What should replace the question mark on this list?


Hint, added later:

There's a hint alluded to via wordplay in the post title.

Hint, added even later:

Although I list JBNRS first, there was, some five or six years earlier, PHCS. But PHCS doesn't really count.

  • $\begingroup$ Is the question mark part of the question? $\endgroup$
    – AntsPiano
    Dec 10, 2020 at 2:00
  • $\begingroup$ @Jingbothedude, the question mark signifies missing term you need to supply. Would it be clearer if I omitted the "?,"? $\endgroup$
    – msh210
    Dec 10, 2020 at 7:33
  • $\begingroup$ @msh210 It's fine - leave it in. The meaning of a question mark is pretty universal! :) (If you want clarity, ask what comes fifteenth in this list, or what replaces the question mark in this list, perhaps, but I don't think it's really necessary...) $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Dec 10, 2020 at 8:46
  • $\begingroup$ Msh I think these might be initials or some letters are missing in some other way might be added but I was asking about a hint on the knowledge tag. $\endgroup$ Dec 27, 2020 at 15:12
  • $\begingroup$ @Smartest1here I'll probably provide another hint at least day after the first, if there's no apparent headway. $\endgroup$
    – msh210
    Dec 27, 2020 at 15:40

1 Answer 1


The question mark should be replaced with


This is the list of

the presidents of the European Parliament, given by their initials:
1958-1960 JBNRS = Jean-Baptiste Nicolas Robert Schuman
1960-1962 HF = Hans Furler
1962-1964 GM = Gaetano Martino
1964-1965 JPD = Jean Pierre Duvieusart
1965-1966 VL = Victor Leemans
1966-1969 AELMP = Alain Émile Louis Marie Poher
1969-1971 MS = Mario Scelba
1971-1973 WB = Walter Behrendt
1973-1975 CB = Cornelis Berkhouwer
1975-1977 GS = Georges Spénale
1977-1979 EC = Emilio Colombo
1979-1982 SV = Simone Veil
1982-1984 PD = Piet Dankert
1984-1987 PEJP = Pierre Eugène Jean Pflimlin
1987-1989 CHP = Charles Henry Plumb

As for the hints:

Hint 1: I don't really get the wordplay. Maybe "a loss" because every one in the list is dead??? "is a loss" is the anagram of Sassoli, the current president (thanks user39583)

Hint 2: PHCS (Paul-Henri Charles Spaak) was the president of the Common Assembly of the European Coal and Steel Community which predates the European Community. The EEC started in 1958 with Robert Schuman (JBNRS) as first president.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ It must be the answer surely, but OPs hints and title make no sense. Also how did you manage to figure this out?? $\endgroup$
    – flinty
    Dec 28, 2020 at 21:08
  • $\begingroup$ rot13("vf n ybff" vf na nantenz bs Fnffbyv, gur pheerag cerfvqrag) $\endgroup$
    – user39583
    Dec 28, 2020 at 21:38
  • $\begingroup$ @flinty (I added my thoughts about the hints in my answer) I found JBNRS early, by trials and errors, using Wikipedia search auto-completion. I didn't manage to find a second name then I threw in the towel. Then came hint #2 and, with the same method, I came to rot13(Fcnnx'f JC cntr) which mentions rot13(Eboreg Fpuhzna). $\endgroup$
    – xhienne
    Dec 28, 2020 at 21:42
  • $\begingroup$ @user39583 Great! That must be it; amending my answer then $\endgroup$
    – xhienne
    Dec 28, 2020 at 21:48
  • $\begingroup$ Well found, @xhienne! $\endgroup$
    – msh210
    Dec 28, 2020 at 22:00

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