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Word Ladder

No. of Players: 1+
Type of Game: written
What you need: pen and paper

Goal

To change one word to another word one letter at a time.

How to play

Players can either challenge themselves or others to change one word to another in the fewest number of steps. The two selected words must have the same number of letters and should preferably be related in some way, like head and tail, or warm and cold. Letters are changed one at a time, and at each stage a new word must be made. The winner is the player who completes the transformation in the fewest number of steps. Alternatively, players can change the position of a letter instead of changing a letter.

Variations of this game include Broken Word Ladder and Word Ping-Pong. The game is also known as Doublets and is similar to Syzygies.

Example

Alton challenges himself to transform slow to fast by changing one letter at a time.

SLOW
SLOT
SLAT
SEAT
SENT
PENT
PANT
PAST
FAST

He then finds that by repositioning a single letter in the second move, the transformation is completed in fewer steps.

SLOW
SLOT
LOST
LAST
FAST

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