What is the meaning of ?
whereas contrived means forcefully and cunning means attractive.
Source: The sentence came from Question 2 on this GRE practice question.
2. We were not fooled by his (i)____ arguments; his plan was (ii)____. That even he was (iii)____ by his own reasoning was apparent from his unenthusiastic demeanor.
One of the possible answers for (ii) is cunningly contrived.
The word cunning in this context means deceitful or dishonest. A cunningly contrived argument would be one where someone was arguing about something by twisting the facts and being more dishonest than straightforward.
Even though OneLook shows cunning as meaning artful or attractive, the meaning you really want for this context is Collins Def. #1:
crafty and shrewd, esp. in deception; sly
In the test question, cunningly contrived would be a much better answer than clearly brilliant, but it’s still inferior to obviously untenable.
Source : Link , Question Author : user2378 , Answer Author : J.R.