August 13th, 2007


Word bungee

You've heard of word chains, right? The puzzle where you get two words, and you try to change one into the other by changing one letter at a time (such as WARM HARM HARD CARD CORD COLD)? And you try to do it in as few steps as possible (such as WARM WORM WORD CORD COLD, an improvement of one step over the previous chain)?

Trouble with that is, both words must be the same length. I decided to make it more fun, and increase the range of words you can use, by adding two rules:

At each step, you may:
- Change one letter,
- Add one letter, or
- Remove one letter.


This allows me to change KINKY into TURTLE thus: KINKY KINK MINK MUNK MUSK MUST BUST BUTT BUTTE BUTTER BUTLER BUSTLER BUSTLE HUSTLE HURTLE TURTLE. That's 15 steps. Can anyone find a shorter solution?
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