Ambiguity in a contract may be either latent or patent. If a
contract is reasonably, but not obviously, susceptible of more than
interpretation, it is latently ambiguous. Hills Materials Co. v.
982 F.2d 514, 516 (Fed. Cir. 1992). A latent ambiguity will be
against the drafter if the nondrafter's interpretation is
Hills Materials Co. 982 F.2d at 516, citing Fort Vancouver Plywood
v. United States, 860 F.2d 409, 414 (Fed. Cir. 1988). Whether an
interpretation is reasonable will be determined by ordinary
of contract construction. A patent ambiguity is an obvious error,
gross discrepancy, or an inadvertent, but glaring gap. H.B. Zachry
v. United States, 28 Fed. Cl. 77, 81 (1993), aff'd 17 F.3d 1443
Cir. 1994), citing Interstate General Government Contractors v.
980 F.2d 1433, 1435 (Fed. Cir. 1992). Where a patent ambiguity
contractor is under a duty to attempt to resolve the ambiguity
bidding if the contractor subsequently wishes to rely upon the
provision. E.g., S.O.G. of Arkansas v. United States, 546 F.2d 367,
(Ct. Cl. 1976). In such circumstances, the obviousness of the
discrepancy is critical, not the actual knowledge of the
Chris Berg, Inc. v. United States, 455 F.2d 1037, 1045 (Ct. Cl.
Failure by a bidder to seek a clarification of a patent ambiguity
to submitting its bid precludes that bidder from later recovering
work that it reasonably, but wrongly, believed was not required by
contract. Tilley Constructors & Engineers, Inc. v. United States,
[cited in USAM 4-4.420]