The new update to the the hotlist settings wasn't working for me. Almost all of my tasks would appear in the hotlist regardless of my hotlist settings.
I was able to fix it as follows:
I don't use priorities, but remembered hotlist can use them. So, I turned them on from my account settings. Then I setup my hotlist, selecting top priority for the hotlist. Sure enough, it took care of the problem. Then I turned off the priorities field and the hotlist remained fixed.
To the Toodledo team, thanks for the update. I really appreciate having starred items appear in the hotlist.