In this database I have "accesses" - each access can have any number (usually less than 4, sometimes as many as 15) attributes. I also have "tickets" where N users are requesting M accesses, so I've got a sub-ticket table with the NxM "user access requests". Then for the sub-ticket, there is another table with the A attributes for that access (where "A" varies depending on the request).
So, for example, if I have two users requesting three accesses, and those accesses have 2, 3 and 4 attributes respectively, I have 1 ticket record, 6 sub-tickets records, and 18 sub ticket attribute records.
The problem is that I want to quickly group the sub-tickets together, so that when I display them I can find all the ones for one type of access, then all the ones of another type of access, and then the third type of access. I know, each type of access should have been given a unique id somehow, but they weren't, and now it's my burden. I only am allowed to "suggest" database changes, not insist on them.