Minimally contrastive aspirated affricates are rare among the world's languages. We investigate the realization of these sounds in Nepali, an Indo-Aryan language spoken in Nepal. Static palatography of CVCV forms reveals no articulatory difference between plain and aspirated affricates at the supralaryngeal level. However, a study of their acoustic characteristics shows that aspiration has variant realizations according to the nature of the consonant (voiced or voiceless), the identity of the following vowel (open /aa/ vs. palatal /i/), and position within the word (first vs. second syllable). Moreover, aspiration is not realized uniquely or even primarily at the affricate release, but more reliably on the following vowel, which is partly or entirely aspirated or assibilated, according to the following vowel. It is suggested that some of this variation may be attributed to the enhancement of an auditorily weak feature -- [spread glottis] -- by more salient secondary features.