This is a clue from a cryptic crossword published in the NZ Herald on January 1st 2021:

Newspaper had a box for the sweetmeat.

All I can see is that FUDGE is a sweet often kept in a box or tin, but can't see why "meat" or "newspaper" have anything to do with it. Could someone explain why FUDGE is the answer?


1 Answer 1


The clue can be split into two parts and is based on two different definitions of the word FUDGE.

Newspaper had a box.

Basically a (fudge)-box which can be just called a Fudge is as merriam webster dictionary defines it 'a newspaper space left blank for the insertion of last-minute items.' So this clue hints at FUDGE.

for the sweetmeat

The for is merely used to split the clues, FUDGE is a sweet meat (in its second definition). So this clue hints at FUDGE.

Since the word FUDGE, fits both clues FUDGE is the answer.

Another interpretation:

I think I wrote something like this down previously: the clues could be hinting at an answer of FUDGE in the first definition. This whole clue could be saying that since FUDGE (as in the fudge-box and so also a 'box for fudge sweets' as an alternate definition, which is what the newspaper had) is the container for Fudge (the sweetmeat), the answer is FUDGE.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I don't think your double definition explanation is correct (though it might still be a double def, but I doubt it). "For" would be the splitter, (a bit unsatisfactory IMO), and "the sweetmeat" would be one of the definitions, which already doesn't make much sense because "the [noun]" means a specific type of noun. But more egregious is the "newspaper had a box". "Newspaper had a box" is not the same thing as "fudge". "Newspaper box" is a noun that could work for "fudge", but not had a box. $\endgroup$ Dec 31, 2020 at 23:41
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    $\begingroup$ How can "for the sweetmeat" be the wordplay? What sort of wordplay is going on? Is it an insertion, a deletion, an extraction, or an anagram? And "newspaper had a box" can't be the definition, because fudge box doesn't mean a "newspaper had a box". You can't just replace "box" with "fudge", cryptic clues don't work like that. $\endgroup$ Dec 31, 2020 at 23:45
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    $\begingroup$ @PrinceNorthLæraðr Please remember that the question is quoting from another source which is probably not held to the same Ximenian standards that this community usually strives for. I suspect this is a double definition as described in the answer. But that said, in a double def, there is no wordplay...it's just a double def. I suggest the answerer make this more clear. $\endgroup$ Dec 31, 2020 at 23:49
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    $\begingroup$ @Smartest1here If what Jeremy Dover is saying is correct, then all you need to do is indicate that this is a ddef. Definition 1) "newspaper had a box", definition 2) "the sweetmeat". "for" is likely the splitter in this case. You don't really need the last bit of explanation after explaining the def for "the sweetmeat" because it's honestly makes it a bit more confusing $\endgroup$ Dec 31, 2020 at 23:52
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    $\begingroup$ I think what's going on here is subtly different: the two parts are "Newspaper had a box for ..." and "the sweetmeat". Fudge (in the sense of little bits of last-minute copy) is a thing a "newspaper had a box for", and fudge is a sweetmeat. This is pretty clumsy cluing, but better than what I think Smartest1here is suggesting, namely that the first half of the clue defines fudge-box and then you're just supposed to accept that as "hinting at" FUDGE as the answer. $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Jan 1, 2021 at 3:01

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