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Your goal is to create a word ladder that goes from the word "puzzle" to the word "riddle" and then to the word "solution". In that order!

That is, if it's possible, if not you better show me why not!

Valid word-ladder moves:

  • Add a new letter
  • Take away a letter
  • Replace a single letter

If more than 1 solution is found, the shortest will be accepted!

Note: A word must be on dictionary.com to be counted as a valid word!

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  • $\begingroup$ Not allowed to rearrange the letters? $\endgroup$
    – JonTheMon
    Aug 31, 2015 at 18:01
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    $\begingroup$ Can you split into multiple words? $\endgroup$ Aug 31, 2015 at 18:03
  • $\begingroup$ Does replacing all occurences of a letter count as one move? $\endgroup$ Aug 31, 2015 at 18:05
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    $\begingroup$ I’m voting to close this question because open-ended puzzles are off-topic $\endgroup$
    – bobble
    May 9, 2021 at 18:53
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    $\begingroup$ @bobble I don't think this is really an open-ended question, just a standard word-ladder question (finding a ladder of shortest length isn't open-ended as minima can be easily provable). $\endgroup$ May 9, 2021 at 21:01

4 Answers 4

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I'm hoping we can switch between american and british english...

puzzle
muzzle
muzzled
muzzed
fuzzed
fuzed
fuze
fuse
ruse
rise
ride
rider
ridder
riddler
riddle
widdle
waddle
waddled
wadded
waded
wade
wad
rad
red
redo
redon
radon
radin
radio
ratio
ration
nation
enation
elation
velation
    missing word
volution
solution

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  • 3
    $\begingroup$ velation -> volution requires two jumps D: $\endgroup$
    – Bailey M
    Aug 31, 2015 at 20:20
  • $\begingroup$ dammit! back to the drawing board.. $\endgroup$
    – alexmc
    Aug 31, 2015 at 20:24
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    $\begingroup$ Also, you can go directly from "elation" to "velation". "Relation" is not needed. $\endgroup$ Aug 31, 2015 at 20:36
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A shorter path from puzzle to riddle (15 steps)

puzzle
muzzle
muzzled
muzzed
fuzzed
fuzed
fuze
faze
raze
rase
rise
ride
rider
ridder
riddler
riddle

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    $\begingroup$ Why the downvote, downvoter? $\endgroup$ Aug 31, 2015 at 20:36
  • $\begingroup$ @IanMacDonald: That definitely could not be the case as the downvote came within 2 hours of my posting the answer, whereas your updated 14 step answer came 17 hours after my answer. At the time of the downvote, your answer had 18 steps. $\endgroup$
    – CodeNewbie
    Sep 1, 2015 at 15:07
  • $\begingroup$ @IanMacDonald: Definitely not a plausible suggestion. $\endgroup$
    – CodeNewbie
    Sep 1, 2015 at 15:19
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This has 14 steps from puzzle to riddle.

puzzle
puzzled
muzzled
muzzed
fuzzed
fuzed
fused
fuse
ruse
rise
ride
rider
ridder
riddler
riddle
I haven't found a path that ends in solution.
solution

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3
  • $\begingroup$ Nice! You managed to deal with the double Zs :) $\endgroup$
    – warspyking
    Aug 31, 2015 at 18:16
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    $\begingroup$ piddle paddle saddle $\endgroup$
    – moonbutt74
    Aug 31, 2015 at 18:57
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    $\begingroup$ When beetles fight these battles in a bottle with their paddles and the bottle's on a poodle and the poodle's eating noodles ... they call this a muddle puddle tweetle poodle beetle noodle bottle paddle battle. $\endgroup$ Aug 31, 2015 at 19:00
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My proof of impossibility (I used a computer to reinforce my claim):

I used a very wide dictionary (235,886 words 2.4 MB)

Starting at our endpoint "solution" the only options are:


  • solution
    • solation
      • colation
      • eolation
      • isolation
      • sonation
      • volation
    • volution
      • volation
      • evolution
        • revolution
        • devolution
      • volition
      • vomition
      • nolition

Bold = Not on dictionary.com

Italicized = True dead end

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  • 2
    $\begingroup$ A 235886 word dictionary cant be only 2.4kbs. $\endgroup$
    – Rohcana
    Sep 1, 2015 at 2:11
  • $\begingroup$ Not even if it's compressed? $\endgroup$ Sep 1, 2015 at 12:06
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Anachor Good call, why didn't windows just call it 2.4MB instead of 2,400KB -_- $\endgroup$
    – Rj Geraci
    Sep 1, 2015 at 13:05
  • $\begingroup$ @Rj because Windows, my friend. $\endgroup$ Sep 1, 2015 at 13:39
  • $\begingroup$ I like that isolation is a dead end. $\endgroup$ Sep 1, 2015 at 23:43

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