One could imagine that today's puzzle was hand-picked to follow yesterday's debate. Not being one of the so-called undecided voters, I did not watch it. I did, however, see headlines today that spoke of much FOULLANGUAGE being traded by the two candidates, only one of which, it now appears, is STINKINGRICH. The other, as has been repeatedly and embarrassingly shown, should be categorized among RANKAMATEURS. Will this country reach a RIPEOLDAGE? Or will our ERRING ways HAUNT us as we go from chanting USAUSA to being simply something that once WAS?
On a happier note, any mention of SIRDUKE (Stevie Wonder's tribute to Ellington) always makes me smile. He sounds so happy and into the music - especially at the end when he shouts "Go!" to start those runs for the last time. At the end of the first one he gives out a yell, and after the next shouts, I think, "Down with the love!" before giving out a laugh before the last one. As I said, it always makes me smile, and the more I can get of that feeling these days, the better.
And continuing on with things I like, I have always loved the CHEETAH (Something spotted on a safari). And closer to home, is there any more symbolic American creature than the BUFFALO (Sacred creature to many Native Plains people)? (OK, sure, the eagle maybe.)
I do not enjoy GRAPPA, but as it makes me think of Italy, and particularly our friends who live in Bassano del Grappa, I'll allow it. TRAPEZE (High bar?) is fun, SPARSE is interesting, and I loved the "game within a game" clue for STATES (What "radio wave," "foregone" and "main event" all hide).
Overall, despite it drawing my attention to distasteful political matters, I am a fan of this mid-week puzzle.
p.s. If you are a fan of "Spelling Bee," or if you have played it and are not a fan, you are invited to make your opinion known through this link. I submitted my own thoughts yesterday.