To solve this crossword clue, I first start by breaking it down: “Synonym and rhyme of ‘erases’“. I know I am looking for a word that means the same as “erases” and also rhymes with it. I start jotting down words that come to mind that fit the bill: chases, faces, places, and so on. However, I soon notice that the clue hints at a more specific type of synonym, one that sounds like “erases” but with a slight variation. That’s when I realise that “effaces” is the perfect match – it not only rhymes with “erases”, but also means the same thing, although it has a slightly different connotation. The word “erases” suggests a physical removal of something, whereas “effaces” implies a more subtle erasure or fading away. The word “effaces” neatly solves the crossword clue and I can add it to my growing list of detective achievements.