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RICH Man -> POOR Man August 7, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Word Play.

grumpy_thinkingWe’ve all heard stories of transformation from Rags to Riches ~ those individuals who became “overnight successes” (following years of obscurity and hard work).

Perhaps we’ve fantasized about making the transition from Rags to Riches ourselves, at least on occasion.

As a child, I remember playing the imagination game, “What would you do with a MILLION dollars?”

Riches also formed the cornerstone of a game of jumprope: “Rich Man, Poor Man, Beggarman, Thief . . .

And starred on Broadway, “If I were a Rich Man . . .” (Fiddler on the Roof)

Far fewer fantasize about transitioning in the other direction, from RICH -> POOR.

In 1878, Lewis Carroll invented the doublet, a puzzle in which a word is changed, letter by letter, into another word of the same length.

In doublet puzzles:

* The words at either end are usually related.
* Each link in the chain must be a word.
* The chain should be as short as possible.

In FUN with WORDS, I tossed out eleven (11) doublet challenges from the Guinness Book of Words, and two (2) examples:



The transformation from RICH -> POOR can be made in 6 quick steps:

~~~ ROOK
~~~~ BOOK
~~~~~ BOOR
~~~~~~ POOR

Can you come up with a different chain for RICH -> POOR?  A shorter one?

What are your favorite word games?

Scrabble?  Boggle?  Crossword Puzzles?  Anagrams?  Doublets?  Hangman? Other?

No rules. Just write!

Related posts:  FUN with WORDS ~ Anagram Antics * FUN with WORDS ~ Hangman * Which Witch Ate Eight Nome Gnomes?


1. Mike Patrick - August 7, 2011

This is a bad thing. I already do crosswords, Sudoku and scrambled words. One more and my brain is going to explode. Now, how do I get this out of my head . . . dead . . . dear . . . rear . . . AAAAHHH!

nrhatch - August 7, 2011

Hahaha! I feel your pain. 😀

And love your doublet . . . from head to rear in just 3 moves!

2. Carl D'Agostino - August 7, 2011

I could go from rags to riches…Tony Bennet

nrhatch - August 7, 2011

I don’t know that one . . . could you hum a few bars? 😉

3. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide - August 7, 2011

Isn’t it funny that a million isn’t all that much now. Oh who am I kidding, I could use a million!

nrhatch - August 7, 2011

A million would be enough for me! 😀

4. Tilly Bud - August 7, 2011

I like doublets but I didn’t know they were called that.

I like nonagrams – nine letter words from which you must make other words, usually with one letter that must be used in every word.

nrhatch - August 7, 2011

Ooh, I’ve never heard of nonagrams. Off to Google . . .

5. kateshrewsday - August 7, 2011

Ah, as you know, Nancy, we are mad-keen Scrabblers. We have just finished a game. Fab stuff.

nrhatch - August 7, 2011

Nothing like a good game of Scrabble with a word-worthy opponent! 😀

6. barb19 - August 7, 2011

I love Scrabble with someone who is a good challenge – the hub doesn’t fit the bill unfortunately!
Love crosswords too.

nrhatch - August 7, 2011

I adore completing a challenging crossword, clue by cantankerous clue. 😉

7. Rosa - August 7, 2011

I play scrabble (on my iPhone!) with several friends in different states. It can be quite addictive! But I’ve never heard of a doublet before. Very interesting…

nrhatch - August 7, 2011

When you play Scrabble on an iPhone, do players use on-line tools to find obscure words?

Or are they on “scout’s honor” not to leaf through a dictionary before taking their turn?

8. Paula Tohline Calhoun - August 7, 2011

Different, in 14 steps:
Rich Rice Race Pace Pare Care Cart Part Pert Port Sort Soot Boot Boor Poor

Different, in 11 steps:
Rich Lich Lice Dice Dire Fire Fore Fort Foot Fool Pool Poor

Different, in 8 steps:
Rich Rick Sick Sock Soak Soar Boar Boor Poor

Those are off the top of my head – I can’t beat 6 – yet! I’ll cogitate on it tonight!

Great fun! You know I love word games. All kinds!

nrhatch - August 7, 2011

Word games provide valuable mental exercise. Have fun cogitating tonight.

Paula Tohline Calhoun - August 11, 2011

At last! Rich Rick Rock Pock Pork Poor
FIVE steps. . .Whew! Now I can strike that off my — LIST Last Lost Lose Lone DONE!


Paula Tohline Calhoun - August 11, 2011

Typo! Sorry! Fix my five steps to:

RICH Rick Rock Pock Pook POOR

nrhatch - August 11, 2011

Well done! And I learned a new word . . . pook!

9. Cindy - August 8, 2011

I enjoy cryptic crossword puzzles.

nrhatch - August 8, 2011

According to Wiki, “Cryptic crosswords do not commonly appear in U.S. publications.” 😦

Unlucky ducks.

10. adeeyoyo - August 8, 2011

Crosswords, sudoku (sp?), word games in general…

nrhatch - August 8, 2011

I enjoy Sudoku too ~ the island newspaper prints one every week. The Easy ones aren’t much fun, but the Medium and Hard puzzles require a bit of observational logic.

11. Vix @ LittleMissEverything - August 8, 2011

Good game, I’m pretty hopeless at these things no logic 🙂 But I wouldn’t say no to a path to riches!!

nrhatch - August 8, 2011

Maybe you’ll find your pot of gold around the next fork in the road. 😀

12. joannereturnsJoanne - August 8, 2011

Ironically, I once fantasized about being poor as my quickest path to meeting the rich prince… I think my Cinderella fantasies kept me from discovering my own potential for much too long… Now I’m happy just to be comfortably simple… Moved into an RV park right on the lake and love the lifestyle that many rich people may be passing up… At least that’s what I’ve convinced myself to be happy for no reason at all ~ per your previous post ;-D

nrhatch - August 8, 2011

Go you! How we relate to the issue IS the issue. Two people can experience the same event . . . one views it negatively (“this is TERRIBLE”), the other positively (“I love this!”).

Who’s happiest? 😀

13. Naomi - August 9, 2011

OMG…hangman 😀 Haven’t played that in oh…thirty-something years!

nrhatch - August 9, 2011

I play it with nieces and nephews . . . especially on long car rides. Helps to pass the time and is good for a few laughs.

14. andalibmarks - August 10, 2011

I can do it in one easy (and painful) step:

It figures that an accountant would see that, right?
I love sudoku! The number ones, I’m not too good with words…

nrhatch - August 10, 2011

That’s FUNNY, Andi. 😛

Here’s another:


Give the recent happenings on Wall Street, that’s a transformation that many are likely to see.

15. eof737 - August 11, 2011

I like this one and sudoku and that is all I have patience for… Word games were fun back in school but I don’t play them anymore…. Neat. 🙂

nrhatch - August 11, 2011

I do an occasional crossword, but not with any regularity. I play with words enough when I write. 😉

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