Evolution, the Universe, and Everything


You'll be splitting up into groups of about 10 for this game.


Most of you are probably familiar with the concept of a word ladder -- for a simple example, to get from EAT to FED [[write this out on a sheet of paper if it's necessary]], you could change one letter at a time to go from EAT to FAT to FAD to FED.  In this game, the definition is the same; you will be trying to get from a start word to an end word, changing one letter at a time to an intermediate word at each step.  The difference is that your opponent will be working on the same ladder as you will, trying to get to a different word than you are.


If you start with EAT and one person is trying to get to FED while the other is trying to get to FIN, the ladder might go something like:



            (1)       FAT

                        FAN    (2)

            (1)       FEN

                        FIN     (2) (winner)


Some specific rules:


(1) The "champion" goes second.  For the first pair of players, flip a coin (or otherwise decide) to see who goes first.

(2) You have ten seconds to take your turn, or else you forfeit it.  If both players forfeit a turn back to back, the round ends in a draw and both players sit down.

(3) If your opponent accidentally writes your word down, you still win.

(4) You can't repeat a word in the entire ladder.  You can change the same letter that your opponent changed on his/her previous turn, as long as you don't change the word back to one that's already been used. (i.e., FAN->FEN->FIN is legal)

(5) Everyone should agree on the dictionary to be used beforehand.  Ideally, it should be a smaller rather than a larger one, so that really obscure words that only one of the players will know are excluded.

(6) At the beginning of each round, the person acting as timekeeper draws a set of words, writes the first one on the paper, and tears the other two off, handing one to each contestant.


Additions from Ann:


(7) Two people play at a time

(8) They take turns supplying words (rather than having a race to get to their final words)

(9) They don't know each other's end words

(10) The three horizontal words on the word list are the start word and the two end words.


[[You'll need one copy of the word sets on the next page per group of ~10.]]


life  |  mint  |  lost
bane  |  gore  |  bush
hero  |  sped  |  scan
fort  |  dove  |  dint
mind  |  read  |  lord
lies  |  cats  |  dogs
pope  |  pill  |  side
corn  |  ward  |  pure
year  |  heel  |  been
flop  |  axis  |  oxen
bred  |  pray  |  they
rote  |  cube  |  cola
dime  |  deal  |  hemp
molt  |  tome  |  mine
elan  |  plow  |  pray
gust  |  puny  |  gory
coal  |  poet  |  heat
luge  |  rigs  |  cobs