Have you looked at the actual HTML for the table itself before you begin to populate the cells inside the table you have created?
Knowing how tables are written in HTML is something you should get to know, as most problems can be fixed quite easily within the HTML editing section.
Using inline styles in tables is OK but 'clear: right' only works with a 'float: right'. So unless an object close to your table has been floated, using clear: right will have no effect at all.
It sounds to me that by reducing the width of the table, some of the cells have collapsed and so pushed the text sideways and upwards into the next compartment.
I learnt most of what I know, about HTML, building websites using tables. And yet I hate using tables in the HTML Editor in Moodle, I find it really frustrating. So I can sympathise with you. But if you could explain exactly what you are tying to do and how many rows and columns in the table, perhaps I can help you sort it all out?