We consider a continuous time simple random walk on a subset of the square lattice with wired boundary conditions: the walk transitions at unit edge rate on the graph obtained from the lattice closure of the subset by contracting the boundary into one vertex. We study the cover time of such walk, namely the time it takes for the walk to visit all vertices in the graph. Taking a sequence of subsets obtained as scaled lattice versions of a nice planar domain, we show that the square root of the cover time normalized by the size of the subset is tight around $\frac{1}{\sqrt{\pi}} \log N - \frac{1}{4 \sqrt{\pi}} \log \log N$, where $N$ is the scale parameter. The proof is based on comparison with the extremal landscape of the discrete Gaussian free field.

This is joint work with Marek Biskup and Santiago Saglietti.