24
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OMG, me and my sister are like total BFFs and we share clothes like all the time! We soooo have the same sense of style and we borrow stuff from each other like every single second!

We don't even care, like, who was the last to borrow what from who or whatever. We can work anything into our outfits no matter what and make like a totally new outfit every time! And we always look so cute!

Seriously, the one thing is, we like never ever ever wear the same outfit twice. That would be so embarrassing you could just die! You know what I mean?

Anyway, check it out:

Take sisters CASTLE & OATHS through 6 more outfits
by lending/borrowing one "accessory" (letter) at a time


------------------------------------

Solution:


CASTLE          OATHS
  |           .   |
  |         .     |
  |        S      |
  |      .        |
  v    .          v
CASTLES         OATH
  |    .          |
  |      .        |
  |        L      |
  |          .    |
  v            .  v
CASTES          LOATH
  |    .          |
  |      .        |
  |        E      |
  |          .    |
  v            .  v
CASTS           LOATHE
  |           .   |
  |         .     |
  |        O      |
  |      .        |
  v    .          v
COASTS          LATHE
  |    .          |
  |      .        |
  |        S      |
  |          .    |
  v            .  v
COATS           LATHES
  |    .          |
  |      .        |
  |        O      |
  |          .    |
  v            .  v
CATS            LOATHES


(At this point, I typically remind solvers that my puzzles only use well-known words, but these tandem chains are difficult to construct without a few near-slang words. So be prepared for an occasional ding, ting, zing, bling, cred, or dang.)

See if you can help these 5 sister pairs change their outfits:

1.  Take sisters SAND & PILE through 7 more outfits by lending/borrowing one "accessory" (letter) at a time


2.  Take sisters TRIED & GINS through 7 more outfits by lending/borrowing one "accessory" (letter) at a time


3.  Take sisters BEERS & TAPS through 7 more outfits by lending/borrowing one "accessory" (letter) at a time


4.  Take sisters SCORED & CUP through 8 more outfits by lending/borrowing one "accessory" (letter) at a time


5.  Take sisters COOTS & BATS through 8 more outfits by lending/borrowing one "accessory" (letter) at a time




Epilogue:

Extra super double credit to @osdavison @Brandon_J and @Dolgubon for coming up with longer chains than I had prescribed!

See the sequel here

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  • 6
    $\begingroup$ This is likely irrelevant, but no, I don't know what you mean :) Very nice puzzle! $\endgroup$ – Brandon_J Apr 22 at 13:46
  • $\begingroup$ Do you accept partial answers, on only one solution for all five? $\endgroup$ – PartyHatPanda Apr 22 at 14:06
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @PartyHatPanda — Based on past observation, I would suggest posting whatever you can as soon as you can. Suggestions and corrections will be made, others might borrow from you with credit, you might borrow from others, and eventually a consensus will emerge under one voice. $\endgroup$ – SlowMagic Apr 22 at 14:25
  • $\begingroup$ @Brandon_J — Hey, you took away my graph-theory tag! That's what I use to construct the puzzles, and, whether they know it or not, that's what solvers use to solve them... $\endgroup$ – SlowMagic Apr 22 at 16:38
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ This is likely irrelevant, but, Like totally not excessively long wordplay puzzle writing or whatever :) Very nice puzzle! @Brandon_J $\endgroup$ – Omega Krypton Apr 23 at 15:27
9
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Completed answer:

SAND & PILE (I can get 8, one more than expected)

AND & PILES --> LAND & PIES --> LANDS & PIE --> LADS & PINE --> LEADS & PIN --> LEAD & PINS --> LED & PAINS --> SLED & PAIN

TRIED & GINS (7, as expected) - partial credit to OmegaKrypton - please go upvote his answer!

TIED & GRINS --> TIE & GRINDS --> TIES & GRIND --> TIDES & GRIN --> IDES & GRINT --> IDE & GRINTS --> NIDE & GRITS --> NIDES & GRIT

BEERS & TAPS (7) - osdavison has an independent solution with 11 words; please go upvote it.

BEES & TRAPS --> BEETS & RAPS --> BESETS & RAP --> BESTS & REAP --> BEASTS & REP --> BEATS & REPS --> BETS & REAPS

SCORED & CUP (8, as expected) - credit to Gareth McCaughan - please go upvote his answer!

CORED & CUPS --> CRED & COUPS --> CURED & COPS --> CURD & COPSE --> CURDS & COPE --> CUDS & COPER --> CUD & COPERS --> CRUD & COPES

COOTS & BATS (8, as expected) - PartyHatPanda has an independent solution - go upvote it!

COTS & BOATS --> COSTS & BOAT --> COASTS & BOT --> COAST & BOTS --> CAST & BOOTS --> CASTS AND BOOT --> CATS & BOOST --> CAT & BOOSTS

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  • $\begingroup$ I should have just posted mine too instead of asking! Good solve though $\endgroup$ – PartyHatPanda Apr 22 at 14:08
  • $\begingroup$ @PartyHatPanda well, he didn't specify, so I just went ahead. The more, the merrier, though! $\endgroup$ – Brandon_J Apr 22 at 14:09
  • $\begingroup$ @SlowMagic how am I doing? Do "rep" and "reps" count in your book? $\endgroup$ – Brandon_J Apr 22 at 14:40
  • $\begingroup$ Sure, given my caveat about the possibility of near-slang, I'll take REP. FYI for further exploration, there exists another path through BEERS & TAPS without any hint of slang. $\endgroup$ – SlowMagic Apr 22 at 14:48
  • $\begingroup$ FYI for anybody, there's definitely another solution to TRIED & GINS... $\endgroup$ – SlowMagic Apr 22 at 16:42
11
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Improved solution for BEERS & TAPS (9 edit: now up to 11)

Based off of @Brandon_J's solution

BEES & TRAPS
BEETS & RAPS
BETS & REAPS
BEATS & REPS
BEASTS & REP
BESTS & REAP
BESETS & RAP
BESET & RASP
BEET & RASPS
BERET & ASPS
BERETS & ASP

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  • $\begingroup$ Excellent work. $\endgroup$ – SlowMagic Apr 23 at 1:35
10
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16 for Sand Pile, though Id and ids may be a bit of a stretch.

SAND PILE > AND PILES > LAND PIES > LANDS PIE > LADS PINE > LEADS PIN > LEAD PINS > LED PAINS > LIED PANS > LID PANES > SLID PANE > SLIDE PAN > SIDE PLAN > IDE PLANS > ID PLANES > IDS PLANE > IS PLANED

20, if we allow acronyms, and one word from music.

SAND PILE > AND PILES > LAND PIES > LANDS PIE > LANS PIED > LAN SPIED > LA SPINED > LAD SPINE > LADS PINE > LEADS PIN > LEAD PINS > LED PAINS > LIED PANS > LID PANES > SLID PANE > SLIDE PAN > SIDE PLAN > IDE PLANS > ID PLANES > IDS PLANE > IS PLANED

A slightly different Scored and Cups, but still at 8:

SCORED CUP > CORED CUPS > CRED COUPS > CURED COPS > CUED CORPS > CUD CORPSE > CUDS COPER > CURDS COPE > CURD COPES

Coots and Bats, 12, four more than expected. For this one, following the hint in the comments, I drew a graph, and found the longest path following the rules. There's a lot of cycles and relations, so the graph helped. I did use the other two answers to make sure I hadn't missed any words.

COOTS BATS > SCOOTS BAT > SCOOT BAST > SCOT BOAST > COT BOASTS > COST BOATS > COSTS BOAT > COASTS BOT > COATS BOTS > CATS BOOTS > CAT BOOSTS > CAST BOOST > CASTS BOOT

Here's a few partial chains for Sand Pile which I couldn't fit in, but which might be helpful for someone trying to go further.

lads pine > lad spine > lead spin > led Spain > sled pain

.

lads pine > lad spine > lead spin > plead sin > pleads in > leads pin > lead pins > led pains (almost able to fit this right in for 21, but there's lead spin and lead pins)

.

lads pine > lad spine > lead spin > plead sin > pleads in > pleas din > Plea dins

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  • $\begingroup$ Unfortunately, you repeat some words in the SAND PILE sequence, which is not allowed by the OP. still, +1 $\endgroup$ – Brandon_J Apr 23 at 11:55
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, I missed that. I edited to remove the doubled word, and added another one, so still the same total. I think I got all of them, but let me know if there's one I missed $\endgroup$ – Dolgubon Apr 23 at 13:21
  • $\begingroup$ Wow! (1) Great long chain! I have no problem with ID and IDS. Those are perfectly cromulent Freudian words! I understand now why this solution did not present itself to me — because I had taken IDE and IDES out of my solving dictionary as being too... literary. (2) A very similar solution has COPSE in place of COPERS. Then again, maybe COPSE is also too literary... (3) Thank you for using graph theory!! I think that justifies my use of the graph-theory tag, don't you agree? And I learned a new word: BAST. $\endgroup$ – SlowMagic Apr 23 at 15:15
  • $\begingroup$ also CUD CORPSE > CUDS COPER doesn't work because you switch some letters. $\endgroup$ – Brandon_J Apr 23 at 16:31
9
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I can do 8 from SCORED and CUP:

scored cup
cored cups
cred coups
cured cops
curd copse
curds cope
cuds coper
cud copers
crud copes

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8
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Possibly a stretch with some slangish words, but COOTS & BATS

COTS & BOATS -> COT & BOASTS -> SCOT & BOAST -> SCOOT & BAST -> SCOOTS & BAT -> SCOTS & BOAT -> ASCOTS & BOT -> ASCOT & BOTS

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Brandon_J I always thought of an ascot as a scarf $\endgroup$ – PartyHatPanda Apr 22 at 14:20
  • $\begingroup$ Hmm. Nice! I got it without stretches, I think $\endgroup$ – Brandon_J Apr 22 at 14:22
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Nice one with the ascot! We don't see nearly enough of that word, or the thing itself! Interesting aside: I have removed all proper nouns from my own solving dictionary, so I didn't even see this particular solution (because it depends on SCOT and SCOTS). Thanks for presenting this novel approach! $\endgroup$ – SlowMagic Apr 22 at 14:35
8
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17! SAND & PILE (adding on to @Brandon_J's answer, go upvote it!)

beware of lots of stretches (with links)

SAND PILE --> AND PILES --> LAND PIES --> LANDS PIE --> LADS PINE --> LEADS PIN --> LEAD PINS --> LED PAINS --> LIED PANS --> LID PANES --> SLID PANE --> SLIDE PAN --> SIDE PLAN --> IDE PLANS --> PIDE & LANS (as in LANs, local area network) --> PID LANES --> PIDS LANE

10 NOW! COOTS & BATS (adding on to @Brandon_J's answer, go upvote it!)

COTS & BOATS --> COSTS & BOAT --> COASTS & BOT --> COAST & BOTS --> CAST & BOOTS --> CASTS AND BOOT --> CATS & BOOST --> CAT & BOOSTS --> COAT & BOSTS --> COATS & BOST

TIED & GRINS (first half from @Brandon_J)

TIED & GRINS --> TIE & GRINDS --> TIES & GRIND --> TIDES & GRIN --> IDES & GRINT --> IDE & GRINTS --> NIDE & GRITS --> NIDES & GRIT

SCORED & CUP (partial)

SCORED & CUP --> CORED & CUPS -->CRED & COUPS --> CURED & SCOP --> CURD & SCOPE --> CUR & SCOPED --> CURS & COPED

Past attempt:

CORD & CUPES// CURDS & SOPE// CURSED & COP

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  • $\begingroup$ Hmmm..Very good, but I dunno how I like cupes, grint, and nides. @SlowMagic ? $\endgroup$ – Brandon_J Apr 22 at 15:14
  • $\begingroup$ I'll admit that I had to look up all three of those in my unabridged doorstop dictionary. I'll also admit that I couldn't find "cupes" and "grint", although "nide" is a nest or brood of pheasants. Who knew?! $\endgroup$ – SlowMagic Apr 22 at 16:32
4
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Here's some alternative outfits for Tried and Gins

tied & grins > tie & grinds > tine & grids > tinge & rids > stinge & rid > sting & ride > ting & rides > tin & ridges

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  • $\begingroup$ Yes, this is very similar to the solution I have. (Mine skips over "stinge" and gets an extra one at the end with TINS.) $\endgroup$ – SlowMagic Apr 23 at 15:13

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