Perhaps you've noticed this before (every non-native speaker certainly has):
What is the pattern here? Is there one?
Before you hurry to reject my very premise: I am of course perfectly aware that for some, or perhaps even many, of these, both alternatives exist (e.g. хвостастый is not unheard of, and Глазатый happily thrives at least as a family name). It's just that one always wins out considerably over the other. But is there any explanation for which one wins when?
I am also aware of pairings such as зубастый кит vs. зубатый кит, which simply mean entirely different things. But again, is there a reason why they mean these things in that order — and not exactly the other way round?
In short: is there any rhyme and reason behind some adjectives being created using "-ст-", and others using a simple "-т-"? Or is this something like -ic- vs. -ical- in English, where no clear pattern exists at all and everything is left entirely to chance?