Bravo, Jackelope! This was a hard one!
Commentary on your questions (and Usram’s – who also deserves serious props for figuring out which path to go down – and for that matter, for answering a couple of your questions already.
[spoiler]faINt is in fact what I had in mind for FAT. FETED, as already mentioned in one of my hints, would work for “IN.”
“OW” is what I had in mind for the other FLING – it could actually be FOWLING or FLOWING. Note that your suggestion of inserting RAM doesn’t actually work; for it to be AM it would have to be elsewhere. (Actually, I had EX in mind for it for the original placement, but AY works just as well.)
BTW, Usram – what I had in mind was that all the inserts were two-letter words – so your FURNACE and FLUTTERING are impressive embellishments on what I was doing.
RE: LOUNE’s FRO suggestion – I was wondering if he was thinking of friTO, or if he didn’t realize it should be an insertion and was going for froDO.
And for those who haven’t peeked and are still playing along – here’s a word that could go in last place:
Now, Jackelope – enough frivolity! You have a bar exam to study for! Get back to work!