Word Ladder

Prereq: BFS on Graph

Word Ladder is "a puzzle begins with two words, and to solve the puzzle one must find a chain of other words to link the two, in which two adjacent words (that is, words in successive steps) differ by one letter."

For example: COLD β†’ CORD β†’ CARD β†’ WARD β†’ WARM

Given a start word, an end word, and a list of dictionary words, determine the minimum number of steps to go from the start word to the end word using only words from the dictionary.

Input:

1start = "COLD"
2end = "WARM"
3word_list = ["COLD", "GOLD", "CORD", "SOLD", "CARD", "WARD", "WARM", "TARD"]

Output:

14

Explanation: We can go from COLD to WARM by going through COLD β†’ CORD β†’ CARD β†’ WARD β†’ WARM

Try it yourself

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