I am not a crossword puzzle person. But because I was struck by how often my newspaper searches for “condor” turned up crossword puzzles, I decided to have a closer look.
During the 20 years 1985-2004, the Iowa Press-Citizen newspaper published 18 crossword puzzles with “condor” as part of a clue.
Because there was more variation in the clues than the answers, I will do this “Jeopardy” style and start with the answers.
The answers aerie, aery, or eyrie appeared 7 times. The corresponding clues were condor’s nest, nest of the condor, condor habitat, condor’s home, condor’s quarters, and condor’s “castle”.
The answers talon or talons appeared 4 times. The clues were condor’s claw, condor’s claws, condor’s weapon, and condor’s grabber.
The answer soars appeared 2 times. The clues were flies like a condor and emulates a condor.
Five answers appeared just once. Here they are followed by their corresponding clues:
raptor / condor or eagle
crag / condor’s perch
like some condors / Andean
like condors / rare
mercenary condor? / hitbird
I am not sure what to make of all this. The only answer / clue pairs that I like are crag / condor’s perch and like condors / rare. The pair talon / condor’s grabber does not apply to the California condor as they cannot “grab”. The pair mercenary condor? / hitbird is just unfortunate.
Perhaps it is safe to say that knowing about condors is not really required to solve the crossword puzzles in the Iowa Press-Citizen.