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This puzzle is based on and inspired by the What is a Word™ series started by JLee that have grown into Word™, Phrase™, and Number™ puzzles.


If a word conforms to a certain rule, I call it a Hot & Cold Word™.

This is a list of Hot & Cold Words™ and Not Hot & Cold Words™.

Hot & Cold Word™ Not Hot & Cold Word™
Fox Bear
Agreement Disagreement
Pristine Dirty
Asteroidea Polychaeta
Investigator Police
Dawn Dusk
Conversation Fight
Assistance Hinderance

CSV:

Hot & Cold Word™,Not Hot & Cold Word™
Fox,Bear
Agreement,Disagreement
Pristine,Dirty
Asteroidea,Polychaeta
Investigator,Police
Dawn,Dusk
Conversation,Fight
Assistance,Hinderance

Hint #1:

It will be harder to solve this puzzle in the future (e.g. 1 month from now).

Hint #2:

All hot & cold words are synonyms of words in a specific collection.
Most people don't know this collection even exists, but most people who read this probably do know it exists :)

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    $\begingroup$ Just so you know in advance, I will not edit hints into this question for 7 days for reasons obvious to some. I might answer questions posted as comments. $\endgroup$ Dec 18, 2021 at 10:03
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    $\begingroup$ I keep returning to this (yes, even today... sorry family...) and the fact the first word is FOX and there are specifically 8 entries (and the hint seems to confirm a theme) means my thinking has been all one way for a while... I just can't connect all the dots! (Or work out how the title would be relevant...) Just wanted to give you some evidence that people are actually trying to solve this :) $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Dec 25, 2021 at 16:12
  • $\begingroup$ I've tried connections to things that change over time such as constellations, heating/melting of elements, dates as well as converting to a few different things but not seeing a pattern or link anywhere. Unsure of whether the hint is literal or not, would the question be even harder the more time that passes or is it a fixed difficulty increase? $\endgroup$
    – Crimsonfox
    Jan 11 at 10:56
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    $\begingroup$ "It will be harder to solve this puzzle in the future (e.g. 1 month from now)." well, look at the time now XD $\endgroup$
    – justhalf
    Mar 25 at 10:27
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    $\begingroup$ Maybe another hind because its been 3 months from the date posted $\endgroup$
    – Varun W.
    Mar 30 at 14:11

3 Answers 3

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A Hot & Cold Word™ is one of the

hats from the Winter Bash 2021 Hat List

Fitting ones are

Fox - Kitsune
Agreement - Consensus
Pristine - Spotless
Asteroidea - Starfish
Investigator - Detective
Dawn - Sunrise
Conversation - Dialogue
Assistance - Helping hand

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1
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    $\begingroup$ Ah, well recalled/researched! Funny how I was in 'the right area' in two different ways yet still miles away... Good to be able to put this one to rest at last :) $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Jun 7 at 14:32
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Okay, I've been thinking about this one for a while, and I have something that I believe works for at least 7/8 words (I can't pin down the other) and the timing of the initial puzzle - something that was hinted at as being relevant. I believe that 'Fox', 'Pristine', 'Asteroidea' and 'Dawn' in particular work incredibly well under this theory, so let's put this out there as a possibility...

I think a Hot & Cold Word might be:

a word with a synonym related to Christmas. The reason the OP hinted 'It will be harder to solve this puzzle in the future' would therefore be that Christmas-related words would be more likely to come to mind during the festive season (when this question was posted).

Furthermore, these words would be called 'Hot & Cold Words' because depending on the hemisphere in which you celebrate the occasion it will fall either in summer (southern) or winter (northern), so the weather might be hot or cold!

The pattern among the given words would look like this:

Fox = VIXEN, one of Santa's reindeer.

Agreement = RECONCILIATION - in Christianity, an element of salvation brought about by the events of Jesus' birth, life and death. Alternatively, PEACE and HARMONY are nice fits here too.

Pristine = IMMACULATE - the 'Immaculate Conception' of the Virgin Mary.

Asteroidea = STAR, like the one which guided the Magi to Bethlehem.

Investigator = I am yet to decide on a truly appropriate synonym here - possibly something connected to the Magi?

Dawn = ADVENT, the period leading up to Christmas.

Conversation = COMMUNION - another Christian concept relating to remembering the life of Jesus.

Assistance = SERVICE - many religious services are held in the Christmas period.

The opposing words listed have little or no connection to this theme and have been chosen just for the similarity to the words in the left-hand column (although I appreciate that 'child-bearing' plays a pretty major part!).

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A Hot & Cold word is

a word that relates to the name of a spacecraft with connections to the International Space Station

Fox - KITSUNE (Japanese for Fox) nanosatellite - Launched from the ISS
Agreement - Axiom (universal truth, everyone in agreement) Space Station - First commercial destination module on the International Space Station (maybe)
Pristine - Tiangong - Translates to "Heaven's Palace" or "Celestial Palace" - The Chinese equivelant of the ISS
Asteroidea - Zvezda (star) (ISS module)
Investigator - Poisk (search) (ISS module)
Dawn - Zarya (Dawn) (ISS module)
Conversation - Project Mercury - Mercury (God of communication) - Formed the basis for long term stays in space Assistance - TKS (Transport Supply Spacecraft) - Formed the basis of the Zarya ISS module

Edit: I hadn't refreshed, I was miles off.

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