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a few variations:

-the letters in the newly created word have to be in a different order than the previous word. here again, ten-toe-pet works perfectly, but this variation is real hard to keep track of, especially with long words. i play a little "inner" game with words that have repeated letters, like sell then tell; i switch the "l"s. that can get really confusing.

-the words start with the same adjacent letters, such as "lmn" or "rst." the reason for this variation is that through the years i've found a large number of runs that contain those letters at the beginning of the words. here are a few examples, from the adjacent page:
rough, sough, tough or lull, mull, null or bolt, colt, dolt.

-make sentences: here, i'm clueless. "few ewe wed" and "grasp sharp pairs" are my best guess. you'd think with all of these words they'd form sentences, wouldn't you? i thought so...

-one variation i've often contemplated is allowing more than one letter to change or by more than one space but scoring based on that. with exit to wise, for example, you'd be "dinged" an extra point. still working that one out...

-around obstacles, like q - i've only found quote to route, so far. and z - only zing to gain, so far. and, yes, i think zing is a word.

-how many words from the same letters? this is a bit of a cheat, 'cause i don't think i thought of this one, but it's fun: evil-vile-live, eat-tea-ate, saint-stain-satin, post-spot-opts-stop-tops-stop, parse-spear-pears-spare-reaps-rapes, etc. i also like recourse-resource.

-a fun variation on the "same letters" variation above is to use those words to "toggle" back and forth between the same-letters-words and new words, like this: saint, train, stain, taint, satin.

-run in a circle, like this: ire, her, she, the, tie, fit, ifs, fir.

-start with the same letter: law, lax, lay.