Players: Two - Also known as: Doublets
Each player chooses a word with the same number of letters. Both players then try to make a word ladder between the two words. The player with the shortest ladder wins.
A word ladder is a sequence of words in which only one letter changes at each step.
One player chooses a starting word, and the other player then chooses an ending word of the same length. Both players then try to find a word ladder between the two chosen words. The player with shortest ladder wins. If neither player can find a ladder the game is a draw.
For example, if one player chose WINE and the other player chose BEER a possible word ladder could be as follows:
To make the game more exciting impose a time limit of five minutes.
For a more complicated variation of the game try Scrambled Word Ladders.
Word Ladders were first popularised as Doublets by the mathematician Lewis Carroll, who wrote the popular children's books "Alice in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking-Glass". They feature in many books of word puzzles.