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  1. If I had had more time, I would have solved the puzzle. [Past unreal/Past+Past]
    (I did not have more time so I did not solve the puzzle.)
  2. If I had more time, I would have solved the puzzle. [Mixed conditionals/Present+Past]
    (I do not have more time so I did not solve the puzzle.)

I want to know when & which context these sentences are used in conversation. Do the both sentences have same meaning? Can we use them interchangeably?

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  • The first one is correct. With the second one, do you think it makes sense to say that if you had more time (present time), you would have solved the puzzle (past time)? – BillJ Jan 14 '17 at 15:12
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    @ BillJ Many books have mentioned such types of sentences while explaining Mixed conditionals. some More Examples: 1] If I were rich, I would have bought that Ferrari we saw yesterday. (BUT I AM NOT CURRENTLY RICH AND THAT IS WHY I DIDN'T BUY THE FERRARI YESTERDAY.) 2] If Sam spoke Russian, he would have translated the letter for you.(BUT SAM DOESN'T SPEAK RUSSIAN AND THAT IS WHY HE DIDN'T TRANSLATE THE LETTER.) 3] If I were smarter, I would have graduated from Stanford. (But I am not smarter and therefore I didn't graduate from Stanford) – Anma Jan 14 '17 at 15:32
  • I think we’d normally expect #2 to be: If I had more time, I would solve the puzzle. – J.R. Jan 14 '17 at 15:44
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    If you never have a lot of time (at any time), then you can say 2. (or 1). But if it's a matter of not having enough time only at some specific time in the past, then 1) would be appropriate; we understand that you didn't have enough time then, but you may have now. – BillJ Jan 14 '17 at 15:45
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    I don't agree with Lambie or JR. If the situation expressed in the protasis is understood as permanent (or relatively so), i.e. it relates to past and present time and is ongoing, then it is possible to use a modal preterite like "had", while using the perfect in the apodosis. Examples like If Ed spoke French, he would have translated the letter for you and If I enjoyed Shakespeare, I would have gone with you are fine. In the OP's example, if the lack of time is of a permanent nature, then example 2. is possible. – BillJ Jan 15 '17 at 10:52
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If I had had more time, I would have solved the puzzle.

This structure is used for a past that is disconnected in some way from the present. The disconnection might be as ordinary as a night's sleep, or as momentous as, e.g., being attacked by home-invaders: "If I had had more time, I could have found my gun and held them off. But I didn't have more time, and so here we are, out in the street in our pyjamas!".

If I had more time, I would have solved the puzzle.

Here the lack-of-time period is in the immediate past, still psychologically connected to the present. "If I had more time, I would have finished painting the room, but I had to stop so that I could shower and catch my flight to Boston." The "time" in this case extends toward or even into the present as a sort of phantom in which something could have been done/completed but had to be abandoned for some more important activity.

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