This past week’s puzzle, as previously posted:
Doublets, or word ladders, were invented by Lewis Carrol. The goal of the game is to find a chain of other words that link the start and target words, where any steps changes the previous word by just one letter.
Each step should be a reasonably common word, or at least one you would find in the dictionary.
For example, going from GEEKdad to BLOG, you could traverse:
GEEK > SEEK > SEES > FEES > FEET > FEAT >
FLAT > FLAW > FLOW > BLOW > BLOG
Below is a list of reasonably geek start/target word pairs that might strike a chord with the GeekDad crowd.
We had a large variety of different types of solution this past week, with people using on-line word ladder solvers, writing custom code for string processing, or just breaking out a Scrabble dictionary and scratching their noodle. Here is one set of solutions, below. Please note that several of the ladders had multiple paths, so there were multiple “correct” answers.
STAR >> TREK:
STAR > SEAR > TEAR > TEER > TEEK > TREK
STAR >> WARS:
STAR > SEAR > HEAR > HEAD > HERD > HARD > WARD > WARS
STAR >> GATE:
STAR > SEAR > SEAS > SETS > GETS > GATS > GATE
SPACE >> BALLS:
SPACE > SPARE > STARE > STARS > SEARS > SEALS > SELLS > BELLS > BALLS
ZOMBIE >> BRAINS:
ZOMBIE > ZOMBIS > COMBIS > COMBES > COMBED > BOMBED > BOBBED > GOBBED > GABBED > GARBED > BARBED > BARKED > PARKED > PERKED > PEAKED > BEAKED > BRAKED > BRAKES > BRACES > TRACES > TRACTS > TRAITS > TRAINS > BRAINS
DUNE >> SAND:
DUNE > DINE > SINE > SANE > SAND
JOCKS >> NERDS:
JOCKS > LOCKS > LOOKS > BOOKS > BOOTS > BOATS > BEATS > HEATS > HEADS > HERDS > NERDS
MONTY >> GRAIL:
MONTY > MONEY > HONEY > HONES > HONKS > HOOKS > BOOKS > BOOTS > BLOTS > BLOWS > BLOWN > BROWN > DROWN > DRAWN > DRAIN > GRAIN > GRAIL
PITCH >> BLACK:
PITCH > PINCH > PUNCH > BUNCH > BENCH > BEACH > PEACH > PEACE > PLACE > PLANE > PLANK > BLANK > BLACK
GHOST >> SLIME:
GHOST > GLOST > GLOSS > GLOWS > SLOWS > SHOWS > SHOPS > SHIPS > SLIPS > SLIMS > SLIME
TRON >> GRID:
TRON > TROD > PROD > PROP > DROP > DRIP > GRIP > GRID
SWORD >> BRIDE:
SWORD > SWORE > STORE > STONE > SHONE > PHONE > PRONE > PROSE > PRISE > PRIDE > BRIDE
LORD >> RING:
LORD > WORD > WORE > WIRE > WINE > WING > RING
HARRY >> MAGIC:
HARRY > MARRY > MARLY > MARLS > MALLS > MALIS > MALIC > MAGIC
REPORT >> CRUISE:
REPORT > REPOST > REPAST > RECAST > RECANT > RECENT > RESENT > RESEND > RESEED > RESTED > TESTED > TENTED > TENDED > TENDER > RENDER > READER > LEADER > LEADED > LOADED > GOADED > GRADED > GRADES > TRADES > TRACES > TRACTS > TRAITS > TRAINS > BRAINS > BRAIDS > BRAIDE > BRAISE > BRUISE > CRUISE
Congratulations to Chad Bergeron, winner of the random drawing and the (soon-to-be) proud owner of this week’s $50 ThinkGeek Gift Certificate. Many thanks to everyone that sent in a submission!