A fruit that’s fresh-looking on the outside, but dry and shriveled when you open it up.
El Nono: An unwelcome change in the weather.
It’s our eighth annual Tour de Fours neologism contest. And since the results will run Dec. 25: Come up with a new word or two-word term that includes the letter block N-O-E-L, in any order but with no other letters between them, and define it, as in the examples above. Someone else might come up with the same word you do, so it may well be the cleverest definition, or perhaps the funniest sentence used as an example, that earns the Invite ink.
Winner gets the Inker, the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a Santa Dreidel, donated by Jolly Ecumenical Loser Russell Beland, featuring not only Reb Nicholas but also a reindeer, candy cane and decorated tree.
Other runners-up win their choice of a coveted Style Invitational Loser T-shirt or yearned-for Loser Mug. Honorable mentions get a lusted-after Loser magnet. First Offenders get a tree-shaped air “freshener” (FirStink for their first ink). E-mail entries to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, Dec. 5; results published Dec. 25 (Dec. 23 online). No more than 25 entries per entrant per week. Include “Week 947” in your e-mail subject line or it may be ignored as spam. Include your real name, postal address and phone number with your entry. See contest rules and guidelines at washingtonpost.com/styleinvitational. The revised title for next week is by Judy Blanchard; this week’s honorable-mentions subhead is by Amanda Yanovitch.
The deadline is Nov. 28 to submit your clever gingerbread dioramas and other food-as-humor. See the contest rules at wapo.st/invite1113.
our perennial Ask Backwards contest, in which we gave the answers, you gave the questions:
A. Dan Snyder’s new dinghy.
Q. On what sinking vessel do you not only rearrange the deck chairs, but then charge the passengers for their “improved” seats? (Danny Bravman, Chicago)
2. Winner of the book of Day of the Dead paper dolls:
A. 141 characters.
Q. Why did the governor’s tweet ending with “my favorite sight, the desert sun on a red Arizona butte” embarrass her? (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase, Md.)
3. A. The Easter Bunny but not the Tooth Fairy.
Q. Who is innocent of trafficking in children’s body parts? (Russ Taylor, Vienna, Va.)
4. A. 9-9-1,342.
Q. What would be the four-year win-loss-tie record for Major League Soccer if it hadn’t used penalty shootouts? (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)
Not until after Thanksgiving:
When would Rick Perry respond to a request for clemency for an execution scheduled for Nov. 1? (David Genser, Poway, Calif.)
Would you make me a giblet, cranberry and green bean sandwich? (Barbara Turner, Takoma Park, Md.)
What did Miles Standish tell the Pilgrim men who wanted to attack the Indians? (Courtney Knauth, Washington)
When is it considered odd to stick your hand up a turkey’s butt? (Rick Haynes, Boynton Beach, Fla.)
What’s the worst thing a guy could hear his wife say on New Year’s Eve? (Bill Coffin, Silver Spring, Md.)
What was the main benefit of the failed Twitter Platinum Plus? (Mike Caslin, Round Hill, Va.)
What is Mitt Romney’s character like? (David Genser)
What is the furthest anyone has read in a “read this agreement before continuing installation”? (J.D. Berry, Springfield, Va.)
What’s the length limit set for racehorse names by the Kyrgyzstan Jockey Club? (Stephen Dudzik, Olney, Md.)
How many characters were searching for an author before Pirandello’s editor read his play? (Keith Waites, Frederick, Md.)
Why is the play “Your Mama’s Lost Weekend” such an expensive production? (Dixon Wragg, Santa Rosa, Calif.)
Ben & Jerry’s next flavor:
What is Kardashian Split? (Judy Blanchard, Novi, Mich.)
What do you call the Stillers’ shared-girlfriend-to-be? (Mike Gips, Bethesda, Md.)
What’s the least imaginative idea for the name of Ben & Jerry’s next flavor? (Larry Gray, Union Bridge, Md.)
What is Heavenly#? (Judy Blanchard)
The far corner of Michelle Obama’s garden:
What is fertile ground for White House leeks? (Chris Doyle, Ponder, Tex.; Barbara Turner)
Where will Andrew Breitbart “find” marijuana plants in October 2012? (Pam Sweeney, Burlington, Mass.)
Where did astute Secret Service agents find a partially hidden carton of Kools? (Rob Huffman, Fredericksburg, Va.)
Where is the plant located that the president promised would see double-digit growth next spring? (Bill Smith, Reston)
Dan Snyder’s new dinghy:
What does the Sultan of Brunei call the $70 million yacht Lady Anne? (Kevin Dopart, Washington)
What was the mushroom-pepperoni-anchovy ratio that got Herman Cain fired from Godfather’s Pizza? (Elliott Jaffa, Arlington, Va.)
When the officer asked her to step out of the car and count back from 100, how did Lindsay Lohan respond? (John Ruml, Arlington, Va., a First Offender)
What were the respective number of lives of Snowball, Ginger, and The Cat That Came Back? (Eric Fritz, Silver Spring, Md.)
Is it true, Herr Schmidt, that you’ve read “Steppenwolf” 1,341 times? (Barrie Collins, Long Sault, Ontario)
Only if you delete two words:
When the president negotiates with Republicans, is his motto still “Yes we can”? (Gary Crockett)
Mr. Lincoln, how about this ending? “And that government of the people, by the people, for the people with money shall not perish from the earth.” (John O’Byrne, Dublin)
Is there a mechanic available to check out my rack and pinion? (Judy Blanchard)
What is “Only two words”? (Brian Cohen, Potomac, Md.)
Will the Capitals return from the playoffs this season with bruises, Stanley Cup and hangovers? (Dean Hebert, Mechanicsville, Md.)
The Easter Bunny but not the Tooth Fairy:
Who says chocolate won’t rot your teeth? (Robert Schechter, Dix Hills, N.Y.)
Who’s welcome at the Bachmann house? (Pam Sweeney)
In which movie does the 47-year-old Taylor Lautner not appear shirtless? (Rob Huffman; Pam Sweeney)
What is the “Snow White” remake where the dwarfs eat the apple instead? (Bob DiPasquale, Round Rock, Tex.)
On Visigoths’ daily planners, what falls between “Suppertime VI” and “Ransack Rome VIII”? (Elwood Fitzner, Valley City, N.D.)
A crumpet and marmalade party:
If Rick Perry Republicans are the Tea Party, what are Mitt Romney Republicans? (Gary Crockett)
Roman cavalry choirs:
Who were the Horsemen of the A Cappella Lips? (Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)
Who have V songs in this week’s Top XL? (Steve Glomb, Alexandria)
Who performed with Bob Hope on his first USO tour? (John McCooey, Rehoboth Beach, Del.)
Visit the online discussion group The Style Conversational, where the Empress discusses today’s new contest and results along with news about the Loser Community — and you can vote for your favorite among the inking entries, since you no doubt figured the Empress chose the wrong winner. If you’d like an e-mail notification each week when the Invitational and Conversational are posted online, write to the Empress at email@example.com (note that in the subject line) and she’ll add you to the mailing list. And on Facebook, join the far more lively group Style Invitational Devotees and chime in.
Next week: No, it’s just you, or The Lonely hars club