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Word Meld 2 (Posted on 2003-07-04) Difficulty: 3 of 5
In a word meld, you are given one word to try to change into another, one step at a time. Each step consists of changing one letter of the word into another while still having a common* English word. For example, one step would be to change the word "PIE" to "PIT." Another step could change "PIT" to "POT," and so on.

What is the fewest number of steps in which you can change "BUZZ" into "WORD"?
B U Z Z
. . . .
. . . .
W O R D
* "Common" words are to be determined at the discretion of the author

See The Solution Submitted by DJ    
Rating: 4.2222 (9 votes)

Comments: ( Back to comment list | You must be logged in to post comments.)
re(4): More solutions in that number | Comment 7 of 10 |
(In reply to re(3): More solutions in that number by DJ)

According to the Random House dictionary, meaning 1 of fuze is "a mechanical or electronic device to detonate an explosive charge, esp. as contained in an artillery shell, a missile, projectile, or the like.", while meaning 2 is a reference to "fuse" meaning number 1, which is "a tube, cord, or the like, filled or saturated with combustible matter, for igniting an explosive." Also "fuse" has a secondary meaning that refers to the primary meaning of "fuze". As to the distinction between these meanings, I admit I don't see much, except that if what's detonated is a missile or projectile the z spelling is preferred.

I do see however that "futz" and "putz" are labeled slang, the latter somewhat vulgar as former senator D'Amato had found out.

As to the number of steps, I'd consider that to be the number of changes, which equates to all the words but not counting the beginning word, but counting the goal word. In that instance the solutions provided previously are 7 steps.
  Posted by Charlie on 2003-07-07 08:25:18

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