The year is 21XX. Space tourism is easy and affordable. You decide to spend your next vacation hopping from planet to planet, hanging out with aliens and so forth. To that end, you rent a WordMorphian spacecraft.
WordMorph is a propriety technology of Hasbro-Telsa that uses the power of words to take you anywhere in the galaxy, instantaneously. As an ordinary Earth citizen, you are only allowed to use WordMorph technology to visit planets within our solar system (other destinations are locked to prevent you from going anywhere else). These are the thirteen planets as officially recognized by the World Government:
Mercury Venus Earth Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Neptune Ceres Pluto Haumea Makemake Eris
To travel to a particular destination, you must perform a series of wordmorph operations to transform your current location word into the destination word. The energy required to perform one wordmorph operation costs one hundred space dollars (S$100).
The WordMorph engine allows for four different types of wordmorph operations: letter addition, letter removal, letter replacement, and letter swap.
- letter addition is adding any one letter into a word. Example:
Star -> Sitar
- letter removal is removing any one letter from a word. Example:
Star -> Tar
- letter replacement is replacing any one letter in a word with any other letter. Example:
Star -> Scar
- letter swap is swapping any one letter in a word with any other letter in that word. Example:
Star -> Tsar
Every wordmorph word that is not a destination word must be an official Scrabble word. To be specific, it must be a valid entry in this online Scrabble dictionary tool: https://scrabble.hasbro.com/en-us/tools#dictionary
You can use words more than once, and visit a planet more than once.
Before you begin your journey, you should plan out a route (i.e. make a word list). You want to see as many planets as you can without getting lost on the wrong side of Saturn. In addition, you want to save as much space money as you can for partying with aliens.
How many planets can you visit from Earth with a WordMorphian spacecraft, and what is a cost-effective way to visit all of them - the planets you can visit, which may be less than thirteen - in a round-trip?
The person with the most cost-effective route will be marked as the answer. I will share hints later on.
Please let me know if I should clarify something, and feel free to post a partial answer.
Good luck and safe travels!