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This is in the spirit of the What is a Word/Phrase™ series started by JLee with Group version puzzles.


If a word could be measured with a specific metric, and the result could be separated into several groups, I call these groups as an Infield-Fly Group™.
Use the following examples below to find the metric.

$$ % set Title text. (spaces around the text ARE important; do not remove.) % increase Pad value only if your entries are longer than the title bar. % \def\Pad{\P{0.2}} % \def\S#1#2{\Space{#1}{20px}{#2px}}\def\P#1{\V{#1em}}\def\V#1{\S{#1}{9}} \def\T{\textbf{Infield-Fly Group I}\Pad}\def\NT{\Pad\textbf{Infield-Fly Group II}\ }\def\NNT{\Pad\textbf{Infield-Fly Group III}\ }\displaystyle \smash{\lower{29px}\bbox[yellow]{\phantom{\rlap{Conifers modified 2019.9.16}\S{6px}{0} \begin{array}{ccc}\Pad\T&\NT&\NNT\\\end{array}}}}\atop\def\V#1{\S{#1}{5}} \begin{array}{|c|c|c|}\hline\Pad\T&\NT&\NNT\\\hline % \text{ ROCK }&\text{ CRAG }&\text{ STONE }\\ \hline \text{ COUSCOUS }&\text{ RICE }&\text{ WHEAT }\\ \hline \text{ CRUEL }&\text{ CROOKED }&\text{ AMORAL }\\ \hline \text{ GUSH }&\text{ SPATTER }&\text{ SPOUT }\\ \hline \text{ DISH }&\text{ TRAY }&\text{ PLATE }\\ \hline \end{array}$$

And, if you want to analyze, here is a CSV version:

Infield-Fly Group I,Infield-Fly Group II,Infield-Fly Group III
ROCK,CRAG,STONE
COUSCOUS,RICE,WHEAT
CRUEL,CROOKED,AMORAL
GUSH,SPATTER,SPOUT
DISH,TRAY,PLATE
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  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I have no idea what "... could be distinguished and categorized in either group with a specific metric" means. If this is not meant to be an [enigmatic-puzzle] then I think it could do with being more clearly explained... $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Sep 16 at 16:09
  • $\begingroup$ Hmm, sorry for my poor grammar :(, I just want to express that every word in the same group has the same metric value/property. $\endgroup$ – Conifers Sep 16 at 16:14
  • $\begingroup$ Well I deleted the "distinguished" word, hope it be better. $\endgroup$ – Conifers Sep 16 at 16:16
  • $\begingroup$ To clarify, there is a specific rule/metric that is shared between all groups, but each group uses a different specific value along with that metric to categorize its words? e.g. The metric is "contains a double letter", but one group has double T's, one group has double E's, etc. $\endgroup$ – GentlePurpleRain Sep 16 at 16:25
  • $\begingroup$ I'll revise my words later, thanks for the suggestion~ $\endgroup$ – Conifers Sep 17 at 6:12
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I believe the specific metric to be

If a word is still a word after removing the first letter. For Group I, this does not apply. In Group II, this applies exactly once. For Group III, this can be applied twice (or more).

Spelled out, this means:

Group I:

Removing letters from the start does not result in a new word.

Group II:

CRAG -> RAG
RICE -> ICE
CROOKED -> ROOKED
SPATTER -> PATTER
TRAY -> RAY

Group III:

STONE -> TONE -> ONE
WHEAT -> HEAT -> EAT (-> AT)
AMORAL -> MORAL -> ORAL
SPOUT -> POUT -> OUT
PLATE -> LATE -> ATE

Why is this called the Infield-Fly Rule?

In baseball, when the ball is popped up in the infield, it is usually caught by an infielder, and the batter is out. With 3 outs in each inning, the next batter comes up with until there are 3 outs. The groups represent the number of outs left, and the first letter is the batter. In group I, the batter is out, and the inning ends. In group II, the batter is out, another batter takes over, and when he is out, the inning ends. It is similar for group III (though I'm still not sure about WHEAT).

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  • $\begingroup$ Think if a batter hit an infield-fly ball, he usually got ___ ___, and next batter comes up to the batting zone or this inning ends :D $\endgroup$ – Conifers Sep 17 at 6:11
  • $\begingroup$ @Conifers The inning cannot end after an infield fly unless one of the runners runs into an out, which I've never seen. The batter is always automatically out. $\endgroup$ – Matt Sep 17 at 10:39
  • $\begingroup$ Just normal "infield-fly" ball, not the special rule of the "infield-fly"(I know that, the batter auto out in situation of 0 or 1 out with 1st+2nd or 1st+2nd+3rd bases loaded.). You almost there~ :D $\endgroup$ – Conifers Sep 17 at 10:43
  • $\begingroup$ @Conifers I updated the answer. Is that to your liking? $\endgroup$ – Matt Sep 17 at 13:04
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Yeah, But not so complex :D, just is "pop out"~ Anyway nice work! $\endgroup$ – Conifers Sep 17 at 13:17

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