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Word Challenge

  1. Feb 7, 2006 #1
    So, for whatever reason, I got to thinking. Let's suppose you have a 4 letter word, say "tile". You change one letter to make a new word, "mile", and then again to "mild", and then "mold", etc. How many iterations would you need in order to use *every* letter of the alphabet (in the above I've used only D,E,I,L,M,O, and T), without repeating a word twice?

    It took me 32 words to achieve this, and theoretically, it's possible within only 23 words. I'm sure someone can do better. Anyone?

    DaveE
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 7, 2006 #2

    AKG

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    Many
    Manx
    Mane
    Maze
    Haze
    Have
    Wave
    Wake
    Woke
    Joke
    Poke
    Pore
    Gore
    Bore
    Core
    Cure
    Curl
    Furl
    Fuel
    Duel
    Duet
    Suet
    Suit
    Quit

    TOTAL: 24
    Note: Obviously, this is 1 worse than the theoretical best. In particular, the letter "e" is repeated. It first appears in MANE then disappears after CURE, only to reappear three words later in FUEL and then disappear after SUET.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2006
  4. Feb 9, 2006 #3
    Very nice!

    I actually couldn't resist the urge, and fed it into a program, which was able to find a whole bunch of solutions using 23 words. Of course, the word list I used included some words that weren't fit for posting (go figure that it tried to use one of them a *lot*), so using a tamer word list, I got:

    quiz
    quip
    quid
    quit
    suit
    skit
    skim
    swim
    shim
    shiv
    shin
    chin
    coin
    join
    loin
    loan
    lorn
    lore
    lobe
    loge
    logy
    fogy
    foxy

    (All words were found in the Scrabble online dictionary, so I'm calling it good!)

    DaveE
     
  5. Feb 22, 2006 #4
    I don't know if this is correct, but let me try it...here's my list:

    rope
    robe
    rode
    role
    rose
    rote
    dote
    dole
    dome
    done
    dope
    dose
    doze
    daze
    faze
    gaze
    laze
    maze
    raze
    race
    rage
    rake
    rape
    rare
    rate
    rite
    bite
    cite
    kite
    mite
    site
    side
    sire
    lire
    dire
    fire
    hire
    sire
    tire
    wire
    were
    here
    mere

    Total: 43
     
  6. Feb 22, 2006 #5

    AKG

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    The idea is to make a list of size 23, but use all the letters. Right away, I see you don't need "mere" at the end, since all it does is introduce an "m", which you've already done when you had "dome". You also use "sire" twice, and the second time is entirely unnecessary (you don't need it to go from "hire" to "tire") so you can get rid of that. On the other hand, you don't appear to have used the letters 'y' and 'x', so it's not even complete yet.
     
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