Sunday Puzzle: Who Was Who in 2022? NPR's Emily Feng plays the puzzle with Weekend Edition puzzle master Will Shortz and this week's puzzle winner Jim Roepke of Raphine, Virginia

Sunday Puzzle: Who Was Who in 2022?

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And what better way to ring in the new year than with a new Puzzle?


FENG: Joining us today is puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION'S puzzlemaster, Will Shortz. Happy New Year, Will.

WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Emily. Happy New Year.

FENG: Thank you. Will, could you please remind us of last week's challenge?

SHORTZ: Yes, I said name a prominent geographical location in the United States. Change the fifth letter to an S. And the resulting string of letters from left to right will name a game, a mountain, and a popular website. What place is it? And the answer is Chesapeake Bay. Make that change. You get chess, peak and eBay.

FENG: Very clever. We're starting a new Puzzle season off right with nearly a thousand correct submissions this week. And our lucky winner is Jim Roepke of Raphine, Va. Congratulations, Jim, and welcome to the show.

JIM ROEPKE: Hello. Thank you.

FENG: Hey. Happy New Year, Jim. So how long have you been playing The Puzzle?

ROEPKE: Forty-some years, since postcard days.

FENG: Wow. And what do you like to do when you're not playing The Puzzle?

ROEPKE: Well, I'm semi-retired as a stonemason. And I help my wife's business of growing cut flowers and produce on our farmette in the Shenandoah Valley here in Virginia.

FENG: That sounds lovely. All right, Jim, are you ready to play the puzzle?

ROEPKE: I'm facing the fire. Hopefully, it won't be a few moments of infamy. But here we go.

FENG: Will, why don't you take it away?

SHORTZ: All right, Jim and Emily. Every year around this time, I do a year-end new names in the news quiz. And here's how it works. I'll name some people you probably never heard of until 2022 but who made the news during the past 12 months. You tell me who they are. And this list was compiled with the help of Kathie Baker, who played a similar quiz in the past. Here's number one. We'll start easy-ish. Ketanji Brown Jackson.

ROEPKE: She's the new U.S. Supreme Court justice.

SHORTZ: Bingo. Number two is Liz Truss - T-R-U-S-S. Liz Truss.

ROEPKE: Liz Truss is the new prime minister of Great - of England, Great Britain.

SHORTZ: That's true - or was, I - we should say.

ROEPKE: Oh, yeah.

SHORTZ: She was prime minister for less than two months, the shortest tenure...

ROEPKE: That's right.

SHORTZ: ...In British history. Your next one is Kari Lake - K-A-R-I. Kari Lake.

ROEPKE: She ran for governor of Arizona.

SHORTZ: That's right, challenged the results. Your next one is Giorgia Meloni. That's G-I-O-R-G-I-A. Giorgia Meloni.

ROEPKE: I'm drawing a blank.

SHORTZ: She's the new prime minister of what country?

ROEPKE: Would it be Peru?



SHORTZ: I'll tell you. She's the first female prime minister of Italy.


SHORTZ: Here's your next one, Cassidy Hutchinson.

ROEPKE: She was - worked for Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and testified to the January 6 Congressional Committee.

SHORTZ: Excellent. You got that exactly right. Here's your next one, Karine Jean-Pierre. That's K-A-R-I-N-E. Karine Jean-Pierre.

ROEPKE: Yeah, right, OK. She is the press secretary for President Biden?

SHORTZ: You got it, the new White House press secretary. Here's your last one, Josh Wardle - W-A-R-D-L-E. Josh Wardle.

ROEPKE: Going out with a bang here. Thank you. He created the Wordle puzzle.

SHORTZ: He created Wordle, which I play every day. And it sounds like you're a Wordle fan, too. Nice job.

FENG: Great job, Jim. I can tell you you've been listening to NPR. How do you feel after that?

ROEPKE: I feel all right. I feel all right, came through OK.

FENG: Well, for playing our Puzzle today, you're going to get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, as well as puzzle books and games. You can read all about it at And one last question, Jim. What member station do you listen to?

ROEPKE: WMRA out of Harrisonburg, Va. And we're sustaining members.

FENG: Wonderful. That's Jim Roepke of Raphine, Va. Thank you for playing today.

ROEPKE: Thanks for having me. I'm wishing you both a good new year.

SHORTZ: Thank you.

FENG: Thank you.

So, Will, what is next week's challenge?

SHORTZ: Yes. Name a U.S. state capital for which the name of another well-known U.S. city is an antonym. And the second city has a population of more than 100,000. So, again, name a U.S. state capital. And there is another well-known U.S. city whose name means exactly the opposite of that state capital. And that other city has a population of more than 100,000. What cities are these?

FENG: When you think you have the answer, go to our website,, and click on the Submit Your Answer link. Remember, just one entry, please. Our deadline for entries this week is Thursday, January 5 at 3 p.m. Eastern. Don't forget to include a phone number where we can reach you. If you're the winner, we'll give you a call. And if you pick up the phone, you'll get to play on the air - like Jim today - with the puzzle editor of The New York Times and puzzlemaster of WEEKEND EDITION, Will Shortz. Thank you, Will.

SHORTZ: Thanks, Emily. Happy New Year.

FENG: Happy New Year to you, too.


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