This is a variation of a game I used to play with my friends in my childhood. You are given a starting word, and using the following operations, you have to reach the target word. The solution that requires the least number of moves wins.
In any move, you can either replace a letter, add a letter, remove a letter, split a word or combine two words. These are the five valid moves, and only one of these can be applied in a move.
After each move, each of the resulting words must be valid by itself, even if it makes no sense as a phrase. To level the playing field, only words found on Dictionary.com are considered valid. No proper nouns, abbreviations, prefixes or suffixes allowed. (However, words like jack, john, jane etc. are allowed as they are used as common nouns too.) Alternate spellings and archaic words are permitted, but words referring to specific persons, places or events are not valid.
You may only add a letter to an existing word, but a new letter (such as a or I) cannot create a new word separately. Likewise, you cannot drop a letter from a one-letter word to remove it altogether.
As an example, consider the following solution where I go from "stack" to "exchange":
This solution required 17 moves. (It may not be the optimal strategy for this pair of words, but it is a valid strategy, given just as an example).
In how many moves can you get from "Puzzling" to "Stack Exchange"?
An Extra Twist:
The solution which achieves this in the least number of moves will be awarded the green tick. However, in the event of a tie, each of the words will be assigned their Scrabble score and then added up. The one with the highest Scrabble score will win.