Definitions: (1) skillful; clever; shrewd; (2) created with dexterous proficiency; ingenious; (3) a display of keen insight; inventive; (4) pretty in a delicate way; cutely attractive

Synonyms: artful, astute, crafty, sly, subtle, wily

• Man has made many machines, complex and cunning, but which of them indeed rivals the workings of his heart? — Pablo Casals (1876-1973) Spanish cellist, composer, & conductor
• The tantalizing discomfort of perplexity is what inspires otherwise ordinary men and women to extraordinary feats of ingenuity and creativity; nothing quite focuses the mind like dissonant details awaiting harmonious resolution. — Brian Randolph Greene (1962-) American physicist & mathematician
     Note: Mr. Greene uses the word Dissonant. It certainly means the nonsense we encounter, but it also means the attempt to understand the mind or another person or even the messages from The Higher power.

Comment: Cunning also has the negative connotation of underhanded motives, but we are dealing with positive values here – and it is easy to tell the difference.