This is in the spirit of the What is a Word/Phrase™ series started by JLee with a special brand of Phrase™ and Word™ puzzles.

If a word conforms to a special rule, I call it a Transition Word™.
Use the examples below to find the rule.

$$ % set Title text. (spaces around the text ARE important; do not remove.) % increase Pad value only if your entries are longer than the title bar. % \def\Pad{\P{0.0}} \def\Title{\textbf{ Transition}\ } % \def\S#1#2{\Space{#1}{20px}{#2px}}\def\P#1{\V{#1em}}\def\V#1{\S{#1}{9}} \def\T{\Title\textbf{Words}^{\;\!™}\Pad}\def\NT{\Pad\textbf{Not}\T\ } \smash{\lower{29px}\bbox[#fcce8d]{\phantom{\rlap{rubio.2019.05.15}\S{6px}{0} \begin{array}{cc}\Pad\T&\NT\\\end{array}}}}\atop\def\V#1{\S{#1}{5}} \begin{array}{|c|c|}\hline\Pad\T&\NT\\\hline % \text{ court}&\text{ king}\\ \hline \text{ finite}&\text{ infinite}\\ \hline \text{ gale}&\text{ storm}\\ \hline \text{ hen}&\text{ rooster}\\ \hline \text{ italic}&\text{ bold}\\ \hline \text{ literal}&\text{ fictional}\\ \hline \text{ miscalculations}&\text{ indefectible}\\ \hline \text{ obstructiveness}&\text{ facilitatory}\\ \hline \text{ parenthesizing}&\text{ ungrouping}\\ \hline \text{ racism}&\text{ hate}\\ \hline \text{ sensitivity}&\text{ perceptiveness}\\ \hline \text{ superconductors}&\text{ semiconductor}\\ \hline \text{ taxi}&\text{ cab }\\ \hline \text{ unread}&\text{ rewrite }\\ \hline \text{ wearing}&\text{ dressing }\\ \hline \text{ yolk}&\text{ white }\\ \hline \text{ zodiacs}&\text{ gemini }\\ \hline \hline \end{array}$$

CSV version:

Transition Words™, Not Transition Words™

These are not the only examples of Transition words™, many more exists. What is the special rule these words conform to?

Hint 1

Only the spelling of the words matters: their meanings, fonts, capitalization... is not important

  • $\begingroup$ I have a speculation, but I think it is leading me toward false paths: by any chance, is the property of a transition word related to the rot13(genafvgvba ryrzragf va gur crevbqvp gnoyr)? $\endgroup$
    – oAlt
    May 5, 2020 at 14:36
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @oalt no sorry. $\endgroup$
    – melfnt
    May 5, 2020 at 15:20
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @CulverKwan the problem is that it is difficult to give hints without spoiling the solution $\endgroup$
    – melfnt
    May 9, 2020 at 13:21
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The body and CSV versions disagree on the last word. Is it 'zodiac' or 'zodiacs'? $\endgroup$
    – Gabriel G
    May 14, 2020 at 0:07
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @GabrielG thank you, I've edited the post. It is "zodiacs" (also 'zodiac' is not a transition word) $\endgroup$
    – melfnt
    May 14, 2020 at 10:25

2 Answers 2


A transition word™ is one such that

the sum of its letter ($A=1$, $B=2$ $\dots$, $Z=26$) is equal to the temperature of the melting point or boiling point of some chemical element. The temperatures are measured in Kelvin and rounded to the nearest integer number.

For example

court sums up to $77$. The boiling point of Nitrogen is $77.36 K$.
taxi sums up to $54$. The melting point of Oxygen is $54.36 K$.
superconductors sums up to $211$. The boiling point of Radon is $211.3 K$.

and so on...

They are called Transition words™ because

the rule to determine whether a word is a Transition word™ or not is related to the temperature of the points of phase transition of the elements.


Transition Words™ can have plural forms :P; a more in depth view would consider Not Transition Words™ to be "greater" conceptually compared to Transition Words™ (set inclusion comes to mind) even though this does not apply to zodiac <-> gemini. I haven't taken into account syntax (number of letters, pos in alphabet, etc.) Am I on the right track? Is the rule semantic, syntactic (involving character manipulation, word length, etc.), visual (outline of the words creates shapes, etc.)? Are these the only words that can conform to the rule?

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Kings, Roosters, Storms.......? $\endgroup$
    – El-Guest
    May 13, 2020 at 15:37
  • $\begingroup$ no sorry, this is not the right track $\endgroup$
    – melfnt
    May 13, 2020 at 21:03
  • $\begingroup$ @El-Guest read the answer again, then the exact form of the not transition words. $\endgroup$
    – Kev
    May 14, 2020 at 6:41
  • $\begingroup$ @melfnt I've added a few questions in the answer. $\endgroup$
    – Kev
    May 14, 2020 at 8:49
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ You shouldn't use the answers to ask clarification. Though I'm sorry you do not have enough reputation to comment here. I'll edit the post to reply your questions $\endgroup$
    – melfnt
    May 14, 2020 at 10:17

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