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Detective Jezerezeh has found a table of suspicious words:

list

teeth

actions

grammar

saying

information

engage

ballad

terror

Alabama

exam

What's so suspicious about them?

Hint 1:

I will either add more words or more hints if this isn't solved soon.

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ It would be much appreciated, if you could wait about 24h before adding hints, we have people in many time zones, so it would be nice if everyone got an equal chance. $\endgroup$ – Bass Jan 6 at 3:42
  • $\begingroup$ @Bass "Soon" is relative. 1 billion years could be soon in the grand scheme of things given the timescale of the universe. Oddly enough, I was going to say 24 hours, but decided against giving an exact time because I might forget to get back on this website anywhere around this time tomorrow. $\endgroup$ – Display name Jan 6 at 3:45
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    $\begingroup$ @Displayname if more than one rule works (see El-Guest 's answer), the question may be too broad. I recommend you to add more "suspicious words" to narrow down the possibilities. Or are these the only possibilities? Thanks! $\endgroup$ – Omega Krypton Jan 6 at 11:48
  • $\begingroup$ any update on extra words/hints? $\endgroup$ – 1848 Jan 8 at 4:00
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Could it be that there

Are other words hiding inside the suspicious words?

Namely,

list
teeth
actions
grammar
saying
information
engage

Even with the additions, we see that we have

ballad
terror

And with even more additions...

Alabama
exam

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  • $\begingroup$ No, but this deserves an upvote because it's quite a coincidence that this works. $\endgroup$ – Display name Jan 6 at 3:14
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    $\begingroup$ Could you add a word which doesn’t match my pattern, @Displayname ? None of the words do that so far. $\endgroup$ – El-Guest Jan 6 at 17:43
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    $\begingroup$ And the other additions also fit this pattern! :-) Then again, every single word in this comment fits too. $\endgroup$ – deep thought Jan 9 at 2:57
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Preliminary guess

Three of them are near-palindromes: teet(h), (g)rammar, e(n)gage.

Also (and this was my hint),

(J)ezereze(h). And -- a bit more of a stretch -- su(sp)ici(o)us itself.

But that doesn't explain

list, actions, saying, information. They seem to be ... speech-related ???

[OP added words while I was writing this]:

(b)alla(d), which fits. Terror... uhm. :-)

[More additions]:

A(l)aba(m)a, yes. Exam... another miss. (I wonder if 'Detective' is also a miss, just as Jezerezeh fits.)

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    $\begingroup$ Not quite. However, rot13(gur snpg gung guerr bs gurz ner arne-cnyvaqebzrf vf abg n pbvapvqrapr). Also, you caught that earlier than usual. Perhaps "I will add more hints" tipped you off to the fact that there already was a hint. $\endgroup$ – Display name Jan 6 at 3:19
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    $\begingroup$ That's a good find! Of the ones that don't fit, many have synonyms that fit: actions, saying, info, terror, exam. $\endgroup$ – M Oehm Jan 9 at 9:43

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