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I have a custom post type called "issue" and a contents page for each issue. I tag all of my articles with each issue by the issue number, so for instance, all articles with Issue 15 are tagged 'issue-15'.

I have a custom post template for contents and I use the following code to call up all issue posts within the same issue number.

$wp_query = new WP_Query( array( 
    'post_type' => 'issue',
    'tag' => 'issue-14',
    'posts_per_page' => 50
) );

Where it says 'issue-14', I need that to change based on a custom metabox field called 'issue-number' which only contains the number of the issue. So if the metabox field is "12" I need the tag to be "issue-12".

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It sounds like you're just looking for get_post_meta(). Using your custom field of issue_number, you'll do something like this (untested):

$issue_number = get_post_meta( get_the_ID(), 'issue_number', true );
$my_issue_query = new WP_Query( array(
'post_type' => 'issue',
'tag' => 'issue-' . $issue_number,
'posts_per_page' => 50
));

Note: While the code you pasted may work, you don't want to override the $wp_query global with a new WP_Query instance. Rather, use a new prefixed query-specific variable to hold the query instead and then call it like $my_issue_query->the_post();

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