Limit query to Top N values within each group

I've done this before but it's been a really long time. I've searched the site and can't seem to find the perfect answer.

I've got a subquery (Query2) having 3 fields: AreaID, Product, and Acres. I need another query to give me from Query2 the Top 3 Products within each AreaID based on Acres. The best I can come up with is a query that gives me 3 records based on acres and ignores AreaID.

Here's the query as it is right now:

SELECT tblAreas.Area, Query2.Product, Query2.Acres
FROM Query2 INNER JOIN tblAreas ON Query2.AreaID = tblAreas.AreaID
WHERE (((Query2.Acres) In (Select Top 3 [Acres] From [Query2] Where [AreaID]=[tblAreas].[AreaID] Order By [Acres] Desc)));

Thanks, Dale
Dale LoganConsultantAsked:
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chaauCommented:
You almost did it. Try this one:
SELECT tblAreas.Area, Query2.Product, Query2.Acres
FROM Query2 INNER JOIN tblAreas ON Query2.AreaID = tblAreas.AreaID
WHERE (((Query2.Product) In (Select Top 3 [Product] From [Query2] Where [AreaID]=[tblAreas].[AreaID] Order By [Acres] Desc)));

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als315Commented:
You can also do it with query2 only:
SELECT q2.AreaID, q2.Acres, q2.Product
FROM Query2 AS q2 Where q2.Acres In (Select Top 3 Acres From Query2 Where Query2.AreaID = q2.AreaID Order By [Acres] Desc) ;

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hnasrCommented:
If example does not help, try to upload a sample database with the 2 tables including few records, and list the required output.

This is an example:
INPUT:
a(aid, adesc)
1 area1
2 area2
3 area 3
b(aid, bid, f1)
1 1 1
1 2 2
1 3 3
1 4 4
2 1 5
2 1 5
3 1 7

RELATION:
a.aid ----> b.aid

OUTPUT
adesc      bID      f1
area1      4      4
area1      3      3
area1      2      2
area2      2      6
area2      1      5
area3      1      7

Process:
SELECT a.adesc, b.bID, b.f1
FROM a INNER JOIN b ON a.aID = b.aID
WHERE a.aid & b.bid IN (SELECT TOP 3 c.aid & c.bid from b c where c.aid=b.aid order by c.f1 desc)
GROUP BY a.adesc, b.bid, b.f1
ORDER BY a.adesc, b.f1 desc

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Output will show all records of equal f1 value if that value lies within the top N records.
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Dale LoganConsultantAuthor Commented:
The first solution provided was close, but was not returning the correct number of records per group. The second solution provided worked perfectly. Sorry, but I never got to the third solution. Thanks to everyone who offered help.
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