Trim and Fit - A Workout For Your Brain

Trim ButtonsLeft ColumnTrim ButtonsRight Column
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Trim and Fit is a word puzzle game based on an article by Stephen Sniderman in the March, 2014, (page 54) issue of Games World Of Puzzles magazine, which features puzzles of this sort. Scroll to the bottom of this page to watch a video tutorial on how to play the game.

The game is fairly simple. It's a challenge, but with some patience you should be able to solve all the puzzles. Each time you solve a word the rest get easier by process of elimination. Here's how it works. You have 2 columns of words. In the left column are 5 words and in the right column are 6 words. Your challenge is to make new words by trimming 1, 2, or 3 letters from the front or back (but not both) of each of the left column words, and then fitting one of the right column words into the remaining string. For example, if one of the left column words was HERESY and one of the right column words was ABOUT you could form a new word "HEREABOUTS" by trimming the Y from HERESY to form HERES and then inserting ABOUT in between the E and the S in HERES to form HEREABOUTS. It is only an accident that HERES is also a valid word. Usually the remaining string will not be a valid word after trimming and prior to fitting. NOTE: You must fit the right column word WITHIN the remaining substring formed by dropping 1, 2, or 3 letters from the original left column word. You CANNOT append or prepend to the substring. Thus, you could not form HERESABOUT (even if that was a valid word, which it's not). The Y that was trimmed off HERESY gets recycled as it is used to create another left column word, which will be paired up with the extra 6th right column word to form a new final word. The 6th left column word is either 8, 9, or 10 letters long, which said information is given to you at the start of each level. You are also told which letter or letters to trim from this 6th left column word. For example, if the 6th word is to have 8 letters and you are to drop the first 3 letters there will be a message to the effect, "Drop first 3 of 8 letters."

To each side of the left column words you will find 3 buttons, 6 buttons per word. These buttons contain the 6 combinations of letters that can be trimmed from each of the left column words. Just click one of the buttons to trim the desired letters. The buttons are color-coded so you can see where the trimmed letters will appear in the 6th left column word once it is completed. To undo the trimming of a letter just click the color-coded button containing the trimmed letter near the bottom of the game and it will reset the left column word to its original state. Once you have correctly formed a new word the left column word you used to form it will be given a gradient background color to indicate it has already been used. Additionally, the right column word used to create the new word will also be given the same gradient background This is to make it easy to see which words you've already used. Each word is only used once per level.

When you first play you will be asked to enter a username. You can enter anything here. A cookie will be used to track your progress through the levels, so each time you return to the game with the same browser you can start back where you left off from the previous session. Nothing is saved to the server, so if you try to log on from another browser or device it won't return you to your former level.

Here are a few tips. Try dragging and dropping the right column words into the appropriate place in the left column words instead of typing them in by hand. If you're curious about the definition of a particular word or whether it is actually a valid word double click on it. Doing this will look up the word in the Merriam-Webster online dictionary. If you're stuck you can click the "stumped?" button to get the answers for the current level, but you really should not do this until you've really, really tried to work through the level on your own. There will be times when you can create a valid word, but the word is not accepted. I have tried to eliminate these occasions, but some will no doubt slip through. When this happens, just give up on that word and keep trying other combinations. When trimming letters there will be times when the same letter can be trimmed from the front or back of a word, thus forming the proper 6th left column word even when you trimmed from the wrong end. For example, a word like GRADING begins and ends with the letter G. It's important in such situations that you drop the correct G, obviously, but it can be confusing to drop the wrong G and yet it works for spelling the 6th left column word. Be careful of this potential error as you play the game.

If you enjoy games of this type, you might also enjoy these books: 7 Little Words 1: 100 Puzzles and The Little Book of Big Mind Benders: Over 450 Word Puzzles, Number Stumpers, Riddles, Brainteasers, and Visual Conundrums available at

E-mail me at mwganson(a) with trimandfit in the subject line with any comments/flames/suggestions.

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