lucy24 - 2:10 am on May 15, 2011 (gmt 0)
Does it have to both work and validate? If you say this
<body bgcolor="#99FF99" text="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, Sans">
it validates-- which strikes me as a bug in the validator-- but, er, doesn't work :) Opera and Mozilla-based browsers each interpret the text as some shade of blue-green (not the same shade), since they're expecting a number after "text". MSIE would probably just crash.
I'm pretty sure it's genuinely impossible to do it without a separate <font> statement inside of each block-level element, which in your case means every single header, paragraph or (assuming it doesn't contain p's or h's) table cell. As a small consolation, note that the color and face can go inside the same <font> tag. And they'll all get closed off together at the end of each cell.
Just think how good it will feel next week when you're allowed to say once and for all
background-color: anything but that green!;
font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;}