Word Ladder Solver (Longest Solutions)

Yesterday, I published a tool to generate word ladders between two inputted words.
Without validating, I made the statement that the longest known word ladder was 22 steps, for the pair of words CHARGECOMEDO. I made this declaration based on a Google search of an article published in 2012, which used a much smaller dictionary than the one I was using. How foolish I was! I should have listened to the famous proverb Доверяй, но проверяй (Trust, but verify).
Within hours of the page going live, I began to receive email from people who had used the tool and found longer, and longer chains.
I realised I needed to correct this error, and quickly.
So, last night, I ran a query over the database to find the chains with the largest radius. The results are below.
The longest found is a stupendous 52 step chain. It's for a collection of 7 letter words. As per the rules, each word is distinct, each differs from next word by just one letter, and is the shortest path to transition between those two words. It is the chain between ATLASES and CABARET.
ATLASES → ANLASES → ANLACES → UNLACES → UNLACED → UNLADED → UNFADED → UNFAKED → UNCAKED → UNCAKES → UNCASES → UNEASES → UREASES → CREASES → CRESSES → CROSSES → CROSSER → CRASSER → CRASHER → BRASHER → BRASIER → BRAKIER → BEAKIER → PEAKIER → PECKIER → PICKIER → DICKIER → DICKIES → HICKIES → HACKIES → HACKLES → HECKLES → DECKLES → DECILES → DEFILES → DEFILED → DEVILED → DEVELED → REVELED → RAVELED → RAVENED → HAVENED → HAVERED → WAVERED → WATERED → CATERED → CAPERED → TAPERED → TABERED → TABORED → TABORET → TABARET → CABARET

Below are the results of my search for the longest chain, by word length. There were some trivial one-step solutions to some longer words that rely on the fact that my dictionary contains both American and English spellings of words, such as entries for the –ise and –ize, or –lis and –liz, variants of words (e.g. MATERIALIZED and MATERIALISED).

Longest 2 letter (5 steps)

GO → SO → SH → EH → EF → IF

Longest 3 letter (9 steps)

CHI → KHI → KOI → KOS → KAS → AAS → ABS → ABO → AGO → EGO

Longest 4 letter (17 steps)

ATOM → ATOP → STOP → STEP → SEEP → SEES → SETS → SITS → AITS → ANTS → ANTI → INTI → INTO → UNTO → UNCO → UNCI → UNAI → UNAU

Longest 5 letter (30 steps)

NYLON → PYLON → PELON → MELON → MESON → MASON → MACON → RACON → RADON → REDON → REDOS → REDDS → READS → REARS → GEARS → GNARS → GNARL → SNARL → SNAIL → SPAIL → SPAIT → SPLIT → UPLIT → UNLIT → UNLET → INLET → ISLET → ISLED → IDLED → IDLER → ILLER

Longest 6 letter (39 steps)

BOYISH → TOYISH → TONISH → MONISH → MOPISH → POPISH → POLISH → PALISH → PARISH → PARIAH → PARIAN → PARTAN → TARTAN → TARTAR → TARTER → CARTER → CARTES → CARSES → CORSES → HORSES → HORSTS → HOISTS → JOISTS → JOINTS → POINTS → POINDS → POUNDS → FOUNDS → FOUNTS → COUNTS → COUNTY → BOUNTY → BOUNCY → BOUNCE → JOUNCE → JAUNCE → LAUNCE → LAUNCH → PAUNCH → PAINCH

Longest 7 letter (52 steps)

ATLASES → ANLASES → ANLACES → UNLACES → UNLACED → UNLADED → UNFADED → UNFAKED → UNCAKED → UNCAKES → UNCASES → UNEASES → UREASES → CREASES → CRESSES → CROSSES → CROSSER → CRASSER → CRASHER → BRASHER → BRASIER → BRAKIER → BEAKIER → PEAKIER → PECKIER → PICKIER → DICKIER → DICKIES → HICKIES → HACKIES → HACKLES → HECKLES → DECKLES → DECILES → DEFILES → DEFILED → DEVILED → DEVELED → REVELED → RAVELED → RAVENED → HAVENED → HAVERED → WAVERED → WATERED → CATERED → CAPERED → TAPERED → TABERED → TABORED → TABORET → TABARET → CABARET

Longest 8 letter (31 steps)

QUIRKING → QUIRTING → QUILTING → QUILLING → QUELLING → DUELLING → DWELLING → SWELLING → SPELLING → SPALLING → SPARLING → STARLING → STARTING → SCARTING → SCATTING → SLATTING → BLATTING → BLASTING → BOASTING → COASTING → COACTING → COACHING → COUCHING → MOUCHING → MOUTHING → SOUTHING → SOOTHING → TOOTHING → TROTHING → TRITHING → WRITHING → WRATHING

Longest 9 letter (17 steps)

DECANTING → RECANTING → RECASTING → RETASTING → RETESTING → REVESTING → REVETTING → RELETTING → RELENTING → RELENDING → REMENDING → REMANDING → REMANNING → REMAINING → REMAILING → RETAILING → DETAILING → DERAILING

Longest 10 letter (9 steps)

BLISTERING → BLUSTERING → CLUSTERING → CLUTTERING → CLATTERING → BLATTERING → BLATHERING → BLITHERING → SLITHERING → SWITHERING

Longest 11 letter (7 steps)

SILLINESSES → SILKINESSES → SULKINESSES → BULKINESSES → BALKINESSES → TALKINESSES → TACKINESSES → WACKINESSES

Longest 12 letter (6 steps)

MATERIALIZED → MATERIALIZES → MATERIALISES → MATERIALISMS → MATERNALISMS → PATERNALISMS → PATERNALISTS

Longest 13 letter (3 steps)

COLLECTIVISTS → COLLECTIVISES → COLLECTIVISED → COLLECTIVIZED

Longest 14 letter (4 steps)

DEVOLUTIONISTS → REVOLUTIONISTS → REVOLUTIONISES → REVOLUTIONISED → REVOLUTIONIZED

Other Word Puzzles/Tools

If you liked this tool, here are some other tools I've written that you might find interesting: