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Word Ladder Puzzles



The Standard Version of This Puzzle


A word ladder, which also commonly goes by the name Doublet, presents the person attempting the puzzle at the beginning of the challenge with just two words that have the same number of letters as each other of which one is a start/begin word/step that is positioned at the top of the ladder and of which the other is an end word/step that is positioned at the bottom of the ladder. This puzzle, in the beginning, will have inbetween the start/begin and end words missing steps with each missing step being blank and representing a missing word, which has the same number of letters as the start/begin and end words, that has to be figured out and then written or placed in this missing step. In order to solve this puzzle and complete the ladder, all the missing steps must be figured out and filled in so that every time a single step is taken to reach the next word down starting from the top of the ladder or the start/begin step until reaching the bottom of the ladder or the end step one letter changes and only one letter changes. The words used in a Doublet all have to have the same number of letters and be real words that can be found in the dictionary and cannot be made up or be proper nouns i.e. names of people, months or places unless it is stated that proper nouns or certain proper nouns can be used. Doublets usually indicate by the way in which they are presented how many missing steps there are to find and fill in by using blank spaces and/or underscore symbols to indicate this information but sometimes this is not the case and only the start/begin and end words are given with no indication as to how many missing steps there are to work out and when this is the case then the goal is to try to solve it in the fewest steps possible. A Doublet can have the start/begin step of it have completely different letters to that of the end step of it or a Doublet can have the start/begin step of it share a letter(s) with the end step of it but that the shared letter(s) is not in the same position(s) in both words or a Doublet can have a start/begin step of it that shares a letter(s) with the end step of it in the same position(s) in both words. If the start/begin and end steps of a Doublet have completely different letters from each other then the absolute minimum number of missing steps that will have to be worked out and taken to solve this puzzle will be at least the amount of letters the start/begin or end step has minus one. The more letters that the words of a Doublet contain then the more missing steps it usually demands to solve it but this is not always the case and there are different reasons why a Doublet can demand more missing steps to solve it than another Doublet that has words with more letters. One of these scenarios can be when the Doublet, that contains the longer words, has a start/begin word and an end word that share a letter(s) and this shared letter(s) is found in the same position(s) in both of these words as this can mean that this shared letter(s) does not need to be changed into another letter(s) at all in order to get from the start/begin step to the end step of this Doublet and this could be the reason why this Doublet, that contains the longer words, has the same or less missing steps than the Doublet which contains the shorter words. Another scenario can be that for the Doublet, which has the shorter words, it is not possible to reach the bottom of this ladder by only changing once each letter of it that appears in the start/begin word but then also doesn't appear both in the end word and in the same position in both words due to the fact there are not currently the existing real words that can be made by changing one letter of the start/begin word and the subsequent correct missing words that follow this start/begin step of this Doublet in order to make these real words to do this. Therefore this could result in and be the reason why this Doublet, which has the shorter words, demands more or the same number of missing steps to correctly solve it as the Doublet with the longer words. It can be difficult to know when it comes to a Doublet puzzle what the fewest possible number of missing steps to correctly solve it will be when only the start/begin and end step is given for this puzzle and when the number of missing steps to solve this puzzle is not disclosed or indicated in any way. This is because the fewest possible number of missing steps to correctly solve a Doublet will depend on the real words that can be made by changing one letter of the start/begin step and all the subsequent correct missing words that follow this start/begin step in order to make these real words but the fewest possible number of missing steps to correctly solve a Doublet will always be at the very least the number of letters in the start/begin step minus the number of times a letter appears in this start/begin step when this letter can also be found both in the end word and in the same position in both words minus one.


A Doublet can be a fun way of testing and expanding a person's vocabulary and spelling especially when this puzzle demands a missing word to solve it that is an uncommon word from the language it comes from either in spoken or in written form and some reasons for why it is the case that in languages there can be rarely used words are they are old fashioned, they are difficult to pronounce or spell, there are synonyms for them that are more well known, the meaning of them is difficult to understand and what they mean or stand for is not common knowledge. The more letters the words in a Doublet contain then the more sophisticated and complex these terms will be and this might also mean the more likely a person is to have not heard of or know how to spell a missing step from it. A Doublet can sometimes have clues to help you solve it for either all or some of the missing steps of it and a clue could be revealing a letter(s) of a missing step or it could be some revealing information about a word that goes in a missing step without using this word that goes in a missing step such as a description or explanation of what it is or means, a word it is used in combination with, a sentence or phrase the word would complete, an opposite of it and information that narrows down what it could potentially be. When a Doublet has no clues or hints to help solve it then this can make this puzzle a lot more challenging and frustrating to solve especially when also this puzzle has many real words that can be formed from the start/begin step, end step and/or any of the correct missing words of it by just changing one letter in order to form a real word which when the case can mean there will then be many real words that don't solve the puzzle to have to potentially go through until the correct missing step(s) from these real words are found that resolve the puzzle. For some Doublets, there will be more than one correct answer to resolve them and this can be the case for those Doublets that don't indicate or display how many missing steps there are to them until the answer is revealed and the aim of which is to solve them in the fewest number of steps possible and this can also be the case for those Doublets that do indicate or display the number of missing steps it will take to solve them. It can sometimes be possible to improve upon the answer that is given to a Doublet by solving it in fewer missing words than the answer that is given to it and the reason for this is the person who created it either may have mistakenly not seen an answer with fewer steps or may have deliberately created it to have more missing words to fill in than the fewest number of steps it is possible to solve it in so there are more answers to work out and solve. The start/begin and end steps of a Doublet can often be related to each other in some way but not always as they don't have to be related to each other in any way and to demonstrate and give an example of how start/begin and end steps can be related to each other in a Doublet then the start/begin one of a Doublet could be 'east' and the end one 'west' and the relationship between the terms east and west is that they are both cardinal directions and that they are the opposites of each other. All the words in a Doublet puzzle usually each have the same number of letters as each other and this is often either three, four or five letters but this puzzle can and sometimes does have all the terms contained in it be of more than five letters in length. The more letters there are in the words of a Doublet then the more complex and sophisticated these terms will be and therefore the person doing a Doublet, that has these more complex and sophisticated words in it, will need a more advanced vocabulary to know and work out the missing steps of it.


The difficulty level of a Doublet doesn't necessarily increase when there are more letters to the words of it or even when there are more missing steps to it but rather other factors determine how easy this puzzle will be. A factor that is significant in determining how difficult a Doublet will be is how common or well-known the missing words in it are in the language they belong to because if the person solving it has never heard of or is very unfamiliar with a term that is a missing step then this person is unlikely or less likely to guess or come up with that missing step. A factor that can strongly influence the difficulty level of a Doublet is this puzzle having clues as clues can make the puzzle easier to solve than it would be if they were not included as this is the purpose of their inclusion in this puzzle when they are included. A clue in a Doublet can be a worded or pictorial hint for a missing step and/or the clue can be to reveal a letter(s) of a missing step and/or the clue can be to indicate which letter in a word needs to be changed in order to get the missing step that follows it. Another factor that can dictate how difficult a Doublet will be is whether or not it displays or states the number of missing steps as a Doublet puzzle that just gives the start/begin and end steps for it and doesn't display or state in any way the number of missing steps will likely be more challenging than if the number of missing steps were displayed or stated for it. This is because a Doublet puzzle that doesn't display or state the number of missing steps and just gives the start/begin and end words to work with will be giving no guidance, to the person trying to solve it, as to the fewest number of missing steps it can be done in until this information is given in the answer. This may then cause the person who is solving this Doublet, that doesn't display or state the number of missing steps, to solve it with more missing steps than is necessary or another way of saying this is to solve it with more missing steps than the fewest number of missing steps it can actually be solved in which would be solving this Doublet in a more challenging way than it can be done. A factor that can have a huge impact on how difficult a Doublet will be when it has no clues to it is the number of real words that can be made from the start/begin, end and each missing step in the Doublet by changing any one letter from a start/begin, end or missing step in the Doublet in order to get a real word. This is because the more real words that can be made from the start/begin, end and each missing step in a Doublet by changing any one letter from a start/begin, end or missing step in the Doublet in order to get a real word then the more wrongs answers or incorrect missing steps there can be to potentially use and thus more blind alleys to go down. This usually means that the more words there are in a Doublet, that has no clues to it, that can have lots of real words made from them by just changing any one letter of them to get a real word the more difficult this puzzle will likely be to solve as it will likely then have more junctures at which there are likely many real words that can be potentially wrongly chosen as an answer and therefore blind alleys to go down.


Different Versions of the Doublet


A Doublet can also sometimes demand from the person playing it that they add and/or take away a letter(s) from a word from it in order to get a missing step and this term from the Doublet which has to have a letter(s) added to it and/or taken away from it in order to get the correct missing step from it may sometimes also need at the same time a letter(s) of it changed in order to get the correct missing step from it. If this is the case that a word from a Doublet needs a letter(s) adding to it and/or to be taken away from it to get the correct missing word from it then this will be clearly indicated to the person playing it that they have to do this via a written hint/instruction and/or via the number of underscore symbols that represents a missing word. When a Doublet requires that the person playing it adds and/or takes away a letter(s) from a word in it in order to get a missing step then this can sometimes result in the start and end steps of this puzzle having a different number of letters from each other. There are some Doublet puzzles that can demand from the people that play them that they change or alter more than one letter of a word in order to take a single step from that term and get the correct missing step from that term and this might be required for one, some or all of the missing steps from that Doublet. When a Doublet requires that more than one letter be changed of a word from it in order to take a single step from that term and get the correct missing step from that term then this might be all that is required to make that single step or another requirement(s) might also have to be met in that single step to get the correct missing step from that term such as adding and/or taking away a letter(s) from that term. There will be a written instruction or hint to indicate when a word in a Doublet puzzle needs more than one letter of it changing in order to get the missing step from it or this information can be relayed to the person playing the puzzle illustratively by highlighting with colour or with some type of graphic(s) which letters need changing in a word of the puzzle in order to get the missing step from that word. There are even some Doublet puzzles that demand from the person that is attempting one of them that a word from it have all or some of the letters be put in a different order in order to get a missing step. A Doublet of this nature can require that the person playing it reorder all or some of the letters of not just one word from it but more than one from it in order to correctly solve it but usually not all the missing steps for it will be obtained this way as this puzzle is a Doublet, not an anagram and a Doublet involves changing a letter(s) of the start/begin step of it in order to get to the end word of it and solve it. When a Doublet puzzle requires that a word from it have some or all of the letters be reordered in order to get a correct missing step then this will be indicated by a written instruction or hint and this written instruction or hint will also explain to the player of the puzzle how many letters need reordering to get the missing step from that word. When it is the case that a Doublet requires that some or all of the letters of a word from it be reordered in order to make a single step from that word and in order to obtain the missing step from this word then it can be that in addition to this another requirement(s) will be demanded in order to make this single step from that word and in order to get the correct missing step from this word such as requiring a letter(s) be changed.


The Quiz


The start/begin and end words for every Doublet in this quiz have a meaning that is related to puzzles even if for some of them their relationship or link to puzzles is tenuous or not immediately obvious. However, the answers or the missing steps to the Doublets in this quiz don't need to be words that are puzzle related in any way they just have to be real words that are found in the dictionary and also be answers that will complete and resolve successfully the Doublets in this quiz. There is more than one answer or way of solving some of the Doublets in this quiz but all the Doublets in this quiz are solvable and the solutions that are given here to all the Doublets in this quiz are the answers I have come up with and this means the hints supplied here for all the Doublets in this quiz are hints for the answers I have come up with. Figuring out and coming up with all the possible solutions for every Doublet in this quiz can be a bonus challenge for you if you would be motivated to do this otherwise just try to come up with a single solution for every Doublet in this quiz and then compare your solutions to my mine. The Doublets in this quiz have all been devised so that for each of them every letter of the start/begin step will have to be changed in order to reach the bottom of the ladder and resolve the puzzle. The first ten Doublets in this quiz only contain words with three letters which means each missing answer to these must consist of just three letters and these first ten Doublets can all be resolved by coming up with and filling in as few as two missing steps. The final fifteen Doublets of this quiz will have a higher difficulty level than the first ten as each of these final fifteen Doublets contain only four-letter words which means that the missing answers to each of these final fifteen doublets must be of four letters in length and it should be noted that the last fifteen Doublets of this quiz can each be solved by coming up with and filling in as few as three missing steps. During the process of devising the Doublets for this quiz, I had to look up some of the words that I have as my answers to this quiz to verify that they are indeed real and when you check my answers to this quiz you might also be surprised that some of my answers are real words that have meanings to them and that they can be found in the dictionary.


The most important rule that applies to every Doublet in this quiz is that for every step that is taken, starting from the top of the ladder until the bottom of it is reached, there can only be one letter changed and that there is no reordering or adding/removing of letters involved with any puzzle in this quiz.


There is a hint for each missing step that appears in this quiz and all these hints, which are hints for the answers I have come up with, can be found in the section of this article that is titled 'Hints to my answers:' by either scrolling down the page slowly until the hint you are looking for in this section is reached in order to avoid knowing the hints to the other Doublets that follow the Doublet you want to know the hint for or by simply clicking here if you want to know all of the hints at once.


The answers I have come up with to all the Doublets in this quiz can be found after the section of this article that is titled 'Hints to my answers:' by either scrolling down the page until you reach an answer of mine to a specific Doublet in this quiz that you are looking for an answer for in order to avoid seeing my answers to the other Doublets that follow the Doublet that you want to know my answer for or by clicking here to check all of my answers at once.


Complete and resolve the following word ladders:


1. PEN

_ _ _

_ _ _

DOT


2. HIT

_ _ _

_ _ _

TAP


3. KEY

_ _ _

_ _ _

TIP


4. FUN

_ _ _

_ _ _

SAD


5. BAD

_ _ _

_ _ _

TOP


6. MAX

_ _ _

_ _ _

LOW


7. PUT

_ _ _

_ _ _

GAP


8. CAN

_ _ _

_ _ _

NOT


9. MAT

_ _ _

_ _ _

LIE


10. ROD

_ _ _

_ _ _

BAR


11. MAKE

_ _ _ _

_ _ _ _

_ _ _ _

FORM


12. TASK

_ _ _ _

_ _ _ _

_ _ _ _

DONE


13. LUCK

_ _ _ _

_ _ _ _

_ _ _ _

FATE


14. HOLD

_ _ _ _

_ _ _ _

_ _ _ _

FIST


15. DICE

_ _ _ _

_ _ _ _

_ _ _ _

CARD


16. EASY

_ _ _ _

_ _ _ _

_ _ _ _

HARD


17. LINE

_ _ _ _

_ _ _ _

_ _ _ _

DASH


18. FIND

_ _ _ _

_ _ _ _

_ _ _ _

SEEK


19. LOSE

_ _ _ _

_ _ _ _

_ _ _ _

EARN


20. TURN

_ _ _ _

_ _ _ _

_ _ _ _

MOVE


21. READ

_ _ _ _

_ _ _ _

_ _ _ _

BOOK


22. MAZE

_ _ _ _

_ _ _ _

_ _ _ _

LOST


23. LEAD

_ _ _ _

_ _ _ _

_ _ _ _

HINT


24. BOLT

_ _ _ _

_ _ _ _

_ _ _ _

SAFE


25. KNOT

_ _ _ _

_ _ _ _

_ _ _ _

SLIP



Hints to my answers:


1. PEN

_ _ _ (another word for stroke)

_ _ _ (a piece of cooking equipment)

DOT


2. HIT

_ _ _ (wear it on your head)

_ _ _ (of poor quality)

TAP


3. KEY

_ _ _ (to catch)

_ _ _ (to sleep)

TIP


4. FUN

_ _ _ (used to cool down)

_ _ _ (a synonym of craze)

SAD


5. BAD

_ _ _ (the name given to a particular form of bread roll)

_ _ _ (water comes out of it)

TOP


6. MAX

_ _ _ (a synonym for this would be negligent)

_ _ _ (a rule)

LOW


7. PUT

_ _ _ (this can be a feeling or a reaction)

_ _ _ (this means gossip)

GAP


8. CAN

_ _ _ (to deceive)

_ _ _ (a baby sleeps in this)

NOT


9. MAT

_ _ _ (an abbreviation for a geographical word)

_ _ _ (to have set on fire)

LIE


10. ROD

_ _ _ (a word that can mean a person when used in Britain)

_ _ _ (the opposite of good)

BAR


11. MAKE

_ _ _ _ (what a baby female horse grows up to be)

_ _ _ _ (the opposite of less)

_ _ _ _ (this is a term that can describe a location or a direction)

FORM


12. TASK

_ _ _ _ (the police do this to detain a criminal)

_ _ _ _ (wool teasing)

_ _ _ _ (this word has a relationship with medicine)

DONE


13. LUCK

_ _ _ _ (synonym of dearth)

_ _ _ _ (this can be tied)

_ _ _ _ (opposite of early)

FATE


14. HOLD

_ _ _ _ (where an otter lives)

_ _ _ _ (presenter can be another word for this)

_ _ _ _ (a way of getting people to be quiet)

FIST


15. DICE

_ _ _ _ (really bad)

_ _ _ _ (goad is a synonym for this)

_ _ _ _ (to look after)

CARD


16. EASY

_ _ _ _ (opposite of west)

_ _ _ _ (this is a now defunct or rarely used word that was often commonly used in combination with the word thou)

_ _ _ _ (this is what a baby red male deer grows up to be)

HARD


17. LINE

_ _ _ _ (a short in terms of width road)

_ _ _ _ (this means it can emulate a laser)

_ _ _ _ (this is an action you can make with a stick, belt or whip)

DASH


18. FIND

_ _ _ _ (to rebuff an attack)

_ _ _ _ (an action that can be taken with an email or letter)

_ _ _ _ (this can be germinated)

SEEK


19. LOSE

_ _ _ _ (this is found on the face of a bird)

_ _ _ _ (a synonym for desolate)

_ _ _ _ (the meaning of this is the main reason why a student is in school)

EARN


20. TURN

_ _ _ _ (to have ripped something apart)

_ _ _ _ (this means the section of a day that lasts from dawn until midday)//

_ _ _ _ (further is a synonym for this)

MOVE


21. READ

_ _ _ _ (this can be a tiny ball that is often found on necklaces)

_ _ _ _ (one of the defining features of a bird)

_ _ _ _ (to throw up)

BOOK


22. MAZE

_ _ _ _ (to operate as a Maser device)

_ _ _ _ (on a ship this takes the form of a pole)

_ _ _ _ (the opposite of least)

LOST


23. LEAD

_ _ _ _ (synonym for loan)

_ _ _ _ (a no longer used word that means lime tree)

_ _ _ _ (something undesirable that can appear in the pocket(s) of a piece of clothing)

HINT


24. BOLT

_ _ _ _ (a synonym for tree trunk)

_ _ _ _ (part of a shoe)

_ _ _ _ (when a store temporarily lowers the price at which a product(s) it is offering can be bought)

SAFE


25. KNOT

_ _ _ _ (this comes from a person's nose)

_ _ _ _ (to be in an irritable mood)

_ _ _ _ (a synonym for cut)

SLIP



My answers:


1. PEN

PET

POT

DOT


2. HIT

HAT

TAT

TAP


3. KEY

KEP

KIP

TIP


4. FUN

FAN

FAD

SAD


5. BAD

BAP

TAP

TOP


6. MAX

LAX

LAW

LOW


7. PUT

GUT

GUP

GAP


8. CAN

CON

COT

NOT


9. MAT

LAT

LIT

LIE


10. ROD

BOD

BAD

BAR


11. MAKE

MARE

MORE

FORE

FORM


12. TASK

TASE

TOSE

DOSE

DONE


13. LUCK

LACK

LACE

LATE

FATE


14. HOLD

HOLT

HOST

HIST

FIST


15. DICE

DIRE

DARE

CARE

CARD


16. EASY

EAST

HAST

HART

HARD


17. LINE

LANE

LASE

LASH

DASH


18. FIND

FEND

SEND

SEED

SEEK


19. LOSE

LORE

LORN

LARN

EARN


20. TURN

TORN

MORN

MORE

MOVE


21. READ

BEAD

BEAK

BOAK

BOOK


22. MAZE

MASE

MAST

MOST

LOST


23. LEAD

LEND

LIND

LINT

HINT


24. BOLT

BOLE

SOLE

SALE

SAFE


25. KNOT

SNOT

SNIT

SLIT

SLIP

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