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Word puzzle for the forons

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Word puzzle for the forons

Postby kurt_w » Mon Mar 25, 2013 6:55 am

Take the word "STARTLING". Remove one letter at a time, in such a way that at every step you still have a valid English word.

For example:

CAST
CAT
AT
A

Once you've figured out how to solve STARTLING, see if there are other equally long (or longer) words that can be used in this puzzle.

I haven't seen any solutions for ten-letter words (yet). For STARTLING, there are multiple paths you can follow.
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Re: Word puzzle for the forons

Postby rabble » Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:37 am

STARTLING
STARLING
STARING
STRING
STING
TING
TIN
IN
I

I thought there would be a problem with TING but dictionary.com says it's a word.
A sharp, clear ringing sound, such as when a glass is struck by a metal object.
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Re: Word puzzle for the forons

Postby kurt_w » Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:04 am

Very good !

If you want to avoid "TING" you can go this route instead:

STING
SING
SIN
IN
I

When I was originally doing this puzzle with some friends, I think I was able to solve LACERATED but now can't seem to get it to work. I've tried:

LACERATED
LACERATE
ACERATE (good word, that)
AERATE
but then I get stuck. Must have been a different path ...
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Re: Word puzzle for the forons

Postby TheBookPolice » Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:38 am

LACERATED
ACERATED
CERATED
CRATED
CRATE
RATE
RAT
AT
A
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Re: Word puzzle for the forons

Postby kurt_w » Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:50 am

Excellent. I'd gotten hung up on going through AERATE.

If "acerate" meant "not cerate" I might have found your path. But it comes from "acer" as in maple, I think.

Here's another one:

DEFLATION

I see at least one route there.
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Re: Word puzzle for the forons

Postby seashells » Mon Mar 25, 2013 2:28 pm

DEFLATION has me beat. I can't get beyond "lation."

I have come up with two routes for STRINGIER, though.
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Re: Word puzzle for the forons

Postby TheBookPolice » Mon Mar 25, 2013 2:39 pm

DEFLATION
DELATION
ELATION
LATION
LATIN
LAIN
LAI
AI
I
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Re: Word puzzle for the forons

Postby seashells » Mon Mar 25, 2013 2:53 pm

Ah! I didn't let myself use "Latin." I don't think I would have gotten "lai," even if I did, though. These are fun.
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Re: Word puzzle for the forons

Postby kurt_w » Mon Mar 25, 2013 4:05 pm

seashells wrote:DEFLATION has me beat. I can't get beyond "lation."

I have come up with two routes for STRINGIER, though.


Let's see...

STRINGIER
STRINGER
STINGER
SINGER
SINGE
SING
SIN
IN
I

Cool.

As for 'Latin' I should have specified that we're not using scrabble rules. Proper nouns, etc. are fine.
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Re: Word puzzle for the forons

Postby Mad Howler » Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:28 pm

WTF, is this spawn of "Says you"?
You say that I am obtuse?
F#>€ you.
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Re: Word puzzle for the forons

Postby narcoleptish » Tue Mar 26, 2013 7:51 am

Does this work?

Protesting
Reposting
Sporting
Sorting
String
Sting
Tins
Sin
In
I

I know reposting is debatable. I tried postering.
Ropesting could be a climbers ailment??
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Re: Word puzzle for the forons

Postby kurt_w » Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:25 am

narcoleptish wrote:Does this work?

Protesting
Reposting
[...]


It would work -- there's nothing wrong with "reposting" -- but you're not supposed to change the order of the letters.

So from PROTESTING you could only go something like:

ROTESTING or
POTESTING or
PROTESING
etc. But I don't think any of those are valid words.

That's what makes this tricky. You can take letters away from any point in the word -- beginning, middle, or end -- but you can't rearrange them.

I can find lots of nine-letter words that work ... the examples in this thread, and others ... but I haven't yet found a 10-letter word that works.

If someone wants an easy one to get started, try DROWNINGS or CROWNINGS.
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Re: Word puzzle for the forons

Postby narcoleptish » Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:53 am

Oh, I see.

And protesting was just so apt for Madison.

Apt
At
A
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Re: Word puzzle for the forons

Postby kurt_w » Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:47 am

narcoleptish wrote:And protesting was just so apt for Madison.

Apt
At
A


MADISON
MAISON (from the French, but we'll consider it adopted)
MASON
ASON (an oligonucleotide, apparently)
SON
ON
O

Not great, but I don't see any path that doesn't run through MAISON.
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