Here's a classic word-ladder for y'all.
Can you transform "phone" into "cord", using only single-letter alterations?
- Each step can either add a letter, remove a letter, or change a letter.
- Each step must be a word that is generally recognized as belonging to English and that 'most people' would know. (Adopted words are okay, but e.g. "bueno" is not. Latin names, e.g. "canis" are also not allowed. Extremely obscure words like "asci" are also out.)
- Proper nouns (e.g. "Jill") aren't allowed unless they are also regular words also (e.g. "jack").
Contractions (e.g. "don't") and abbreviations of any form (e.g. "photo[graph]", "laser") aren't allowed.(Removed, per trolley813's observation.)
- Words that you wouldn't want to explain to a five year old (e.g. "sex", "drat", "ascus") are not allowed.
(Yes, there are two specific words I have in mind with the last rule. If you know what they are, good for you; don't mention them. Keep it clean, please.)
A minimal solution is five steps (including the first and last step). It exists; can you find it? How many other chains that are ten steps or less can you find? (Unique, valid answers ten steps or less will be upvoted. The first valid, minimal answer will be accepted.)