This is another variation of the classic problem of changing one word into another. Instead of changing one word into another one letter at a time for each step, this variation alternates each step by anagramming one word into another.
For example: CAT to DOG can occur as such:
ANT (letter change)
TON (letter change)
NOD (letter change)
DOG (letter change)
Either the letter change or the anagram may occur first, but must then alternate.
I offer four challenges. In the fewest steps,
1) transform EARTH to WATER,
2) convert WIND to FIRE,
3) cross from RIVER to SHORE, and
4) transmute LEAD to GOLD.