SharePoint 2010 workflow won't associate to list

I have a very long workflow and when I try to publish I get "Error in associating workflow - cannot be run".  I can save it.
I've solved this previously by creating a new workflow, First I create all of the workflow variables (paying attention to capitalization) - then copy over the steps of the old workflow - and then go through and fix the statements where constants are used (numbers set to things don't translate to a new workflow usually).
I've even adjusted the workflow so I can copy it easily as this has happened three times.
Any ideas other my (painful) solution.  It takes a full 90 mins to re-create this workflow with 30 or so variables and dozens of pages of workflow statements.
(no I can't split into multiple workflows - I would if I could.
First, any way to copy the workflow easily (with the workflow files themselves) and then delete out stages to see where the problem is.
I've found this problem when I move things around - I only copy and paste, never 'move up' or move down - that helps

Environment (this is important)
SP 2013 but restricted to SP 2010 workflows - no workflow extensions - full control only, no SCA access, no access to Central Admin, very limited support from farm admins.
Just pretend it's on O365  - with 2010 workflows only.
Keyboard CowboyAsked:
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Keyboard CowboyAuthor Commented:
Problem resolved by reducing number of WF vars.  Question can be closed.

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Keyboard CowboyAuthor Commented:
Problem resolved
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