Okay, I've solved Problem #2 (see below).
According to Kurt Vonnegut, who, I guess, knows a thing or two about writing:
Give readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To heck with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.
There! Problem solved!
I'll tell my editor that cockroaches ate the last few pages, but it's okay, because the readers will finish the story themselves.
That was easy!
(For the record, I hate to disagree with the Kurt Vonnegut, but.....)