four-footed males, females, and children

Mark Mandel thnidu at GMAIL.COM
Tue Dec 9 01:19:02 UTC 2008

My wife & I noticed that difference and decided that it was valid, because
the female-specific sense of "cow" is current in everyday English while the
male-specific sense of "dog" is not. Or, at least, cow[female] is much
better known than dog[male]

Mark Mandel

On Mon, Dec 8, 2008 at 8:01 PM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at> wrote:

> 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.
> Unfair!
> Joel

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