Step 2: Variac vs Scariac
In a tight situation, it's good to be aware of options, and that's why I was happy to learn about the idea of the water resistor.
The Scariac is a name I got from www.youtube.com/user/acronus in his video http://youtu.be/GLBZjAd4wKg and duplicated with permission. It's a fitting name since the system acts similar to a Variac. The idea is to use a water based medium as an electrolytic resistor. A bit of electrolyte is added to the solution to make it slightly conductive, and when two electrodes are placed in the solution, the allow more or less current to flow, depending on whether there are closer or further apart.