The Washington Post Sunday

New contest for Week 1309: The Year in Redo, Part 1


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 SANT in any order: AmNasty 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 the 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 oneoffs like Yelp reviews for odd places, or goodnature­d modern curses. Enter (or reenter) any Style Invitation­al contest

from Week 1255 through Week 1281, except for Weeks 1257 and 1258, last year’s doovers, 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. 617. For the obit poems, Week 1261, continue to write about people who died in 2017. You may resubmit noninking 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,, 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 for other ways (maybe better ones for you) to see all the contests.

Submit entries at­e1309 (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 lustedafte­r Loser magnets, “We’ve Seen Better” or “IDiot Card.” First Offenders receive only a smelly treeshaped 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 The headline “NoHit Wonders” was suggested by both Jeff Contompasi­s and Jesse Frankovich; Chris Doyle and Jesse both suggested this week’s honorablem­entions subhead. Join the Style Invitation­al Devotees on Facebook at “Like” Style Invitation­al Ink of the Day on Facebook at; follow @StyleInvit­e on Twitter.


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