Word Puzzles


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by Lewis Carroll

Carroll's solitaire game of Doublets is one of the most well known games with words, and without doubt everyone will know it. Lewis Carroll created the Doublets game in 1877 as a Christmas gift for two girls. Since then the game has appeared in many different languages in numerous books, magazines and newspapers all around the World. It has different names - Word-Links, Doublets, Word Golf, Transformations, Word Ladder and many other, but the idea of all these games is the same. 

This idea is to take two words of the same length, and then to change one word into the other, changing one letter each time; all unchanged letters of each intermediate word keep their positions. All the words you use as intermediate must be real words common enough to be found in a standard dictionary. You aren't allowed to use proper names for the linking words though.

You may see one example of such Doublets in the middle of the diagram shown above. It's Carroll's solution to evolve "man" from "ape", but this way isn't the shortest. Can you find a shorter solution with fewer links?

We've chosen six different Doublets which you may try to solve. To start just click any of the six yellow double boxes with Doublets to open all its cells for solving, and then type in the appropriate words to change one word to the other. Use the mouse to move from cell to cell. If you want to see the example again just click the small yellow circle with the red triangle. 
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Last Update
November 22, 2003

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