The recent post by BillsBayou entitled Thursday's Broken Ladder was a real stumper unless all the exclusions were extracted from the 3 ordering clues.

I think this puzzle is one of the best because it starts out like it's going to be one of the easiest puzzles ever, and then, wham, you've made the first pass through the clues, and you're looking at way too much white space.

Spoiler alert ! The image of the solution (I hope) is at the end of the next post. So don't peek at that one if you want to tackle this one without using a hint.

Here is the starting point.

Start.png
Clues 1, 2, 5, 7, 8, and 10 are fairly routine. They give us a couple positive relations and some ordinary looking Xs. I have not placed the Xs that result from the positive relations yet so the other Xs stand out better.

Step1.png
Then we go through the 3 ordering clues: 3, 6, and 9. Nothing fancy yet; just filling in the routine stuff.

Step2.png
Then it is time to transpose, make another pass through the ordering clues, and transpose again. We're leaving the thorough processing of clues 4, 5, and 7 until the next step in hopes of resolving at least one of them with all the Xs so far.

Step3.png
Now we process clues 4, 5, and 7. We fill in the nominal exclusions, and we notice that we can get a few extra Xs. Sea bass cannot be Clara or port, and shiraz cannot be $26.99 or red snapper. Hmm - that shiraz column that intersects with the entrees is looking interesting.

Step4.png
Unfortunately, clues 4, 5, and 7 cannot be resolved yet.

The story continues ...