The Word Games People Play

Jeff stopped me Thursday afternoon and asked if I had ever heard of a game called “Weaver.” I had not, so he instructed me to go to online to see an example.

If you click the question mark icon, a box will appear with instructions on how to play. It goes like this: “This game is called a ’word ladder’ and was invented by ’Alice in Wonderland’ author (and sadist, in my opinion) Lewis Carroll in 1877.

“Rules: Weave your way from the start word to the end word. Each word you enter can only change 1 letter from the word above it.

“Example: ‘East’ is the start word, ‘West’ in the end word. We changed E to V to make ‘Vast.’ We changed the A to E to make ‘Vest.’ And we changed V to W to make ‘West.’ Done!”

“Sounds simple enough,” I thought, and began my first game. The goal was to change letters to transform “Math” to “Whiz.”

It did not take long to pine for the time when I still had hair, so I could pull it out in frustration, like right now.

A little while and a lot of muttered swear words later, I finally made a connection. Start with “Math.” Change the H to a T and you have “Matt.” M with a W to make “Watt.” Exchange the third T for an I, leaving you with “Wait.” Replace A with H and you are left with “Whit.” Take out the T, put in a Z and voila! You have arrived at “Whiz,” and the object of the game.

Let’s try one more. The start word is “Home,” which you have to convert to “Sick.” And, go!

At first I tried “Rome,” but was rejected. Then I swapped H for S to get “Some.” From there, taking out the M and putting in a L and I had “Sole.” Switching the E for an O gave me “Solo.” Substitute the first O for an I and I had “Silk.” Finally, turn the L into a C and you have won the round by making the word “Sick.”

In the interest of full disclosure, this one took me about as long as the first one. So, if it takes a little while to find the solution, don’t beat yourself up over it. For that matter, don’t beat me or anyone else up over it. After all, it is the puzzle you should blame.

And, just like the New York Times crossword puzzle, Weaver gets easier the more you play and get used to the game’s quirks and eccentricities. For example, if you do the Times crossword on a regular basis, count every time they use “SNL (Saturday Night Live)” for an answer. Just don’t make a drinking game of it – it’s hard to do the puzzle while under the table.

You can try it yourself at However, you do this of your own volition. I do not take responsibility for sleepless nights and distracted days that might come as a result over this amusement.

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