I believe that Puzzle 40 is just slightly under-constrained, so that there are actually two slightly different correct solutions to the given name-score-material-project matching problem. This results in two somewhat different arrangements of Os in the first grid, and thus two somewhat different text strings emerging via the word grid, of which only one actually makes sense, and indeed the corresponding answer is accepted on the solve page. So this isn’t a huge deal, but I thought I’d point it out in case someone might want to have a look. Thanks!
Pretty sure this was on purpose. The guess work is just part of the puzzle. If it’s not this, then it’s that. Like you said, it’s pretty easy to figure out which is correct when going through the letters.
Well, my fourth check did the trick. Thanks, everyone. @KreherFA, @AlexM, @SDDA, and @DocWiley, I understand what led me half-astray. One of the requirements (I won’t say which), if interpreted as surely intended, eliminates the invalid one out of the two solutions I was seeing. It really is a slightly subtle thing, but I should have seen it earlier. Mea culpa! Thanks again, folks, and sorry for the hassle. You were right. I’ll delete my earlier posts in a moment.