What a hoot! Jim has taken seven common phrases that have the word IN as the second word and he has conjured up the fun gimmick of placing the first word IN the phrase. We solvers had to parse the fact that the phrase's first word was indeed enclosed by the fill and had to be repositioned to made sense. A lovely idea and very apropos title, don't you think?
As is my occasional wont, I have put the grid at the top of the write-up to highlight the theme. You can see the first word of the correct phrase is IN yellow and ENFOLDED by the muddled phrase. You must mentally move that word to the front or top of the fill to get the desired, common expression with IN taking its implied, correct position as the desired second word. You can also see that Jim moved both one and two words to make this work for the seven phrases.
I think Jim's puzzle was A ONE MILLION and the rest of the puzzle was pretty much THE A WALK PARK.
Let's start with the theme fill:
23. At center stage, literally : THE THICK RIGHT OF THINGS/RIGHT IN THE THICK OF THINGS - Example
36. Start the day cheerfully, literally : A GOOD WAKE UP MOOD/WAKE UP IN A GOOD MOOD - Yeah, right!
70. Stinging rebuke, literally : THE SLAP FACE/SLAP IN THE FACE - Hey Spock, No means No on her planet too
104. Request reassignment, literally : FOR A PUT TRANSFER/PUT IN FOR A TRANSFER - He PUT IN FOR A TRANSFER many times
121. Delivers, literally : THE COMES THROUGH CLUTCH/COMES THROUGH IN THE CLUTCH - Mason Crosby COMES THROUGH IN THE CLUTCH to beat the Cowboys
35. Now and then, literally : A ONCE WHILE/ONCE IN A WHILE - No matter what he does the rest of his career, Blair Walsh will be remembered for one of those ONCE IN A WHILE moments where he didn't come through in the clutch for the Vikings
48. Pay no admission price, literally : FOR GET FREE/GET IN FOR FREE - "Papa, tell me again what this place is and how did you GET IN FOR FREE"
Let's see what else Jim did as he HIS PUT TIME:
1. For every one : A POP
5. Attempts : STABS - Casca, Brutus, et al each wearing a 29. Floor-length garment : TOGA
10. Asian vine leaf : BETEL
15. Came down to earth : ALIT Ma and Pa Kent find Clark after he ALIT from Krypton
19. Cadenza, e.g. : SOLO - An improvised or written-out ornamental passage played or sung by a soloist or soloists. You're welcome
20. Kidney-related : RENAL
21. Together : AS ONE
22. Suvari of "American Beauty" : MENA - Mena Suvari. You can google her famous picture lying on a bed of roses
27. Pond buildup : ALGAE
28. Talk about incessantly : HARP ON - I heard you the fourth time!
30. Asian New Year : TET
31. Lao Tzu principle : TAO
33. Apple core, for short? : IOS - My phone runs on Internet Operating System 10.2.1
34. Chopin work : POLONAISE - I heard a familiar melody while walking by our radio last week and used the SHAZAM app to find out it was this Chopin work. Do you Shazam?
42. Numskulls : DOLTS
43. Rock's __ Lobos : LOS - La Bamba
44. Start a pot : ANTE
45. Tazo offerings : TEAS - C.C. is our resident expert and I suspect she is familiar with this brand
46. CPO's org. : USN - A Chief Petty Officer equals a 1st sergeant in the US Army
47. Links transport : GOLF CART - They are now street legal in my home town
49. Smart Simpson : LISA
51. Made out : NECKED - See Drive-In above
55. Milne character : POOH
56. Elevator innovator : OTIS
59. Pic(ture) source : NEG(ative)
60. "A Streetcar Named Desire" wife : STELLA - One site rated this as the 33rd best movie moment of all time
61. Gather : REAP
63. Collar : NAB
65. "What's the __?" : USE
67. Withdraw by degrees : WEAN
68. Track runner, to a tout : NAG - Theater-savvy people will know the tout who sang, "I've got the horse right here, the name is Paul Revere..." and the play that produced it
74. Farm house dweller : HEN
75. Get into shape, with "up" : TONE
76. "Not __ long shot" : BY A
77. Gob : TAR - Also sailor, mariner, sea dog or salt
78. Start to freeze? : ANTI
80. 1956 Triple Crown winner : MANTLE - C.C., what do you and Doug estimate this signed 1956 picture written to Ted Williams would be worth?
82. Pampering place : SPA
85. Linguist Chomsky : NOAM
87. Logician Turing : ALAN - Portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game
90. Rubs the wrong way : CHAFES
91. Johnny's 2014 Olympics figure skating co-commentator : TARA - Lipinski
93. Fills with cigarette output, as a room : SMOKES UP - Home of many a political decision back in the day
96. Squealer : RAT
97. Part of DMV: Abbr. : DEPT - Much of their work can be done online now
99. Withered : SERE
100. "Sweet as apple cider" girl of song : IDA
101. Spirited mount : STEED
108. Iron-attracting magnetite : LODESTONE - This was a compass from 200 B.C. China made from naturally-occuring magnetic LODESTONE
110. Byron's "before" : ERE
111. Sass : LIP
112. Sentimental sounds : AWS
113. Heavy reading? : TOME
114. Is incapable of : CANNOT - CAN NOT is also acceptable
117. Comes up short: LOSES if your tout give you a, uh, 130. Bum __ : STEER
125. Skinny fish : EELS
126. Sambuca flavoring : ANISE - Sambuca didn't even make the list
127. "On Narcissism" author : FREUD
128. Went lickety-split : TORE
129. Staff symbol : REST
131. Nourishes : FEEDS
132. See 4-Down : SPUD
1. Movie role played by Skippy : ASTA
2. Sci-fi writer Frederik : POHL
3. First name in fashion : OLEG
4. Oft-fried food : POTATO - It is not the potatoes!!
5. Indian title of respect : SRI
6. High-__ : TECH
7. "Diana" singer : ANKA
8. Tinker Bell's creator : BARRIE - A lovely character for him and a corporate symbol for Disney
9. Make a subtle exit : SLIP OUT
10. German road : BAHN - Only areas near congested cities have a speed limit on the AUTOBAHN
11. Approx. repair cost : EST
12. Oh so very : TOO TOO
13. Surround : ENFOLD
14. Release : LET GO
15. Pal of Pierre : AMI
16. Soup bean : LENTIL
17. Swallow : INGEST
18. Preferences : TASTES
24. Annoying situation : HEADACHE
25. Mark, for one : GOSPEL - Some didn't make the cut
26. Office phone unit : HANDSET
32. "__ piece of the rock": Prudential slogan : OWN A
34. Support for the sheriff : POSSE
36. Subj. with x's : ALG - BTW, x = 5 in this 3/4/5 right triangle.
37. Yucky stuff : GOOP
38. Nobel Peace Prize city : OSLO
39. Degenerate from disuse : ATROPHY - A big issue when returning from prolonged weightlessness on the ISS
40. Toon flapper Etta : KETT
41. Primary : MAIN
46. Hidden : UNSEEN
50. Río contents : AGUA
52. "Red Balloon" painter : KLEE
53. Dash : ELAN - As I said before, I think Sean Connery had more ELAN than the other 007's
54. Blocker of "Bonanza" : DAN - DAN might want to forget some of his earlier work
57. Elite group : INS
58. '40s-'50s pitcher Maglie : SAL
62. Ideally : AT BEST - This seems more like "The best you can hope for under the circumstances"
64. Cricket club : BAT
66. Brooklyn Bridge seller, say : SCAMMER
68. First captain? : NOAH - Uh, Captain Noah, who's going to clean out the bottom of the ark?
69. Vogue editor-in-chief Dame __ Wintour : ANNA - I'm sure Ms. Wintour is always just TOO TOO chic!
71. Bridge position : EAST
72. Mythical flutist : PAN
73. Back again : FRO
75. Film watcher's channel : TMC - The Movie Channel (edited from Turner Movie Classics - Gary)
79. (Has) come down with something : TAKEN ILL
81. Causes : LEADS TO
83. San Diego player : PADRE
84. __ code : AREA - 212 is still very coveted here
86. Little helper? : ASST
88. "Yeah, right!" : AS IF
89. Art class subject : NUDE
92. Show up : APPEAR
94. Word with hygiene or history : ORAL
95. Two more than an eagle : PAR
98. Disgust : TURN OFF - 'nuff said/shown
101. "The Name of the Rose" actor Christian : SLATER
102. American sparrow relative : TOWHEE - Unknown to me but is a cutie!
103. Citation and Corsair : EDSELS
104. Stir up : FOMENT
105. Toddler's outfit : ONESIE
106. Academic security : TENURE - Once you've got it...
107. Parts of kettles : SPOUTS
109. Inquisitor __ de Torquemada : TOMAS - Being around him is torture!
114. "Moonstruck" Oscar winner : CHER
115. Arch style : OGEE - A plethora of OGEEs in Venice
116. Sound of a flop : THUD - Also poor acting in the NBA
118. Train station : STOP
119. Stocking shade : ECRU
120. Wood finisher? : SHED
122. Chicago winter hrs. : CST - Also true for Indiana around Chicago but otherwise, who knows?
123. "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats" monogram : TSE - Any book that inspired the song Memory is great to me!
124. Burnable media : CDS
Don't THE THROW TOWEL yet, you THE DYED WOOL solvers should now comment!