Mindy Newton

Wordplay--called a word chain?

27 posts in this topic

There's a high-powered language site called Languagehat I read when I can, and a link to a link brought me to a word-play game I thought might be fun. You are given two words. The task is to transform the one into the other (or the other into the one, if iconoclasm is your thing) one letter at a time. There are, obviously, more than a single way to do such a thing. I grabbed the names, "Rand" and "Galt," and tried it out to see how hard it was and how long it took...

I did it in 12 steps, that is, there are 12 english words between "Rand" and "Galt." I didn't struggle with it, so there are probably shorter ways to do it. So, if anybody cares to give it a try, 12 is the number to beat. If you come up with fewer steps, speak up in a reply. Tell us how many steps you took, but leave the words out until others have a chance to work on it un-prompted, then we'll look at the winner's "short list." Have fun.

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I make it in four steps. One step is the name of a town, so I don't know if that counts. Still, Rand and Galt are also names so I don't know if that makes a difference.

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Rand, Hand, Sand, Sane, Sale, Salt, Galt

Bob Kolker

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Rand, Hand, Sand, Sane, Sale, Salt, Galt

Whoops!

Rand, Sand, Sane, Sale, Salt, Galt

that is one better.

Bob Kolker

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Rand, Hand, Sand, Sane, Sale, Salt, Galt

Whoops!

Rand, Sand, Sane, Sale, Salt, Galt

that is one better.

Bob Kolker

Well done!

Jeez, beat me by a mile. Your prize is to write the next pair of words for the rest of us.

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Ms Moderator.

Would you please delete my posts. I didn't get far enough to see the request that the solution not be shown. Just let the world know I did it with 4 intermediate words.

Thanx.

Bob Kolker

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Ms Moderator.

Would you please delete my posts. I didn't get far enough to see the request that the solution not be shown. Just let the world know I did it with 4 intermediate words.

Thanx.

Bob Kolker

You won, Bob, now dream up one for the next round!

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Ms Moderator.

Would you please delete my posts. I didn't get far enough to see the request that the solution not be shown. Just let the world know I did it with 4 intermediate words.

Thanx.

Bob Kolker

No harm done. There are lots more wordplays out there. Let's just leave it so people can see how clever you are.

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New one, the alchemist dream:

Change LEAD into GOLD

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New one, the alchemist dream:

Change LEAD into GOLD

lead, load, goad, gold

Bob Kolker

P.S.: Question.Can any n letter word be changed into any other n letter word by a sequence of words with one letter changed for each step? Of course each word has to be a legit English word. Assume no proper names.

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New one, the alchemist dream:

Change LEAD into GOLD

lead, load, goad, gold

Bob Kolker

P.S.: Question.Can any n letter word be changed into any other n letter word by a sequence of words with one letter changed for each step? Of course each word has to be a legit English word. Assume no proper names.

Very good.

How about a relativity game:

Change MATTER into ENERGY.

Then, change ENERGY into MATTER.

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New one, the alchemist dream:

Change LEAD into GOLD

lead, load, goad, gold

Bob Kolker

P.S.: Question.Can any n letter word be changed into any other n letter word by a sequence of words with one letter changed for each step? Of course each word has to be a legit English word. Assume no proper names.

Very good.

How about a relativity game:

Change MATTER into ENERGY.

Then, change ENERGY into MATTER.

MC^2=E .......... E/C^2=M ?

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lead, load, goad, gold

You're very good at this.

I can't think of any words related to "energy" by one letter's difference... :rolleyes: I feel like Jerry when he forgot his date's name and she tried to give him a hint by saying it rhymed with a female body part.

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How about a relativity game:

Change MATTER into ENERGY.

Then, change ENERGY into MATTER.

Hmm, I think it will take someone like Einstein to figure that one out!

Fortunately, it is much easier to convert TIME into CASH. Shouldn't take more than four steps!

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Also, the link between MIND and BODY should be equally easy to find.

MIND >> BIND >> BOND >> BONY >> BODY

Hurray. I did it in 4 steps.

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...

Fortunately, it is much easier to convert TIME into CASH. Shouldn't take more than four steps!

TIME --> TAME --> CAME --> CASE --> CASH

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New one, the alchemist dream:

Change LEAD into GOLD

It took me six steps.

Three for me.

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It seems like 4-letter words are easy. 6-letter words may be impossible. Any 5-letter words?

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It seems like 4-letter words are easy. 6-letter words may be impossible. Any 5-letter words?
matter > batter > better > vetter > venter > venery > energy

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It seems like 4-letter words are easy. 6-letter words may be impossible. Any 5-letter words?
matter > batter > better > vetter > venter > venery > energy

This solution, of course, raises the question of whether the change in letter must maintain the same position in the word.

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This solution, of course, raises the question of whether the change in letter must maintain the same position in the word.

My understanding of the game is that the single letter substitution must occur in place. No changing the order permitted.

Bob Kolker

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This solution, of course, raises the question of whether the change in letter must maintain the same position in the word.

My understanding of the game is that the single letter substitution must occur in place. No changing the order permitted.

Bob Kolker

I don't know anything about official rules, but the site I got this from allowed different degrees of freedom, such as changing two letters once in a sequence, and either allowing or not allowing changes in different places in the letter sequence...I wonder if there is a way to score the game so any of these is allowed, but you are penalized for using the easier tactics.

Mindy

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