MAZE General Comments

For saying something.

This and that.

 - Image copyright 1985 by Christopher Manson

876 thoughts on “MAZE General Comments

  1. Mazecast crew, would it be alright with you all if I made a video compilation of my favorite Mazecast moments? I’ve been watching it a lot lately in my freetime and I’m making it my goal to get every single one down… and there are quite a lot of memorable exchanges!

    • I can’t speak for everyone but I think that would be a hoot! Glad we are keeping you company. :)

    • (Also, new episode in the works — anyone interested in joining us just let us know here or at info mazecast dot com.)

    • Good god, do it. Maybe you can edit new episodes to make them bearable, too.

    • Vince, you talk about Mazecast like it’s some strange form of torture…

    • See if you can edit older clips of Vince into the newer, Vinceless episodes at appropriate moments, saying things like, “Ha ha! Good joke!” and “You know, that’s very astute!”

    • It’d be funny to edit a mazecast to make Vince agree with Sara the entire time

  2. Although you probably already know this, I still would like to have your opinion on what or how a “bookwheel” could be related to the MAZE? It looks interesting and seems to be worth noting.

    • (sung in Idina Menzel’s voice)
      I can read these but I won’t
      Some lose all logic and others don’t
      There’s a thousand reasons I should go about my day
      And ignore this nonsense which I wish would go away, oh
      I hear the guide’s voice and a ringing in my ear
      Drawn into these- kinds of posts- for which every day I fear
      Everything I’ve ever theorized is here within this site
      I’m sorry, William Brandon, but I’m blocking out your plight
      I’ve had my MAZE burnout, I don’t need something new
      I’m afraid of what I’m risking if I follow you
      Into the abyss
      Into the aby-yss
      Into the abySsSSs
      What do you want? I broke my promise and replied
      Are you here to confuse me, my new abyssal guide
      Or are you a theorist out there who’s a little bit like me?
      Who knows I’ll post stuff like this eventually?
      Every day’s a little harder as I feel my questions grow
      Don’t you know there’s part of me that longs to go
      Into the abyss
      Into the aby-yss
      Into the abyYYYSSS

  3. “Sounds in the Maze” 22:59 – Mazecast nearly finds “flagon.” I almost spat out my drink while listening to this, it was so close-
    I mean, it makes sense why it got swept up in other things, but in retrospect it is interesting to rewatch analysis with context…

    • It is really very nice and generous of you to call it “analysis,” Ritz! That bit IS pretty funny considering how much mileage has since been gotten out of “flagon.” If only we had taken the time to consult the thesaurus!

    • This sheds a lot of light on some questions we’ve brought up. I don’t know where to start.

      It’s hilarious to me Manson might find pleasure in our aggrevation, haha. The last paragraph is fascinating and made me rethink his entire relationship with his fans. The fact that he wrote at all is promising.

    • I’ve been trying to find a way to watch “Prospero’s Books” — can’t even get it at the library. The labyrinth book he mentions is hard to get ahold of as well. But I was happy to have watched Cocteau’s “Beauty and the Beast” — it is beautiful and extremely Mazey. Roussel’s books are dense and challenging but I’ll post some writing of his that explains his process and “strange internal logic” on the blog. It does seem like it could be relevant to MAZE and Manson’s process.

  4. “Every man for himself, and the Devil take the hindmost.” – Dinah Maria Murlock Craik —Somehow, I thought that this should be relatable to the Minotaur and the spoonerism that interestingly spells out “mind host”, from “hindmost”.

    • My bad bro. I accidentally sent the first email to white raven.

    • I seem to be having some technical difficulties at the moment. If you go to, there is a pangram finder, which elaborates on the current discussion.

    • ” My bad bro. I accidentally sent the first email to white raven. ”

      “I seem to be having some technical difficulties at the moment.”

      Ling Long Bing Bong Dingedy Dong McBong

    • room 45_j q x – room 44_j q x – room 43_x z – room 42_j q z – room 41_j q x z – room 40_j x – room 39_q v x z – room 38_j q k x z – room 37_j x z – room 36_j q x z – room 35_j q x z – room 34_j k q x -room 33_j q – room 32_j z – room 31_j q x z – room 30_q x z – room 29_j x z – room 28_x z – room 27_j q z – room 26_!!! – room 25_j x z – room 24_j q x – room 23_j q x – room 22_z – room 21_q x z – room 20_j q v x z – room 19_j x z – room 18_j q v x z room 17_j q x – room 16_j q z – room 15_q x z – room 14_x z – room 13_j – room 12_x z – room 11_j q x z – room 10_j q x z – room 9_q v x z – room 8_j q x z – room 7_j q x z – room 6_q z – room 5_j q x z – room 4_j q x z – room 3_j q z – room 2_j q x z – room 1_j x -

    • Well, nevertheless, I think it’s interesting that the Room 26 text contains all 26 letters.

    • @vewatkin – I thought this might be a more explainable format to decipher.

      (1) (40) – j, x
      (2) (4) (5) (7) (8) (10) (11) (31) (35) (36) (41) – j q, x, z
      (3) (42) (16) (27) – j, q, z
      (6) – q, z
      (9) (39) – v, x, z
      (12) (14) (28) (43) – x, z
      (prologue) (17) (23) (24) (44) (45) – j, q, x
      (18) (20) – j, q, v, x, z
      (19) (37) (25) (29) – j, x, z
      (22) – z
      (26) – pangram
      (32) – j, z (title page) – f, j, q, x
      (33) – j, q (cover) – q, x
      (34) – j, q, k, x (directions) – q
      (38) – j, q, k, x, z

    • That is pretty helpfully formatted. This conversation has been broken up between a few different threads now, so I’ll note here:

      What this demonstrates is that across the book, generally, page text tends to contain all but a handful of the letters of the alphabet–and the ones that are missing are, with rare exception, letters with the lowest frequency in English. In other words, there doesn’t seem to be anything particularly peculiar going on with letter inclusions across the book.

      In terms of Room 26, this can be viewed a couple different ways. On the one hand, including only a couple common words (e.g. patroniZing, eXits) can be enough to make a text pangrammatic, which demonstrates that it would be easy enough to achieve this by accident. On the other hand, Manson wrote 45+ pages of text here without that ever occurring but once, and it happened in a place where it has some connection to the room number and perhaps the preceding room.


      I DUNNO

  5. Besides the first one featured on the front cover, I have found two other slices of the pi(e) references. The second one is from the weight of the book itself (1.43) and I discovered the third section of the pi(e), in room 26; from which (with your approval) I will send via email.

    • The weight. Of the book.

      The weight of the book.

      The weight of the. Book.

      The. Weight of the book.

      Well, I had my doubts, but I can officially confirm that WBM is not being serious.

    • I am being serious and as genuinely sincere as I can possibly be. Why do you hate me so much? And about room 26; among the 45 rooms within MAZE, it’s the only page that includes all 26 letters of the alphabet. B

    • !

      Wow, that is interesting! That Room 26′s text contains all the letters, I mean. Incredible observation!

    • A total of 8 holoalphabetic occurrences are possible upon entering room 26.

    • Room 1 and room 40, do not have the letter “ j “ or the letter “ x “ .

    • What are “holoalphabetic occurrences,” and where are the eight of them?

    • Cling clang clong. Itty bitty witty pitty. * strokes chin wisely and nods slowly* Ding dong bing bong. That’s a remedy.

    • I understood what the words in your comment meant, but I don’t know what you mean by them. There aren’t eight pangrams in the book.

  6. You know vewatkin, I’m also a person that has beliefs which are considered “abnormal” and you probably do too. You probably think “oh none of these will ever understand”. That is pretty much what I thought throughout my life, because everyone is too ignorant. And I doubt its different from any individual person.

    They probably told you some kinds of teachings which seems very very logical. But I tell you, it’s just a trick.

    I’m not 100% certain they teach you abnormal things, but I doubt they don’t. B

    • It’s not like we’ve been tricked, we just disagree with the lengths you go to- especially if they are disingenuous and intended for provocation.
      I’m sorry if your feelings were hurt or something. But say someone goes on a science blog and starts excessively posting about how the world is shaped like a hamburger, telling the people who try to deal with that they are blindfolded against the truth…? Like, what??

      Keep whatever opinions you want but just… really. Please calm down. This is a community, not your stomping ground.

    • You’re coming across as bitter and hostile because the other users on this site don’t agree with you. There is no hidden agenda, or lack of understanding.

    • Thank you for pointing out that I need to clarify this.

    • I’m not sure WBM is saying what everyone is responding to as if he said it, but I’m not totally sure what he is saying either. Like with his puzzle suggestions, his allusions are a little too opaque for me to fully comprehend.

      So, I’m not sure whether I’m responding relevantly to what you said, or to what others have taken you to have meant, but here goes:

      I do have an agenda on The Abyss besides working with others to discover new things about Maze. And that is, I want to do what I can to limit the acceptance of wild nonsense by the Maze fan community. To that end, I try to respond skeptically whenever there are signs that something crazy is being bolstered. For instance, when Aria pops up to say that something ridiculous is “confirmed,” or that “we know” such and such, I don’t want other users, especially new users, to see those claims and mistake them for the community consensus, or rational.

      The proliferation of nonsense surrounding Maze goes back a long time, and is deeply entrenched. You can find old blogs and reviews regarding Maze that make references to things on Gentile’s website as demonstrating the complexity of Maze–Gentile’s website was almost wholly nonsensical, but there was nothing much else out there. Now, you see the same type of thing happening, with reference to the Abyss, which is less crazy than Gentile’s website but still full of all kinds of insanity. In my personal experience, I have known of several people, who I otherwise would have expected to be interested in Maze, who have looked at the comments on the Abyss and decided, nope, this crazy garbage is not for them. I suspect this kind of thing happens a lot when someone hear about this cool old puzzle book called Maze: they do some googling to see what it is about, find this website, and after reading a few “solutions” are left with the impression that Maze is really, really stupid.

      Of course, it’s also problematic if people see that stuff and think, “Oh, cool, let’s see what else we can find that’s like this stuff!” Not problematic in the sense that it does any harm if someone wants to sit around cooking up silly readings of Maze–it’s problematic from the perspective of someone (me, for instance) who would really like to see as many people as possible working together to try to unravel as much of the mystery of Maze as possible. If the Abyss is either misleading people into thinking crazy things, or turning people off by suggesting Maze is about crazy things, it’s reducing the resources available for this goal.

      None of this is to say that I think I know best what kinds of interpretations about Maze are correct, or that I think I even have a good handle on it. I’m not trying to position myself as the arbiter of Maze interpretation integrity by virtue of spending way, way too much time reading and posting here. It’s not about what I know about Maze or how smart I am. It’s about persistently calling out obvious absurdity.

      Now, the people advocating for absurd positions are obviously not in agreement about how obvious the absurdity is, but I don’t know what to tell you about that. I don’t feel like I’m making any close calls when I say that the majority of your suggestions are patently absurd, for instance. My experience with Gentile and Aria informs me that I don’t know how to bridge that gap and reach a common understanding about what constitutes absurdity, but I’m no less convinced of the absurdity of all of your positions.

      Well, there we go, everything cleared up, nothing left to be upset about.

    • I think your Mazecast blog post constitutes a common understanding to anyone willing to accept puzzle logic. Something could not have been intended if Manson didn’t, you know, intend it.
      That blog post really helped bring me back down to earth when I first came here. I mean, some of my ideas are still weird, but I try to run it by the reverse method you illustrated in that post for the most part.

    • I don’t think it’s a stretch, it’s the closest thing to a guideline on how to interpret Maze if ever there was one. Puzzles usually come with specific guidelines but Manson has provided only general guidelines, and I think you have done a splendid job of trying to illustrate the importance of specificity here. It sobered ME up on Maze propaganda!

    • Owen Hammer’s summary of the rationale of the actual solutions, from four thousand years ago, is worth a lot more than an essay begging people to be less of a specific kind of silly.

    • The MAZE fandom would just dissolve without the birdfinder. But we’re coming apart at the seams because we have no vasefinder.

    • I’m trying to imagine what “MAZE fandom” would mean in a world without the birdfinder. It’s like trying to imagine music without sound.

    • Okay, so: unless I’m mistaken, there are three keys in the Maze. (And one keystone.) Each key is on a different “tier” (path, loop, trap). And each of the rooms in that tier with a key is pretty vital.

      PATH key: Room 29, room with hidden door.
      TRAP key: Room 38, see ape nose room.
      LOOP key: Room 33 (important for the reasons you pointed out in 17)

      Of course, these are different rooms from the 17 connections… but still, I find it interesting! 17 seems to connect to the cores of clue paths (45, 6, 33) while these rooms are like, structurally important. Also, 17 couldn’t connect to 29 because that’s where you get there from.

      29 accesses the second half of the path, 33 is… 33, essentially the center of the loop, and 38 is right in the break of the key, telling you there’s no way out. These rooms are very important to the composition of each tier, and they all contain key imagery.

    • It feels like all these “key” discussions will make a lot more sense once we know what the heck is going on with 33. Everything we find now seems to come right back to it.

    • Hm. Well, I’m sure it means something else within its own puzzle in 33. But maybe there’s some explanation for its shape.

    • Do loop puzzles even direct us to the correct door?
      I mean, some do, right?
      Why in the world would Manson make SOME puzzles tell you where to go, and some not?? That’s really really…

    • I see. I wasn’t sure what you mean by “the ‘key’ rooms.”

      The keys do all seem to occur at funnel points. Anyone who lands in 43 or 22 (and there are a fair number of doors leading there) will have to go through 38 thereafter. (Of course, the same is true of 40, 11, and 24, to a greater extent. But at least 38 is like the gateway between the two parts of the Trap. I guess.)

      33 is where everyone has to pass through who landed in 36, 16, or 35; or took the wrong door in 17. OF COURSE, again, the same is true of all the necessary rooms between 33 and 10. (From 10 you could go to 14 and then the Trap, so that’s as far as you are absolutely forced to travel along the Loop.)

      And then 29, of course, is the only way to reach the back half of the Path. And the same is true of 17 and 45, but, again, whatever.

      Of the three, 38 seems like the least special room to its respective tier. “SEE APE NOSE” is one warning among at least three, potentially more if we could make sense of 22 or 6 or 11.

    • Well, the way I see it, talking about “correct” doors in the Loop is a questionable extension of the term “correct.” I don’t mean that it’s wrong–I do the same thing all the time. But 41 is not the right door in Room 10 in the same sense that 26 is the right door in Room 1.

      The 16-step path is the only series of steps that forms part of the solution to Maze. The door choices along that path are correct in that they form part of that solution.

      We talk about Loop rooms having correct solutions in that they get us closer to Room 1, where we have to start over. But in terms of solving the book, it doesn’t really matter whether you travel from 21 all the way back to 1, or whether you just jump into 24 and die and then start over.

      If part of the point of the Loop is to distract and confuse the reader, then it’s reasonable that it’s full of clues pointing in every which direction, not just ones pointed away from 1. Any time you spend in the Loop is a “waste” of your time, in the sense of solving the book, and Manson’s misdirection could plausibly be aimed more at moving the reader around in circles than in pushing them in a straight line away from 1.

      FOR MY MONEY, my small small amount of money, we don’t know enough about puzzles in the Loop to make a good prediction about how it’s direction/misdirection works, except that it includes at least some puzzles that point in the “wrong” direction.

    • Maybe the missing periods are a reference to the Room 1 statement that they don’t want to be late.

    • Heh.
      Vince, what’s your take on the “curated” loop solutions? Do you suppose many of them are fabricated?

  7. Has anybody else had problems pasting things in and then posting them in the past? ITA drops the connection everytime I try.

    • I haven’t had any issues pasting things in here. I don’t think I’ve ever encountered anything like that on any website.

      Oh, maybe I’m misunderstanding. What exactly is happening, and what are you trying to paste in?

  8. WHAT about MANSON’s drawing style, such as the HATching and cross HATching techniques (among others), THAT can be observed thru owt the IVIAZE?

  9. Can I assume there’s a millionaire fan of Maze that is having the actual house built somewhere?

    • There are several types of commentators on this website:

      1. The members of Mazecast, satellite members, and other major contributors who either still post here, or left forever/indefinitely (Beelz, Hello Gregor, Brent H.)

      2. Occasional puzzle pilgrims who google for Maze and find this place, and make sparse but still reasonable contributions (Kon Tiki, Moleman, etc) who exhibit a fair understanding of the style of puzzles in Maze.

      3. David Gentile, exhibiting the same style of post over the years, under different nicknames, ranging from thought-provoking to downright gibberish.

    • I guess that didn’t directly answer your question. “Recent past”, well, you’ve been here the recent past, you can see who’s posted!

    • Breaking in the new comment page with a serious question about the buzz of activity dying down!

      I guess by these definitions I’m a form of puzzle pilgrim? Cool title lol. I uhhhhhhh don’t think I actually qualify due to not being very good at lateral thinking… but I’m glad I technically fit into the Not Terrible category!

    • Oh, haha, I was going to just say “past” but I remembered how long this community has been around. The Abyss doesn’t encapsulate all of that, though.
      Looking through comments around 2014/5, solving the Maze was kind of an “event,” right? Like, with points and all that? Interesting. I bet that pulled a lot of people in…

    • Well we had some younger readers but I think they mostly asked questions.

      And yes, people came up with solutions and White Raven would tell people whether he thought they were correct.

    • It actually really makes me sad that I missed both the actual monetized maze contest as well as the secondary event that you mentioned. They’re both the kind of thing that excite me, but I only showed up when all the bits I was smart enough to solve had been solved.

    • I mean, there’s still stuff to be solved though.
      I don’t even know if it is about comprehension.
      Like, I’ve spent so long with this book and the first solid thing I find? Through RHYMEZONE.

  10. To paraphrase the great Le Petomane Joseph Pujol who, like me, seemed to be alone on the stage and our backsides had more to say than our faces, and I quote….


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