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Zag
Tired of his old title

 Posted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 7:03 pm    Post subject: 1 Over in the Visitor Games section, I am considering moderating a game based on the TV show "The Mole." I was thinking about cooperative puzzles that we could do online in which the players are working together for the best "score" but one player should be able to spoil the score without being immediately obvious. One such game I thought of is making word ladders (sample below, if you don't know what I mean by this), where each player would add one word to the ladder, and the score is determined by how few steps it takes to reach the target word. Obviously, they have to be pretty tough, but not so tough that people can't possibly solve them. So I wrote a program to find the shortest path between two words. I found a few that are REALLY hard, so I thought it might be fun to post those here. Sample word ladder: SINGS to WORDS Answer: (5 steps) ==sings, sines, sires, sores, sords, words== I am using this word list, because, after researching several, this was the easiest to access of the ones that didn't suck. I am pretty sure that my program always finds the shortest solution, given my word list. There might be other solutions of the same length, but none shorter. Here are some that, for one reason or another, I don't plan to use in the game -- typically because I think it requires a word that is too obscure, or just that it is too long or too short. The first one is the very first that I had considered using for the game. I ended up writing the program to solve these because I couldn't solve it in fewer than 20 steps. I'm not too ashamed, since it took the computer 13 steps, and there is at least one pretty obscure word in there. (13 steps) SWORD to ARMOR (16 steps) APPLE to LEMON (longest I've found) (8 steps) SWORD to WORDS (5 steps) LIFTS to SHOES (11 steps) STIFF to ALIVE (13 steps) WRONG to RIGHT (13 steps) GUESS to KNOWN (This requires the obscure words GEEST and WEEST which, I believe, are the only path out of {guess, guest, quest} to anything else.) edit: APPLE to ARMOR is 17 steps, but not very interestingLast edited by Zag on Sat Jul 18, 2009 3:32 am; edited 1 time in total
Daedalian Member

 Posted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 5:16 pm    Post subject: 2 Well, LIFTS to SHOES is an easy one: LIFTS LOFTS LOOTS SOOTS SHOTS SHOES
Zag
Tired of his old title

 Posted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 3:29 am    Post subject: 3 That's exactly what my program found.
Termital
Daedalian Member

 Posted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 7:39 pm    Post subject: 4 Nonsense edited out _________________ Better ways to push & pull! Last edited by Termital on Mon Aug 24, 2009 7:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
Zag
Tired of his old title

 Posted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 7:44 pm    Post subject: 5 Well, trine IS in my word list, so my program should have found your chain. What is it?
Termital
Daedalian Member

 Posted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 7:48 pm    Post subject: 6 Apparently, I mistyped one of the end words.  to write, apparently[/edit]_________________ Better ways to push & pull!
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