Room 1

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…the entrance hall of the Maze.

They looked carefully at the bronze doors, trying to choose. The uncertainty of visitors is one of my little pleasures.

“It’s easy to get lost,” I said helpfully. “This can be a sinister place.” The sun glared at me through the gateway.

Something was ringing behind one of the doors. They spent some time trying to decide which door it was, not understanding that the silences of the Maze are as eloquent as the sounds.

“Decisions, decisions,” one said. “Too many decisions.”

“The story of my life,” said another.

“We don’t want to be late,” said a third, opening one of the doors.

“Nary a soul to be seen,” said the first, peering into the gloom.

I waited patiently for them to choose which way to go … into…

 - Images and text copyright 1985 by Christopher Manson
used with permission. [Purchase MAZE from Amazon]

 

Room Type:  PATH     Doors:  20  21  26  41

Solution Summary: [COLLECTION CURATED BY WHITE Raven. SEE COMMENTS FOR ADDITIONAL SOLUTION PROPOSALS.]

● The correct door is 26. [Credit: Unknown - during the 1985 contest.]

● The part of the Riddle of the Path in this room is “LIKE” spelled out on the scroll hanging on the wall. [Credit: Unknown - prior to 1990.] The symbols on the door (drum, cup, bottle, apple) spell out DCBA the opposite of ABCD. [Credit: Unknown - prior to 1990.] The backwards order of DCBA is intended to clue us to look for backwards letters elsewhere – leading to the identification “LIKE” spelled backwards on the scroll. [Credit: Vewatkin]

● The words over the door “Story,” “Tale,” (rearranged as Late) “Yarn,” (rearranged as Nary) are mentioned in the text. Not mentioned is “Fable” so this is the correct door. [Credit: Raphael Vanier]

● In the papers on the floor is “Go 17″ a possible reference to the hidden door. [Credit: Raphael Vanier]

● In the papers on the floor is “HI”. [Independent Credit: White Raven / David G]

● In the papers on the floor is a smiley face. [Credit: David G]

● The drawing easel: Every time you return to this room it is “back to the drawing board.” [Credit: vewatkin]

● The right hand curled end of the scroll with “IN” or “HI” on it looks like a 2. The left hand curled end of the scroll right next to it looks like a 6. 2&6=26 the number of the correct door. Also the “IN” suggests we go in via this door. [Credit: David Gentile] Between the 2 and the 6 is an upside down F reinforcing “Fable” as the correct door. The scroll with the “IN” when viewed upside down also has a 6 on the end opposite the 2 – another 26. [Credit: White Raven]

Red Herrings:

Through Door 41 the doll’s hair is YARN.
Through Door 21 the bird is turned to show its tail/TALE
Through Door 20 the newspaper perhaps suggests STORY while the tortoise perhaps recalls an Aesop FABLE
Through Door 26 the stage is playing a FABLE or STORY

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89 thoughts on “Room 1

  1. In the papers on the floor is a smiley face. [Credit: David Gentile]

    In the papers on the floor is “HI”. [Independent Credit: White Raven / David Gentile]

    I have to ask. Why is these here?

    LIKE(0)
    • R U asking why manson added something fun like this to say hello to people? Or why WR thought it was worth putting up as a solution? Or are you wondering if it is part of a trail or something?

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    • Why did WR include it. It’s not a solution to anything. There are a few other “water is wet” style comments too.

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    • It’s included in the room, so maybe it’s a clue to something we haven’t solved yet. Are there other rooms with notable greetings?

      LIKE(0)
    • Sure, could be part of something else but if not, why not have it here? It’s fun that CM tossed it in, isn’t it?

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    • Because if we include every observation people make that are not clues to get to the next room or the identity of the guide, then we’re no longer solving maze, we’re just making observations.

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    • It seems really clear that CM put it in on purpose as a way to say hello to readers in the first room. Its fun and interesting. The smile and the hi are hidden so its a riddle where the solution is “Hi from the author!”

      LIKE(0)
    • I take it all back, there might be something to smileys after all, they appear in many rooms. Wouldn’t that be awesome if the chagrinned (pun intended) smiley in room one ends up cracking the guide riddle. Doubt it, but hey.

      - Smiley face in 1 (i still can’t see it, but whateves)
      - Foolish grin in room 4.
      - Smile in 8 over unmarked door.
      - Smiling guy in 12
      - Smiling jester in 16
      - Maybe the tortoise is smiling in 20. Sort of. No.
      - Smiling guy in 28
      - Smiling upside down guy in 29 or he’s just dizzy.
      - Comedy mask in 36
      - The bear and crocosmile might or might not be smiling in 42 and 44. I’m gonna say no.

      I feel like the commonalities in rooms might have something to do with it as well. Although WR said “symbol”, I think he’s just using a stand in word to not give it all up. There’s got to be something up with repeating umbrellas, batons, the toy duck appearing twice, etc. Top hat guy appearing a bunch of times. Maybe form rebuses out of objects that repeat? Sorry for asking more questions than answering.

      LIKE(0)
    • All those stray smiles disenchant me with the prospect of a smile path. It’s interesting that so many are connected, though.

      LIKE(0)
  2. The piece of paper sticking out from under 21 has what looks like an O on it, cut off by the door. But what that leaves us with is a C. C, for cup! Not just for Catwoman anymore.

    LIKE(1)
  3. Though I prefer the idea of DCBA cluing backwards letters and thereby pointing to [LIKE], another plausible idea I’m surprised didn’t occur to me sooner is that the the correct door number here, 26, is the number of letters in the alphabet, and we have here a simple suggestion of the alphabet.

    They’re not incompatible, of course, and there may be something in the fact that all the crazy symbols that are not letters have been thrown on the floor, with the exception on whatever’s being worked on right now on the easel, so it’s like alphabetic symbols yea, other symbols nay, and…nah, that doesn’t really work, does it? Plus, a lot of those symbols on the floor look a heck of a lot like letters, so that’s not even a plausible divide.

    Nevertheless, it could be as simple as ABCD–>alphabet–>26 letters–>26; and they could be backwards for the reason already noted.

    LIKE(2)
    • This occurred to me as well on the weekend. What makes it even more compelling is the etymology of the word “alphabet” — it comes from the Greek “alpha” and “beta,” and A and B appear consecutively in “FABLE.”

      LIKE(0)
  4. Some reinforcement for this part of the solution to room one:

    The words over the door “Story,” “Tale,” (rearranged as Late) “Yarn,” (rearranged as Nary) are mentioned in the text. Not mentioned is “Fable” so this is the correct door. [Credit: Raphael Vanier]

    happens if there ARE exactly 4 guests. Then we could suppose that one guest is looking at each of the 4 doors. 3 of them then speak a word associated with their door, “story”, “nary”, “late”, but the 4th guest at the correct door remains silent and unheard from in the dialog which talks about the eloquence of silences in the Maze.

    Yes, I still think we can get “A bell” from “Fable” and the “L” on the floor, but there is no SPOKEN word that corresponds to Fable.

    LIKE(0)
    • It is hard to say how many guests there are but I find the idea compelling that three guests speak and one remains mute. It really fits what is going on in this room. Hmm…

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  5. Reading the passage to this room, I looked up Cerberus, which is a three-headed dog from mythology. I “guessed” that Fable would be the door to enter since Cerberus is a myth.

    LIKE(0)
  6. Clues from the narrator vs. clues left in the rooms? Which has more weight? The narrator says “helpfully” “This can be a sinister place” The right door is on the left side of the room. But he also says the sun Glares at him through the gateway. If he is facing the door, his left faces the right side of the room. Is the narrator reliable in reverse? His account of the events contains “Story” Yarn and Tale” He cues toward ALL the wrong doors. Is the narrator sinister? Do we need to do the opposite of all his suggestions? Clues left in the room seem to be reliable if we take it that the four have previously looped through, and marked which paths NOT to take. An easel pointing to 20, a scrap of paper marking off 21. But that would mean that there could never be a market against 24, (there seems not to be, once in, you can’t leave a marker warning against going there, But by that same token, there could never be a marker against any of the rooms on the trap loop, because there is no way back. In room 14, there is a marker beside 43, This could only have been left by the voyagers if there were some way back from the trap loop.

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  7. From podcast 12: The alphabetical images on the doors, going in reverse order (right to left), are an indication to look for backwards letters.

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    • I say it on the podcast.

      I also note in the podcast that the writing style on the paper is evocative of Asian calligraphy. It occurred to me later that that would also give reason to look for writing in columns going downward.

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    • Vewatkin,

      Well, slap me silly and call me Sally! Brilliant! Bumping it up to seven!

      White Raven

      LIKE(1)
  8. “I waited patiently for them to choose which was to go … into…”

    Don’t know how I missed it: WAS should be WAY

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    • vewatkin,

      Please pass your reward back through the slot in the brick wall. :)

      Thank you for seeing this and for all your editing work!!!

      White Raven

      LIKE(0)
  9. The curled edge on the paper that has “IN” written on it looks like a “2″ if you turn the book over. The bit of paper with the F/L on it has an edge that looks like a “6″. 2,6 = 26.

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    • David Gentile,

      Took me a minute to see it but dang if it ain’t there! I’m putting it on the summary and adding an image so others can see it. Good eyes!

      White Raven

      LIKE(1)
    • Since you have one smiley face listed – not sure if you want another one – the F/L can also be a smile… and there is other misc stuff on my page, which are not correct exit indicators.

      LIKE(0)
    • One more related bit to the In/Hi. The = signs seems to say which letter to read first. =Like. =17. =Go. =IN. (There is also a second “Hi/41″ below door 26 and between the two *s) and that is the “Hi” I originally thought you meant, and I originally meant.

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  10. The person we presume to be Hidden Mystery on a blog page notes that the letters of FABLE taken alphanumerically sum to 26. Is this a clue that FABLE takes us to door 26? That was my first dismissive thought. But, if we note that it is the only door for which that is true, then it could be considered to be a true indicator of the correct door.

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    • Unless it figures into something else, do you think the focus on “lesson” in the prologue is a pre-indicator of “fable”? It is the distinguishing characteristic of fables, as opposed to stories or tales or yarns, that they contain moral lessons. (Any kind of narrative can contain such a message, of course, but it’s what fables are all about and defined by.)

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    • VW, I’ve been thinking along these lines recently and did a search to see if anybody else mentioned it. To expand on this: Fable is typically the shortest of the 4 narrative types above the doors. So, if we’re looking for the shortest path then fable seems like a logical choice…. And as you mention, Fable is defined as having a moral. A moral is designed to keep someone on the straight and narrow path and avoid bad decisions. All this could be seen as an indication to take 26 from the get-go. By the way “cup” is also the shortest (word) of the objects on the doors, which could reinforce the shortest/ quickest path idea. Sorry if someone else mentioned this stuff already.

      LIKE(2)
    • Just stopping by here to say I really like the idea that a “FABLE” is the only narrative form out of the four listed to explicitly contain a moral/lesson — and the guide mentions “lesson” twice on the Prologue page. Along with all the other good stuff Kon-Tiki mentions. Surprised not to see this one on the solutions board.

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    • Thanks for the support Aria, I still consider these as strong and valid observations for this room.

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  11. “It’s easy to get lost,” I said helpfully.

    Why yes, thank you, it is. Could we have a map please, maybe an Atlas?

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  12. New material based on last night:

    Additionally, there is even a deeper clue here, but available to first time Maze visitors too, as the gals of podcast zero demonstrated. The arrow on the easel points to the middle of 3 paths. At an advanced stage we can see this to be the Tao, and the balanced path. Initially, however, it indicates the most middling door. 26 is most central, because the doors to the left are presented at an angle to us. Numerically it is also closest to the average 27. I see this as a hint that things do not always add up perfectly in Maze, and yet there is still enough information to get the right answer.

    LIKE(0)
  13. Not that we need more for room 1, but I suspect this is legit:

    (Everyone playing the Abyss drinking game: take a drink! Vince said “legit.”)

    The semi-circle of light that falls on the right wall is shaped like the cup on the door to 26. The circular door handle that is enveloped by the semi-circle even matches the circular handle on the cup.

    LIKE(2)
  14. The doors A,B,C,D send you progressively farther forward on the path through MAZE stretching from deep in the Loop, up to 1 and around the figure 8. “A” dumps you way back deep in the Loop. “B” sets you one step backwards in the Loop. “C” the correct door moves you one step forward on path, and “D” brings you to the “Omega” room.

    Interestingly room 41 is the “B” door here. It is also the “B” door in 10 on the other side of it. Just an observation at this point.

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  15. Another not completely straight foward bit from Mr. Manson, who recently returned an e-mail, Nothing new Maze realted except this:

    I am happy you find the book entertaining, certainly; I have always found it so. In reference to your comment on room 1, you do know that “nary” is a re-arrangement of “yarn” and “late” is actually “tale”, which sort out with “story” and “fable”?

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    • It sounds to me like he does not intend there to be a further clue about which door to take, beyond the anagramming of door labels.

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    • Except it avoided my direct questions (but not posting that) – OK so non-cryptic. From my point of view the only information is that the 4 words “sort out” together. Which fits with what I have said about the door clue not just being about 3 words in the text, and that there are 4 parts to this. But your milage may vary.

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    • But in general what I was asking about was solution metohds since I thought he might have more to say about those than actual solutions. Instead of answering anything about methods, he answered with a solution example.

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  16. “Ii is easy to get lost” may help with “Atlas” in the next room. On the easel the “arrow” is a false clue to 20. But it also points to that symbol. That symbol could be many things, but not an A, B, or D. It could be a “C” however, and is another true clue. The text starting with “The uncertainty of visitors is one of my little pleasures” occurs in the text here, and in 24 we have “By the time my uncertain visitors turned…” – That sadistic bastard! Lol.

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    • Congratulations David Gentile,

      In the guidebook I have the “HI” hinted to as “a friendly greeting” but I did not see the smiley face. I am changing it to “two friendly greetings” and giving you credit.

      White Raven

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  17. A visual pun in this room, unrelated to its solution, just occured to me:

    Everytime you come back to 1, it’s “back to the drawing board.”

    LIKE(1)
    • vewatkin,

      Even though there is less evidence for this than most of phrases Manson has hidden (he usually make them more overt) this is so very much like the phrases found elsewhere that I am persuaded that you are correct. Congratulations, quite a find!

      White Raven

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  18. Besides the old clues to 26 like 2 different batches of “odd one in” clues not pointing to 26 and being able to make “A BELL” from “FABLE” here is another directional – the text says “too many”. Three of the choices could be ‘Two, none”, “Two, one” and “Two, many”. “Two, many (6)” is the right choice.

    LIKE(0)
  19. Here is an alternative solution:

    Door 20 is marked by being mentioned on the back cover.
    Door 41 is marked by bearing the bottle icon, which also appears on the gate.
    Door 21 is marked with a scrap of paper under it.

    Therefore, 26 is the correct door.

    LIKE(0)
  20. Let’s add the stuff that is already known, so that it is all here in one place.

    Room 1 Solution: Complete.
    First room of the path – The hidden word is “Like,” found on the paper on the left wall.

    The correct door is 26. This is indicated by a word puzzle. Over the doors are the words, Yarn, Story, Tale, Fable. In the text the words Story, Nary (Yarn mixed up), Late (Tale mixed up) are mentioned. Fable is not mentioned, and as the text says, the silences are as eloquent as the sounds. Which means we choose the door that was not mentioned (silence).

    The papers on the floor say “Go 17.” giving a hint as to how to do the 16 room path.

    The four doors have symbols on them, drum, cup, bottle, apple (ABCD); this is a red herring.

    LIKE(0)
    • The above correct solutions were collected from the now defunct John Bailey site. Thank you Umbrella!

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  21. According to a site I found this room has been pretty well solved I think. The scrolls say, “GO 17.” A hint to look for the hidden enterance to room 17. And the correct door is based on a word riddle involving “story” “yarn” “tale” and “fable.” In the text three of these words (two scrabbled a bit) are used. The unused word corrisponds to the correct door. The word we need to get from this room is “LIKE” written on a scroll on the wall. I wonder if the symbols on the doors mean anything? If only all the rooms were this “solved”…

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