39

Based on ThatOneNerdyBoy's answer, here's a 9-step solution in which all words are contained within MW


19

5 Steps Definition of special words


18

Here it is in 10 steps, at least


15

Here's one list of 10 words Here are some definitions/examples for some of the words.


14

Here is a possible 9 step:


12

If deletions and insertions are allowed, it is possible in 7 steps:


8

I have a possible answer: While is a portion of, anagram, and ROT-13 are self-explanatory, the sources for the other three transformations are linked below: Note:


8

With the third hint, it is now possible to see a cycle using: Re Hint 2, the 'two colours' referred to are:


7

Here are the steps: STEP ONE: STEP TWO: STEP THREE: STEP FOUR:


6

Here's one answer with 10 steps...and one word I'm not too happy with:


4

Here is a way to do it in 10 jumps (all definitions come from Merriam-Webster)


4

I believe the answers are:


4

prime example itsy bitsy what some swimmers do floater example tongue experts? super ripple like a buddy lighten pipes place neurotransmitter example This post is indebted to msh210's


4

Reconstruction: because this is evident because


3

I found a solution in only 8 intermediate steps: It is possible that shorter paths still exists, because I couldn't obtain the complete MW dataset. Methodology: First obtained a word list aspell -d en dump master | aspell -l en expand > words.en.txt Keep only words that are 5 letters long awk 'length($0)== 5' wordlist1.txt > wordlist2.txt Kepp ...


3

Ok, I'll throw my imperfect guess into the ring


3

Another 6 steps:


1

Here is a seven step solution which is the minimum Proof that this is minimal Further to this, What if Rule C is waived


1

I don't find this terribly satisfactory, but it does kinda meet all the conditions. has an anagram which has an antonym which ROT13s to which has a synonym which has a homonym which is a part of The last step is the least satisfactory one for me; the others all seem pretty good.


1

Here is my 10 letter word: Shearlings shearlings: skin from a recently sheared sheep or lamb that has been tanned and dressed with the wool left on shearling: skin from a recently sheared sheep or lamb that has been tanned and dressed with the wool left on shearing: to cut off the hair from hearing: the process, function, or power of perceiving sound ...


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