Crossword Genius

Very cheap beside nonentity (4,2,7)


I believe the answer is:

next to nothing

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'very cheap' is the definition.
I can't tell whether this defines the answer.

'beside nonentity' is the wordplay.
'beside' becomes 'next to' (I've seen this in another clue).
'nonentity' becomes 'nothing' (I can't explain this - if you can you should believe this answer much more).
'nextto'+'nothing'='NEXT TO NOTHING'

Can you help me to learn more?

(Other definitions for next to nothing that I've seen before include "Very little" , "Not much" , "utterly unimportant" , "Lacking neighbours" .)

I've seen this clue in the Sydney Morning Herald.
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