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Letter Removal

Language brain teasers are those that involve the English language. You need to think about and manipulate words and letters.


Puzzle ID:#2468
Fun:*** (2.88)
Difficulty:*** (3.01)
Submitted By:lil_thugsta***
Corrected By:juggler314




There is a common English word that is nine letters long. Each time you remove a letter from it, it still remains an English word - from nine letters right down to a single letter. What is the original word, and what are the words that it becomes after removing one letter at a time?

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Mar 07, 2002

Very interesting, but impossible to guess if you haven't heard it before.
Cold As Ice
Mar 08, 2002

there r hundreds and thousands of its real hard
Mar 09, 2002

wow this one is confusing

good job
guinny baby
Mar 13, 2002

that was cool thanks
Mar 16, 2002

Overall, this is really good. It seems almost overwhelming to try and go through all the possibilities. Instead of going from a nine letter word and work down, I found it easiest to make all the possible one letter words first: A, I, and O (as in poetry, "Oh"). Then, I would move forward to Two letter words, etc. I still got stumped, though. Great job.
Mar 23, 2002

I read that one before, though it was with a different word...
Apr 10, 2002

Finially, a teaser that made me think!
Apr 12, 2002

Great one. Never heard it before.
Apr 13, 2002

I agree that this one is almost impossible to get too if you haven't heard it before. My suggestion would be to have given us the word, and asked us to figure out what made it unique and have the answer be that everytime you remove a letter another word remains. Still a good teaser to make you think.
Apr 14, 2002

Apr 16, 2002

thats about the best one ive ever heared . it was one of the only ones that made me think
Apr 17, 2002

Yeah my teacher gave us this one to figure out, we finally got it in about an hour. HARDEST TEASER ON THE NET!!! Keep up the good work.
Apr 20, 2002

This is unfair to me that haven´t english as my prime language.
Apr 29, 2002

Thanks for this teaser. Finally I have I brain teaser which can knock out my Fast Track Maths Teacher. (He shows off a lot)
His name, if you're intrested is Mr G (Mr Greenwood)
May 06, 2002

Really, really hard.
May 11, 2002

May 11, 2002

not very original there must be thousands of words that you can do the same with
May 11, 2002

Very good! The big questions is - is there another possible answer?
May 13, 2002

very hard needed to have more clues
May 14, 2002

That's not the only one. How about "starlings"? -starlings ..starling ..staring ..string ..sting ..sing ..sin ..i
I'm sure there are others too, I'd just have to think about it. >=\
May 17, 2002

Well done.
May 25, 2002

i got it right! cookie for me...
try mine..."7 letter word"
May 28, 2002

What kind of word is startling?
May 30, 2002

A good teaser, but close to impossible
Jun 05, 2002

I thought you were supposed to remove the letters fromthe end, very confusing (anybody who wants to figure this out, better get a dictionary)
Jun 08, 2002

Jun 14, 2002

Snowing would work.
Jun 20, 2002

Oops, wasted a lot of company time on that one... I was looking for a word that started with I, or A because I thought the removed letter had to come from the end of the word. Good one.
Jun 29, 2002

Is more than one Startling, Startlings? If so, is that a 10 letter word you can do the same with. From Mad Ade's one, you can also get to Spearings. (Spearing, then sparing etc.) Top teaser. Chums at work loved it.
Jun 30, 2002

Nobody wants you around, DIRT!!
Jul 03, 2002

I would like to take my hat off to lil thugsta, because he is the only person to submit a puzzle that would take a person with an I.Q. above 60 to solve. Then again, I'm not wearing a hat, so you're out of luck.
Jul 05, 2002

This was very good! It just needed more clues since there were so many possibilties.
Jul 09, 2002

Grrrrr! I was tearing my hair out for 30 minutes before I got this!
Jul 12, 2002

Started from beginning letter..whoops
Jul 12, 2002


hey, if somebody can get away with "prig", the phrase "common word" is open to subjective judgement. I had
to look in the OED for that one too.

As for the math whizzes who found this
difficult, let them understand that there are different kinds of brain functions, and the ones who do math well are not usually the ones who do the
more fuzzy stuff, like language well.
This is more complicated logic since there is no framework for finding the answer, as the comments implied. But it does identify those who "think out of the box".
Jul 17, 2002

WOW!! GD1!! I didn't get it but then aain I know i'm not that clever!! It's amazin! & it must b dat gd to get nice comments 4rom MogMatt16 & HurriFend!! How rare!!! Cunning_linguist - i guess the plural may be dodgy but well done and also to mad-ade, andy1608, and boytracy. But i don't get how snowing works melody? plz explain 2 me sum1!!
Jul 17, 2002

*again not aain!!
Jul 30, 2002

This was near impossble. There are so many nine letter words out there, how do u no if any other word wouldn't work? But that was pretty good.
(user deleted)
Aug 07, 2002

hello boytracy!! u dont hv to be soo long!! but the teasers nice anyway!
Aug 18, 2002

A very interesting word, thanks.
Aug 22, 2002

Top teaser! but as already stated need to make clearer instructions. I found it frustrating trying to figure it dropping a letter of either end, only to discover you could pluck 'em from anywhere.
Sep 18, 2002

a-at-eat-heat-cheat-cheats-escheat-escheats doesn't work because you take the s off of cheats to make escheat, and from what I gather, you can't arrange the letters.
Sep 18, 2002

Oops, I mean re-arrange
Nov 05, 2002

You could also use the word WHAT.
what, hat, at, a.
Nov 05, 2002

Disregard my last comment, I forgot about the 9 letters rule.
Feb 08, 2003

got this one wrong, i, like many others, thought that i had to start dropping the letters from the end of the word
Feb 10, 2003

I thought I got the answer with the word SPLITTERS.
splitter,slitter,litter,liter,lite,lit,it and I. Great idea though.
Feb 10, 2003

I thought I got the answer with the word SPLITTERS.
splitter,slitter,litter,liter,lite,lit,it and I. Great idea though.
Apr 04, 2003

I heard of this somewhere before. Still, it was very interesting.
Jun 09, 2003

Jun 13, 2003

Yet another solution(Close to Griphook's). SPLATTERS-SPLATTER-PLATTER-LATTER-LATER-LATE-ATE-AT-A
Jun 13, 2003

Sep 20, 2004

This is one of my favorite teasers. In th 10-letter solution I'm not sure STRANG is a word. My offering: Flatterys-Flattery-Flatter-Latter-Later-Late-Ate-At-A
Sep 21, 2004

Clever! This one gave me a hard time.
Mar 23, 2005

Good, but there are too many other possibilities.

strang is a word, "I strang the guitar yesterday"
Feb 22, 2006

nice one!
Oct 08, 2008

Plural of flattery would be flatteries...

if this teaser was worded a bit differently I'd have guessed mailbox... a mailbox that contains n9ine letters is still a mailbox, and each time you remove a letter it remains the same so still a word... might be a new teaser in this one with a few variations... like, you can remove letters and leave the word the same, but if you remove numbers, eventually all the letters will be gone...

good teaser, and interesting comments
Oct 08, 2008

I've seen this one before, so it was easy (I would have never guessed it other wise)
Interesting concept.
Oct 08, 2008

No clue
Oct 08, 2008

TOO hard!! not a big fan of those kinds!!
Oct 08, 2008

Excellent. I noticed that you could also remove the second t before you removed the L and you would get starling (a type of bird).
Oct 08, 2008

I didn't even try this one. The odds of finding the correct answer were astronomical if you didn't already know one of the possible answers.
Oct 08, 2008

NICE 1!!
Oct 08, 2008

I agree that this was way too vague the way it was presented. It would have been fun, interesting and doable if the nine letter word had been given and we had to make words by subtracting one letter at a time--or, if that is too easy, maybe the fourth or fifth word could be given and we could work in both directions. It's a good concept, though, and fun to see all the possibilites that others found.
Oct 08, 2008

a - at - ate - late - later - latter - platter - splatter - splatters
Oct 08, 2008

Oct 08, 2008

I think there are multiple answers. I don't get why people make teasers that have multiple answers to them. And say there is only one answer.

Any way, Good teaser.
Oct 08, 2008

it was a great teaser, but to make it fair i think you should have made a hint in your clue, for example the answer would surprise you. The word surprise is a synonym for startle. This would also stop many of the comments that said -there are many words that fit-. just a suggestion.
Oct 09, 2008

got an 11!
1) i
2) in
3) sin
4) sing
5) singe
6) singer
7) stinger
9) astringer (a person who trains and flies short-winged hawks, as the goshawk)
10) austringer (variant spelling of astringer)
11) austringers (plural)
Oct 09, 2008

I agree with auntiesis, too many possibilities to even find a starting point. Not enough hours in the day!! Sorry, but thanks for posting.
Oct 09, 2008

Great concept, but it needs a starting point, otherwise too open-ended and time consuming
Oct 08, 2011

Why would you bring back an old one from 2002 when everyone has said it is too hard and too many words to go through? Not much fun and way too to9ugh.
Oct 08, 2011

AWOR. Get real A belated Happy Birthday to GW's daughter.
Oct 08, 2011

I was close I thought of Starlings

who wished my daughter a happy b-day?
Oct 08, 2011

I've said it before and I'll say it again I LOVE THE COMMENTS!! Reading other people's love/hate reactions always amuse me - clever comments. Have a great weekend, friends! and GO TIGERS!
Oct 08, 2011

well, GWeb, it looks like it was that sweet fellow - Doehead!
Oct 08, 2011

uh thanks ,but I really meant how did they know my daughter had a b-day recently?
Oct 08, 2011

To gweb. I'm very sneaky., so keep you eyes open.
Oct 08, 2011

Didn't have a clue, didn't even try. And as shown above with the 11 word example, there are alternate answers if anyone was so inclined to sit and figure them out. I however chose to make better use of my time. Maybe if it weren't a holiday weekend here and I didn't have a houseful of guests showing up in a couple hours I would have put forth more effort.
Oct 08, 2011

startling sparkling
Oct 08, 2014

Not enough time for this one this morning, going to watch the eclipse.
Oct 08, 2014

I am glad I read the comments first. I just saved myself a few brain cells. Whew that was close!
Oct 08, 2014

I've said it before, and I'll say it again * - the comments are what I find so amusing!! This was a tough puzzle, but thanks for posting. Bravo to those who tried to figure it out, and even found LONGER words that fit!

I guess my comments are repeats! Sorry!

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