The SpecGram puzzle team has decided to take break from all that “Linguistically-
At first they tried to come up with a puzzle based on Transformational Grammar, but their best efforts all resulted in symptoms such as drowsiness, insomnia, and cranial hemorrhaging. We lost three otherwise perfectly adequate interns. So instead we settled for something else vaguely transformational. Known also as “Doublets”, “Word-
The rules are quite simple: transform one English word into another of the same length, one letter at a time, with each intermediate form also being a valid English word. For example, dog may be readily converted to cat by these simple steps: dog → cog → cot → cat.
For this first set of puzzles, we’re only going to slightly extend the basic notion: we’ll allow the word pairs to be of different lengths. So, in addition to changing a letter, adding or deleting a letter will also be permitted, when necessary.
Judging solutions to these puzzles will be harder than for previous puzzles, because there is no single correct answer. As a rule of thumb, shorter solutions are better than longer solutions, solutions without additions or deletions are better than those with, solutions with only additions or only deletions are better than those with both, solutions with common words are better than those with rarer words, solutions with only words that are clearly English are better than those with obvious loan words, and solutions with proper names are lame, but will be accepted (maybe). These guidelines are contradictory. Too bad for you.
This time around, eight vaguely linguistical word pairs will be offered. Reasonable solutions that do not require me to get my OED off the shelf for every single step will be eligible for a prize
Sample solutions (either my own
|Your task for this puzzle contest:|
Speaking of solutions, the solution to Masyu Ortograpiu II is at right. Those who submitted correct solutions and will get SpecGram magnets of their choosing include:
And if you are wondering whether this “Erik Gedeborg” is a real person, since he keeps winning, I wonder, too. But we got to send those magnets somewhere. If you have time to go to Sweden and verify his existence, please do so. If he turns out to be a SpecGram employee, forget that I asked.