Here is what I am trying to accomplish with Java:
A simple guessing game asks the player to guess a number between 1 and 50. Hints are returned depending on how far from the number the guess is. Add other methods for playing the game omitted--you need not supply any of them.

20 or more above the number: The hint is "Burning Hot"
10 to 19 above the number: The hint is "Hot"
5 to 9 above the number: The hint is "Warm"
4 below the number to 4 above: The hint is "Pleasant"
5 to 9 below the number: The hint is "Cool"
10 to 19 below the number: The hint is "Cold"
20 or more below the number: The hint is "Ice Cold"

Here is my code so far, but I am having a hard time from this point:

import java.util.Random;
/**
   A class to store a number to guess and return a closeness hint
*/
public class GuessNumber
{
   private int number;

   /**
      Construct an GuessNumber with a random value between 1 and 50
   */
   public GuessNumber()
   {
      Random r = new Random();
      number = r.nextInt(50) + 1;
   }

   /**
      Determine how close the guess is and return a hint
      @return a string describing, in terms of hotness or coldness, how
      close the guess is to the number
   */
   public String howClose(int guess)
   {
      //I need code here but cannot quite get it     


   }

   // This method is used to check your work

   public static String check(int number, int guess)
   {
      GuessNumber gn = new GuessNumber();
      gn.number = number;
      return gn.howClose(guess);
   }
}

what is "from this point" ? What is it exactly you are trying to implement now, and what trouble do you have with it?

The logic seems a bit weird, shouldn't it be Burning hot when the guess is within 4 numbers? Anyhow, the code (to your description):

public String howClose(int guess)
   {
       if ( guess - number >= 20 )
       {
           return "Burning Hot";
       }
       else if ( guess - number >= 10 && guess - number <= 19 )
       {
           return "Hot";
       }
       else if ( guess - number >= 5 && guess - number <= 9 )
       {
           return "Warm";
       }
       else if ( guess - number >= -4 && guess - number <= 4 )
       {
           return "Pleasant";
       }
       else if ( guess - number >= -9 && guess - number <= -5 )
       {
           return "Cool";
       }
       else if ( guess - number >= -19 && guess - number <= -10 )
       {
           return "Cold";
       }
       else if ( guess - number <= -20 )
       {
           return "Ice cold";
       }
    return null;
   }
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