Come to Order

New York Times, March 7

Order in the court! Or, rather, order in the grid!

That’s the command for this week’s puzzle, in which common phrases are tweaked by anagramming one word — and the letters in the anagram are in alphabetical order, from A TO Z (120 Down, “The works … or how each set of circled letters in this puzzle is arranged”).

So “Alex Trebek?” (69 Across) is THE HINT MAN, instead of “The Thin Man,” although surely he is the latter as well; a “Slogan encouraging binge drinking?” (26 Across) is HOPS TIL YOU DROP, sted SHOP; “What spectators high up in Ashe Stadium see?” (42 Across) is TENNIS BELOW, sted ELBOW; a “Tutorial on becoming a resident manager?” (45 Across) is SUPER DEMO, sted DOME; “Eco-friendly computers from Taiwan?” (73 Across) are GREEN ACERS, sted ACRES; “Nashville neurosis?” (98 Across) is OPRY MANIA, sted PYRO; a “Teakettle’s sound?” (101 Across) is a FLOW WHISTLE, sted WOLF; and a “Clueless emcee?” (117 Across) is A HOST IN THE DARK, sted SHOT.

Clues of note: After the devastation in Haiti and Chile, it took me way too long to figure out that 5 Down, “Like some plates,” had nothing to do with dinnerware but everything to do with earthquakes — TECTONIC; and Will Shortz & Co. continue an impressive string of 21st-century hints by using a modern TV show to clue 125 Across (“Daniel’s mother on ‘Lost‘”) instead of a particularly bratty (but terribly dated) resident of The Plaza — ELOISE.

Questions or comments? Twitter me @crosswordkathy

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