DROP TOWER 2
Starting with the 8-letter word on top of the "tower", drop one letter and rearrange the rest to form a 7-letter word. Continue this process until only the given 2-letter word remains. Use only common words--no capitalized words, names foreign terms or abbreviations allowed. Also, dropping a final S or D without rearranging the other letters is against the rules. Since there are normally multiple solutions to each puzzle, there's an extra wrinkle added to this one: each of the five entries, once filled in, should match up to one of the five clues below, listed in no particular order.
Once the grid is completely filled in, look inside it for this week's FINAL ANSWER: a six-letter word that can be read going down and in a straight diagonal line.
* Annoying Orange's (closest thing to a) best friend
* Nixon in China, for one
* Reward for good behavior, maybe
* Sabor from Disney's Tarzan, e.g.
* _____ You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?
Once you believe you've figured out the FINAL ANSWER, send it to either email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org (though I'm more likely to check the second one) and I'll put your name on a solvers list once I post the answers in about two weeks. You can also use those email addresses to give me some comments and feedback (or get a hint from me in exchange for a "hint star", more details for that are on the sidebar to the right) or send me the answer to last week's puzzle, if you haven't already figured that one out. If you have a printer and want to solve this puzzle on paper, just head below the break for a version you can print out!