You can take 1 letter out of the 9-letter word startling
so that without rearranging letters you will have
a real 8-letter word: starling, which is a bird.
Continue to remove 1 letter at a time to make new
English words until you get down to a 1-letter English
Remember: Do not rearrange any of the letters;
just remove the letters 1 at a time to create
7 more real words.
The words are startling, starling, staring, string,
sting, sing, sin, in, I.
Source: Inspired by a puzzle
in Put on Your Thinking Cap, Helen Jill Fletcher.
New York: Abelard-Schuman, 1968.