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A Hike Unlike Any Other

The Puzzler


RAY: What is the longest English word, that remains a valid English word, as you remove its letters one at a time?

Now, letters can be removed from either end, or the middle, but you can't rearrange any of the letters. Every time you drop a letter, you wind up with another English word. If you do that, you're eventually going to wind up with one letter and that too is going to be an English word-- one that's found in the dictionary. I want to know what's the longest word. What's the word, and how many letters does it have?

I'm going to give you a little modest example: Sprite. Ok? You start off with sprite, you take a letter off, one from the interior of the word, take the r away, and we're left with the word spite, then we take the e off the end, we're left with spit, we take the s off, we're left with pit, it, and I.

Obviously, the word I'm looking for is much longer. I think there's more than one of them. In fact I know there's more than one word.

We're going to extend the deadline an extra week on this puzzler, because there's not just one answer. We're going to have to assemble all the answers that we get and then David's going to have to go through the thousands of answers that we get... on Christmas Day. We're going to chain him to the floor, and then we're going to come up with the winner. And I should mention plurals are not involved and proper names are not allowed.

What is the longest word that meets these criteria?

[ Car Talk Puzzler ]

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