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If a word conforms to a certain rule, I call it a Phony Word. Use the examples below to find the rule.

Phony Words Not Phony Words
FISH FROG
BAGHDAD BOGOTA
PACKED STUFFED
MOONING SUNNING
FUSS BOTHER
TICKET COUPON
MINIMA LOWS
WORRY FRET
TUT BOP
ABU DHABI KHOR FAKKAN

A hint, added later:

The vast majority of English words are not Phony.

This continues the What is a Word/Phrase series started by JLee.

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  • $\begingroup$ Do "Phony Words" also exist in other languages? $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 28, 2022 at 9:45

1 Answer 1

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Suspected answer:

The consonants of each Phony Word all appear to belong to only one of these groups:
p/t/k
b/d/g
f/s/sh
v/z/ж
m/n/ng
r/w

Example:

FISH contains "f" and "sh" which are all in the f/s/sh group.
FROG contains "f", "r", and "g", which do not belong to the same group (f/s/sh, r/w, b/d/g).

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    $\begingroup$ More specifically, rot13(gurfr tebhcf bs pbafbanagf ner onfrq ba znaare bs negvphyngvba. Sbe rknzcyr, z/a/at ner nyy anfny pbafbanagf naq e/j ner nccebkvznagf.) And of course, the title is relevant because this puzzle is about rot13(CUBARZRF)! $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 28, 2022 at 10:30
  • $\begingroup$ Retracting downvote now that I realise how it makes sense. Thanks for spelling it out, @noneuclideanisms :) $\endgroup$
    – Jafe
    Commented Jan 28, 2022 at 14:46
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    $\begingroup$ @non pretty much has it. But note that bop is non-phony. $\endgroup$
    – msh210
    Commented Jan 29, 2022 at 21:46
  • $\begingroup$ @msh210 "b" and "p" are in different groups. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 30, 2022 at 2:50
  • $\begingroup$ I was replying to @non $\endgroup$
    – msh210
    Commented Jan 30, 2022 at 5:58

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