I JUST got a message from feedback saying 'crafty' was now accepted. I feel your pain if clever no longer is acceptable and has been in the past (that has happened to me elsewhere) but from everything I can figure out about 'furba' talking to native speakers and looking at references, 'crafty' seems to fit the bill of 'being clever about getting one's own profit/way'
My Italian friends from the Milan area use it in conversation to compliment a friend on a good business deal, as in bargaining for an additional discount for something already on sale. I haven't heard my Roman friends use it in conversation use it. I think of "furbo" as one of those words without an exact English cognate and, where context matters.
Wikipedia gives various Italian terms for the cunning folk meaning of cunning woman (wise woman):
The names used for cunning-folk in Italy vary from region to region, although such names include praticos (wise people), guaritori (healers), fattucchiere (fixers), donne che aiutano (women who help) and mago, maga or maghiardzha (sorcerers). At times, they were sometimes called streghe (witches)
To make it clear, this is not a request for any of these terms to be accepted when translating this sentence from English to Italian. I wanted only to know what the translation of cunning woman would be for this particular context, as I considered it unlikely to be donna furba. I hope the Italian words I have found (above) are of interest. :)
There appears to be a theme with the Green Owls adjectives. The men are intelligent, nice, and great athletes, but the women are cunning, boring, and bad students. At least the girls still get to stay 'pretty'.<h1>1950ended70yearsago</h1>
In my experience as a native english speaker of nearly 40 years, with extensive tertiary education, usually when someone describes another as cunning, it means smart in a sneaky way, and most often it is meant as a negative. To say one is cunning in a positive way, we say deft, skillful, or clever, avoiding the word 'cunning' altogether.
Furbo/a= shrewd, smart, cunning, sly, crafty [furbo come una volpe=crazy like a fox]
For people who knows how to help themselves in all uncomfortable situations or how to reach their goals in a effective way carefully avoiding pitfalls and beeing smart and devising clever ways and resourcefulness (qualità di chi, nella vita, sa trarsi abilmente d'impaccio o raggiungere i propri scopi, evitando accuratamente le insidie e ricorrendo a ingegnosi espedienti).