four-footed males, females, and children

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Tue Dec 9 01:01:28 UTC 2008

Will Shortz's "Animal Tracks" puzzle in the NYTimes Sunday, Nov. 30,
asked how many names of male, female, and young four-footed animals
could be traced in the given five-by-five letter grid.  I think his
solution (yesterday, Dec. 7) is unfair.

Shortz allowed "cow", presumably because one definition is
gender-specific (the female bovine) and because there are names for
male bovines.  He explicitly disallowed "dog" (which can be traced in
the grid), presumably because the definition of dog is not gender-specific.

But one definition of "cow" is not gender-specific: "a domestic
bovine animal, whether a steer, bull, cow, or calf", so thereby it
should be excluded.  And one definition of "dog" is gender-specific:
"the male of a canine", so thereby it should be permitted.


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