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.
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.
Then we go through the 3 ordering clues: 3, 6, and 9. Nothing fancy yet; just filling in the routine stuff.
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.
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.
Unfortunately, clues 4, 5, and 7 cannot be resolved yet.
The story continues ...
Last edited by zenobia43; 06-07-2013 at 01:19 AM.
Now here is where it gets interesting.
The ordering clues, 3, 6, and 9 can be laid out like the Baron shows in the video. We already have a couple positive relations, so I will include those in the layout.
bordeaux -> beef stir-fry = Hannah -> sea bass = Joanna
shiraz -> Clara
Each of the arrows is the same distance.
First thing we notice from the layout that starts with bordeaux is these exclusions (Xs):
bordeaux cannot be beef stir-fry, Hannah, sea bass, or Joanna. The new Xs are shaded in yellow.
With the shiraz -> Clara layout way on the left, we see that shiraz and bordeaux categories line up in the two layouts, and the distance is the same.
Yippee - Clara cannot be Hannah or beef stir-fry. Duh - we already knew that.
Sliding the shiraz -> Clara layout to the right, we see that the Clara and Joanna categories line up, and the distance is the same. Should we be celebrating yet?
shiraz cannot be Hannah or beef stir-fry. The new Xs are shaded in yellow.
Now that's progress. We now know that shiraz must be sea bass, and because of all these fixed linkages, the rest of the puzzle is going to fall into place pretty quickly.
Spoiler - the next image is my shot at the solution.
Last edited by zenobia43; 06-07-2013 at 01:00 PM.