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The Westing Game
Answer Key for Student Study Guide
Answer all questions in sentence form
Chapter One--Sunset Towers
Vocabulary: tenants, exclusive, plush, stationery, warped, chandeliers, alcove, bookie
- What was unusual about Sunset Towers
Sunset Towers faced east and the sun set in the west. Furthermore, there weren't actually any towers.
- Why was the delivery boy described as uncommon looking.
This particular delivery boy was sixty-two years old.
- What was unusual about Barney Northrup?
There was no such person as Barney Northrup.
- What did Barney Northrup say that caused Jake to wonder?
Barney Northrup told Jake that the rent on this apartment would cost him less than the upkeep on his older home and Jake wondered how Northrup could possibly have known that.
- Where was Sydelle Pulaski directing a suspicious stare?
Sydelle Pulaski was staring at the Westing mansion on the north cliff which hadn't been lived in for fifteen years.
- How did Barney finally convince Sydelle Pulaski to take the apartment?
He told her that there were twenty people begging for the apartment.
- Explain why Barney Northrup could be described as a very good salesman?
He rented out all the apartments in one day and curiously their names had already been printed on the mailboxes.
- List the various types of people that would be the new tenants in Sunset Towers.
There was a dressmaker, a secretary, an inventor, a doctor, a judge, a bookie and a bomber.
- At the end of the chapter we are told that one of the tenants was a mistake. Which tenant do you think was a mistake? Explain your choice.
Answers will vary but students are most likely to choose the bomber or the bookie. This early in the story, it is impossible to know why a certain tenant could be considered a mistake as we do not know the motives of Barney Northrup.
Enrichment: Design a title page for the novel.
Chapter Two--Ghosts or Worse
Vocabulary: tenants, exclusive, stocky, maggots, gruesome, stubble, asylum
- Describe how Mr. Hoo felt about the grand opening of his restaurant.
He was disappointed as it was too exclusive with only three people in attendance.
- Who was Sandy McSouthers?
He was the stocky, broad-shouldered doorman who had previously been employed in the Westing papermill.
- What surprised Turtle Wexler about the Westing house?
She observed smoke rising from the chimney indicating that someone might be living there.
- Describe Otis Amber.
Otis Amber was the small, wiry, sixty-two year old delivery boy with gray stubble who was sporting a leather aviator's helmet.
- Relate the story of the two "unfortunate fellows" from Westing town.
Someone had bet the two young fellows a dollar that they couldn't stay in the spooky Westing house for even five minutes. Within a minute they both came running from the house. One plunged to the rocks at the bottom of the cliff while the second exited the house with warm blood dripping from his hands. He ended up in the state asylum.
- What does Chris notice through his binoculars?
In addition to a purple martin, he sees someone with a limp entering the Westing house.
Enrichment: Research the author, Ellen Raskin. Include in your biography a list of other books that she has written.
Chapter Three--Tenants In and Out
Vocabulary: hassock, pudgy, lunatic, podiatrist, amputation, nape, gaunt, averted, ample, putrid, rational
- Why is Angela Wexler standing on a hassock?
Mrs. Flora Baumbach, the dressmaker, is fitting her wedding dress.
- Why caused Angela Wexler to utter a small cry?
She was surprised to see smoke rising from the Westing house.
- Describe Mrs. Wexler's relationship with her two daughters.
She refers to Angela as golden-haired and angel-faced while she calls Turtle, her younger daughter, a smart-mouth and must force herself not to strike her.
- Describe J.J. Ford.
She was a tall black woman in a tailored suit with short-clipped hair touched with gray. She was also the first black and the first woman to be elected to a judgeship in the state.
- According to Chris, what special talent did his brother Theo possess.
Theo was very good at making up stories.
- What was in the long package that Sydelle Pulaski carried into her apartment?
There were four wooden crutches in the long package.
Enrichment: Design a bookmark for your book. Any words or illustrations on the bookmark should be related to your novel.
Chapter Four--The Corpse Found
Vocabulary: receding, corpse, immigrant, meager, pyrotechnic, coroner, executor, beneficiary, heiress, legacy
- Why was Doug Hoo stationed outside the Westing house?
As timekeeper, he was to keep track of how long Turtle Wexler stayed in the Westing house.
- Why did Turtle Wexler have her mother's silver cross in her pocket?
She intended to use the silver cross to ward off vampires.
- What did Turtle encounter upon entering the house?
She discovered a corpse believed to be that of Sam Westing in a four poster bed.
- Why had Turtle taken a billiard cue upstairs?
She intended to use it to defend herself if necessary.
- Sam's obituary mentions that he was a dedicated gamesman and a master of chess. Why might this be significant?
Answers will vary. As this is a murder mystery, we know that the author will be playing games with us. At this point the reader may become suspicious of Samuel Westing's murder. Was he in fact murdered or is this all a charade--a game?
- Why were sixteen people asked to go to the south library of the Westing mansion?
All sixteen had been named as beneficiaries in the estate of Sam Westing and they were asked to attend the reading of the will.
Enrichment: Select a character from your novel. List both their negative and positive attributes.
Chapter Five--Sixteen Heirs
Vocabulary: appraise, mourning, monogram, relinquish, afflicted, aviator, invalid, convulsions, afflicted, morbid, diagnosis, scrutiny, incompetence, poise
- Who was greeting the beneficiaries at the Westing home?
Crow, the Sunset Towers cleaning woman, greeted the beneficiaries as they knocked on the door.
- Why was Turtle startled when she looked in the coffin?
Turtle was startled because the deceased was wearing an Uncle Sam's costume and folded across his chest was her mother's silver cross.
- What is Denton Deere's diagnosis of Chris?
Deere informs Angela that Chris suffers from "pyramidal tract involvement".
- Why is Judge Ford surprised to see E.J. Plum in charge of the Westing estate?
Ford is of the opinion that Plum is a bumbling, incompetent lawyer and so she is unable to fathom why he would be the attorney chosen to handle such an important estate.
- What did the design on Sydelle Pulaski's dress remind Turtle of right at that moment?
The design reminded her of purple waves and subsequently the two young fellows who had run from the Westing mansion.
Enrichment: Here's your chance to be the teacher. Pretend you have to introduce the book to your class. Design a lesson plan and don't be shy about asking your teacher for help.
Chapter Six--The Westing Will
Vocabulary: verified, eccentric, appalled,purported, slur, autopsy, embalmed, cremated, culprit, corrupt, reverence
- When the will is first read, why are those present shocked to hear the words, "my sixteen nieces and nephews"?
They are shocked because none of them believe that they are actually related to Sam Westing.
- What is the second important piece of information that is revealed during the reading of the will?
Samuel Westing accuses one of the sixteen heirs as the murderer.
- What must the potential beneficiaries do if they wish to "strike it rich"?
They must agree to play the Westing game.
- Explain Mr. Hoo's comment, "The poor are crazy, the rich just eccentric".
It implies that the poor are discriminated against as the term crazy carries a stigma while the term eccentric does not.
Enrichment: Pretend that you are the author of this novel and that you are unsatisfied with the final copy. You have decided that the only way to improve the book is by adding another character. Write a brief description of your new character and explain how you will utilize them in your novel.
Chapter Seven--The Westing Game
Vocabulary: jittery, forfeit, pompous, jaunty, token, indignant, shrewd, wafted, dialect
- What was the object of the game?
The object of the game was to win.
- Why was Chris happy to be selected to play the game?
Chris was now part of the outside world and he considered the game more exciting than television.
- Why does Berthe Erica Crow shriek?
E. J. Plum, the lawyer for the estate, accidentally stepped on her sore foot.
- Why was Sandy so insistent that his partner, Judge Ford, play the game.
Sandy was worried about his wife and children and claimed they needed the money.
Enrichment: Pretend your school or class is conducting a book sale. Design a poster that you think will encourage customers to buy The Westing Game.
Chapter Eight--The Paired Heirs
Vocabulary: rite, stint, pretentious, incriminating, pool, wreak,
- What did the tenants of Sunset Towers awaken to the next morning.
They awoke to fifteen foot snowdrifts as a snowstorm had raged during the night.
- How was Turtle Wexler able to profit from the storm?
There was no electricity and so Turtle was able to sell her homemade candles at five dollars each.
- What are many of the heirs apparent doing on this particular day?
They are attempting to unravel their clues and solve the puzzle.
- What does J. J. Ford hope to do just once?
Even though Sam Westing is dead, she hopes that she can beat him at his own game.
- Why is Sydelle Pulaski upset when she discovers her shorthand notebook is missing?
Sydelle is upset because she had copied the entire contents of Sam Westing's will in her notebook and probably thought the information would be useful in solving the clues.
Enrichment: When reading a whodunit or murder mystery, the reader must be an active rather than passive reader. For example, the active reader would already be formulating an opinion as to who committed the murder. Who might be some of the most likely suspects at this point in the story. Defend your position.
Chapter Nine--Lost and Found
Vocabulary: filigree, tardy, defiantly, uppity, jabbering, hors d'oeuvres,
- Why is Lost and Found a good name for this chapter?
Many of the players are putting up lost notices in the elevator while one person even tacks a found notice to the elevator's back wall.
- What had somebody found in the third floor balcony.
They had found six clues printed on squares of Westing Toilet Tissue.
- What was happening at J. J. Ford's apartment that evening?
She was having an informal party from eight o'clock on.
- What does Turtle predict the next part of the will would read?
She predicts that whoever has made the most money from the original ten thousand will win the game and thus inherit the entire estate.
- Why does Turtle think her mother is treating her so nicely for a change?
Turtle realizes that her mother simply wants her to share her clues.
- Provide evidence from this chapter that Grace dislikes Turtle and favours her other daughter.
Grace describes Turtle as ungrateful, never satisfied and always whining. She also informs Miss Pulaski that if she were to win the inheritance that she would leave it all to Angela, her daughter.
- What information does Judge Ford uncover that indicates James Hoo would not have liked Samuel Westing?
She discovers that James Hoo claimed that Westing stole his idea for the disposable diaper.
Enrichment: Assume the role of the author, Ellen Raskin, and then allow the your classmates to interview you about your work including the present novel, The Westing Game.
Chapter Ten--The Long Party
Vocabulary: prattle, appetizer, paternal, embrace, humiliation, chiding, hobbled, coiffure, abstention, grimaced
- What is a social climber?
A social climber is an individual who aspires to rise to a higher position or strata in society usually not by dint of hard work but rather through simple association with people who are already in the upper strata or classes.
- Why was Grace Windsor Wexler on time for Judge Ford's party this evening when normally she would arrive late?
She didn't want to miss a thing, or a clue or wait around the apartment for a murderer.
- Why does Angela become upset when everyone continually asks about Denton?
Angela is suffering an identity crisis. She thinks that people feel she is nothing without Denton.
- Why was Chris watching legs from his wheelchair?
He wanted to see which guests were limping.
- Why is Sydelle disappointed that Angela changed out of her clothes?
She is disappointed because no one will mention twins now.
- Why does Angela rush into Judge Ford's kitchen?
She is frustrated by her mother's persistent efforts to control her and she doesn't want to cry in front of all the guests.
Enrichment: Locate the quote "May God thy gold refine" on internet or in a book of quotations".
AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL
O beautiful for heroes proved -
In liberating strife.
Who more than self the country loved
And mercy more than life!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness
And every gain divine!
Katherine Lee Bates
Chapter Eleven--The Meeting
Vocabulary: lured, scoffing, contempt, vault, envy, sequined, larcenist, felon, alibis, sprawling
- What dilemma did the tenants face as they awoke on the third snowbound morning?
They weren't sure if they should share their clues with one another.
- How do we know that Turtle didn't like to do her hair?
The author states that she clutched the brush and comb in her fists like weapons.
- What was Alice's nickname?
Her nickname was Turtle derived from the fact that she looked like a turtle as a baby when she stuck her head out of the blanket.
- What did Chris suddenly realize as he read the note on the elevator wall?
Chris realized that Judge Ford's name was the same as her apartment number--4D.
- Why could no one read Sydelle Pulaski's shorthand?
According to Sydelle, it was written in Polish.
- What does Theo suggest to the tenants who have gathered in the coffee shop?
He suggests that they share the clues and once the mystery is solved that they divide the inheritance into equal shares.
- What confusion arises about Turtle's real name? Can you explain a possible reason for this?
Flora Baumbach says her name is Alice which she has been told by Turtle earlier while Mrs. Wexler tells them that as Turtle's mother, she knows that Turtle's real name is Tabitha-Ruth Wexler. Turtle may not have wanted to reveal her real name to Flora Baumbach.
- What question did Judge Ford write on the paper? Do you think it was a good question?
She wanted to know how many of the tenants had actually met Sam Westing. It would be very easy for people to lie and how would anyone be any the wiser.
Enrichment: Organize into small groups and discuss who you think the murderer is. Explain your opinion. Share your information with another group.
Chapter Twelve--The First Bomb
Vocabulary: woozy, transcribing, obituary, unbolted, paraphernalia, sappy, intern, prop, caption
- Describe the incident in the kitchen.
Cans of tomato sauce had exploded covering Mrs. Theodorakis with the red substance which everyone initially mistook for blood.
- What does Turtle demand that Angela return to her immediately?
Turtle asks her sister to return the newspaper which contains Sam Westing's obituary notice.
- According to Judge Ford, who are the four people with Westing connections?
They include James Hoo, Theo's father, Sandy McSouthers and herself.
- Why does Judge Ford's finger suddenly stop at the top of the list of detectives in the yellow pages?
The reader is not certain although the judge does mention that there is an incredible coincidence. The judge immediately recognizes the voice of the person answering the phone.
Enrichment: Is it ever possible to justify the use of violence to achieve your goals? Explain and justify your opinion. Conduct a class debate.
Chapter Thirteen--The Second Bomb
Vocabulary: scrumptious, mementoes, harried, baffled, woefully, pedicured, demeaning, bodice, ritual, waddled, petrified, distraught
- What kind of timing device did the bomber use?
By the description of the device, it appears to be one of Turtle's striped candles.
- Who were the only people to order down?
Mr. and Mrs. Theodorakis were the only ones to order down.
- Who is Mrs. Baumbach reminded of when she sees Angela?
Mrs. Baumbach is reminded of another young girl that she had made a wedding dress for--Violet Westing.
- According to Sydelle Pulaski why is Chris' disability an advantage?
She suggests that his disability provides him with the perfect alibi.
- What happened just as Otis Amber entered the restaurant?
The bomb went off.
- According to the fireman why was it not unusual to have had two explosions within two days in the same building?
The snow is packed around the building preventing proper ventilation.
- Where was the bomber planning to set the next bomb?
The bomber was planning to set the next bomb in the Wexler apartment.
Enrichment: Form a group with a few of your classmates and design a bulletin board in your classroom to promote the reading of The Westing Game.
Chapter Fourteen--Pairs Repaired
Vocabulary: amends, brewery, contender, flattery, obsequious, gross, oath, trousseau, patriotism, deception, remission, rigid
- Why did Angela search under the hoods of the cars in the parking lot/
Angela and Sydelle's clue (page 59) was GOOD GRACE FROM HOOD SPACIOUS. Sydelle suspected that it was referring to the car hoods and must have instructed Angela to check out her theory.
- Why did the doorman refuse to accept a tip from the judge?
McSouthers refused because the judge had already given him the entire ten thousand dollars from the check.
- Why was Alexander McSouthers fired from his job at the Westing factory?
He had been attempting to organize a union.
- Why does Alexander McSouthers suffer from bad headaches?
He had been hit in the head numerous times in his boxing career and began to suffer from frequent headaches.
- What voices does Grace hear coming from the kitchen?
Grace hears Otis Amber shouting at Crow because she lost their clues.
- Why did Grace open the window despite the cold draft?
She was afraid that there might be a gas explosion.
- Why were the tenants purchasing so many Westing Paper Products?
They were following the instructions in the Westing will.
Enrichment: Research the writing of a will. Why might you want a lawyer to help with the writing of a will? Find out what might invalidate a will. Try and locate some funny or interesting wills. Culminate this activity by writing your own will.
Chapter Fifteen--Fact and Gossip
Vocabulary: presided, injected, venom, profound, smirking, guffaw, interrogate, bribery
- What does Turtle mean by the expression, "Paper losses. . .doesn't mean a thing"?
Turtle means that until their stocks are sold they haven't actually lost money. In fact, their stocks could appreciate in value over the long term, thus creating a considerable gain for them once they decide to sell.
- Why were Turtle and Sandy dubious about the "murder" of Samuel Westing.
They had doubts about the murder as his face looked too peaceful when in fact it should have looked scared.
- Why did Doug suspect that the murderer may have been a doctor?
He raised this possibility as a doctor would be familiar with poisons or toxins that could be used to trigger a heart attack and yet go undetected.
- Shin Hoo told Jake Wexler that he thought he could squeeze him in at the restaurant. Explain why this statement is ironic.
It is ironic because the restaurant is empty.
- Why is Judge Ford surprised at McSouthers' description of Mrs. Westing?
Judge Ford remembers her appearance as being somewhat different.
- Flora, Judge Ford and Sandy notice a remarkable resemblance between Angela Wexler and what other person?
They all think she bears a striking resemblance to Sam Westing's daughter--Violet Westing.
Enrichment: Read or listen to the famous "Who's on First" baseball routine by Abbott and Costello.
Chapter Sixteen--The Third Bomb
Vocabulary: impractical, vaguely, prank, amnesia, despondently, incriminating
- Describe what event is occurring at the beginning of this chapter.
Grace Wexler is holding a wedding shower for her daughter.
- Does Angela do anything to suggest that she may already know the contents of the gift wrapped in good foil?
She does a number of things that could arouse suspicion. First she glances at her watch, next her hands are trembling and finally she grabs the present away from her sister just as it is about to go off.
- Describe Angela's injuries.
She has burns on her hands and a bloody gash on her cheek.
- Why did Otis Amber think that he should not be considered a suspect in the incident.
Otis claimed that he owned neither a striped candle nor fireworks.
- Who does Sydelle think the bomber is?
Sydelle believes her partner, Angela Wexler, is the bomber.
- Who do you think the bomber is? Explain your choice.
Answers will vary but students should have some rationale for choosing someone.
Enrichment: People who suspect others of committing a crime but have no evidence or proof, often say they are relying on instinct or a gut feeling. Are there any problems with relying on instinct or gut feeling? Explain.
Chapter Seventeen--Some Solutions
Vocabulary: incinerator, bonbons, culled, snooping, eluding
- What indication is there that the heirs were jittery?
The bomb squad was called in repeatedly to examine suspicious parcels.
- What were the two trading terms that Flora Baumbach had learned?
The two terms were bullish and bearish.
- After reexamining their clues, whom do Grace and Mr. Hoo think is involved in the mystery.
They conclude that E.J. Plum is involved.
- What does Theo discover when he analyses his clue?
He discovers a chemical formula for an explosive and the name Otis, whom he now believes to be the murderer.
- Why does Theo think that he must be dreaming?
He suddenly finds himself kneeling beside the praying Crow?
Enrichment: Make a book jacket for your book.
Chapter Eighteen--The Trackers
Vocabulary: conferring, broker, propellants, ailment, malady, coyly, graft, swatches, neurologist, ransom
- Why does Turtle think that it would be a good idea to call Flora Baumbach by another name?
The first part of Baumbach is pronounced bomb and that has created some problems with the frequent bomb scares.
- Who was Rosalie and how did she die?
Rosalie was the retarded daughter of Flora. She died from pneumonia at the age of nineteen.
- How is ammonium nitrate used?
It is used in fertilizers, explosives, and rocket propellants.
- What assignment does Theo give to Doug Hoo?
He tells him to follow Otis Amber.
- What letter does Otis Amber deliver to Doug?
It is a notice from E. J. Plum that all the heirs must attend a meeting at the Westing house on Saturday night.
- What help does Denton hold out for Chris.
Dr. Denton Deere tell Chris that he has found a neurologist who works on problems like his.
- How does Chris feel at the prospect of being taken hostage by Doctor Deere?
Chris hasn't had so much fun in years.
Enrichment: The author makes use of humour throughout the novel. Give some examples.
Chapter Nineteen--Odd Relatives
Vocabulary: soothes, penance, distorted, blotched, vengeance, chronic, covetousness, mutilator, manipulated
- How did Turtle defend the use of the radio in school.
She claimed to have a serious toothache which only the music from her radio could help soothe.
- Who does Otis Amber accuse of being responsible for the bombings?
He accuses James Shin Hoo, the owner of the restaurant.
- To whom is Crow referring when she uses the term "foot butcher"?
She is referring to Jake Wexler, the podiatrist.
- How does Chris presume the blank envelope ended up in his bathrobe?
He thinks that his brother, Theo, placed it there, while accidentally wearing Chris' bathrobe. It turns out that his presumption is incorrect.
- How does Judge Ford react when told by Sandy that Jake Wexler is a bookie?
She suspects that Jake is only a small-time bookie. She also tells Sandy that Jake is a far better person than Sam Westing who ,although he never drank or gambled, cheated, lied, stole and manipulated people.
- How did the doorman react to what Judge Ford said?
Sandy's face reddened.
- According to the judge, what is Westing's first mistake?
Samuel Westing intended to chose Sybil Pulaski to be one of his heirs but inadvertently selected Sydelle Pulaski.
Enrichment: How are judges selected in your country? Research to see if they are selected the same way in other countries. Most countries have many different types of judges. Interview a lawyer or judge in your area to find out more about the judicial system. Invite a lawyer or judge into your class to give a brief presentation.
Chapter Twenty--The Confessions
Vocabulary: legitimate, sprinted, wincing, faltered, hack, eloped, plotted, loathed
- What was the price of WPP at two o'clock?
The price of Westing Paper Products stock was fifty-two dollars a share, its highest price in fifteen years.
- Why didn't Doug's feet hurt anymore?
He was using paper innersoles.
- Why was Theo in the hospital?
He had made a slight miscalculation in his experiment causing an explosion.
- Why did George Theodorakis falter while telling the story of Violet Westing?
He found the recounting of the story very emotional as well as painful.
- Who does Judge Ford believe must be protected and why?
She believes the former wife of Sam Westing must be protected as Sam probably holds her responsible for the suicide death of his daughter, Violet.
Enrichment: List as many reasons as possible why someone might make a false confession. Invite an experienced police officer into your class to find out how they interrogate suspects.
Chapter Twenty-One--The Fourth Bomb
Vocabulary: fuming, blackmail, seamy, ragtag, lurched, wretched, derelicts, meticulous, appellate, arsenal, singed, juvenile, divert, remedy
- What does Theo want to borrow from Turtle?
Theo asks if he can borrow Turtle's bike.
- What is Judge Ford's connection with the Westing family?
Her mother was a servant in the Westing house. As a child she played chess with Sam Westing but at the age of twelve she was sent to boarding school and never saw Mr. Westing again.
- Why does Judge Ford think that Sam Westing paid for her education?
She tells Sandy that his real motive for paying for her education was so that he would have a judge in his debt; that is, someone who owed him favours.
- What was on the reverse side of the bomber's note?
On the reverse side was one of Turtle's compositions entitled, "How I Spent My Summer Vacation".
- What does Turtle confess to the judge?
She admits to setting off the fireworks and also to being in the Westing house the night Sam Westing died.
- Why does Sydelle Pulaski throw her crutches into the air?
Angela announces to Sydelle that she has unravelled the clues and realize that they identify the song, "America the Beautiful".
Enrichment: Write a private dialogue between two of the characters in your story.
Chapter Twenty-Two--Losers, Winners
Vocabulary: scrimp, tousled, wreak, pompous, notched
- Briefly describe the note posted in the elevator.
it is Turtle's written confession to the bombings.
- Where would one find the story of Cain and Abel
This tragic story of rivalry between two brothers, is found in the bible.
- What is the significance of Turtle's comment that her mother would be upset if she knew who the real bomber was
It implies that Turtle made a false confession to protect the person she believes to be the real bomber.
- Which of the heirs does Judge Ford think may be Sam Westing's former wife?
Judge Ford thinks the most likely candidate is Crow
- Who does Judge Ford think was actually in the coffin?
She believes that it was a wax replica (dummy) of Sam Westing as he would have appeared fifteen years earlier.
- Why would it be difficult to recognize Sam Westing now?
After suffering serious facial injuries in an accident, he had his face reconstructed by a plastic surgeon.
Enrichment: Create a chart with three different classifications: Likely Suspects, Possible Suspects, and Least Likely Suspects. Based on your opinion, fill in the chart.
Chapter Twenty-Three--Strange Answers
Vocabulary: fumbled, wad, lolled, regally, swathed, turban, ethnic, gilt, bleary, clinking, ornithologist, slurred, derisive, flask
- What did Otis mean by the phrase, "The turtle's lost its tail"?
He meant that Turtle's braid had been cut off.
- What did Turtle convince Angela not to do?
She convinced her not to confess or she would end up with a criminal record.
- What did the heirs receive in their envelopes?
They received an additional check for ten thousand dollars.
- Why is Grace's voice thick and slurred?
She has had too much to drink.
- What is meant by the expression, "to go on the wagon"?
It refers to someone who stops drinking alcohol.
- Who did Denton Deere suggest could use plastic surgery?
Denton Deere suggested that Sandy McSouthers with his background in boxing could have used plastic surgery.
Enrichment: Pubishers often reject manuscripts from authors who later achieve great success with another publishing firm. Pretend that you are employed in a publising house that has just decided to reject the novel, The Westing Game. Write an imaginary letter to Ellen Raskin rejecting her novel and explaining why.
Chapter Twenty-Four--Wrong All Wrong
Vocabulary: paranoia, ravings, paled, condemn, vicious, null, immigrant, fanatic
- Since they can no longer work as partners, what does Theo suggest the heirs do?
Theo suggests they work as a team.
- What was Denton Deere's diagnosis when Mr. Hoo claimed that the tea might be poisoned?
His diagnosis was paranoia.
- Which heir does Judge Ford believe is actually Sam Westing?
She believes it's her own partner, Sandy McSouthers.
- Using the clues provided, who does Sydelle Pulaski announce as the murderer?
She tells those present that it appears to be Berthe Erica Crow.
- What happens to Sandy towards the end of this chapter?
He collapses on the floor in agony dying shortly after.
- Do you think that Berthe Erica Crow is telling the truth? Explain your answer.
Answers will vary. She appears to be mentally unstable and these type of people have a history of confessing to crimes they haven't committed in order to attract attention.
Enrichment: Pretend you are a school librarian. Give a book talk to your students but make sure that while your perk their interest you don't reveal too much of the plot. Ask permission from your teacher and librarian to present your book talk to a group of students.
Chapter Twenty-Five--Westing's Wake
Vocabulary: wake, stoolie, conscience, checkmate, bolted, poring, sole, culprit, dastardly
- What does Denton Deere accuse Turtle of doing?
He accuses her of kicking Sandy in the shins.
- How does Turtle respond to his accusation?
Turtle claims that she never kicked Sandy although she did kick Barney Northrup.
- What according to Judge Ford is the famous Westing trap?
The queen's sacrifice in a game of chess or anything else for that matter.
- Why does Judge Ford repeatedly call herself stupid?
Judge Ford believes that she and the other heirs have allowed Sam Westing to trick them using the "queen's sacrifice"--the queen being his former wife, Crow.
Enrichment: Pretend you are a television reporter or newspaper journalist. Make a video tape or write an article on the latest happenings in your story.
Chapter Twenty-Six--Turtle's Trial
Vocabulary: gavel, stenographer, flaw, accomplice, interceded, interceded, bristled, baffled, booty, fib, benefactor
- Who is the young lawyer in Judge Ford's court?
Thirteen year old Turtle has assumed the role of lawyer.
- Why is everyone surprised when Otis Amber testifies?
Otis removes a gun from under his jacket and then states that he is a licensed private investigator.
- Who hired Otis Amber?
Barney Northrup hired him to investigate six people while Judge Ford hired him to investigate all of the heirs with the exception of Sandy and herself. (page 192)
- What is a coronary thrombosis in layman's terms?
It simply means a heart attack.
- Why did Sandy's flask contain according to Turtle?
Turtle claimed that his flask contained a life saving medicine for Sandy.
- Judge Ford believed that Sam Westing had assumed two disguises. Identify his two disguises.
The judge believed that Sam Westing disguised himself as both Sandy McSouthers and Barney Northrup.
Enrichment: Write an imaginary letter to Ellen Raskin telling her about your experiences reading this book.
Chapter Twenty-Seven--A Happy Fourth
Vocabulary: masking, bequeath, deed, forfeited, vengeful, smoldering, charred, turret, mimicked, inlaid
- What announcement does Edgar Jennings Plum make?
He announces that he is resigning from any dealings with the Westing estate with sincere apologies to all the heirs.
- What is to happen to Sunset Towers according to Westing's "last" document?
The deed for Sunset Towers was to be shared equally amongst all the heirs.
- What is the significance of Turtle's statement, "Hurry up, Uncle Sam, I can't keep up this act much longer"?
Answers will vary but at this point the reader is uncertain. It may be that Turtle has some information that the other heirs do not.
- Which heir wins and explain how they finally solve the puzzle?
Turtle is finally able to solve the puzzle relying mainly on the phrase, "The heir who wins the windfall will be the one who finds the fourth". She realizes the four different aliases of Sam Westing, the other three being Barney Northrup, Sandy McSouthers, and Julian Eastman. In addition, the surnames of the four aliases all include the cardinal points of the compass–north, east, south, and west.
Enrichment: Prepare a test of 10 questions for your classmates. Administer the test to those students who would like to try it.
Chapter Twenty-Eight--And Then. . .
Vocabulary: draped, heirloom, sobered, debt, tutor, toting, abacus,
- Whose wedding is Turtle going to be late for if she doesn't hurry and make her move?
She will be late for the wedding of Otis Amber and Crow.
- What did the members of the Good Salvation Soup kitchen do for this special occasion?
They sobered up.
- How did Judge Ford intend to repay her debt to Sam Westing?
She intended to use the money from the sale of her share in Sunset Towers to pay for the education of a needy student.
- Describe the changes in Angela's life.
She had broken off her engagement to Denton Deere and was enrolled in medical school both of which had bolstered her confidence.
Enrichment: Research the history of the abacus. Locate an abacus and learn to use it. Compare the abacus and calculator discussing their advantages and disadvantages.
Chapter Twenty-Nine--Five Years Pass
Vocabulary: fragile, stouter, nape, confetti, tango, correspondent, radiant
- Why was Mr. Hoo almost happy?
Business was booming for his new product, Little Foot-Eze.
- What had happened to Denton Deere?
Very little actually. He had become a neurologist, grown a moustache and had never married.
- What good things had happened to Chris Theodorakis?
He was enrolled in college, had a girlfriend and was using a newly discovered medicine to keep his disease under control.
- Who was the chess game master that T.R. Wexler had finally defeated?
It was Sam Westing, aka (also known as) Barney Northrup, Sandy McSouthers and Julian Eastman.
Enrichment: Write an obituary for one of the characters in your novel. Read some of the obituaries in a local newspaper as preparation for this exercise.
Chapter Thirty--The End
Vocabulary: orthopedic, subspecies, corporation, veiled, mansion, audible
- Who is dying at the opening of the final chapter?
Eighty-five-year-old Julian R. Eastman is dying.
- What had happened to Judge Ford?
She had been appointed to the United States Supreme Court.
- Why did Turtle lie about Otis Amber?
She knew he was dying and didn't want him to suffer needlessly.
- What does Eastman know about Angela that surprises Turtle?
Turtle was surprised that Eastman knew that Angela was the bomber.
- What is the irony of Jake Wexler's new position?
The one-time bookie is now the state crime commissioner.
Enrichment: Make a presentation to a small group or your entire class on your favourite part of the book.
Created by Brian Thornton, Capo Creations, Box 1411, Haileybury, Ontario, CANADA. POJ 1KO
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