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TIMES RHYMES
(4/7/95-4/22/95)

This contest is now closed. But enjoy!

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

As some of you news-perusers may recall, there was a story some years back about a group of rural citizens who protested the stereotyped portrayal of hillbilly families in Hollywood movies. This group's rejection of popular films inspired a news headline reading: STIX NIX HIX PIX.

Your assignment is to compose a similar headline--one in which all the words rhyme. Just in case we find your headline a bit obscure, you should also include a brief synopsis of the news story.

Okay, banner planners, get that scoop!

--EC and HR



TIMES RHYMES Contest Results

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

In this contest, word-lovers were asked to create newspaper headlines in which all the words rhymed. This led to some tense moments.

We don't mean that our contestants were biting their fingernails. We mean that a major constraint was created by the fact that a single noun takes a present-tense verb ending in "s" (like GUY FLIES or GIRL WHIRLS). It is the Atlantic Monthly's official, stiff-upper-lipped, hairy-eyeballed, stone-hearted editorial contention that such words do NOT actually qualify for rhymehood!

A fair number of contestants hewed to the same view, and used their ingenuity to circumvent this obstacle. A common tactic was to switch to the future tense:

BILL WILL FILL TILL (Clinton proposes new sources of revenue) (Tundrow)
HILL WILL NIL HILL BILL
(The defeat of Hillary Clinton's health care plans) (APRILYF)
HILL WILL STILL KILL PILL BILL
(Congress set to ax pharmaceutical regulations despite popular protest) (RevMJK)

Of course, there's no law that a headline has to form a full sentence. Many of you blissfully skipped past the verbs. But not contestant MIDIMil, whose dizzying whopper of a headline (which surpassed all other entries for sheer expansiveness) probably would have dwarfed the story in an actual newspaper:

TUES.: ZOO'S CREWS ABUSE SHOES, PERUSE EWES' QUEUES, YEWS' HUES, GNUS' MOOS, 'ROOS' CLUES. SCHMOOZE, CHOOSE VIEWS TWOS' WOOS, REFUSE CHOOSE BOOZE, BLUES. DUES CRUISE RUSE NEWS.
(Zoo employees wear out their feet, mind their duties, and keep a bright outlook despite rumors of management abuse of their union payments.)

Our three top favorites were much less circumlocutory. In fact, they have a distinctly snappy quality. Each of the three winners below will receive 5 free AOL hours, plus a book of his or her choice from the Atlantic's online bookstore.

The Winners:

BRIGHT LIGHT MIGHT RIGHT SIGHT PLIGHT
(New laser surgery technique may cure myopia) (SprucMoose)

TOX JOX BOX LOX
(An energetic group of environmental activists spent most of last weekend trapping salmon swimming upstream toward the site of a recent toxic waste spillage. The salmon were taken, in specially constructed water-filled boxes, several miles upstream and released to continue their journey.) (Maggie NY)

PASSEL HASSLE CASTLE VASSAL
(Zealous reporters in a crowd harangue Prince Charles' valet) (SPORTY40)

And We Also Really, Really Liked:

INFECTION DETECTION! CORRECTION SELECTION? PROTECTION INJECTION!
(Jonas Salk's discovery of the polio vaccine in April 1955) (Turnberry2)

MET, NET BET JET, GET WET PET, LET VET FRET
(Two New York athletes make a friendly wager against fellow Big Apple pro, win a soaked animal, and give it to an animal doctor to worry about) (MSSavett)

TEX-MEX WRECKS SEX
(New medical study) (MSSavett)

GRANT CAN'T CHAN'T, RANT
(President gets laryngitis) (MSSavett)

FAT CAT SAT PAT
(Local item about kitten stuck in tree) (MSSavett)

ROSE KNOWS FOES' WOES, CHOSE THOSE 'STROS
(Ballplayer Pete bets on Houston Astros because their opponents are weakened by injuries) (MSSavett)

LEWD CRUDE DUDE VIEWED PRUDE; NUDE SUED
(Peeping tom sued by nude victim) (LadyLexie)

OH NO! BONO!
(About the current state of Congress...) (MerlBaby)

VEGGIE WEDGIE? REGGIE EDGY
(Outfielder Jackson apprehensive over rumor that teammate plans to sneak up and stuff broccoli into his shorts) (G8ly)

NIX MIX TRIX SIX: MIX, RIX, VIX
(Stevie's choice of tunes surprises Jagger, Dolenz, Ocasek, Derringer, Mature and Damone) (G8ly)

PLATH HATH MATH WRATH
(Relatives of late poet Sylvia argue over the royalties from her work) (TinLizzard)

SEATO TITO FRITO VETO NEATO: ITO
(Jurist applauds Asian pact's plan to impose import ban on snack foods and Jackson solo music projects) (RevMJK)

VIRGIN PURGIN SURGIN
(Moves to appease volcano gods seen on rise) (RevMJK)

NEWS CREWS LOSE CLUES, CRUISE MEWS
(An inept TV-News Team searches secret locale of gang organization in an attempt to recapture lost evidence) (Alaxia)

BARTY-SAN ARTISAN PARTISAN
(Karate black-belt Bart Simpson contributes to fund for deserving artists in Japan) (Alaxia)

WIDE BRIDE CRIED "CLYDE LIED!" (Overweight woman left standing at altar) (SprucMoose)

LOOSE MOOSE GOOSE BRUCE!
(Pop star Springsteen has close encounter with two Yellowstone National Park residents) (SprucMoose)

FUDDS, JUDDS, MUDDS SUDS DUDS, FLOODS CRUDS, THUDS!
(Elmer, Naomi, Roger et al wash clothes by beating them on a rock at the river) (Landlord1)

MITE FRIGHT: "LITE" WHITE BITE MIGHT SMITE
(Yet another health hazard was announced by scientists who discovered a potentially lethal microscopic organism in skim milk) (Tundrow)

DROOP SCOOP DUPE
(Woman buys counterfeit Wonderbra) (PineCreekS)

JAZZ HAS CHAZ
(Utah signs Charles Barkley) (PineCreekS)

JOHN, KHAN CON CANNES BON-BON
(Elton and Chaka fool a starlet) (PineCreekS)

CLINTON HINTIN' RINTINTIN SIN
(The President inadvertently indicates he may have some bones buried in the White House backyard) (LBJackson)

SPAN PLAN CAN CAN
(A fund raising dance will be heald for a new bridge over lake Pontchartrain leading into New Orleans) (Kyddryn)

VACATION STATION INFLATION DURATION A SENSATION
(Disney World ups their prices again!) (Kyddryn)

NIXON FIXIN' TRICKS IN DICKSON
(President alleged to be copying tapes in Congressional Office Building) (Vonetc)

NAPOLEON UNHOLY-IN' TYROLEAN
(After stunning victory at Jena, Bonaparte expected to depose Austrian Archduke and replace Holy Roman Empire with Confederation of German States) (Vonetc)

DUM-DUM CRUMB NUMB FROM SOME BUM RUM
(Prohibition headline) (September)

FLEET STREET SWEETMEAT NEAT TREAT: FEET!
(Sweeny Todd Sensation!) (September)

FLO JO KOKOMO FOE NO SHOW LOW BLOW
(Sports page: Florence Joyner's opponent for a charity fund raiser exhibition race in Kokomo fails to show; charity money is lost.) (DKay)

EIGHT RATE GREAT CANDIDATE DEBATE
(Eight commentators analyze the results of an unprecedented debate between the President and all of the Republican candidates) (JebMar)

DROLL DOLE STOLE POLL
(Pollsters agree unexpected whimisical responses gave Bob Dole a clear victory in the Presidential debates) (JebMar)

PELE-MALAY MELEE
(A fracas at a 1970s World Cup soccer match) (The Boze)

CONNERY PRAWNERY HONOREE - SEAN OREGONERY
(Sean Connery left for Portland today to receive honors from the Shrimpboaters' association as "The Sexiest Man Underwater" for his portrayal of Captain Ramius in "The Hunt For Red October")
(Ravensegg)

QUILT BUILT LILT
(Quilter sings after finishing her work) (Sweets2You)

SIMPSON'S PIMPS ON GIMPS ON LIMPS ON
(Referring to O.J.'s defense teams contention that his
knees would not have permitted him to climb the fence) (DPElliott)

FLY SKY HIGH, BYE BYE
(Hot air balloon takes off to fly around the world) (Jan Levine)

CASH CRASH, SMASH
(Man jumps out window after losing money) (1929) (Jan Levine)

FRIENDS BENDS TRENDS, RECOMMENDS BENZ
(The Quaker church, in a surprise move, rejected their historcal position of austerity, and suggested their membership purchase flashy, expensive automobiles.) (Landlord1)

THOSE PROS' WOES: ROSE FROZE, BLOWS BO'S-BONO'S NOSE-FOES POSE
(A leading facial tissue manufacturer had contracted ex-baseball player Pete Rose, ex-polyathlete Bo Jackson, and ex-celebrity Sonny Bono for a television ad in which Bo and Bono nose-blow, one with the leading competitor's tissue, as Rose bets on his team's tissue to out-perform the other. At the critical cue, however, Rose could not go through with it and production of the ad has been suspended. When asked if they were likely to resume shooting, Bo and Bono eschewed prose and chose "No"'s and Rose said "I wouldn't bet on it. Honest!") (BdaBoy)


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