Very glad to welcome a new NIA to the crossword world! That's director Nia DaCosta, who made what I think is her worldwide full name debut in our Wednesday puzzle last week. She's risen to stardom quickly enough that NIA clued to her name hasn't yet appeared in the the New York Times crossword.
It will soon, though, you can rest assured. As great as actresses Nia Vardalos, Nia Peeples, and Nia Long are, their first name has been seen so many times in puzzles that you could almost feel crossword writers and solvers willing a new famous NIA into existence. And here she is, having directed the indie crime thriller "Little Woods" in 2019, then the current horror hit "Candyman," and now slated to direct next year's big-budget "The Marvels".
I wish her many years of success on behalf of the entire crossword community, and I hope she will hire up-and-coming actresses with first names like UMA, EVA, and ETTA. We need more UMAs and EVAs, Nia!
Know any NIAs (or UMAs or EVAs) who might become famous soon? Tweet them to #beastxword and I'll gladly work them into a puzzle.
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