"The devil to pay and no pitch hot" is a phrase that originated in the British Navy.

Paying a seam is caulking the space between the wooden planks of a ship with pitch and oakum. The longest seam in the ship, running from the bow to the stern, is called the devil. To pay the devil you must get into some uncomfortable positions, squatting in the stinking bilge at the bottom of the ship's hold, and swinging over the side in a bosun's chair, between the devil and the deep blue sea.

So, if you have the devil to pay, you face a long and tedious job; if there is no pitch hot, then you have to do the job without the tools that you need.

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