On your computer right now, you can probably click on the "Edit" menu; and one of the first options will be "Undo". These are closely associated words. But how close are they in a word ladder?

Challenge: Change EDIT to UNDO by changing one letter at a time. Each intermediate word must be a valid word in (modern) English.

The accepted answer will be:

  1. The shortest chain of words that uses only uncapitalized words (i.e., no proper nouns) in Merriam-Webster Dictionary (and their pluralizations, tenses, etc.)

  2. If no such answer is found, the shortest chain of words including proper nouns from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

  3. If no such answer is found, the shortest chain of words using any other modern English dictionary, including proper nouns.

Acronyms are not allowed. I know of a solution satisfying criterion #1, which uses one relatively obscure word.

EDIT: somehow I forgot that there were words other than nouns. My intent was only to prohibit proper nouns in Criterion #1, not to prohibit any words other than nouns.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Why does the chain require nouns when the two words in question are ostensibly not nouns? $\endgroup$
    – scatter
    Jun 11, 2019 at 14:35
  • $\begingroup$ Those are the intermediate words. $\endgroup$
    – Duck
    Jun 11, 2019 at 14:36
  • $\begingroup$ @Christian: Sorry, that was a misstatement on my part. My intent was to prohibit proper nouns for criterion #1. I've edited the statement accordingly. $\endgroup$ Jun 11, 2019 at 15:08

1 Answer 1


Edit: These are all in Merriam-Webster and the steps are all nouns (one an abbreviation).

6 steps.

These are all in Merriam-Webster but they are not all nouns (proper or improper).

6 steps.

  • $\begingroup$ Wow! I literally thought of that right before you posted it! The noun rule makes it a lot harder. $\endgroup$
    – Duck
    Jun 11, 2019 at 14:36
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I wonder whether "improper nouns" was an error and "words that are not proper nouns" was intended. $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Jun 11, 2019 at 14:36
  • $\begingroup$ What improper noun can you get from edit even (if it was intended)? $\endgroup$
    – Duck
    Jun 11, 2019 at 14:38
  • $\begingroup$ @Duck Perhaps Exit? $\endgroup$
    – hexomino
    Jun 11, 2019 at 14:39
  • $\begingroup$ Hmm.. will look into that. $\endgroup$
    – Duck
    Jun 11, 2019 at 14:40

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