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ACRONYMIC ATLAS
(3/10/95 - 3/24/95)

This contest is now closed. But enjoy!

(Click here to go directly to the winning entries.)

Word-lovers, put on your traveling shoes! In this contest, we want you to go someplace--anywhere your imagination takes you. Then e-mail us a postcard whose message is an acronym of the place you're visiting. For example, you might go to the Japanese city of Kobe and write, "Knocked over by earthquake." Or you might go to Des Moines, Iowa, and write, "Dear everybody: Snowing madly on Interstate! Now expecting sixteen inches. Oh well. --Alice."

Surely you can think of funnier examples. We will allow a great deal of (ahem) latitude in your choice of location, which may be one word ("Albuquerque") or two ("Paris, France") or many ("the Lesser Antilles islands," "the Emerald City of Oz"). We ask only that your message's first letters, in order, spell out the name of your location. Please use all the letters in that name, and *only* those letters (no extraneous padding words).

--EC and HR



Acronymic Atlas Contest Results

(All addresses without @ symbols are AOL screen names.)

Thanks for a nifty pile of postcards, folks! We have them plastered all over our refrigerator! Well, okay--you can't plaster e-mail on a refrigerator. But we really do have a nice e-pile of your entries. They come from all over the atlas, with surprisingly little duplication.

A few of you were drawn to Washington, and saw "Newt Gingrich" in the NG; others went to Seattle, and found "the latte" in the TL; and a carload of you visited Graceland, where the EL showed that "Elvis lives." At least one example of each of these astute discoveries is included on our list of Honorable Mentions.

We also received a batch of soggy postcards from flood-ravaged southern California. We hope this situation is improving and that messages like the one from ShrugAtlas below are no longer (ahem) current. Why several of you chose to visit the Bermuda Triangle (usually with dire results) we don't rightly know. Are wordplay lovers adventurous by nature? Or are some of you merely reckless fools? (We'll let you answer that one.)

Here are our three winning postcards, chosen purely by logophilic whim, as ever.

The Winners:

Skied Wednesday--into tree. Zurich emergency rescuers located appendages nearby. --Dawn (TAZZMAT)

Stupidly ate numerous jalapenos. Unless a new prescription (undoubtedly expensive) relieves the ongoing ravages, I'm checking out. (SavWmson)

We are leaving today. Disney is, sadly, not entertaining. Yesterday we only received long delays. Locusts (ARGGGGH!) kept EPCOT "buzzing" until evening. Never arrange vacations in sleazy tourist area fleatraps like Orlando. --Ron (Is Disneyland available?) (RonPippin)

And the Very Honorable Mentions:

Lots of sun, ammo nearly gone, Evelyn learned earthquake survival! (Mztlplx)

Sadie: Our untimely trip has encountered rain. Never ceases. Aunt Lila is floating off, requiring Noah's intervention.--Arkless (ShrugAtlas)

Bobby--Everyone really misses Uncle Dave after tragic raft incident. Another nasty gale looms---Elizabeth (TAZZMAT)

Beautiful! Everything remains mostly unspoiled. Despite all tales, region is almost nirvana!! .......George? ............Leslie?????? ...........EEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeekkkkkkkkkk............. (TinLizzard)

Saw everything at Tacoma. Totems look enchanting. Wasted, ashen Saint Helens is nerve-wracking! Gone to Olympia nearby. (MadMom)

Having a wonderful adventure! Incomparable islands! (MadMom)

Saw a Sasquatch! Kayaking adventure thrilling! Continue hauling eye-poppers with angler Nanuk. (MadMom)

Amazing! Before leaving Akron, Caroline kept hearing odd little explosions. I naturally suspected planetary atrophism. Caroline explained: "Sometimes, ordinary meteorites evaporate when heated." Extremely rare evaporations occur under traumatic thermal hegemony, enabling recordable eructions! (Ravensegg)

Hello everybody ! Loved Lucifer ! ! ! (Ravensegg)

Here everybody always victimizes everyone new (Some1els)

Seeing everyone and tasting the latte endlessly (PFowler)

Myron! I'm abandoning my inhibitions!!! (PFowler)

Came here really innocently, seeking the calm harmony. Utopia! Rented cute house near exotic wayside zoo, emancipating all lemurs and native dogs. (Raviac)

Vanessa: International crisis today. Organized riot in airport. Fun at last! Located seven zebras in mother's bedroom. All behaved well. --Elsie (Libbster)

Sam: Politics ridiculous! I'm now going fishing. Idiots elected Lincoln!-- Douglas (Libbster)

Met Elvis munching popcorn here in Sears. (Libbster)

Groupies rally and chant "Elvis lives and never dies." (Brocklyn)

Getting a look at peculiar and gigantic organisms. Shaking in shoes! Lizards approaching!! Next--Disneyland!!!! (Turnberry2)

To Hilary: Eating crow and perfectly itching to opine liking Bill. Unexpectedly, I like Democrats!--Impeccably, Newt G. (ShrugAtlas)

Whitewater alumni sure humbler in Newt Gingrich territory... only non democrats cheering ! (Purrrrty)

Saw Arch. Impressive narrated tour. Lunched on unbelievable Italian sausage. Many interesting sights surpassed our unnecessarily rigorous inspections. (Seestorliz)

Terrified upon nearing Islamic site. Totally unnecessary nervousness imbecilic -- souk is awsome! (Seestorliz)

Met interesting Russians soaring peacefully about. Circumnavigating Earth, scientist Thagard's analyzing T-cells -- I observe noiselessly. (Seestorliz)

Some amazingly nice things are foolishly exploited. (Raycarlos)

Spanish Alamo nearby, and nothing that otherwise needs instant observation. (Ergolem)

Cruised Lake Erie: visitors expecting little are never disappointed. (RevMJK)

Peter's right: olives, vin extraordinaire (nectar), cheese epicureans. (Brocklyn)

Bikinis abound. Hunks abound. Morals are scarce. (JJames24)

Lots of shopping and no guilt, enormous limos, earthquakes, status (ATI2DD)

Time honored edifice. Grey rock elegance. Aha! T-shirt wielders accost lucrative looker. On fortress, capitalistic hucksters invade northern Asia. (JebMar)

Streetcars, Alcatraz, nightlife: Frisco remains adventurous, never ceasing in spectacular California odysseys (Lsoakley)

Very unusual lifeforms.....cuisine awful. --Nogg (Purrrrty)

Nothing ever works. Yes, our rat king capers in the yard. (Maxine3705)

Lung obliterating smog and nasty geography! Earthquake lovers, especially, should come and live in filmdom's one-dimensional ravaged nightmare! It's appalling!! (Alyte)

Have a nose full of radioactive dust! (Shnaro)

Always looking at snowy, Klondike acreage! (lsoakley)

Viewed an ugly girl hang-gliding nude. Watched as she hovered. I'll never get to Oregon now. (Sporty40)

My youth returns!!!! The livelihood's easing back, every aspect creating happiness. Seems ocean uproots the harshness, carries away rank oldness. Look!!!! I'm new again! (GaKidJr)

People love anything new. Entertainers try helping out. Looking? Looking? You won't observe opulent dramatists like Arnold Schwarzenegger: Very eager guests aren't stars! (IluvSteveC)

Lads and senoritas very easily gamble away savings (DocHollday)

Towns in Mali bring us knickknacks totally unusual (ClareDLune)


Copyright © 1995 by The Atlantic Monthly Company. All rights reserved.