MAZE General Comments

For saying something.

This and that.

 - Image copyright 1985 by Christopher Manson

390 thoughts on “MAZE General Comments

  1. I have played Portal and Portal 2, and the sarcastic AI that ‘guides’ you through the maze of puzzle rooms really reminded me of the ‘guide’ of MAZE. Neither of them really WANT you to get out, and while I agree that the comments of the ‘guide’ of MAZE are generally more helpful, they both take on the feeling of a dispassionate, even spiteful observer. (Both care more about their maze grounds more than the people running through them!)

    • I would too if I had a bunch of nimrods running around my house stealing umbrellas.

    • Haha… it just occurred to me that it actually DOES rain in Portal 2. See, THAT’S where we need the umbrellas.

  2. Has anyone else noticed that when you take the words; GLOBE – WORLD -EARTH – WHITE – RAVEN – and scramble all of the included letters, you get other words which are more closely related to the “Final” answer of the maze? There are 2 A’s. 1 B. 1 D. 4 E’s. 1 G. 2 H’s. 1 I. 2 L’s. 1 N. 2 O’s. 3 R’s. 2 T’s. 1 V. 1 W. What I got from it was: – TERRIBLE – WRATH – GOD – HEAVEN – But I still have 2 more letters that I have left. L and O. Let me know what anyone thinks of this hypothesis. Thanks. B

    • This solution to Room 36 was first noted by Nexr9 over on MazeHat dot com, though you’d have to dig through the archives to find it. Good work finding it independently though, it bolsters the idea that something is really going on here.

  3. Any ideas on what the MAZE stands for on a whole? I’ve read multiple theories but rarely have they been supported by substantial evidence.

  4. [4] Main Solution Summary: Is the solution summary by John Bailey correct? Is there a rationale for choosing “awl” over “nun”?

    I don’t know how I missed this, but I will vote for it however many times I am allowed to. 3? 5,000,000?

  5. I have either made a mistake, or I have found a 15 step path.
    I am inclined to think the former. In any case here it is:
    From 1 to 45:

    Here is my logic for going from room #12 to room #45:
    Both #12 and #28 are the same room, so if you are on page 12, flipping to page 28 is the same as staying in the room(12). The door in room #12 that leads to room #8 is also the door in room #28 that goes to room #45. The text in each room is exactly the same. The pictures in the room change from page 12 to page 28, but otherwise the pages 12 and 28 are the same room, so you should be able to go to room #12(28) and then go to page 28 then go to room #45.
    The path back:

    My path rests on the assumption that room #12 is the same as room #28.
    If you disagree or agree, please reply.

    • Ranger 314_16,

      Can we please just call you “Ranger”? Or we could be one digit more accurate and call you Ranger 314_159. :)

      I am sorry for my tardiness in approving your post, it has been a crazy week. You are an approved member and may now post freely.

      My vote is that the two déjà vu rooms are two rooms which look alike, not the same room. There are several reasons to take it this way, not the least that Manson has said that in the sequel he had planned he wanted to add several new ideas to the game play including having the same room more than once, just like you are suggesting here. Which would be awesome but apparently is not what is happening in MAZE.

      Regardless of whether it is correct or not, it is a very creative solution!

      White Raven

    • White Raven,
      You can just call me Ranger for short, thanks for approving my comment. You are probably right about the rooms being separate and non-interchangeable.
      I’m probably not the first one to make that assumption :)

      Why would “Ranger314_159″ be one digit more accurate than Ranger314_16? Just wondering.

    • The first five digits of pi rounded to the nearest number is 3.1416 – not rounded and adding a digit it would be 3.14159. What, if I may ask, do the numbers actually stand for? If you’d rather not share, no problem – just curious.

    • White Raven,
      The numbers are three digits of pi: 3.14 and
      two digits of phi: 1.6
      I like math ;)

    • Creative! I lean on others for math help, it’s nice to have a mathophile involved.

  6. Speaking of cards, NEW stuff on Mazecast! Ben/Factitious has pulled together a highly entertaining post that will appeal especially to fans of a certain card game. Go to Mazecast dot com and select User Blogs > Ben’s Maze Facts.

  7. Perhaps this is mentioned on a page I haven’t yet encountered, but what proof do we have that you indeed are in contact with the author? In the pages and comments I’ve so far explored, you’ve made many claims regarding speaking for the author and having as close to a definitive and authorized solution for the book as exists, but it seems that we’re taking most of your claims on faith and your word. You have a fascinating site, but you do seem to be reveling a great deal in the power of your self-appointed position of kingmaker and alleged liaison for the author, which does strengthen my skepticism here. (I’d almost be more inclined to believe that you _were_ the author, to be honest.)

    • Working,

      I am not Manson but I am acting as his contact person with MAZE fans…for what that is worth, most of his answers to our questions seem to just raise more questions. Manson has confirmed a few of my solutions but almost all of my solutions are unconfirmed and just my personal opinion. Feel free to disagree, you very well may be right.

      If you would like some proof of my connection here is some:

      1. David Gentile a former participant in this site emailed Manson regarding this site and Manson confirmed the connection and asked David to use this site and refrain from contacting him personally.

      2. SP sent a letter to Manson regarding our connection and Manson sent me a sentence of the letter in an email which was word-for-word what SP had written.

      3. If I was not in contact with Manson this site would have been removed a long time ago for copyright infringement.

      Of course David and SP could be fictitious characters which I invented, and this site could be hosted out of some country which doesn’t recognize copyright laws, or I could be Manson pretending to be someone else. So you just have to ask yourself what is most likely.

      Or you could just ignore the Ask Manson page and then you don’t have to deal with the question at all.

      You have been approved and may post freely.

      Welcome to The Abyss!

      White Raven

    • There is indeed excellent reason to believe WR is being truthful about his interactions with Manson but, as he notes, it largely depends on the experiences of other people you have to assume are neither fictitious nor agents of WR. WR also received sample art from a proposed sequel to MAZE which can be found here — though it could be made by anyone sufficiently artistically competent, I suppose.

      Plus, when WR claimed to have asked Manson whether he would talk to me for seven hours about wood grain, he said Manson said no, and that’s exactly what Manson would have said.

    • Hi Working, the most realistic situation in my view is that Manson was inundated with messages from David Gentile and others, to the point that he was tired of talking about Maze with them. White Raven then came along and presented a much more concise set of solves than anyone else, to which Manson agreed to talk about in a limited capacity. However, I do not think WR is in communications with Manson as much as people think, and anything posted on this site reflects White Raven’s point of view, not Manson’s. While WR shows a great understanding of Manson’s intentions, I don’t think everything he states was intended by Manson (maybe 40-50% at most). Take what he says with a pinch of salt. That being said, it’s up to you whether you think a solution was intended by Manson or not. Empirically speaking , iManson will probably never talk to us, as proved by lack of follow-up to “Ask Manson” and the snubbing of my letter. This is fine if you keep in mind that this forum works on a peer-reviewed system, and that your peers’ likes or dislikes is as good as it’s going to get. But this isn’t meant to be a let-down, just a moment of clarity!

      Welcome Working!

    • SP,

      In reality Manson and I are in contact more than I let on but our conversations are not about MAZE solutions. Ask Manson has not happened mostly because of me, not Manson.

      The number of things which Manson confirmed with me are very, very few. So you are correct that almost everything of what is presented here is my own opinion. This is the official MAZE site but the solutions that have been posted on the solution summaries are not official MAZE solutions – which is an odd situation but this is just as Manson wants it – he likes the mystery.

      Of the solutions Manson and I did discuss, my opinions were correct with the exception of my Ray Bradbury inspired shot in the dark about Room 22, however, the solutions Manson confirmed were only among those I was confident enough in to discuss with him during that early phone call. You could be correct that only 40-50% of the solutions on the solution summaries are intended by Manson, I hope not…but I just don’t know.

      Fortunately I like this uncertainty; the journey continues…

    • “In reality Manson and I are in contact more than I let on but our conversations are not about MAZE solutions.”

      Wood grain discussion, got it.

    • I hope your opinion is that you don’t like it. I think zebra wood look dirty. Blech! :-\

    • While we’re analyzing this comment… “Ray Bradbury inspired shot in the dark”?

    • Aria,

      I’m sorry, I thought I had already shared this story at some point.

      When I first talked to Manson I mentioned that Room 22 had me stumped except for a half-baked idea I was tossing about. He asked me what my half-baked idea was, and so (stupidly) I told him…ensuring that I would feel like an idiot in front of a childhood hero of mine.

      My idea was that the room was tied to a character in the book Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury called “The Lonely One.” In the book The Lonely One murders people during the night until he is killed by an old lady with a pair of sewing scissors. The strongest tie was the mention of the guide’s life being a “lonely one” and the fact that the central letters of the sign can be read as “one” or “onely”. I had other tie in’s which were even weaker than this. I was theorizing that this may be a warning about the guide’s character.

      His response was something like, “Hmm, yes, I see. I haven’t read Dandelion Wine, is it any good?”

      Doh! :(

    • Well, obviously Mr Manson is mistaken. What about the scissors on the door to 22 in 42! ;-)

  8. Hello to all of the interesting denizens of the Abyss. I was introduced to the wonderful mystery of the Maze yesterday, and I quickly became attracted to the haunting artwork and the sheer scope of this delightful puzzle. I spent much of my youth breezing through MENSA and GAMES Magazine puzzles and the like, but I lost interest due to the lack of true ingenuity or difficulty that was to be found. Bragging is not my intention, but I will mention that I was eligible for MENSA at age 10. I was also named a National Merit Scholar by achieving nearly perfect scores on my college entrance exams. I am considering joining this community and helping everyone discover whatever mysteries of the Maze still remain. In recognition of the fact that this would be a very time-consuming endeavor, I would greatly appreciate your responses to the following issue I have encountered: In the four hours that I have spent reading about the MAZE, I have repeatedly heard it said that this puzzle has never been solved. However, a simple query on yahoo reveals the various 16-room paths, the question of “What house will all live in”, and the hint of “Like Atlas, you bear it upon your shoulders” (which suggests the answer as being “The Earth”, “The World”, etc.), I have seen repeated mentions on websites such as this of trying to figure out who is the Guide, yet room 45 seems to clearly point us in the direction of Woodrow Wilson’s famous quote, “Without God, the world would be a maze without a clue”. Is it not then obvious that the guide is God, due to the fact that the MAZE is unsolvable without his constant verbal guidance throughout the book? With all respect to everyone engaged in the search, I am not convinced that there is anything substantive left to be found here. I will be happy to defer to those who are more familiar with this book if there are legitimate reasons to believe that a continued analysis is warranted.

    • Humble Cleric,

      The main puzzle has been solved for a long time. A better description of the solution can be found here (click on the link on the right named “Solution to the Main Puzzle”) or on the MazeCast site

      After the contest was over MAZE fans realized that there are a TON of other riddles in the book primarily focused on choosing the correct door, avoiding the wrong doors, or telling the reader that they are lost. The author, Christopher Manson, has confirmed that the rooms are filled with riddles of this sort. Some of these riddles are obviously solved such as the NO ESCAPE solution in Room 38 and the GO BACK solution in Room 32…anagrams are easy to confirm. But most of the remaining riddle solutions we know of are to some degree debatable, I call these type of riddles “interpretive.” This lack of absolute certainty and the ability to come up with increasingly better solutions is intentional and is what makes MAZE worthy of its title. If you like simple puzzles, math, and a clear cut verdict then MAZE is not for you. If you like literature, art, mystery, and a potentially life long challenge then…welcome to the Abyss!

      White Raven

  9. I was just thinking how on this website, WR seems to have a few hint like things. For instance, I guess trefoils are mentioned in the ephemera or somewhere. Also, on the maps, room 43 is denoted ‘sly face’, and it turns out that ‘sly’ has significance. Following this train of thought, I am wondering if the distorted version of the tree in 31, being used as a background image for this site, has any importance. I can see various things in the trunk. Eyes and nose (sideways) or a trapped human form.

  10. I’ve noticed that even the doors that are blocked represent a door from another room. for instance, the blank door in room 3 represents the door from room 15

    • njorl,

      Welcome to the Abyss!

      Yes, all the unmarked doors are actual entrances from other rooms except for the bricked up door in Room 39 which (it is reasonable to assume from the puzzle) encloses a small room with no exits.

      The author of the book has confirmed that unmarked door may not be entered so the shortest path really is 16 steps.

      White Raven

  11. Hello all,

    My first time posting here. I have loved this book ever since I picked it up in high school at age 16…back at the time it came out.

    Back then, a lot of it seemed beyond my grasp.

    Now, years later, I still find that much of it is beyond me. BUT…with fresh eyes I have noticed some things I overlooked before that may be of interest to you.

    On the title page, the Masonic objects (no way I could have picked this out as a teenager). The objects are: square and compasses, a gavel, and what looks like a spike. In Masonry these objects are used as follows: the gavel calls the lodge to order. The compass is your moral guide that leads you in the right direction through life. The square is how you act toward your brethren. The pointed object looks like a railroad spike or large nail; a “prick” is used to test new candidates in masonry. It and the gavel together (perhaps a hammer and nail) may be a reference to what I’m going to write about next.

    Now the real object of interest here is the KEYSTONE. In the York Rite of Masonry, there is a degree in which the keystone begins life as an ashlar–an uncarved block, with a strange shape, that is cast away by the builders as worthless. Later the builders find that it is actually the most valuable block in the whole structure, because it holds it all up…it was actually specially commissioned by King Solomon, and subsequently lost.

    In Masonry, the Temple of Solomon is a metaphor for the world, and the keystone holds it all up. In Christianity and the higher York Rite masonic ritual, the keystone is a metaphor for Jesus. In Acts 4:11: Jesus is “the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.” The keystone in the picture appears to be acting as a paperweight on the maze. The other masonic objects here strongly impel me toward the conclusion that Manson is using the keystone according to the Masonic interpretation.

    Also, I noticed that on the map of the maze, from the left under the keystone, appears to be the letters INRI. The R is slightly broken in the middle. INRI is an abbreviation of the Latin words Iesvs Nazarenvs Rex Ivdaeorvm, that Pilate famously pasted on the cross, “King of the Jews.” I didn’t even have to scrunch my eyes to see this; it popped out at me right away.

    There are many other Masonic symbols throughout the maze. The sun is a particularly important symbol in Masonry–the source of Light, it rises in the East, is where the Master of a lodge stands, and is the direction that all Masons are said to travel to seek Light. Masonic lodges also employ a mysterious Guide for the initiate when they enter a lodge blindfolded to pass the various degrees. There is a comment at one point that the guests might have flipped a coin but lacked coins…this might be a coinkydink but petitioners to a Lodge are also stripped of all items of intrinsic value, like coins. Some of the arrangements of candles look suspiciously Masonic, as well.

    All in all I know that some believe the message of the Maze to be pessimistic…it took me all of 10 seconds to look at the title page and realize that perhaps it is not. If there is indeed someone who, like Atlas, bears the weight of the world on His shoulders. Or maybe I’m completely off base (or off my rocker), but I guess we all interpret the Maze’s lessons in our own way to some extent.

    Source: I am a Master Mason & Knight Templar in US Freemasonry

    Great fun reading the solutions on this site. A great many of you are far more clever than I could ever hope to be. Hope you all are well, fellow Maze-ers.

    • A slight addendum; on closer inspection, I realize that I confused a couple terms in my previous post. I wished to edit it again but I think the timer ran out.

      The “gavel and spike” may actually be a hammer and chisel. This further underscores the masonic connection here. One masonic school of thought is that human beings are “ashlars”, uncarved blocks, and that the purpose of life is to take this rough hewn rock and make it acceptable to the Master Architect (God).

    • PA Prof,

      I removed “(not a chisel)” from your earlier post, is this the change you were hoping to make?

      Welcome to The Abyss! You may now post freely.

      It is great to have a active Mason involved, all my info about Masonic symbolism is from antiquity in which the hammer and chisel together represent industriousness, and the square and compass together represent correct character and thinking. It had not occurred to me to look into whether or not these symbols had different modern Masonic interpretations or uses.

      I toyed with the idea that the symbols were meant to convey something like “think right and get to it” but the scroll resting in the place of where the Bible usually is in ancient Masonic imagery and the puzzle hidden on the scroll made me think that the symbols where just a way of pointing to the scroll as an important guide.

      Given that all these objects are presently being used in Masonic rituals perhaps you are right that there is a message in the symbols.

      White Raven

    • The keystone and the cornerstone are two very different things, so it seems unlikely to me that the keystone represents Christ.

  12. I think many Maze fans will enjoy this new article about Kit Williams’s Masquerade:
    h ttp:// hazlitt. net /feature /goes-all-way-queen-puzzle-book-drove-england-madness

    Take out the spaces.

    • It’s a very interesting article, and you’ll see more than a few similarities to our own community in the discussion of the Masqueraders.

  13. Mazecast S02E04 – Piranesi watch?v=W6fWgrRkjD0

    This is not what I had originally planned (I had a voice over) but I wasn’t happy with the script/dialog so it’s just a slideshow of works that I think are pertinent to Maze. The following points of interest to Maze:

    - Piranesi’s letters/script.
    - The way in which he wraps the viewer’s perspective with objects to give the impression of being in the scene.
    - His extremely accurate perspective.
    - His ability to mix and match technical drawing with imaginative design.
    - His obsession with ropes and winches hanging from the ceiling

    • Here’s the commentary version (don’t hold your breath) watch?v=whVAffWYekk

  14. Major revelation to follow.

    In last night’s episode of Mazecast, it was illuminating to see an alternate set of diagrams for the Maze (supplied by diagram champ Brent). This forced me to go back and re-evaluate the diagrams posted here on the Abyss, and led me to a startling discovery. Brent, with all respect to your well-thought-out maps, I’ve been fully convinced by the version of the Loop map posted here. There’s a “when you see it” that confirms this as the most accurate Loop map possible.

    Take a look, fellow sleuths, and see if you can spot… the White Raven.

  15. WR, I remember you saying something at some point to the effect that “solving the guide puzzle would give you Manson’s view on life, which is deeply pessimistic.” Did I imagine this? I have scoured the site and can’t find it. Please help me convince sp and vw that I have not gone off the deep end completely.

    • Never mind! It’s in the solution to the maze pages and isn’t about the Guide.

    • I don’t know that we can assume a clean division between these things. This pessimistic lesson involves the book as a whole, and the Guide’s identity may be part of that.

    • Aria,

      So there is no confusion, The Riddle of the Guide has been confirmed by Manson but my idea about the lesson of MAZE is just my own opinion – Manson and I have not talked about it.



    Yes, it’s been that long!

    We will be joined by Graphmaster Brent, who has been posting his findings on our site. Tune into our Youtube channel at 10pm EST or watch back on the channel.

    Topic of conversation: anything, everything, and something in between.

    • Here is the Season Finale of Mazecast Season 1. We have done every room in a clean one year period.

      This was an episode about the Guide and the clues WR has laid down on the Abyss.

      Next season, we hope to bring more Maze intrigue with the introduction of a new Mazecaster, Brent! We look forward to hearing his untainted approach.


    • sp and the mazecasters, (sounds like a rock band)

      Happy anniversary!

      I’m looking forward to Season 2!

      White Raven

  17. If the 16-step path is hard to solve, then just imagine the difficulty of the 100-step path! (Exactly 100 steps, no more, no less, precisely 100.)

    • abc,

      Actually a 100 step path a super easy unless you add a additional rule such as you can’t visit a room more than twice or you have to visit every room not part of the trap.

      For example, you proceed around the 16 step path until you get to Room 20, the room before returning to Room 1. Then you go back and forth from Room 20 to Room 5 till you get from step 15 to 99, and then go to Room 1 to get 100. Easy.

      Are you limiting yourself by a rule? If so, what is it?

      White Raven

    • The path rooms are visited exactly once, except 1, which is visited twice. Additionally, you have to visit every room that isn’t part of the trap. Loop rooms can be visited more than once, though.

  18. One question that keeps me up at night… ;)
    Who is “the thoughtful one”?
    He/she has been known to make many…well, “thoughtful” statements throughout the maze. Never identified; the guide only says “the thoughtful one”. Also mentioned in the floor less room is “the bold one”. Same person? Additionally, in room…not sure, 19 I think….the story describes a scenario. The guide pushes branches out of the way so a girl could pass. She asks whether the guide “picked those” for her. The guide does not reveal his answer…only cryptically saying “I had to tell her the truth.” What’s “the truth”? Is that “the thoughful one”?
    Any thoughts? Reply plz :)

    • Anonymous Smart Person,

      Welcome to the Abyss!

      I’ve enjoyed reading your posts!

      I have approved your comments and they will post without needing moderation if you put in the same email address every time.

      Your moniker is a bit long, is it okay if we call you ASP?

    • I personally don’t think the Thoughtful One is intended to be anyone in particular. I think Manson added that character to encourage the reader to be the thoughtful one.

    • White Raven,
      ASP is totally fine with me. I mistyped my email address and just realised, so I may need moderation once more. Also, thanks, good to hear that someone likes my ideas :)

  19. I wonder what Manson would think of the “Cube” film series? I just watched the second one, “The Cube 2: Hypercube”, which reminded me of a simplified version of Manson’s MAZE Sequel idea (Rooms changing, time paradoxes/alternate realities, a “monster” chasing the patrons/visitors as they move from room to room).

    Though I did not think extremely highly of the film, I found enjoyment from the parts that reminded me of MAZE. Have any other Abyssians seen it? I’ve included the IMDb description below:

    “Eight strangers find themselves waking up in a strange cube-shaped room with no recollection of how they came to be there. Soon discovering that they’re in a strange fourth dimension where our laws of physics don’t apply, they have to unravel the secrets of the “hypercube” in order to survive”

    • Eule,

      I would be very surprised of Manson has seen the Cube movies. It just doesn’t seem like his cup of tea. But hey, who knows?

      I saw the original and really liked it. See my page about CUBE here:

      I was avoiding the sequel because I heard it wasn’t as good as the original, but now that you have said it is a bit reminiscent of MAZE, it’s now at the top of my Netflix cue.

      White Raven

    • I saw a trailer for Cube when I was a kid and thought the movie looked incredibly interesting. Unfortunately, I never saw another ad for it or heard anything about it, and I didn’t even remember the name of the movie shortly thereafter. Many years later I caught Cube 2 on TV without knowing what it was and thought that it must be that movie I wanted to see back when I was a kid. I watched it and thought it was pretty neat, but later found out that it was the sequel to the movie I had wanted to see.

      Well, the original is the real deal. I wouldn’t say that Hypercube is a shameful sequel or anything, but it is pretty much an unnecessary sequel, and the places where it interested me are where it was simply lifting the premise of Cube. It adds some twists to the formula, I guess, though they’re mainly of the “don’t think too hard about this” variety. Cube is a pretty brilliantly imagined movie, if one that occasionally struggles with hammy acting and poorly conceived montages. Cube 2 is just a movie about people getting killed by weird traps. It maintains the shortcomings while losing what made the movie unique, kind of like Jaws 2 or…pffff…..Psycho 2?

      Cube Zero is even worse, don’t bother, not worth your time at all. Oh, fine, if you’ve seen the first two movies, go ahead and watch it, why not. But you’ll see what I mean.

    • White Raven- Sorry, I hadn’t seen your link to “Cube” in the lists of Ephemera. I agree with vewatkin’s comments on the sequel not living up to the concept of the first one:

      “Cube” deals with a truly intricate and maddening mathematical puzzle, and shows how the characters are challenged morally and mentally as the stresses compound within its confines. I enjoyed it (beyond the acting…), which compelled me to pursue the sequel.

      “Cube 2: Hypercube” is more of a quantum-physics science fiction, which if further developed/explained would be extremely riveting. However more characters are thrown into the “maze” and their behaviors are less believable. Vewatkin’s comment about this movie being more about people being killed by “weird traps” is accurate; the first film’s traps were sophisticated booby-traps, while in the second the changes in gravity, spinning-blade-sphere, time stopping, moving plasma-walls, and cube-beams take away from what helped to ground the film in conceptual reality. I enjoyed where the film started to go and the parts that reminded me of “MAZE: The Lost Sequel”, but this film is more for a dull evening, WR.

      I might look into Cube Zero somewhere down the road to finish out the series, but will be in not in a rush if it lacks the redeeming qualities necessary to live up the first installment. Thanks for the tip, vw.

  20. Hey Everyone,

    My name’s Brent and SP has been kind enough to allow me to blog my experiences as a relative newbie over on maze cast. I look forward to interacting with this community as I delve through the Maze with you!

    • Brent (AKA Nefarus),

      Great to have you!

      Welcome to The Abyss!

      White Raven

    • Abyssians,

      For all you silent readers out there that are not familiar with Maze Cast, it is a recorded video chat among MAZE enthusiasts. Great site! Great people! Check it out!

  21. I’ve recently been rerunning The Prisoner (the original 1967 one) – reminds of Maze for a few reasons: The Village itself is a Maze that number 6 has to escape, not physically, but outsmarting his captors. Also, everyone’s a number! Reminiscent of something, eh?

    Be seeing you!

  22. I’m trying to dig up the original contest rules, but not having much luck. A local librarian is trying to help me out with an interlibrary request, but since pre- and post-contest copies of MAZE appear identically in the catalog the only way to check on the age of a copy is to physically take it off the shelf and look at it, which is actually kind of a big favor to ask of a bunch of non-local librarians. I sent and email to Andrew Plotkin and John Bailey (the only people from the OLDEN days of MAZE whose email addresses I have) but haven’t heard anything back yet. Anyone have any ins or ideas?

    Manson himself could be a last resort, and I’m guessing he does own a first printing of MAZE somewhere, but he would probably rather not be bothered. I’ve never gotten a response from the publisher to a question about MAZE, but I guess I could try to contact them.

    • We could stick that in a batch of room 45 stuff for “ask Manson”. What are you looking for, exactly?

    • John Bailey came through! He sent me a scan of the rules of the contest and of the second set of clues.

      (We already had the clues, but this is a scan of the letter. It includes some of Bailey’s notes, showing he had cracked some of the riddle.)

      WR, let me know if you’d like me to send this to you so you can put it on the site. There’s some interesting stuff in there. Apparently the clues were contemplated from the beginning, and there was a point system in place for incompletely correct answers.

    • MAZE $10,000-Prize
      Official Contest Rules

      There are forty-five rooms in the Maze and each room is numbered. As outlined in the directions, by selecting the correct door in each room, it is possible to go from room #1 to room #45 and back to room #1 in only sixteen steps.
      Hidden in room #45 is a riddle. The answer to that riddle is concealed somewhere along the shortest path through the Maze.

      TO ENTER THE CONTEST, just print your name, address, and zip code on a plain piece of paper and answer the following three questions:

      1. Which sixteen rooms comprise the shortest path from room #1 to room #45 and back to room #1? Room numbers must be given in the order in which you enter the rooms. (Entering room #1 at the start is not considered to be the first step.) For separation, each room number must be preceded by the symbol “#.”
      2. What is the riddle found in room #45, stated exactly as indicated by the clues in the book?
      3. What is the answer to the riddle, stated exactly as indicated by the clues in the book?

      Answer all three questions in the order given. Mail your entry, plus 50¢ processing fee (cash, check, or money order) to: MAZE, P.O. Box 542, Lowell, IN 46399. Enter as often as you wish but each entry must be mailed in a separate envelope and must be accompanied by the 50¢ processing fee.
      Entries for each phase of the contest will be reviewed by VENTURA ASSOCIATES, INC., an independent judging organization whose decisions shall be final on all matters relating to the contest. The initial contest ending date is September 1, 1986.
      If no completely correct solution has been received by September 1, 1986, a clue(s) will be made available and the contest will be extended for six months to March 1, 1987. Only entries received between September 2, 1986 and March 1, 1987 will be reviewed for correct answers.
      If no completely correct solution has been received by March 1, 1987, a second additional clue(s) will be made available and the contest will extend for a final six months to September 1, 1987. Only entries received between March 2, 1987 and September 1, 1987 will be reviewed for the correct answers. If no totally correct answer is received, the prize will be awarded to the entrant(s) who submit the most nearly correct answers based on the following point system: Question 1.—16 points, Question 2.—25 points, Question 3.—50 points, Total—91 points.
      If more than one winning entry is received, prize money will be divided equally among all winners. Winner will be notified by mail and may be required to sign an affidavit of eligibility and release and winner’s name and likeness may be used for publicity purposes without additional compensation. Prize is non-transferable and no substitutions will be allowed. Taxes are the responsibility of the winner. All federal, state, and local laws and regulations apply and all entries become the property of Holt, Rinehart, and Winston and will not be returned. Contest void where prohibited.

      FOR A COPY OF THE ANSWERS OR ADDITIONAL CLUES IF NO CORRECT ANSWER HAS YET BEEN RECEIVED, send a stamped, self-addressed envelope and 25¢ for handling to MAZE Solution/Clues, P.O. Box 607, Lowell, IN 46399, any time during the contest, but no later than November 1, 1987. Requests sent to this P.O. Box will be fulfilled at the end of each of the contest cycles.
      For the name of the contest winner, send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to: MAZE Winner, P.O. Box 741, Lowell, IN 46399 no later than November 1, 1987.

    • “2. What is the riddle found in room #45, stated exactly as indicated by the clues in the book?
      3. What is the answer to the riddle, stated exactly as indicated by the clues in the book?”

      Hmmmmm… “stated exactly”… a little optimistic?

    • Wow! Thank you Vewatkin! Thank you John Bailey! What a great find!

      Aria, yeah I laughed out loud when I read “stated exactly” 30 years later we are still working on that.


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