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  Word & Letter Play
Q 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 word.

Remember: Do not rearrange any of the letters; just remove the letters 1 at a time to create 7 more real words.

A 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.