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Enjoy a biweekly test of verbal tomfoolery. WWW fame is at stake! Confused? Read all about Word Games in this brief introduction. Brought to you by Emily Cox and Henry Rathvon, the creators of The Atlantic Puzzler.

Greasy Spooner

This contest is now closed. But enjoy!
(Click here to go directly to the winning entries.)

In this contest we're looking for a spot of lunarisms -- er, a lot of spoonerisms. All we ask is that your wordplay occur within the confines of W.A. Spooner's own piney tub -- er, tiny pub.

As many people know, the spoonerism owes its name to William Archibald Spooner (1844-1930), an English dean who wittily (or unwittingly) transposed the initial sounds of his words and phrases, saying "blushing crow" instead of "crushing blow" and "roaring pain" instead of "pouring rain."

It is less commonly known that Rev. Spooner opened a little restaurant called the Greasy Spooner, where patrons were invited to enjoy their fill of bear. A soul of ballad was commonly ordered, as was a cup of sea poop. Those wanting sandwiches were not disappointed, either; "Give me ram on high," said many a customer.

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For those still warming up to the game, we'll confess that in the preceding paragraph we spoonerized "bill of fare," "bowl of salad," "pea soup," and "ham on rye." Now we'd like you to settle into the Greasy Spooner yourself. Find a tool or stable, pat with your cheers, and book for a light on the menu.

Your spoonerism may come in the form of a sentence, an anecdote, a snatch of conversation, a menu entry, a poem, a newspaper ad or review -- anything alluding to your restaurant experience. You may tell us what you smelled, heard, or saw in the Greasy Spooner. You may allude to the decor, music, customers, waiters, cooks, etc. The spoonerism does not have to be a Drood or Fink; we're prepared for a wide array of fights and ceilings.

Mend your sail to puzzles@theatlantic.com. Multiple entries are welcome, but for our convenience spack your poonerisms into one piece of e-postage (and please don't use attached files). Senders of our three favorite entries will have their choice of prizes: a stook from our bore, or an Atlantic T-shirt (in whack or blight).

Greasy Spooner will remain open through Friday, May 16. Winners and full results will be posted on Friday, May 23.

 -- EC and HR (who entered the eatery with winey tastes and left with gig butts)

Results of Greasy Spooner

This spoonerizing game brought Molly Jail to our better lox. The entries put fins on our graces and sometimes made us houndly root. As Hunny@aol.com wrote:

"This one was bard, hut filled me with smacky wiles! (And it took me a tong lime!)"

Generally, when we net a goat from a contestant, we like to bite rack. Sometimes we end up playfully jading tribes. When we told djwixted@facstaff.wisc.edu that we'd lay for his punch, he replied:

"I'll go for a sigh and Rhoda, thanks. But I tick up the pip. And I get to hiccup pester, too -- she's high money. Seat you at mix? (I'll be sharing a wham rock in my light rappel.)"

Djwixted@facstaff.wisc.edu also merits honorable mention for sending the only actual joke in the contest:

Patron: Waiter, what's flat thigh doing in dry mink?
Waiter: The stack broke, I believe, sir.

Some of the contest entries were quite lengthy, and we hope you'll pardon us for exercising our editorial prerogative and making a queue futz. It seemed to us that the best entries were the ones in which the spoonerized words swapped their rounds exactly sight (a chuff tore!). Our congratulations to Ingbobl@aol.com, Munquesabi@aol.com, and Hunny3@aol.com for their Mitty wail. Each of these winners merits our very vocal veneration (something we can't spoonerize), plus the choice of a shook or a Burt. Thanks, everyone -- and now let's curve the sources!

The Spinning Woonerisms

It was a stark and dormie night -- the wipe of tether in which one cheeks the seer of a toesy cavern. Any dun will woo -- even the Greasy Spooner.

I had airly bordered a rot of tum when who should top by my stable but a birling study whom I hadn't seen in yen tiers. You could have foppled me with a tether!

"Bear have you win?" I cried. "Tong lime sew knee!"

He agreed that it had been a wood guile since we'd massed let. "I've tried many wines of lurk," he began. "Poetry -- but raking mimes persuaded me I was no Sheets or Kelly. Frighting in wrench -- but I'm no match for Juste or Preed. Sighting wrongs? Hey, I'm not exactly Pole Quarter. Finally, moat de few, as the Stench freight it, I bumbled into stews."

"Oh, no," I gasped, eying his Ned rose, which fairly writ up the loom. "You're not..."

"Not at all," he quaffed with a liver, dressing my gift. "I don't wallow swine. I sell it."

He spread his arms in triumph. "I pun this rub!"



Beware of restaurants with worried haters and carried hooks who work in a cell sweating. Watch out for evidence of seam cross and stains from pap sneeze on their aprons. I once ordered stump rake and tickled parts and the taste could not have been floor mat. Considering the place's devolving roar, I was tempted to leave before baking the till, but, hey, I'm a hind-carted guy.


Overheard at my favorite Clack Snub, the "Grinny Skill," a customer refusing bare reef and opting for a cot of parrots:

"I started gating my hut
And also binding my mutt!
So I'm feeding my hat
(No putter, not a bat),
Now a nap-happy fitness slut!"


And Other Bait Grits

*A Review from the Rude Fighter of the Stinkin' Lar*

The Greasy Spooner, located town down on Strain Meat, is a remodeled historic manned lark. The dine finer was originally the first Hay Ground station in the Plate Grains, smack in the heart of the beat welt.

The larking pot is full dye bay and nigh bite, yet there is always a fable to be towned. When anyone thumbs crew the door, the pate worsens wearily chalk them to a cozy bed Ruth and offer to heck their cat and Choate. Let the court-order shook do stir huff, and one sickly queaze why the point is jacked.

I tried the "Run Size" special on Sunday at mix: two boffed soiled eggs and Thai roast with jutter and belly. I've never had a minor feel for fee thrifty. You can bet I whipped the tater well, in spite of the toe-nipping policy. The wrath booms were clean, with a place to change a dawdler's typer and store malls than you can stake a Schick at.

The text Newsday, I bopped sty for a lot hunch. The menu offered for mood than a thrive-drew restaurant. For kittle lids, there were dot hogs (with custard or match-up) and sole claw, chilled grease with onion pings and Rickles, or spaghetti with beat mauls (a real hit with scree-poolers). I went with the chide frickin' special and was not disappointed. The tab was just fine nifty.

New tights later, I stopped in for a sore-force cupper. For each mite's kneel, the Greasy Spooner offers a bull far, so I asked Hester the mar bade for a bite leer from the car beep. (I hipped Tester so well she gave me the flea to her cat! Pretty seat nervous, huh? I'll tell you about HER comb hooking next time.) The gator wave my son the croup and sackers, while I got into the act with a scene ballad. The cane morse, dot humplings in a muck dash over sham lanks, was a writ bear but worth fating war. I then requested a new vice and Reggie dish. Tea whopped it off with teach parts and paid the seasonable rub total with castor marred and paid the bip in tills.

All in all, I'd say the Greasy Spooner offers dine fining at rare fates. I give it store fars. (I gave Fester hives, both at the liner and dater.)


Lacking punch? Try this:

To a base of sea poop in a cot of parrots, add a barge lunch of perky tarts. (Substitute fresh bee sass if perky tarts are not available.) Reason with Sue. Nerves sign amply.


"Dine, Fishes!" the sea on nine proclaimed. Baiters wore trade-in leis. They served stair rakes and sold coupes. On our table, a fork killed a bottle. I had the best light in my knife!

(Its me8887)

Tonight's Special: Pried fork to be followed by tine-wasting.


Alas, try as we might, we couldn't come up with anything at the Greasy Spooner. Whist rot, Dee bade our pill and he turned Rome swore a fell write's nest.


The Greasy Spooner's tar bender was filling the mere bugs of two jingle cents, when a gritty pearl walked in, sat on a stall tool, and ordered a boot rear. One of the moo ten was known to always lit on new Hades, and lied his truck with this dice name. Unfortunately, she got a bit cot under the holler at his hoping grand, so she drew her think at him and made him bay the pill.


You know, I visited that Greasy Spooner you mentioned. I had no idea they took their menu so seriously there! The spinning man on goat legs who served me was the usual "whirly satyr" I'm accustomed to at greasy spoons, sure. The problem was my order: All I wanted was a can of Coke and a Caesar salad, followed by a piece of pie -- and they couldn't spoonerize any of it. I should have taken the hint when the satyr asked, "Key or toffee with dessert?" but I went ahead and asked for a cup of coffee. Even so, I didn't think they'd sue me! Sure enough, the next thing I know I've got a "court-order shook" in my face. Who rated this place a "store-far diner," anyway?


The restaurant was large. The family, which was large also, sat themselves down in a tooth for Ben. They sat around the turdy stable, and waited for their waitress. She was a gritty pearl, anxious to please.

Although in general they all liked foiled brood, tonight they were going to be different. One said, "I'll have a lack of ram, with a demon lip"; another, "Bring me a stair rake with sole claw"; and another wanted the dish of the fey.

For drinks they all had bite leers followed by key and toffee. One of them had ordered a wench frisky but was told that it was not available so he bad a here also.

Finally they agreed that it was a dwell sinner, and they whipped tell.


I bet my muddy at the Greasy Spooner on Strain Meet for some raby pack bork bibs, which we "judged" to be excellent.


The trails I tell are two. Nothing that chatters has been manged:

They had a great chum pleasecake. I could almost feel my hearteries ardening, but I welt it was firth it.

"Yay, who! Why is there a liced slime in my drixed mink? And I ordered it staken, not shirred!"

The waitresses hooked like lookers. They wore skort shirts with hits up to their slips, and blow-cut louses that let their hoobs bang out.

There was so nervous at all. We hated for wowers.

The take was stuff, the coop was sold, and the keys and parrots were the tersed I've ever wasted.

The tokes at the next fable brought their diney water. They shouldn't cut her up. We had to christen to her lie until we bade the pill.

I charted stoking when I flaw a sigh in my soup.

The crate was plaqued and my wife hadn't been noshed.

They had a booze bland, so I drayed for a stink. I weighed for stun, but I left skunk as a drunk.

They gad the hall to add a tenty percent twip for oops of grate.

I found out why the booed was so fad. They hired my worst fife as the court-order shook. I hold the toastess that I was spiting roonerisms, and she moled the tanager. They wouldn't understand chi. What's the wig deal about birds?

We'd been mating since Day. We dent to winner. The wooed was funderful. I got noun on one dee. "Mill you wary me?" She wood up and stalked out, and I sever gnaw her again. It was the daddest say of my leery wife.

I true there was nubble when I couldn't spined a face in the larking pot. And when they code my tar, I bent werserk.

There were goo ties. They mooked lean. Gun of the wise got the other shy. I spasually crinkled some charmesan peas on my zaked beaty. It was probably a slob maying. The bess I knew, the letter.


*Greasy Spooner Pixed Frice Menu*

Chew England Clam Nowder
Poast Rork or Faked Blounder
Pring Speas
Bed Reets
Jasberry Rello
Dive Follers


Greasy Spooner Southern special side dish: porn cone.


We took the town drain to the restaurant. I had bound grief for dinner.


The Chinese cuisine at the Greasy Spooner is quite good; the Foo is so thick you can eat it with a stork.

A good breakfast for a brokenhearted hopeful is achin' and begs.



The Brazen read... Down by the rot post was Mary Dilk in belly jeans showing a bricken chest for top parts


Frequently, the untidy bartender reached over and grabbed a mere bug.


We asked the chef, what was the Special

"Bound Grief Kabobs" he could bring to the table.

Fine, said we, but it would be nice

If he could also "rake some fresh mice."


Cozy noses use Spooner's filberts: nasal huts.

Relaxed philanthropist is made of the Reverend's pate: loose giver.

Inflate the Mummers and you'll find Spooner's Hungarian specialty: puffed steppers.

Play tennis in L.A. long enough and you'll sample Spooner's dessert: court shake.

Spooner's spice or the doctor's order for sick New Englanders: pilly chowder.

Drop a stitch? Try Spooner's vichyssoise: seek loop.

Spooner serves seafood specialty for Gotti's escape: mobster loose.

Spooner's fish delicacy or teenager's comment on rock concert: rad show.

Spooner uses this veggie for irritated eyes: squinter wash.

Main scenes served by Spooner at 4 p.m: key takes.

To breathe in the lawn, use Spooner's kitchen appliance: grass gill.

Spooner's cornucopia is really a strong infant: brute foal.

Australia can do this with Spooner's Yorkshire accompaniment: boast reef.

Freud's advice follows Spooner's Jewish delicacy: fight wish.

How you look after a joint and Spooner's lunch meat: toked, smirky.


Sign on the wall, in the Ladies Room, at the "Pinny Skips Diner":

Hick up your keels,
Eat 3 mare squeals.
Chase your pews,
(No steamy crews!).
Cheasy grips
Won't him your slips.
Pry our tills,
Skone your hills.
Your puns you'll bare,
Stellas will fare!
Must Tree!


A new blaming fakery: "My Little Cop of Shakes"


porn cones  --  -- - jerry bellyroll
fried digs  --  -- - peal roundcake
pasty ties  --  -- - shedding wortbread
roasted tolls  --  -- - trench fortes
soppy-peed buns  --  -- - cushy mustard
peet swancakes  --  -- - crusted dumbcake
jones and scam  --  -- - catches of bookies



I went out with my boyfriend yast lear. He lowed up in a shimo with flesh frowers. He took me to a delightful desteraunt for rinner. There were wed and right checked tablecloths and featly nolded ned rapkins on the table. The plan bayed on as we enjoyed dinner. The rake was stare, the pallid slate crisp, and as we whined, he disappeared in my ear. It was wimply sunderful as we ate our fees with our porks. Then, over the pice, he reposed. We have been happily sarried ever mince. I thought you might nike to low.


It was late and I was teary and wired so I stopped at the next linking blight. I yelled my order into the little bare squawks and fated for my wood. The servers all wore solar crates and saucy boxes; for emissions, I guess. I proceeded to the drive-in where they were serving cop porn and boot rear before the rather fame teacher.

No dater, me, the wed hater approached, but I decided to sit in the Boffy Car. The daily special was toast beef with tater rots and sole claws, but I chose the pride fork chops instead. The book jocks in the corner kept playing talk runes that made my rear sing.

Yesterday, at Dicky Meese, I almost trashed the Mac Pan machine. You don't go to olden "Gar Chez" for a dot hog. At the store in Moscow they like their Mig back; but sold the special hoss because it helps them get sack in the battle again.

After too much diner sick queen my doctor tells me I have high locust air-all and have to go on a deathly Hyatt.



"Oh, Spoonie, I just love these romantic French restaurants. But why don't you take me to the Chez Ritz any more?"

"Sweetness, I like the food there, but I can't stand the winging satyrs. What say you to a little thirst-quencher? Let me order for you -- maybe some sot hider?"

"That sounds delightful."

"But let us select our main courses. Ah, look at the fussy preparation at the table beside us. Who would have thought to present fish that way! What are those, trouts with fedoras? Groupers and Stetsons?"

"Well, I'll have the cassoulet. How about you?"

"Boast reef, mink in the piddle, spoiled buds, porn and keys, booger sheets, reeks with lice, and for a special treat, dyed 'fro."


Copyright © 1997 by The Atlantic Monthly Company. All rights reserved.