(Click here to skip down to the winning “air quotes” definitions)
The difference between the World Cup and armpit hair: This year, more Americans will be watching their armpit hair.
● Alex Ovechkin’s smile
●a Roach Motel
●The print version of The Washington Post
●the World Cup
●Kim Jung Un’s Porta-John
●a pound of scrapple
●Cold, hard facts
●a North Korean beach vacation
●a deck of 51 cards
●an emotional-support peacock
●the new Duchess of Sussex
● Justify’s tail
●a coffee mug with a ceramic snake head inside
“Our similarities outweigh our differences,” it’s often said by the hopeful. For this perennial contest, the Empress will take similarities or differences, whatever’s funnier. This week: Explain how any two of the items in the list above are similar, different or otherwise linked, as in the example so handsomely illustrated by Bob Staake. One positive note: The last time we did this contest, 14 months ago, one of the items was “World War III.” And that never happened!
Submit entries at the website wapo.st/enter-invite-1284 (all lowercase).
Winner gets the Lose Cannon, our Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives an ultra-cool, if ultra-creepy, large ceramic mug with a ceramic rattlesnake tail for a handle, scales on the outside . . . and the rest of the snake — culminating in a fangs-out ceramic snake head — coming right up the inside. From Invite fan Mary Ellen Stroupe, who got it at the Rattlesnake Museum in Albuquerque.
Other runners-up win our “You Gotta Play to Lose” Loser Mug or our Grossery Bag, “I Got a B in Punmanship.” 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, June 25; results published July 15 (online July 12). See general contest rules and guidelines at wapo.st/InvRules. The headline ‘Hij‘inks’ ” was submitted by both Kevin Dopart and Chris Doyle; Kevin and Brad Alexander sent the honorable-mentions subhead. Join the lively 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.
In Week 1280 we asked you to insert “air quotes” into a word, then define it. “T‘rump’ ” had already been done, not just in one of our own air quotes contests, but by the entire world.
Pr“ogress”ive: Hillary. — D.T., Washington (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)
Per“ha”ps: Yeah, we should definitely do lunch sometime! (Danielle Nowlin, Fairfax Station, Va.)
“Colon”ialism: Exploiting another country till you’ve rectum. (Kathy El-Assal, Middleton, Wis.)
Be”lie”ve me: When a speech begins with this phrase, you know what to expect. (Brian Allgar, Paris)
F“rat p”arty: “Man, this cheap beer tastes weird!” (Rob Huffman, Fredericksburg, Va.)
“Mad”onna: “I thought I told you to take a bath. No, it doesn’t count if you just sit there on top of the water like that. JESUS, JUST GET IN THE TUB!” (Danielle Nowlin)
B“onan”za: Discovering your father’s stash of Playboys. (Chris Doyle, Denton, Tex.)
Cele“brat”e: “It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to.” (Drew Bennett, West Plains, Mo.)
Hy“pot”hesis: “Hey, dude, I was thinking, like, what if, you know, like, wouldn’t that be awesome?” (Roy Ashley, Washington)
Jer“USA”lem: Foreign city with an irritating bit of America stuck in its middle. (Kevin Dopart, Washington)
M“anus”cript: Pages of rejected novel used as toilet paper. (Robert Schechter, Dix Hills, N.Y.)
Peg“gy P”eterson: “$130,000 and she’s still talking? What a rip-off!” — D. Dennison, Washington (Jesse Frankovich, Grand Ledge, Mich.)
R“oy” Moore and Har“vey” Weinstein: Aunt Yetta warned me about guys like that. (Elaine Lederman, Strasburg, Va.)
Tech“nologic”al advancement: A software update that now requires three steps to do what used to take one. (Jon Gearhart, Des Moines)
Ther“mom”eter: What you check to see if you are going to need a sweater. (Peter Ashkenaz, Falls Church, Va., a First Offender)
Z“ucch”ini: Zucchini. (Brendan Beary, Great Mills, Md.)
Adole“scent”: “Honey, it’s definitely time to wash those gym clothes.” (Rick Haynes, Boynton Beach, Fla.; Rob Huffman)
“RIP”ple effect: Why do celebrity deaths always seem to come in threes? (Dima Llanos, Middleton, Wis., a First Offender)
“Lite”rature: “Man, this new James Patterson is great!” (Rob Huffman)
“Hide”ous: “That vase you got me? Oh, I put it away so the kids won’t break it.” (Danielle Nowlin)
An“them”: A patriotic song that “those people” won’t stand for. (Kevin Dopart)
Ba“star”d: When you’re one, you think you get to do anything. (Jeff Contompasis)
Ca“tech”ism: Online Bible study. (John Hutchins, Silver Spring, Md.)
B“ED”bug: A problem in the sack. (Tom Witte, Montgomery, Village, Md.)
Dec“AF”: “This coffee is so @%!#*ing lame.” (Melissa Balmain, Rochester, N.Y.)
Com“putin”g: How the Russians managed to hack the U.S. elections. (Brian Allgar)
H“iligh”t: My best alternative fact. — K. Conway (Jeff Strong, Fairfax, Va., a First Offender)
Discr“EPA”ncies: What auditors found in Scott Pruitt’s travel vouchers. (Chris Doyle; Jesse Frankovich)
E“NRA”ged: Mad as hell that that the government wants to take your guns away. (Chris Doyle)
Ho“t rum p”unch: Many folks thought it sounded good until they woke up and realized what a big headache it caused. (Hildy Zampella, Alexandria, Va.)
Im“pot”ent: Too high to even try. (Deanna Busick, Knoxville, Tenn.)
L“ex”us: She got the car. (John McCooey, Rehoboth Beach, Del.)
Immig“ration”: This year we’ll take a few non-swarthy Europeans . . . (Jeff Hazle, San Antonio)
P“ass”ing lane: The shoulder. (John Ramos, Duluth, Minn.)
Re“tire”ment: So much free time now! I can do any . . . zzzzzzzzzzzzzz . . . .”(Rob Huffman)
S“love”nia: What Melania left behind years ago. (Kevin Dopart)
Yo“ga”: “How was class? Oh, did you know there’s a hole in the back of your pants?” (Frank Osen, Pasadena, Calif.)
Cy“bern”etics: How Sen. Sanders plans to stay viable for another presidential run. (Jesse Frankovich)
V“ale”dictorian: Beer pong champion. (John Hutchins)
Sports Il“lust”rated: The Swimsuit Issue. (Dan Helming, Maplewood, N.J.)
T“rue”: Describing something that, while accurate, would have been better left unsaid (e.g., “Your sister sure looks hot in that bikini”). (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)
“Ass”ociation: “I’m with stupid.” (Luke Baker, Columbia, Md.)
Bom“bs”hells: Your daily White House tweetstorm. (Kathy El-Assal)
E“norm”ous: The average size of Middle America’s middle. (Kevin Dopart)
Cli“mate”: Conditions that determine whether your partner runs hot or cold. “The cli‘mate’ in my bedroom has been chilly ever since my wife caught me watching our neighbor sunbathing topless.” (Jon Gearhart)
And Last: Sym“pat”hy: However much the Empress might feel, it won’t get you any ink. (Jesse Frankovich)
Still running — deadline Monday night, June 18: our contest to use a word from the National Spelling Bee in a short poem. See wapo.st/invite1283.
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