25
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Word War II has been raging for years, and many innocent words have been rounded up into concatenation camps (which is certainly a death sentence). Thus far, you've managed to evade detection but many of your friends have not been so lucky.

Though it likely spells your doom, you've decided to help and have dug a narrow tunnel into one of the camps through which you'll be able to help a small group of words escape. Unfortunately you can barely get a word in edgewise, so they'll have to come through a few letters at a time. The even bigger problem, is that once on the outside the escapees will need to be disguised or they'll be too easily recognised and risk being caught again.

The night of the escape comes, and a small group of words has gathered near the entrance to the tunnel:

abstruse, condors, honest, invention, neon, reacted, vague

Now it's up to you to help them escape and ensure their disguises are good enough to evade detection on the outside.


Rules:

  1. Move words or word fragments from one side of the tunnel to the other until all constituent letters have escaped to the other side
  2. Word fragments must always be a contiguous sequence of letters taken from the start or the end of a single existing word
  3. Movement can only occur from one side of the tunnel to the other (i.e. you can't rearrange words whilst still on one side), however you can move through the tunnel in either direction
  4. Words formed on either side of the tunnel must always be valid dictionary words (see clarifications below), though fragments in transit need not
  5. In order to remain disguised, any word that appears at any time on one side of the tunnel, must never appear on the other side in the exact same form (the corollary of which is that a word can't move directly in whole from one side to the other)

A simple, one word example (with "@" being the tunnel):

reheated @
reheat @ ed
heat @ reed
he @ reed, at
here @ ed, at
there @ ed, a
re @ ed, a, the
@ ed, are, the


Clarifications on what constitutes a "word":

To be considered a valid word, it must have an entry on dictionary.com, with the following stipulations:

  • English words only
  • No acronyms and abbreviations (though shortenings that have become common words, such as "ed" are ok, so long as they're listed as such)
  • No proper nouns
  • Informal words are ok, but regional specific slang is not

Edit (Oct 6):

I recognise that retrospectively changing things is a little unfair to existing answers (please don't downvote them), but I wanted to make a few further clarifications as to my intentions of what constitutes a word:

  • Use of accented characters isn't allowed ("é" is not the same as "e")
  • Just having an entry on dictionary.com doesn't make it a word (eg. every letter of the alphabet has it's own entry, but they aren't words, unless it has additional definition, eg. "I" or "a", similarly chemical symbols aren't words)
  • Related/Derived forms of a given word are allowed, even when they don't have a page of their own (eg. "test" has a page, and lists things like "testing" and "testability" under derived forms even though they don't have their own individual entry pages)

That being said the English language is by it's very nature fluid, so while I'm trying to be unambiguous, all these rules are going to be somewhat subjective and I'm happy for people to argue their case for exceptions.


Edit (Oct 27):

I've posted my reference solution below, if anyone is interested. It's marked as accepted since it's currently the "best" solution. Still happy to move the tick if anyone can make improvements...


Note: There's potentially multiple solutions to this problem, so if multiple people get it, I'll award the tick to the person who can arrive at the least number of words on the other side of the tunnel (with the least number of steps taken as a tie-breaker). For reference, my solution results in 6 words.

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Is a word on the outside allowed to consist of the parts of multiple original words? (example: se from abstru-se + cond from cond-ors = second) $\endgroup$ – The Dark Truth Oct 2 '15 at 12:43
  • $\begingroup$ @TheDarkTruth - Absolutely. They'll have to. As long as everything on both sides are always words. $\endgroup$ – Alconja Oct 2 '15 at 13:00
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Is there room in the tunnel for fragments of two (or more) words to travel concurrently, e.g. the 's' from condors and the 'on' from neon, forming son on the outside? $\endgroup$ – Gordon K Oct 2 '15 at 13:16
  • $\begingroup$ @GordonK - Nope. One fragment at a time. $\endgroup$ – Alconja Oct 2 '15 at 13:25
  • $\begingroup$ So if there's a word, say "outside" can it split to "out" and "side" or would "out" be caught on the outside because it's not disguised well enough? $\endgroup$ – Raystafarian Oct 2 '15 at 13:38
7
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For reference, here's the solution I (OP) came up with while constructing this puzzle. I'm marking it as the "accepted" answer because I believe it is currently the best solution. If anyone improves on it, I'll move the tick.

0: abstruse, reacted, honest, condors, invention, neon, vague @
1: abstruse, react, honest, condors, invention, neon, vague @ ed
2: abstruse, act, honest, condors, invention, neon, vague @ reed
3: abstruse, act, honest, condors, invent, neon, vague @ reed, ion
4: abstruse, honest, condors, invent, neon, vague @ reed, action
5: abstruse, honest, condor, invent, neon, vague @ reeds, action
6: use, honest, condor, invent, neon, vague @ reeds, abstraction
7: use, honest, condor, invents, neon, vague @ reed, abstraction
8: use, honest, condor, reinvents, neon, vague @ ed, abstraction
9: use, honest, condo, reinvents, neon, vague @ red, abstraction
10: use, honest, con, reinvents, neon, vague @ red, abstraction, do
11: honest, con, reinvents, neon, vague @ red, abstraction, douse
12: honest, con, reinvent, neon, vague @ red, abstraction, douses
13: honest, condo, reinvent, neon, vague @ red, abstraction, uses
14: honest, con, reinvent, neon, vague @ red, abstraction, uses, do
15: honest, con, reinvent, on, vague @ red, abstraction, uses, done
16: honest, reinvent, on, vague @ red, abstraction, uses, condone
17: abs, honest, reinvent, on, vague @ red, traction, uses, condone
18: abscond, honest, reinvent, on, vague @ red, traction, uses, one
19: abscond, hone, reinvent, on, vague @ red, traction, uses, stone
20: abscond, hone, reinvent, on, vaguer @ ed, traction, uses, stone
21: abscond, hone, reinvent, on, vague @ ed, traction, ruses, stone
22: abscond, hone, reinvent, on, vaguest @ ed, traction, ruses, one
23: abscond, hone, reinvention, on, vaguest @ ed, tract, ruses, one
24: abscond, hone, reinvent, on, vaguest @ ed, tract, ruses, one, ion
25: abscond, honer, reinvent, on, vaguest @ ed, tract, uses, one, ion
26: abscond, honer, invent, on, vaguest @ ed, retract, uses, one, ion
27: abscond, honer, vent, on, vaguest @ ed, retract, uses, one, ion, in
28: abscond, honer, vent, on, guest @ ed, retract, uses, one, ion, vain
29: abscond, hon, vent, on, guest @ ed, retract, uses, one, ion, vainer
30: abscond, ho, vent, on, guest @ ed, retract, uses, none, ion, vainer
31: ho, vent, on, guest @ absconded, retract, uses, none, ion, vainer
32: vent, on, guest @ absconded, retract, houses, none, ion, vainer
33: on, guest @ absconded, retract, houses, nonevent, ion, vainer
34: guest @ absconded, retract, houses, nonevent, onion, vainer
35: @ absconded, retract, guesthouses, nonevent, onion, vainer

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  • $\begingroup$ Very good solution! I have some appreciation for how hard this is! $\endgroup$ – Dr Xorile Oct 27 '15 at 20:58
5
$\begingroup$

This was tricky:

0 (start): abstruse, condors, honest, invention, neon, reacted, vague, @
1: abstruse, condors, honest, invention, neon, react, vague, @, ed
2: abstruse, condors, honest, invention, neon, re, vague, @, act, ed
3: use, condors, honest, invention, neon, re, vague, @, abstract, ed
4: use, con, honest, invention, neon, re, vague, @, abstract, dors, ed
5: use, con, honest, inventions, neon, re, vague, @, abstract, dor, ed
6: user, con, honest, inventions, neon, re, vague, @, abstract, do, ed
7: user, con, honest, ions, neon, re, vague, @, abstract, invent, do, ed
8: er, con, honest, ions, neon, re, vague, @, abstract, invent, do, used
9: er, convent, honest, ions, neon, re, vague, @, abstract, in, do, used
10: er, vent, honest, ions, neon, re, vague, @, abstract, in, condo, used
11: er, vent, honest, ions, neon, vague, @, abstract, rein, condo, used
12: er, honest, ions, neon, vague, @, abstract, reinvent, condo, used
13: er, ho, ions, neon, vague, @, abstract, reinvent, condo, used, nest
14: er, ions, neon, vague, @, abstract, reinvent, condo, housed, nest
15: er, neon, vague, @, abstract, reinventions, condo, housed, nest
16: neon, vague, @, abstracter, reinventions, condo, housed, nest
17: neon, vaguest, @, abstracter, reinventions, condo, housed, ne
18: neon, guest, @, abstracter, reinventions, condo, housed, vane
19: on, guest, @, abstracter, reinventions, condone, housed, vane
20: one, guest, @, abstracter, reinventions, condone, housed, van
21: done, guest, @, abstracter, reinventions, condone, house, van
22: done, @, abstracter, reinventions, condone, guesthouse, van
23: e, @, abstracter, reinventions, condone, guesthouse, van, don
24: es, @, abstracter, reinvention, condone, guesthouse, van, don
25 (finish): @, abstracter, reinvention, condone, guesthouse, vanes, don

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I'm not sure about the words "e", "es", "ne". $\endgroup$ – Ben Frankel Oct 5 '15 at 1:01
  • $\begingroup$ While I admit it's likely necessary to bend the acceptability of what constitutes a word a little to solve this, I'm inclined to agree with @BenFrankel here and therefore not mark this as the solution. I think "e" being considered a word is a bit of a stretch given that it's listed simply as a letter of the alphabet, and both "Es" & "Ne" are abbreviations in my book. That being said, +1 for a solid attempt. $\endgroup$ – Alconja Oct 5 '15 at 11:01
4
+150
$\begingroup$

0: abstruse, condors, honest, invention, neon, reacted, vague @
1: abstruse, condors, honest, invention, neon, react, vague @ ed
2: abstruse, condors, honest, invention, neon, re, vague @ ed, act
3: use, condors, honest, invention, neon, re, vague @ ed, abstract
4: use, dors, honest, invention, neon, re, vague @ ed, abstract, con
5: use, dor, honest, invention, neon, re, vague @ ed, abstracts, con
6: use, dor, honest, ion, neon, re, vague @ ed, abstracts, con, invent
7: use, dor, honest, on, neon, re, vague @ ed, abstracts, con, invent, i
8: use, dor, honest, o, neon, re, vague @ ed, abstracts, con, invent, in
9: use, do, honest, o, neon, re, vague @ ed, abstracts, con, invent, rin
10: user, do, honest, o, neon, re, vague @ ed, abstracts, con, invent, in
11: us, do, honest, o, neon, re, vague @ ed, abstracts, con, invent, in, er
12: do, honest, o, neon, re, vague @ used, abstracts, con, invent, in, er
13: do, hone, o, neon, re, vague @ used, abstracts, con, invent, in, erst
14: do, hone, o, neon, re, vaguest @ used, abstracts, con, invent, in, er
15: hone, o, neon, re, vaguest @ used, abstracts, condo, invent, in, er
16: ho, o, neon, re, vaguest @ used, abstracts, condone, invent, in, er
17: ho, one, neon, re, vaguest @ used, abstracts, condo, invent, in, er
18: ho, one, neon, redo, vaguest @ used, abstracts, con, invent, in, er
19: ho, one, neon, o, vaguest @ used, abstracts, con, invent, in, erred
20: hoed, one, neon, o, vaguest @ used, abstracts, con, invent, in, err
21: hoed, oner, neon, o, vaguest @ used, abstracts, con, invent, in, er
22: hoed, oner, neon, o, guest @ used, abstracts, con, invent, vain, er
23: hoed, oner, neon, ova, guest @ used, abstracts, con, invent, in, er
24: hoed, oner, neon, a, guest @ used, abstracts, con, invent, in, over
25: hoed, oner, eon, a, guest @ used, abstracts, con, invent, inn, over
26: hoed, oner, eon, an, guest @ used, abstracts, con, invent, in, over
27: hoed, oner, on, an, guest @ used, abstracts, cone, invent, in, over
28: hoed, oner, on, ane, guest @ used, abstracts, con, invent, in, over
29: hoed, oner, on, guest @ used, abstracts, con, invent, inane, over
30: ho, oner, on, guest @ used, abstracts, coned, invent, inane, over
31: oner, on, guest @ housed, abstracts, coned, invent, inane, over
32: oner, don, guest @ housed, abstracts, cone, invent, inane, over
33: oner, done, guest @ housed, abstracts, con, invent, inane, over
34: oner, guest @ housed, abstracts, con, invent, inane, overdone
35: one, guest @ housed, abstracts, con, invent, inaner, overdone
36: done, guest @ house, abstracts, con, invent, inaner, overdone
37: guest @ house, abstracts, condone, invent, inaner, overdone
38: @ guesthouse, abstracts, condone, invent, inaner, overdone

Formatting and some word ideas from @GordonK - thanks!

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  • $\begingroup$ I'm not quite sure about "neer". The dictionary I'm using shows "neer" as "ne'er", a contraction of "never". However, I don't think I would count "shouldnt" without the apostrophe as a word, for instance. $\endgroup$ – Ben Frankel Oct 5 '15 at 22:53
  • $\begingroup$ @BenFrankel Huh. Totally missed that. Well, back to the notepad and dictionary for me then. $\endgroup$ – Mythi Oct 6 '15 at 0:08
  • $\begingroup$ Definitely a +1, but "ne'er" and "donnée" (note the é) are probably stretching a little. That being said, I'm not going to claim it's outright wrong, lest people nitpick my own solution. :) $\endgroup$ – Alconja Oct 6 '15 at 0:43
  • $\begingroup$ I've updated my answer. Some back and forth on a few words. I'm not sure about "ane"; Scrabble likes it. $\endgroup$ – Mythi Oct 7 '15 at 19:02
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Rule 5 states that a word cannot appear on both sides of the tunnel, but you've got use on the left in 3, 4, 5 and on the right in 16-34. $\endgroup$ – Gordon K Oct 7 '15 at 22:22
4
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I've been working on this for days now (see original date and dozens of edits). I'm so close.

  1. abstruse, condors, honest, invention, neon, acted, vague @ re
  2. abstruse, condors, hone, invention, neon, acted, vague @ rest
  3. abstruse, condors, hone, invention, neon, acted, vaguest @ re
  4. abstruse, condors, hone, ion, neon, acted, vaguest @ re, invent
  5. abstruse, condors, hone, ion, neon, acted, vaguest, vent @ re, in
  6. abstruse, condors, hone, ion, neon, acted, guest, vent @ re, vain
  7. abstruse, condors, hone, ion, neon, ed, guest, vent @ re, vain, act
  8. use, condors, hone, ion, neon, ed, guest, vent @ re, vain, abstract
  9. condors, hone, ion, neon, ed, guest, vent @ reuse, vain, abstract
  10. condor, hone, ion, neon, ed, guest, vent @ reuses, vain, abstract
  11. condor, hone, ion, neon, ed, guest, vent, tract @ reuses, vain, abs
  12. dor src, hone, ion, neon, ed, guest, vent, tract @ reuses, vain, abs, con
  13. dor, hone, ion, neon, ed, guest, tract @ reuses, vain, abs, convent
  14. do, hone, ion, neon, ed, guest, tract @ reuses, vain rabs src, convent
  15. do, hone, ion, neon, reed, guest, tract @ uses, vain, rabs, convent
  16. do, hone, ion, neon, ed, guest, tract @ uses, vain, rabs, convent, re
  17. hone, ion, neon, ed, guest, tract @ uses, vain, rabs, convent, redo
  18. ho, ion, neon, ed, guest, tract @ uses, vain, rabs, convent, redone
  19. ion, neon, ed, guest, tract @ houses, vain, rabs, convent, redone
  20. ion, neon, ed, tract @ guesthouses, vain, rabs, convent, redone
  21. ion, neon, red, tract @ guesthouses, vain, abs, convent, redone
  22. ion, neon, redabs, tract @ guesthouses, vain, convent, redone
  23. ion, neon, dabs, tract @ guesthouses, vain, convent, redone, re
  24. ion, neon, dabs @ guesthouses, vain, convent, redone, retract
  25. neon, dabs @ guesthouses, vain, convent, redone, retraction
  26. neon, redabs @ guesthouses, vain, convent, redone, traction
  27. neon, red @ guesthouses, vain, convent, redone, traction, abs
  28. neon, red, vent @ guesthouses, vain, con, redone, traction, abs
  29. neon, ed, vent @ guesthouses, vain, con, redone, traction, rabs
  30. neon, reed, vent @ guesthouses, vain, con, done, traction, rabs
  31. neon, ed, vent @ guesthouses, vain, con, done, retraction, rabs
  32. neon, ed, vent, ion @ guesthouses, vain, con, done retract, rabs
  33. neon, ed, vent, i @ guesthouses, vain, con, done, retract, rabs, on
  34. neo, ed, vent, i @ guesthouses, vain, cont, done, retract, rabs, non
  35. ed, vent, I @ guesthouses, vain, neocon, done, retract, rabs, non
  36. ed, vent, iva src @ guesthouses, in, neocon, done, retract, rabs, non
  37. ed, iva @ guesthouses, invent, neocon, done, retract, rabs, non
  38. ed, a @ guesthouses, invent, neocon, done, retract, rabs, non, IV src
  39. ed @ guesthouses, invent, neocon, done, retract, rabs, anon, IV
  40. @ guesthouses, invented, neocon, done, retract, rabs, anon, IV

If neo isn't counted, this is where I'm at

  1. eon, ed, vent, i @ guesthouses, vain, cont, done, retract, rabs, non
  2. eon, ed, vent, iva src @ guesthouses, in, con, done, retract, rabs, non
  3. eon, ed, iva @ guesthouses, invent, con, done, retract, rabs, non
  4. eon, ed, IV src @ guesthouses, invent, con, done, retract, rabs, non, a
  5. ed, IV @ guesthouses, invent, con, done, retract, rabs, non, aeon
  6. IV @ guesthouses, invented, con, done, retract, rabs, non, aeon

Just gotta figure out how to get that V over there and then make icon

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  • $\begingroup$ I think that final step is not allowed since ague has been on both sides. otherwise very nice attempt i think $\endgroup$ – Ivo Beckers Oct 2 '15 at 14:46
  • $\begingroup$ I could be wrong but maybe the OP can clarify this, although I think that "any word that appears at any time on one side of the tunnel, must never appear on the other side in the exact same form" is pretty clear $\endgroup$ – Ivo Beckers Oct 2 '15 at 14:49
  • $\begingroup$ "Ruse" should be "use". $\endgroup$ – Zandar Oct 2 '15 at 14:52
  • $\begingroup$ And con and on it seems. $\endgroup$ – Set Big O Oct 2 '15 at 14:53
  • $\begingroup$ Rule 3 says that you can't do that. $\endgroup$ – Gordon K Oct 2 '15 at 17:31
3
$\begingroup$

Regarding "reheated", it seems that you can do it:

['reheated'] / []
['re'] / ['heated']
['reed'] / ['heat']
['re'] / ['heat', 'ed']
[] / ['reheat', 'ed']

I know it was just an example, but I wanted to confirm that I had a correct understanding of how it worked. This assumes that you're allowed "ed", which is marginal, IMHO!

To do it without "ed", you could do it like this:

['reheated'] / []
['heated'] / ['re']
['heat'] / ['reed']
['at'] / ['reed', 'he']
['a'] / ['treed', 'he']
['ad'] / ['tree', 'he']
[] / ['tree', 'head']

Still working on the full puzzle...


Edit:

1 ['abstruse', 'condors', 'honest', 'invention', 'neon', 'reacted', 'vague'] @ []
2 ['abstruse', 'condors', 'honest', 'invention', 'neon', 'react', 'vague'] @ ['ed']
3 ['abstruse', 'condors', 'honest', 'invention', 'neon', 're', 'vague'] @ ['ed', 'act']
4 ['use', 'condors', 'honest', 'invention', 'neon', 're', 'vague'] @ ['ed', 'abstract']
5 ['use', 'condors', 'honest', 'invent', 'neon', 're', 'vague'] @ ['ed', 'abstraction']
6 ['use', 'condors', 'honest', 'vent', 'neon', 're', 'vague'] @ ['ed', 'abstraction', 'in']
7 ['use', 'condor', 'honest', 'vent', 'neon', 're', 'vague'] @ ['ed', 'abstractions', 'in']
8 ['use', 'condo', 'honest', 'vent', 'neon', 're', 'vague'] @ ['ed', 'abstractions', 'rin']
9 ['user', 'condo', 'honest', 'vent', 'neon', 're', 'vague'] @ ['ed', 'abstractions', 'in']
10 ['us', 'condo', 'honest', 'vent', 'neon', 're', 'vague'] @ ['ed', 'abstractions', 'in', 'er']
11 ['us', 'condo', 'ho', 'vent', 'neon', 're', 'vague'] @ ['ed', 'abstractions', 'in', 'ernest']
12 ['condo', 'ho', 'vent', 'neon', 're', 'vague'] @ ['used', 'abstractions', 'in', 'ernest']
13 ['condo', 'vent', 'neon', 're', 'vague'] @ ['housed', 'abstractions', 'in', 'ernest']
14 ['condo', 'vent', 'neon', 'red', 'vague'] @ ['house', 'abstractions', 'in', 'ernest']
15 ['condo', 'vent', 'neon', 'red', 'vaguest'] @ ['house', 'abstractions', 'in', 'erne']
16 ['condo', 'vent', 'neon', 'red', 'guest'] @ ['house', 'abstractions', 'vain', 'erne']
17 ['condo', 'vent', 'neon', 'red'] @ ['guesthouse', 'abstractions', 'vain', 'erne']
18 ['con', 'vent', 'neon', 'red'] @ ['guesthouse', 'abstractions', 'vain', 'erne', 'do']
19 ['contractions', 'vent', 'neon', 'red'] @ ['guesthouse', 'abs', 'vain', 'erne', 'do']
20 ['contractions', 'vent', 'on', 'red'] @ ['guesthouse', 'abs', 'vain', 'erne', 'done']
21 ['con', 'vent', 'on', 'red'] @ ['guesthouse', 'abs', 'vain', 'erne', 'done', 'tractions']
22 ['vent', 'on', 'red'] @ ['guesthouse', 'abs', 'vain', 'erne', 'condone', 'tractions']
23 ['vent', 'o', 'red'] @ ['guesthouse', 'nabs', 'vain', 'erne', 'condone', 'tractions']
24 ['vent', 'o', 're'] @ ['guesthouse', 'nabs', 'vain', 'erne', 'condoned', 'tractions']
25 ['vent', 'o'] @ ['guesthouse', 'nabs', 'vain', 'erne', 'condoned', 'retractions']
26 ['vent', 'one'] @ ['guesthouse', 'nabs', 'vain', 'er', 'condoned', 'retractions']
27 ['one'] @ ['guesthouse', 'nabs', 'vain', 'venter', 'condoned', 'retractions']
28 ['ones'] @ ['guesthouse', 'nab', 'vain', 'venter', 'condoned', 'retractions']
29 ['bones'] @ ['guesthouse', 'na', 'vain', 'venter', 'condoned', 'retractions']
30 ['bone'] @ ['guesthouse', 'na', 'vain', 'venters', 'condoned', 'retractions']
31 ['boned'] @ ['guesthouse', 'na', 'vain', 'venters', 'condone', 'retractions']
32 ['bon'] @ ['guesthouse', 'na', 'vain', 'venters', 'condone', 'retractions', 'ed']
33 ['on'] @ ['guesthouse', 'na', 'vain', 'venters', 'condone', 'retractions', 'bed']
34 ['non'] @ ['guesthouse', 'a', 'vain', 'venters', 'condone', 'retractions', 'bed']
35 [] @ ['guesthouse', 'anon', 'vain', 'venters', 'condone', 'retractions', 'bed']

Or, going for fewer steps (edit - down to 30 steps):

1 ['abstruse', 'condors', 'honest', 'invention', 'neon', 'reacted', 'vague'] @ []
2 ['abstruse', 'condors', 'honest', 'invention', 'neon', 'react', 'vague'] @ ['ed']
3 ['abstruse', 'condors', 'honest', 'invention', 'neon', 're', 'vague'] @ ['ed', 'act']
4 ['use', 'condors', 'honest', 'invention', 'neon', 're', 'vague'] @ ['ed', 'abstract']
5 ['use', 'condors', 'honest', 'invent', 'neon', 're', 'vague'] @ ['ed', 'abstraction']
6 ['use', 'condors', 'honest', 'vent', 'neon', 're', 'vague'] @ ['ed', 'abstraction', 'in']
7 ['use', 'condor', 'honest', 'vent', 'neon', 're', 'vague'] @ ['ed', 'abstractions', 'in']
8 ['use', 'condo', 'honest', 'vent', 'neon', 're', 'vague'] @ ['ed', 'abstractions', 'rin']
9 ['user', 'condo', 'honest', 'vent', 'neon', 're', 'vague'] @ ['ed', 'abstractions', 'in']
10 ['us', 'condo', 'honest', 'vent', 'neon', 're', 'vague'] @ ['ed', 'abstractions', 'in', 'er']
11 ['us', 'condo', 'ho', 'vent', 'neon', 're', 'vague'] @ ['ed', 'abstractions', 'in', 'ernest']
12 ['condo', 'ho', 'vent', 'neon', 're', 'vague'] @ ['used', 'abstractions', 'in', 'ernest']
13 ['condo', 'vent', 'neon', 're', 'vague'] @ ['housed', 'abstractions', 'in', 'ernest']
14 ['condo', 'vent', 'neon', 'red', 'vague'] @ ['house', 'abstractions', 'in', 'ernest']
15 ['condo', 'vent', 'neon', 'red', 'vaguest'] @ ['house', 'abstractions', 'in', 'erne']
16 ['condo', 'vent', 'neon', 'red', 'guest'] @ ['house', 'abstractions', 'vain', 'erne']
17 ['condo', 'vent', 'neon', 'red'] @ ['guesthouse', 'abstractions', 'vain', 'erne']
18 ['condone', 'vent', 'neon', 'red'] @ ['guesthouse', 'abstractions', 'vain', 'er']
19 ['con', 'vent', 'neon', 'red'] @ ['guesthouse', 'abstractions', 'vain', 'er', 'done']
20 ['cone', 'vent', 'neon', 'red'] @ ['guesthouse', 'abstractions', 'vain', 'er', 'don']
21 ['coned', 'vent', 'neon', 'red'] @ ['guesthouse', 'abstractions', 'vain', 'er', 'on']
22 ['coned', 'vent', 'neon'] @ ['guesthouse', 'abstractions', 'vain', 'erred', 'on']
23 ['con', 'vent', 'neon'] @ ['guesthouse', 'abstractions', 'vain', 'erred', 'on', 'ed']
24 ['con', 'neon'] @ ['guesthouse', 'abstractions', 'vain', 'erred', 'on', 'vented']
25 ['con', 'eon'] @ ['guesthouse', 'abstractions', 'vain', 'erred', 'non', 'vented']
26 ['coned', 'eon'] @ ['guesthouse', 'abstractions', 'vain', 'err', 'non', 'vented']
27 ['con', 'eon'] @ ['guesthouse', 'abstractions', 'vain', 'err', 'non', 'vented', 'ed']
28 ['eon'] @ ['guesthouse', 'abstractions', 'vain', 'err', 'non', 'convented', 'ed']
29 ['neon'] @ ['guesthouse', 'abstractions', 'vain', 'err', 'on', 'convented', 'ed']
30 [] @ ['guesthouse', 'abstractions', 'vain', 'err', 'on', 'convented', 'neoned']

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Excellent alternative examples - both would be considered better solutions than mine because they arrived at fewer words (and in fewer steps to boot). As for "marginal" words, it's a tricky one because it starts getting subjective. I don't have a huge issue with "ed", for example in "special ed" and such, but other words I cringe at that some people probably consider fine. For reference the words I consider the "worst" in my solution (but still follow the rules) are probably "hon" & "honer". $\endgroup$ – Alconja Oct 13 '15 at 1:04
  • $\begingroup$ And, yes, I use "ed" in my actual solution too. $\endgroup$ – Alconja Oct 13 '15 at 1:05
  • $\begingroup$ What about longest solution. I have one that won't fit in the answer because there's a 30,000 character limit...! $\endgroup$ – Dr Xorile Oct 13 '15 at 3:01
  • $\begingroup$ It gets tricky because of the restriction on not using a word on the other side! $\endgroup$ – Dr Xorile Oct 13 '15 at 3:02
  • $\begingroup$ 30,000+ characters is impressive in its own right. :D I'm surprised there's enough unique word fragments to stretch it out that far (without repetition). And yes, the words on one side only is definitely the heart of the challenge. $\endgroup$ – Alconja Oct 13 '15 at 3:50

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