A Sobering Problem

Anything goes, but keep it seemly...

A Sobering Problem

Postby David P Bird » Thu Aug 08, 2013 10:38 am

Doublets is a word game devised by Lewis Carrol that I sometimes use as an alternative to counting sheep when trying to get to sleep after late-night Sudoku theorising. Take two connected words of the same length and see if you can transform one into the other changing one letter at a time.

A backdoor example:
0 Back
1 Pack
2 Pact
3 Part
4 Port
5 Pout
6 Pour
7 Poor
8 Door (8 steps, UK)

How quickly can you get from DRUNK to SOBER?

[Added 2nd Sep]
To discover if a word is acceptable use either the < UK Collins Scrabble Checker > or the < USA TWL Scrabble Checker >. The USA list is bigger but doesn't include all the words in the UK dictionary. A list that is passed by both checkers is considered superior to one that is passed only by one.

Number the steps taken from the start word (which isn't counted) and add UK, USA, or Both, to indicate which checker(s) was/were used to verify it.
Last edited by David P Bird on Mon Sep 02, 2013 10:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
David P Bird
2010 Supporter
 
Posts: 957
Joined: 16 September 2008
Location: Middle England

Re: A Sobering Problem

Postby Leren » Fri Aug 09, 2013 11:36 am

drunk
drink
brink
bring
boing
boong
boons
boots
soots
sorts
sores
sorer
sober (12 steps)

Leren
Leren
 
Posts: 2847
Joined: 03 June 2012

Re: A Sobering Problem

Postby David P Bird » Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:15 pm

Leren, well done! The big problem here is with the vowels and your boing / boong steps are masterly (I had to check a Scrabble dictionary to see if they were acceptable). I noticed you edited out a boob before I responded though!

My route took 17 steps, but I was sure that it could be beaten.

Drunk
Drink
Brink
Blink
Clink
Chink
Chins
Coins
Coils
Cools
Pools
Polls
Poles
Pokes
Poker
Power
Sower
Sober (17 steps)

David
David P Bird
2010 Supporter
 
Posts: 957
Joined: 16 September 2008
Location: Middle England

Re: A Sobering Problem

Postby JPF » Wed Aug 28, 2013 5:34 am

deleted !
Last edited by JPF on Wed Aug 28, 2013 4:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
JPF
2017 Supporter
 
Posts: 3752
Joined: 06 December 2005
Location: Paris, France

Re: A Sobering Problem

Postby Smythe Dakota » Wed Aug 28, 2013 5:52 am

But are any of those real words, other than the first, second, and last?

You might as well go:

drunk
srunk
sounk
sobnk
sobek
sober

Bill Smythe
Smythe Dakota
 
Posts: 534
Joined: 11 February 2006

Re: A Sobering Problem

Postby David P Bird » Wed Aug 28, 2013 8:23 am

JPF apart from trunk, none of your intermediate words was in my Scrabble dictionary but, as it is now quite old, I double checked using the < on-line version >. This accepted tronk, defined as jail, but rejected the rest.

As a pillow problem, I only allow myself to use everyday words that are acceptable in polite society, but this will depend on where one lives, does for a living, and the company one keeps. I can't begin to guess your circumstances though!

DPB
David P Bird
2010 Supporter
 
Posts: 957
Joined: 16 September 2008
Location: Middle England

Re: A Sobering Problem

Postby JPF » Wed Aug 28, 2013 4:34 pm

I randomly picked an online five letter lexicon. I apologize if some words hurt you.
Here is a new proposal:

drunk
drank
brank
brans
brats
boats
borts
bores
sores
sorer
sober (10 steps)

JPF
JPF
2017 Supporter
 
Posts: 3752
Joined: 06 December 2005
Location: Paris, France

Re: A Sobering Problem

Postby David P Bird » Wed Aug 28, 2013 9:33 pm

JPF That's much better, all those words are allowable in Scrabble, so well done!

I sreiously doubt if anyone will be able to beat your 10 steps.
David P Bird
2010 Supporter
 
Posts: 957
Joined: 16 September 2008
Location: Middle England

Re: A Sobering Problem

Postby Leren » Thu Aug 29, 2013 7:47 am

Can't beat JPF's 10 steps but there are 2 obvious 10 step variations:

Code: Select all
drunk   drunk
drank   drank
brank   brank
brans   brans
brats   brats
boats   boats
borts   borts
sorts   bores
sores   borer
sorer   sorer
sober   sober

Can anyone see any others ?

Leren
Leren
 
Posts: 2847
Joined: 03 June 2012

Re: A Sobering Problem

Postby JPF » Sat Aug 31, 2013 4:39 am

I don't think there is a fourth solution.
Meanwhile, how quickly can you go from EARTH to VENUS ?

JPF
JPF
2017 Supporter
 
Posts: 3752
Joined: 06 December 2005
Location: Paris, France

Re: A Sobering Problem

Postby tarek » Sat Aug 31, 2013 5:57 pm

This will probably burst into flames at take-off :oops: :
Code: Select all
earth
warth
warts
parts
perts
verts
vents
venus
The words look genuine enough! I wasn't good at SCRABBLE anyway!!!
User avatar
tarek
 
Posts: 2611
Joined: 05 January 2006

Re: A Sobering Problem

Postby JPF » Sat Aug 31, 2013 8:19 pm

I am not the referee, but I'm afraid that:
Code: Select all
warth
perts

are not acceptable.

I use this site http://www.scrabblefinder.com/solver/ for checking the 'scrabbleness' of a word.

JPF
JPF
2017 Supporter
 
Posts: 3752
Joined: 06 December 2005
Location: Paris, France

Re: A Sobering Problem

Postby David P Bird » Sat Aug 31, 2013 9:13 pm

Interesting, the Collins < on-line site > I cited before, claims to be "The only online Scrabble checker to use the official tournament word list. The official word list includes over a quarter of a million permissible words, and is endorsed by Mattel and the World English-Language ScrabbleTM Players’ Association"Official"

As well as having 'pert' as an adjective, it also has it as a noun (a pert person) so accepts 'perts'
However it rejects 'warth'

In accordance with the board game, it also rejects proper nouns which must be spelt with a capital, but apparently there is a venus marine bivalve mollusc, so that's OK.

In my experience finding linked words that are awkward to transform one to the other is quite tricky. Either there seem to be fairly simple multiple options or none at all! That's why I was pleased to hit on the drunk/sober combination. Consequently all challenging contributions are gratefully received, but best to limit it to one at a time I suppose.

It also would be nice to grade equal length solutions so that the one that used the least obscure words is considered to be the winner, but I don't see how that can be decided impartially.

If this thread continues to be a welcome diversion from the complexities of Sudoku logic, I'll edit the OP so that only words that pass the Collins word checker will be accepted. That way everyone will know where they stand.

David
David P Bird
2010 Supporter
 
Posts: 957
Joined: 16 September 2008
Location: Middle England

Re: A Sobering Problem

Postby JPF » Sat Aug 31, 2013 11:14 pm

David P Bird wrote:Interesting, the Collins < on-line site > I cited before, claims to be "The only online Scrabble checker to use the official tournament word list. The official word list includes over a quarter of a million permissible words, and is endorsed by Mattel and the World English-Language ScrabbleTM Players’ Association"Official"

There are two official word lists for Scrabble tournaments:
see here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Official_Tournament_and_Club_Word_List

    - TWL or OSPD for the USA, Canada and Thailand.
    - Collins Scrabble Words for the UK.
Apparently, the two lists don't coincide exactly.
The site I mentioned uses the TWL list.

JPF
JPF
2017 Supporter
 
Posts: 3752
Joined: 06 December 2005
Location: Paris, France

Re: A Sobering Problem

Postby Leren » Sun Sep 01, 2013 7:01 am

ten...nine...eight...main engines start...seven...six...five...four...all engines running... three... two...one...ZERO... we have LIFTOFF !!!!

earth
garth
girth
girts
dirts
dints
mints
minds
mends
vends
venus (10 steps)

Leren
Last edited by Leren on Sun Sep 01, 2013 8:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Leren
 
Posts: 2847
Joined: 03 June 2012

Next

Return to Coffee bar