4
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Using only a sequence of transpositions, see if you can take this:

start_state

to this:

finish_state

while maintaining English words on each of the three horizontals.


At each step, you may transpose any two neighboring letters, either up-down or left-right.

At each step, you must have three horizontal English words.

You might need to know this word: COAMING. Other than that, all the words along the way should be quite familiar.


Maybe you saw the first version of this puzzle. Extensive experimental evidence suggests that the fun level of this kind of puzzle increases exponentially with the number of horizontal possibilities, so I have devised this new version which emphasizes sideways movement.


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Not sure if this is optimal, but here's my solution

COATING
CARTING
FRAMING

COATING
CRATING
FRAMING

CRATING
COATING
FRAMING

CRATING
COATING
FARMING

CRATING
COAMING
FARTING

CRATING
FOAMING
CARTING

CARTING
FOAMING
CARTING

FARTING
COAMING
CARTING

FARMING
COATING
CARTING

FARMING
COATING
CRATING

FARMING
CRATING
COATING

FRAMING
CRATING
COATING

FRAMING
CARTING
COATING

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