crossword puzzles rejected by the new york times #1

A few summers ago I was briefly obsessed with trying to get a crossword puzzle into the New York Times.  I submitted two and then called it a day.  For the one below, I did get a nice response from Will Shortz’ assistant telling me that “Not everyone would remember this hit by the Zombies, and for anyone who doesn’t, the theme wouldn’t be much fun.”  So, this is for all of you folks who remember hits by the Zombies.  Especially, this one.

ps – this puzzle was meant to be a Thursday puzzle for the NYT, and as such has a (somewhat difficult) gimmick.  This puzzle makes no bones about being in the same league with the truly excellent puzzles presented in the Times.  This is just the one I made.   Answer is posted below.


pdf version

the puzzle solved