“Texas Independence Day” Puzzle by Fred Piscop, edited by Will Shortz

If you subscribe to The New York Times on-line Premium Crosswords, you are probably familiar with the monthly bonus puzzle. For March, the title of this ho-hum homage crossword is Texas Independence Day and features "Texas" in over thirty clues.

Across: 1. Texas hold ‘em, e.g., POKER; 6. Sch. In Dallas, Tex., SMU; 9. Uncle BEN’S (rice company headquartered in Texas); 13. Actress Ekberg of “4 for Texas”, ANITA; 14. “Long TALL Texan” (tune with “giddy-up, giddy-up” in its lyrics); 16. Texas Western today, informally, UTEP; 17. Texas state tree, PECAN; 23. San ANTONE (Texas city, informally); 25. Beverage in some Texas brisket recipes, BEER; 28 Prominent feature of two members of Texas rockers ZZ Top, BEARDS; 39. Texas Motorplex competitor, RACER; 42. IRON ore (resource formerly abundant in Llano County, Tex.); 43. Texas ballplayer, ASTRO; 51. “Rio RITA” (1927 musical set in Texas); 52. Texas city on the Rio Grande, LAREDO; 59. Nickname of Dallas, Tex., BIG D.

Down: 5. Texas RANGERS (legendary law enforcement agency); 6. Texas longhorn, STEER; 7. Planet in a 1938 radio “Invasion,” and the name of a community in Van Zandt county, Tex., MARS; 15. Texas LEAGUER (bloop hit); 22. RED River, part of the Texas-Oklahoma border; 25. University of Waco, Tex., BAYLOR; 26. B western actor known as Tex, ALLEN; 28. “Oedipus Tex” composer P.D.Q. BACH; 30. PECOS Bill (cowboy created by Tex O’Reilly); 31. Texas city named for a Ukranian seaport, ODESSA; 35. Start a Texas hold ‘em hand, ANTE; 36. FORT Worth, Tex.; 39. John Wayne film … or its fictional Texas setting, RIO LOBO; 43. Weatherman Tex ANTOINE; 46. “Texas tea”, OIL; 47. Texas headquarters of Frito-Lay, PLANO; 48. “Dollars, TAXES” (Marx brothers pun on “Dallas, Texas”); 51. Six Flags Over Texas attractions, RIDES; 55. Texas’ Palo DURO Canyon; 56. Onetime Texaco competitor, ESSO.

Unfortunately, this tribute was a little late -- the crossword was not available until this last weekend, a full week after Texas Independence Day. In any event, here are links for the Texas Declaration of Independence and The Republic of Texas -- following below, the state song…

Click on image to enlarge.

Puzzle available on the internet at

THE NEW YORK TIMES -- Crossword Puzzles and Games.

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