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Nine-Letter Word, Common as Air

A nine-letter word, common as air,
When each letter’s cut, a new word to pare,
Take a letter each round and continue to one.
Name the word and the path and then you’ll be done.

Surprisingly, there are several nine-letter words that can have one letter removed in each round to make a new word all the way to one letter, which must be ‘a’ or ‘i’. Startling is the most common answer, but I’ve included the other words I’m aware of. I don’t include plural words, like cleansers, drownings, splatters, starvings, trappings and wrappings because it’s kind of cheating.

startling
Remove the l to make starting (or remove the t to make starling)
Remove the t to make staring
Remove the a to make string
Remove the r to make sting
Remove the t to make sing
Remove the g to make sin
Remove the s to make in
Remove the n to make I

splitting
Remove the l to make spitting
Remove the p to make sitting
Remove a t to make siting
Remove the first i to make sting
Remove the s to make ting
Remove the g to make tin
Remove the t to make in
Remove the n to make I

stringier
Remove the r to make stingier
Remove the i to make stinger
Remove the t to make singer
Remove the r to make singe
Remove the g to make sine
Remove the e to make sin
Remove the s to make in
Remove the n to make I

strapping
Remove the s to make trapping
Remove the t to make rapping
Remove the p to make raping
Remove the r to make aping
Remove the a to make ping
Remove the g to make pin
Remove the p to make in
Remove the n to make I


Posted in Riddles

 

7 Comments on "Nine-Letter Word, Common as Air"


Tricky One says
July 26, 2014 @ 11:11

But how do any of these apply to “common as air”?


Dan says
July 28, 2014 @ 20:17

That’s a great question. In my solving zest I may have forgotten to take that into account. It’s possible that common as air just means it’s a common word, which all but stringier are. I’m not sure how to measure how common a word is to get the most common word to have a single word as the answer. Ideas?


J.S.K says
June 20, 2015 @ 08:23

Isn’t Breathing the answer? As common as air.


Dan says
June 21, 2015 @ 22:37

What about removing letters to create new words?


Kayla says
May 11, 2016 @ 01:42

in Startling you mentioned both T’s but in acuallity you only made removing one T into a step. You had a total of seven not eight steps like you should have.


Elizmay says
June 21, 2016 @ 03:38

Step 2 for startling is incorrect. If you remove the a, you get strting and not string…


Dan says
June 21, 2016 @ 20:33

@Elizmay Thanks for letting me know. I forgot the step to remove the t to make staring. I’ve added it now.


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