A page for listing and discussing the multitude of objects in MAZE.
Just an observation of mine, but there are a lot of ladders in the maze (even more than the umbrellas I think). Rooms 6, 10, 12, 28, 35, 37, 39, 41, and 43. Some of them support the concept of “higher elevation=better room”, but a lot of them don’t, like 35 above 41, or 12 above 39. Any theories? These ladders aren’t my ideal object of something that would be seen throughout, but they are.
It seems doubtful to me that they have a common significance–as you note, they certainly don’t serve as reliable indicators of good or bad paths. I would guessssssssssss that many or most of them are just a way of changing up the means of inter-room travel. In other cases they make clear which unmarked entrances came from where (presumably?), though why that matters isn’t clear. The ladder in 10, which is not an exit, seems like it must have some puzzle significance, but I’m not aware of any good suggestions for what’s going on in this room generally. The ladder is a step ladder, there are images of dance steps on the other side of the room–but that hasn’t led to anything yet.
I see a ladder in Room 20 as well… hidden in the legs of the telephone table. I think it’s a play on “ring” and “rung.”
The majority of objects (in my opinion) are useless but extra flamboyant so as to distract and detract attention from the bland but important objects
There are references to umbrellas and rain many times such as room 8, room 10, and room 23. There are also umbrellas at the gate and in room 4. What does this mean?
Hey Jacob, scroll down on this page a bit for an extensive discussion of the umbrellas. Feel free to add your thoughts!
Anyone notice that room 12 and room 28 are the same room with the same words?? They do have different numbers, but I found out that they have other small differences as well. 1. The person who is supposedly about to eat has 2 bones on his plate in room 12, but only one in room 28. 2. (I think this one is the most important) The person nearest door number 2 in room number 12 is holding on to something and is pointing 2 fingers at door number 2. Pointing the way perhaps? In room number 28 though, he has put the thing he was holding into the other hand and is pointing one finger at door number 45, the way to the center of the maze. 3. Finally, there is some weird dark thing at the top of door number 43 in room 28, and in room number 12 there is not.
I have looked up multiple answers to room 26 and I want to know why the answer to room 26 is room 30. Plz help!!!
Hi Charlotte! The best way to work out the path is to write out a list of all the connections between rooms, and look for routes that don’t loop back on themselves or get stuck in 24. Working backwards can help, and there are some bottlenecks that are useful for figuring it out too.
There are some proposed alternate ways of figuring out which door to take in a room, but all of them are much more complicated and less certain than the above method, and will leave you in doubt about whether they’re intended even when they happen to match up with it.
I’ve been thinking about the wooden duck with wheels that is in 7 and 39. In 7 it is heading to the right door to take. In 39 it is just on the shelf. Could be this signals being led around like a child’s toy, so that is why it is out on the ground in a room in the loop but on the shelf in the room that is the path. No way to tell, just more crumbs for us maze birds.
OK, let’s talk about umbrellas for a second. SP posted some stuff the other day in Room 8 about the role of the umbrellas that I thought was interesting, in which he suggested that all of the umbrellas tell the truth if you interpret them correctly.
On the other hand we have WR’s interpretation, which can be found in the Prologue section, in the posted solutions: “Also reinforcing this is the umbrella which is a running gag in the book in which the visitors are urged to prepare for rain that never comes.”
I don’t think these two things are necessarily mutually exclusive. It’s true that it never actually rains in MAZE — it gets windy and stormy looking, and the visitors think it “may be” raining in 6 — but we’re never told at any time that it is actually raining, unless you count the implied paint drips in 10 as actual rain. So it is tempting to see the umbrellas as inherently useless and therefore red herrings.
Let’s look at each of the appearances, though.
The umbrella leans against the only door it is possible to take. Also, if you see the door handle as an “r”, and put it together with the doorway, you get the expression “pi r”, which is equal to the circumference of half a circle, which is what you see above the door. So in that way also the umbrella is “telling the truth.”
The tip of the “real” umbrella is hidden, perhaps signalling that we should pay attention to the handle. The handle is an L, and L = 12, the correct door. Also, the handle is in fact pointing at the correct door, more or less. There is also a picture of a parasol in this room, and its pointy tip is pointing at 12. (I find this umbrella to look like a cymbal though… cymbal… symbol… hi-hat… high hat… not sure about this one.)
Umbrella straight-up points to the correct door. Text mentions umbrella. One of the guests actually picks up the umbrella, saying “It may rain where we’re going,” which may refer to the paint on the sign dripping and not actual rain. (If the four posts of the bed are 4 then the umbrella may also be the “1.” (This is problematic because it could clue 14 equally well.)
A guests says, “We should have brought that bumbershoot with us from the coat room.” (The coat room is Room 42, of course.) There are a lot of connections between 23 and 42, which you can find out about in the MAZECASTs about those rooms, particularly Room 23 I think. Not sure there’s a good explanation for why, just pointing out the bumbershoot mention. Don’t know what to do with it exactly, especially since the correct door is the sunny one here. Hmmm. Perhaps the fact that a different term is used is significant.
The umbrella looks like it is pointing to 37. But the fact that you have three stick-like objects collected in one container, which has three toes reminiscent of three arch-shaped doors, can lead you to interpret each stick-like object as being associated with doors 4, 25, and 37 respectively. If this is true, then the umbrella stands for 4, which is the correct door, and the umbrella is telling the truth again.
Are the umbrellas meant to be reliable? What does everybody think?
i straight up like it. maybe WR has other ideas about its function which is why he hasn’t mentioned it when i brought it up.
I doubt that the umbrella is an arbitrary object, and regardless of what the umbrella means I wonder why it does. The reason for the umbrellacs significance could be as simple as some anagram or pun that works in one place in the book and as so obscure that we’ll never find it, or it could be part of a much broader system of symbols involving rain and the sun.
It is not clear at all to me what we are to make of rain and the sun. Though the sun seems to be of importance to the Guide for some reason, and rain is alluded to in seemingly ominous tones, neither rain nor sun seems to provide consistent associations with anything we’ve identified. (By which I mean the sun doesn’t always indicate the right path, nor the wrong path, nor does it always indicate that something peculiarly Guide-related is present, etc. Nor do I see a consistent meaning for rain, though it seems at best ambiguous and never seems straightforwardly tied to a correct door.)
That each umbrella arguably indicates the correct door is noteworthy, though the liberty you have to take in 42 spoils the effect for me.
The umbrellas seem to form part of a consistent narrative, in a way. We have to see the one at the prologue. By the time we reach 23, where the group mentions that they should have taken the umbrella, the group must have been to 42, and the umbrella in there is clearly the one they are referring to. Next, in 8, the Guide suggests they take an unnamed object; it is not clear what he means, but the most obvious object would be the umbrella.
The remaining umbrella is in 10, a room with is deceptively designed to appear both as part of the Path and as part of the umbrella narrative. 10 is the fulfillment of the mystery of the rattling door in 37; our intuition would tell us it HAS to be part of the Path, that it forms a necessary part of the story, that there can’t be a group in 37 unless the group also goes to 10. But our inuition is wrong.
Likewise, it seems like 10 finally fulfills the group’s need to acquire an umbrella–the group takes it from the room, a nearly unique event in the Maze. (The group might take the flowers offered in 19; it isn’t clear and who cares.) So it seems like after bypassing an umbrella, lamenting bypassing an umbrella, and misunderstanding the Guide’s advice to take an umbrella, the group finally acquires an umbrella. But no again! Do not go to 10!
I believe this is a deliberate function of Room 10, but I still don’t know WHY the umbrella was chosen to play this role. It seems of chief importance among recurring objects, and connected to recurring themes of rain and sun, but what any of that is about I don’t know.
English is my first language, I swear.
SP, Vewatkin, Aria,
The phrase, “Also reinforcing this is the umbrella which is a running gag in the book in which the visitors are urged to prepare for rain that never comes.”mostly sums up what I have thought about the umbrella. Since SP’s post I have been reconsidering this position but I have not come to any conclusion. It seems hopeful but not settled enough to be convincing. The only umbrella connection I am really sold on is Room 10.
Prologue: The semi circle over the door is the visual representation of pi, a full circle is 2pi. The expression is not “pi r” (which would be pi times the radius) it is “pi rad” which is 3.14… radians. I am not saying that the handle isn’t an “r” and that there isn’t something going on here, just that if there is something to “r” it isn’t that simple…probably. My memory of high school math is unreliable. Regardless, to me all the umbrella handles look like standard handle types, usually Manson signals a clue by making it unusual.
Room 8: Usually we need some sort of hint that we should be doing alphanumerics. If we do alphanumerics in Room 42 then the two “r” handles plus one for the straight cane = 37.
Room 42: The items in the basket are all held in the hand and the bear’s hand points to 30 so the umbrella could signal door 30 and be a red herring. On the other hand the three toenails really do look like the doors from Room 14 so there could be something to this.
The umbrellas really do appear to mean something but I am uncertain whether they are a series of real clues or just a running gag.
I don’t want to be argumentative but I do need to insist that the equation for the circumference of a full circle is indeed
2 x pi x r
where r = the radius of the circle
Therefore, the equation pi x r gives you half the circumference of a circle, where r is the radius.
I mean, yes, pi radians = 180 degrees, not saying that’s wrong, just saying my statement wasn’t wrong either.
I looked it up and I see that you are correct. Mr. Paulson would be most displeased with me right now. Either “pi r”, “pi rad”, or just “pi” could be used to describe the semi-circle.
Even though the handle doesn’t look different from a ordinary umbrella handle, it does also look like an “r”, that combined with the way it is leaning against the pi symbol in the normal (but not necessary) order (pi before r) is enough to make me think you are probably right about this. Good job!
@aria In 42, the shape of the three toes also resemble the three doors in room 14, and in room 14 door 10 is the correct door. So the umbrella in 42 is also technically telling the true in room 14.
i think the umbrellas form some anagram with other objects in the rooms that they’re in. If they somehow make an anagram alone then the best things that i’ve found are:
UMBRELLA = BULL + MARE (maybe – could hafto do with the Minotaur)
UMBRELLA = LURE + LAMB (uh maybe not) UMBRELLA = MURBELLA (the female character from the heretics of dune thing in 1984)
Maybe it’s time for a bumbershoot episode.
Just out of curiosity, but is your name supposed to be short for Ariadne as in the mythological girl in the Labyrinth?
(Keep up the good work on MazeCast!!!)
Thanks, Derek! RE the name, yep, that was the idea. A little optimistic, maybe… ;-)
The pull toy duck is in both room 39 and room 7
Welcome to The Abyss!
Yes thar’ be ducks! Any theories as to why?
Room 29 and Room 42 both have a salt and pepper shaker labeled S and P. :)
Although, in 42, it’s a pepper grinder. Picky picky! But it’s a salt shaker in both places, and there’s a salt shaker marked S in 26. All on the 16-step path! I can’t think of another recurring object constrained to the Path, come to think of it.
And in both places they are functional clues, not red herrings or “noise.”
Which makes them kind of unusual for repeated objects, I think!
Dice. Dice recur, and only on the path.
S and P plus dice equals “SP Paradise.”
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