34

Just signed up to share some of the solutions (3 of them) I was able to come up with in 6 steps: OH MAN! After a lot of searching I was able to do it in 5 steps (5 solutions): I confirmed the words on Anagrammer. EDIT: although all words are accepted on Anagrammer, someone pointed out in the comments that two of the words used in the 6-step solutions ...


26

Three steps/Four words:


20

I've got 20


19

I've done it in 21:


17

Six steps - Shameless use of Old English with Wiktionary support: Ten steps - If you insist on using Modern English, here is a shortened one highly based on @Gareth's:


15

My solution is longer than Alconja's, but has a more orthodox spelling ;-) Formating courtesy of Jonathan Allen. Apparently my bold face letters made no sense to anyone but me. Story of my life...


15

Here's my 8-step solution: (I don't know if SINHS - plural for SINH ("hyperbolic sine function") is an accepted word)


14

Here's one way. It probably isn't close to optimal. 42 steps if I've counted right. Credit where due: the path from EIGHT to SEVEN is derived from Hunter's answer to an earlier puzzle, though not much of that answer remains in what I have there now. JonMark Perry spotted what in hindsight should have been an obvious improvement in the path from FOUR to ...


12

This is a proof that Omega Krypton's answer of 38 is optimal, as long as these words are nonexistent (single implication): EEVEN,EINE,ENINE,FIUR,FIVR,FOVE,NIGE,NINH,OWO,,SEGEN,SEVET,SEVHN,SIVEN,TNO,TWE First, a calculation of the theoretical best (although no suitable words may exist), by using a Levenshteins distance (word difference by letters) ...


11

Five steps: Four steps: @n_palum's solution in three steps: This is optimal because


11

The connection between all movies is, ... Now we can fill the ladder (probably one of several possible solutions): Alternative solution ...


11

Best solution so far: 38 steps 9-7 from @Gareth, and sien from @devyndraen thanks!


10

In this answer I will show that five steps is the minimum number required (from the answer by @JoãoBravo). Suppose by contradiction that there are four. Then the sequence will be of the form F i v e, _ _ _ _, _ _ _ _, _ _ _ _, F o u r. If the first letter remains unchanged the whole way through, the sequence is F i v e, F _ _ _, F _ _ _, F _ _ _, F o u r....


9



9

As @RossMillikan pointed out correctly, the proof from @TheSimpliFire is incomplete. The following part F i v e, F _ _ _, F _ _ _, F _ _ _, F o u r. Therefore, at each step, one of i v e must be changed to match o u r, without any deviations. This is clearly impossible. can be done with any of the following sequences Five => F_ve => F_ue / F_vr => F_ur ...


9

I guess I am just not very good at these puzzles... the solution I found is 3,001 steps long without repeating any words.


9

This is hard because it uses a lot of rare words... reverse effect alder trees wavy (should be waves??) limbs asian legume curves resembling a cross battalion vases The ladder


8

Solution 1. - 3 intermediate steps. Solution 2 (because people complain about the word mott, I don't know why :D) - 5 intermediate steps


8

Alternative answer: Full analysis:


7

I hope I understood the rules I'm assuming we can't use a proper names.


7

Here's one in four steps: Here's another one in four:


7

Dr Xorile's answer does seem to be the shortest at seven entries, but there are 5 possible variations, for a total of 6 solutions:


7

I suspect that a K score of 4 may be possible.


7

I can do it in With one more obscure word, I can do it in


7

Four, but using more ancient spelling (where U and V were interchangeable)


7

I was not the first, but my answer is Edit: I later spotted two solutions:


6

If you want to use proper nouns, you could:


6

Starting with this list of 4 letter words I've found the following three words that are one away from IRON, Unfortunately, the first one only leads back to iron or the 2nd word. The best I've figured using the 2nd word has 7 steps, and uses some uncommon words. However, using the 3rd word, I've found the following 5 steps, which appears to be optimal.


6

The best I can do:


6

A 4 letter word that I found to be a dead-end word ladder island Why it's a dead-end word ladder island


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