Word building

I play a fair amount of – okay, way too much – Scrabble, a game in which it is often useful to be able to add one letter to a word and create a new word. For example:

MA
MAY
MAYO
MAYOR

Of course, you don’t always have to add to the end of the word:

HO
WHO
WHOM
WHOMP

These both go to five letters – six if you add an “S,” which isn’t all that elegant. The longest string I’ve thought of this morning is:

HA (or AM)
HAM
SHAM
SHAME
SHAMED
ASHAMED

Can you go longer? Or can you come up with a longer string than four where all the letters go to the front, as in:

ON
CON
ICON

All the intervening steps must be Scrabble-eligible words (no abbreviations, foreign words, or proper names).

I can equal ya so far…

Ma
Mag
Mage
Image
Imager
Imagery

es
pes
apes
tapes
etapes
retapes
pretapes

Yay! (You could also get into it with TA, TAP, TAPE…)

Very nice.

Thanks. Yeah you could do it that way, but I was trying to put all in front.

:smack:

You sure did. Double nice!

I came up with another eight-letter one:

AT
LAT
LATH
LATHE
LATHER
LATHERS
BLATHERS

la
lap
laps
lapse
elapse
relapse
relapser
relapsers

an
ran
rang
orang
orange
orangey

as
has
hast
haste
hasten
chasten

Nine – nice!

If you’ll allow for a couple of funky words, you could do ORANGER (“more orange”) and ORANGERY (variant of “orangerie”).

at
ate
late
elate
relate
prelate
prelates

at
ate
rate
irate
pirate
pirated

I’m pretty bad at these, so I think I’ll be topping out at:

ar
tar
star
stare
starer
starers