Wow, I appreciate the time your giving for this, immensely.
Anyway, you've got it right with the combinations, i'll try and explain.
We'll separate them with wide (wide article/100%) inspir (short inspiration/50%).
Wide always has clear float after, so that's not a problem.
Inspir doesn't have a clear after, as they just stack up. However when introducing wide on the same page, it needs a clear after. I have done this by adding a clear after 2n (every two inspir's).
However, when 1 inspir is displayed, it's fine. But when one inspir and a wide displays, it needs a clear float after. Again it can only have a clear float after 1 inspir if there is only 1 inspir, or if it is the last one otherwise inspir will stack and not go in 2's.
1 or 1+ wide and 1 inspir.(problem as 1 inspir isn't cleared)
1 or 1+ wide and 2+ inspirs. FINE (add clear float on 2n inspir, wide always cleared)
1 inspir. FINE (obvious)
1 wide. FINE (obvious)
1+ wide. FINE (always clear after wide)
1+ inspir. FINE (no clear, but stack as all the same width)
Oh, and the reason "aaa"" is coming up for wide, is because "aaa" is featured in that wide article. So the perfect one to test on.
What I've just written is mega confusing, but I hope you understand. The simple way to fix this is to have wide as the same width as inspir, but that's boring, as you say, when it works, it looks great.