7
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Change the word

FOUR

to the word

NINE

by changing only one letter at a time. The change must result in a 4 letter word from the MW dictionary and cannot be an abbreviation,acronym, anagram or a proper name.

The answer should take Seven or fewer steps

I expect more than one answers but the fewest step answer is needed.

Please no programming.

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2
  • $\begingroup$ Are you allowed to rearrange the letters? $\endgroup$ Aug 27 '20 at 15:48
  • $\begingroup$ @Deepthinker101 "no anagrams" so no you cannot re arrange. $\endgroup$
    – DrD
    Aug 28 '20 at 12:26
19
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5 Steps

FOUR FOUD FOND FIND FINE NINE

Definition of special words

FOUD as found in MW

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2
  • 9
    $\begingroup$ This is optimal. It is impossible to do it in less as the minimum is 4 as all 4 letters are different, and changing any of the four to the corresponding one in nine does not give a valid word, +1 $\endgroup$ Aug 27 '20 at 17:30
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @BeastlyGerbil There might be equivalent answers using different words though! $\endgroup$
    – IT Alex
    Aug 27 '20 at 18:03
3
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Another 6 steps:

POUR, POUT, PONT, PINT, PINE, NINE

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1
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ This is nice: while it’s not the shortest, it’s (so far) the shortest one that avoids obscure words. (PONT isn’t quite everyday, but it’s better-known than FOUD or TORR as used in other answers.) $\endgroup$ Aug 28 '20 at 12:39
2
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I got a solution in 6

tour, torr, tore, tire, tine, nine

If you are allowed to rearrange the letters then in 5

sour, sure, sire, sine, nine

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1
  • $\begingroup$ I was also wondering about rearranging the letter order $\endgroup$
    – TCooper
    Aug 28 '20 at 23:48
0
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A seven step answer using all common words.

tour tout tort tore tone none nine

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