Enigma 288a: Multiplets
14 June 2015
Posted by on
From New Scientist #1435, 20th December 1984 [link]
A multiplet is a given set of words, and the game is to connect them with a network of as few link-words as possible. In the network, any two adjacent words are related in one of three ways:
(a) one letter is changed: e.g. MINUS → MINES
(b) one letter is added/removed: e.g. PLUS → PLUMS
(c) anagram: e.g. PLUMS → LUMPS or PLUMS → SLUMP
The picture shows a network for the multiplet “MINUS, ZERO, PLUS”, with 11 link-words.
For your Christmas prize, the multiplet is the first 10 natural numbers, “ONE, TWO, …, TEN”. Can you connect them with 15 or fewer link-words? If so, how?
All link-words must be of three or more letters. They must be in the Concise Oxford Dictionary, or simple inflexions of words in it. Words there marked as abbreviations are not allowed; so “SEN” for instance is not permitted. Common words are preferable to obscure ones.