The Westing Game

The Westing Game Summary and Analysis of Chapter 8 (The Paired Heirs) - Chapter 10 (The Westing Game)


That night a massive snowstorm hits Sunset Towers. The tenants wake up to no electricity. Turtle Wexler takes advantage of the situation and sells emergency candles to the tenants at the inflated rate of $5 each.

Each of the pairs wastes no time. Sydelle is the most popular tenant in Sunset Towers because as a secretary, she is the only one who bothered to transcribe the will. Angela and Sydelle become a dynamic duo, and begin to go around the complex asking about clues. They start with Chris, the partner of Angela’s finance. He reveals that he is looking for grains. In his clue ("FOR PLAIN GRAIN SEED") he unscrambles the name "FORD" and gets Otis Amber from oats, a kind of grain.

Flora and Turtle take their clue “SEA MOUNTAIN AM O” and speculate that the quote “Take stock in America” and “go for broke” in the will suggest they should invest their $10,000 in the stock market.

Mr. Hoo and Grace Wexler are trying to decipher "FRUITED PURPLE WAVES FOR SEA." Grace makes a racist comment about it being difficult to tell the ages of Oriental people, and makes it worse by suggesting that the murderer lives in 4C ("FOR SEA"), which is where Mr. Hoo lives. They both get in a fight and stop working.

Doug and Theo have trouble with their clues ("HIS N ON TO THEE FOR"). Theo reveals he was playing chess with someone in the game room last night, but doesn't remember who.

Judge Ford reads her clue ("SKIES AM SHINING BROTHER") and considers the letter signed by Samuel Sykes that says that Westing was sane. She considers the fact that perhaps Sam Westing was trying to use this game to frame someone who he had history with and was trapping the players with greed to get revenge. She vows to find out as much as she can about each of the players to protect them. She calls the newspaper and asks for them to supply information about each of the players.

Angela and Sydelle look through their five clues: "GOOD, HOOD, FROM, SPACIOUS, GRACE." They also have the clues that they overheard from the other night at the Westing Mansion: "KING, QUEEN" from Otis Amber, "PURPLE WAVES" overheard from Grace, "ON" or "NO" overheard from Doug and Theo, and "GRAINS" from Chris. They also have all the info from Turtle’s stock market exploits that they found crumpled on a piece of paper (500 shares of MT). Altogether the clues read"


Theo enters and asks if either of them is interested in playing chess. Both Sydelle an Angela refuse, but realize that Sam Westing is a chess master. Sydelle repeats from the will “object of the game: to win” but Angela mishears it as “object of the game: twin.” They then decide to find out who in the apartments could possibly be a twin. Sydelle discovers when she returns to her apartment that someone has stolen her notebook that she transcribed the will in.

Sydelle creates a bulletin board in the elevator asking for her business papers to be returned, and it becomes a hit in the apartment. People begin posting non-stop about missing items, rewards, and advertisements for their services. Judge Ford posts that she is having a party at her apartment that evening.

Before the party, Turtle returns home to her apartment where her mother tries to flatter her for the first time, calling her “pretty” and other words typically reserved for Angela. She then tries to get her to reveal some of her clues, to which Turtle refuses. Angela and Sydelle arrive, and Grace turns her attention to attempting to get them to give her their clues. They refuse, but the two of them are dressed identically as twins in an attempt to figure out if there is a twin in their midst. Grace tells Sydelle that if she wins the inheritance, everything she owns will go to Angela, which hurts Turtle’s feelings.

Judge Ford is given information about the following people from the newspapers. Angela and D. Denton Deere had an engagement announcement. James Hoo had brought a lawsuit against Mr. Westing for claiming he stole his idea for disposable diapers. Doug Hoo ran one of the fastest miles in Wisconsin.

The party begins, and Grace Wexler is the first one to arrive with her husband. Judge Ford talks to them, but after asking how Grace is related to Sam Westing she dismisses her as a “prattling pretender.” No one is particularly successful at getting clues. Sydelle fails to learn if anyone is a twin and generally Angela feels that all anyone wants to talk about with her are her impending nuptials. She feels as though that’s all anyone knows about her. Judge Ford watches the guests interact. For the first time, we meet George and Catherine Theodorakis who are not a part of the Westing Game. Turtle decides to take a poll about the line “may God thy gold refine” and whether it came from Shakespeare or the Bible. The only one to remember the quote in full is Sydelle Pulaski, who remembers “spend it wisely and may God thy gold refine.” There is no clue that comes out of it, and the guests return home a little dejected.


In this section of the book, we see that the pairs each work together well in their own way. After being isolated from each other, the tenants of Sunset Towers are now spending time together. The clues are confusing, but they are bringing the complex together.

The first pair worth noting is Flora and Turtle. Turtle, who has been hungry for maternal love, now has a person who trusts her opinion and respects her. Turtle seems to be the most creative, thinking outside the box about what the clues could mean. Her idea to enter the stock market does not seem to be paying dividends yet, but could soon.

A character who has more information than he is letting on is Chris Theodorakis. The identity of the limping figure who enters the Westing House is still unknown to both the reader and presumably Theo and Chris as well.

A pair that seems to be getting on surprisingly well is Grace and Mr. Hoo. Though it seems they had little to no personal ties before, they seem perfectly willing to call out one another and be frank and truthful. Mr. Hoo seems to be someone with a reason to dislike Mr. Westing.

Sydelle seems to finally be getting the attention she’s been craving. Having such a beautiful partner in Grace Wexler seems to have boosted her confidence and the fact that she is the keeper of the transcription of the will has made her suddenly the center of attention. The irony is, the Westing Game is making people notice her, not her actual injury.

At this point in the novel, Judge J.J. Ford seems to be going at the Westing Game alone. While her partner Sandy McSouthers seems largely absent, she is taking on an investigative role. Her decision to call the newspapers shows that no one’s past is safe. As a character who seems to have history with Sam Westing, she comes up with the theory that he is simply using the Westing Game to frame someone who he himself had a grudge against, furthering the theory that in the Westing Game, nothing is as it seems.