Who was the "mistake" in The Westing Game? Barney Northrup rented apartments in Sunset Towers to one tenant who was a "mistake"—which one was it?

The "mistake" in The Westing Game is Sydelle Pulaski. "Barney Northrup" rented an apartment in Sunset Towers to her by mistake. Sam Westing, in the guise of Barney Pulaski, was originally looking to rent an apartment to a woman called Sybil Pulaski, a friend of his wife. But he got her name mixed up with Sydelle's, and so she ended up with the apartment by mistake.

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In chapter 19, J. J. Ford reads Otis Amber's report, which happens to be a transcript from an interview with Berthe Erica Crow’s childhood friend, Sybil Pulaski. According to the transcript, Sybil Pulaski grew up with Sam Westing's former wife and considered Berthe Erica Crow to be her best friend. After reading the transcript, the judge notices that Sam Westing wanted Sybil Pulaski, Berthe Erica Crow’s childhood friend, to be an heir instead of Sydelle Pulaski. Therefore, Sydelle Pulaski is the mistake in Westing's game and was never supposed to be a tenant in Sunset Towers in the first place.

Sam Westing, under the guise of Barney Northrup, planned to invite sixteen specific people to play his complicated game with the chance of inheriting his wealth. Sydelle is the only tenant with no connection to Sam Westing, which contributes to the mystery of the story.

Throughout the story, Sydelle Pulaski is portrayed as an eccentric hypochondriac who is often overlooked and desperately in...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 938 words.)

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