Room 11

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…an airy room with many doors. It was a big space, but I still felt crowded. I’ve always hated confinement.

“Whatever you do,” I warned them, “don’t touch that!”

“This must be an important room,” said one of them. “It has more doors than any of the others…”

This was not true but I didn’t want to interrupt.

“With so many paths crossing here we must be close to the center,” she continued.

I had noticed this guest before; I would have to be careful. “This is an important choice,” I said, trying to encourage them.

Gratefully leaving the room behind we walked all the way to…

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


Room Type:  TRAP     Doors:  4  19  24  32  39  40


● The item pinning the note is a golf tee, the top of the note reads “for.” “For” plus “tee” = “forty” indicating we choose that door. The other door leads to Room 24 “The Abyss.” [Independent Credit: Anchorperson Smith | White Raven]  Also when playing golf players yell “fore” before their swing strengthening the “for” “tee” connection. [Credit Anchorperson Smith]

● In the text is the word “felt” which is an anagram for “left.” In this room as well as the other two rooms in which the word “felt” occurs (25, 34) the correct door is the the left door. [Independent Credit: Aria / Beelzebibble]

● The far right and left screws are level but the two screws facing the viewer are angled to line up with door 40. [Credit: David G / White Raven]

● The bell is a square (4) topped with a circle (0). This is emphasized by the bell being mounted with four screws and the circle of the bell being outlined by a rim. [Independent Credit: Aria / White Raven] Perhaps in support of this, the sign can be seen as a square and the head of the tee a circle. [Credit: Aria]


62 thoughts on “Room 11

  1. I stared at this room for hours then I saw that the sign says STA-RING. The room is staring back at me!

    • Grandpa Carnegie,


      You have been approved and may now post freely.

      Welcome to The Abyss!

      White Raven

  2. One thing left in here. What could it be?

    The thoughtful one annoys the Guide when she talks about being close to the centre. Why? Even if by some weird quirk of layout Room 11 actually is close to Room 43, the centre of the House — this seems unlikely based on what analysis has been done on how the House is arranged but I am not sure you can rule it out completely — you still can’t get there from here. So why would the Guide feel like he has to be careful based on the guest’s statement about being close to the centre?

    Since the best door in here is 40, and 40 is close to 43 numerically (much closer than 24, obviously) — perhaps that’s what we’re supposed to take from this exchange. It’s a hint to take the door that is closest to the centre, numerically.

    Not sure what else could be going on here! It seems to me that the wires on the floor are shying away from door 24 and running down the mouse-hole, a kind of warning to run away from that door, but that’s more a feeling than a riddle. Maybe we’re supposed to equate fleeing into that hole with escaping through door 40 with its hole-like zero.

    The fact that the room looks like a trap or cage is obviously meant to tell us we are trapped, but that’s been noticed by everyone who looked at this room for more than a second. People have looked for letters in the wires of the grating to no avail. Anyone have any other ideas?

    Meanwhile, here’s a silly golf one just for fun: the 4 in 40 looks like one of those little triangular golf flags marking a hole, and the zero itself is the hole. Hitting the ball into the hole is the goal in golf, so door 40 is your goal here in the golfiest room in the Maze.

    • I always took that line about the center (or at least the Guide’s anxiety about it) to be in reference to the Abyss.

      Unrelated, and it must have been mentioned before, but FOR-TE kind of jumps right out of that sign….

  3. You could think of 40 as being a square and a circle. Four is a square, and a square has four sides, zero is a circle (obviously). There do seem to be several prominent square/circle combinations in the room. The most prominent is the bell, which we are told is going to help us, and which is a circle on top of a square. The four screws at the corners emphasize the four-ness of the base. The sign and tee are also a circle and square — the sign is square and the tee has a circular top. The grate is made up of a bunch of (admittedly distorted) squares made up of wires with round cross sections.

    Another thing. All the wire ends up above on the right side point away from 24. On the left side at least one points directly at 40. (None of them point directly at 24.)

    • Down at the bottom of the image, you have two real wires and two shadow wires (4) going into a hole in the floor (0).

    • Aria,

      Congratulations! Bumping the solve meter up one! It hadn’t occurred to me to tie in the tee-sign. Nicely done!

      White Raven

  4. There’s definitely intentional stuff going on with the wires.
    I’m seeing a pretty clear devil’s pitchfork at the bottom, just to the right of the hole, pointing to 24.

    Also seeing sort of a trefoil knot at the top, just as the wires start to get tangled.

    (Lots of letters, too, of course.)

  5. Technically, both rooms are correct, and wrong. Room 11 is part of the trap set. People are correct that the wires indicate a mess in room 24, but it is also the way to escape the trap, by entering the real trap and ending your game. It’s a paradox.

  6. Apologies if this has been spotted…

    The screws at the top match up to hands on a clock the first is 3. The send is 6 and 12. The third is 2 and 8. The fourth is 9. These add up to 40.
    It might be a coincidence, but for me it’s significant that two of the screws only form half hands.

    • Chris Berry,

      Welcome to The Abyss!

      A fascinating suggestion but wouldn’t the first and last screw be 3 AND 9?

      And if not then wouldn’t the second screw be 12 (because it is on the left) and the third be 2 (because it is on the right)?

      Perhaps something in the room gives a rationale?

      White Raven

  7. David Gentile previously emailed me this solution:

    “Some of the screws point to door 40.”

    This is visible on the header image of this page. The far right and left screws are level but the two screws facing the viewer are angled to line up with door 40. Congratulations David!

    White Raven

    • The lower left screw on the buzzer panel seems to point toward 40 as well. Since the screws do a lot of pointing all over and crossing over doors, I’m not too impressed that some of them cross over 40, but it interesting to note that none of them (by my geometry) cross over 24.

      If there’s something to this, I suspect it’s tied into the discussion of paths crossing here; if we extend the grooves on the screwheads we get a series of lines extending all over the page, many of them crossing at or near Room 40, all of them seeming to eschew Room 24. I’m a little leery of this interpretation if only because the text is kind of ambiguous about whether the crossing of paths implies anything good or not. (Then again, whether going to Room 40 accomplishes anything good or not is kind of up for grabs as well.)

      Extending the grooves on the screw heads is a little tricky in two dimensions, since the heads are curved and the screws themselves arranged at different angles; I would welcome a steadier hand to check against my figuring here on what it looks like to extend them out.

    • @vewatkin If you extend them, they should reach all of the unmarked doors, perhaps signifying that assistance (as said in the for assistance sign) is on the path/loop. (so it is also impossible to reach)

    • I didn’t check Greg’s count when I posted that. After I posted, I counted, re-counted, re-counted, and then Greg confirmed that the numbers didn’t work out. Greg then said that you actually had to count the two 4s as well, I guess because they include crossed lines. I was iffy on the prior solution, but in this new form I wasn’t going to bother writing it at all.

      For the sake of those reading along now, though: count the wires in the grate, the electrical wires, the doors, and the 4s, and you get 40! Wow, what are the odds that you could add together the numbers of a bunch of stuff in the room and eventually come up with a door number?

  8. Did anyone notice that in the wires, there is a ’21′. I’m not sure what this would mean.
    [How old am I? Mentally of physically?]
    The answer, in the text, is 40 (truth or lie, you must decide)
    Yes, I will answer that.

  9. An airy room with many doors. It was a big space but I still felt crowded.

    Gratefully leaving the room behind we walked all the way to

    2 double “LL” And 3 double “oo” enough to make 4 “lO” = 40.

  10. I have not written up all the tree of life stuff – that will take time. But I just added this bit while updating 11.

    Manson has placed a tree of life from Kabbalah and alchemy in the Maze. (See intro. section) This room is one of the “nodes” or “sephira”. The rooms along the center stem generally emphasize decisions and/or choices (The many branches or paths that connect to the center stem). This room gives us “this is an important choice” and “trying to encourage them” which closely matches the language in room 5, which is also on the center stem of the tree. The many doors here echo the many doors in room 4, another room on the center stem of the tree. “Choices and decisions” also play a role in the main room 1 puzzle.
    This “sephira” is the lowest one, the farthest one from the emanations of God. It is associated with the lowest body parts, either feet of anus, where waste is removed, and I guess if we head into room 24 here, that might be what we are. It relates to the physical world of “earth” and again the next step down seems to be under earth then or the underworld. I have found it described as the negative node on an electric circuit, which recycles energy back to the upper nodes, and this fits with what we see here. “Lowliness” is used to describe this sephira as well, and that may fit with the small stature we have here. One source says that we may be stuck here for a while but eventually the archangel that watches this area will present one with some sort of “key” that will allow travel to other spheres. This fits well with the shape of the trap as a key, and the fact that our guide will allow us to escape here once we have learned enough.

  11. The tangle of wires is all on 24′s side of the room, suggesting a mess that way. Although, the fact that there are two wires could correspond to the two doors. The hand on the assistance paper looks like it’s actually pointing at the wires. Four rows on the top of the cage, maybe the squares are zeroes. I see a T, an A, and a P in the twister things at the edges. Might spell trap.

    • HA – follow the wires. The one that goes down the hole on 40s side actually connects to the bell. The other wire does not. It IS the 40 door bell. lol.

    • Yep. I think on the left it might be “T”, “A”, “r”. Then “P” sideways on right.

    • I see the T and A very clearly; I might need some assistance with an R/r and P.

      Maybe in the doorbell wires?

    • “r” is lower case. Right after T and A. P is on right side. 3rd one counting up. Stem goes left, and loop part is to the right.

    • Or maybe door bells pair with closed doors like 40? Not with open doors like 24? Dunno

  12. Anchorperson Smith notes that we have a golf tee and “for” and that is 40, and White Raven tells us this is half of two puzzles for door 40 here. The other half seems to be that we have a “doorbell” and we have “bell” on the sign. “Doorbell” – “bell” = door. With the first part we have “door 40”.
    There is a “wire” roof and there is the doorbell “wire”, and we have strongly cautioned not to touch it. It must be a “live wire”. “Live wire” – “wire” = “live!”
    “Important is in the text twice and this anagrams to “I’m not trap”.
    Put it all together and we are not rally in a TRAP, we can live by taking door 40.

    • I doubt that you need to subtract bell from ‘doorbell’ to get ‘door’ for “40″ to indicate the door. We can usually count a door as indicated if the number is sufficiently clued, even if we don’t clue the word “door”. Also that subtraction is an odd maneuver.

    • “Door” is generally implicit yes. But guessing that is what WR meant by other half of puzzle.

    • I think it should be part of the solution too for this reason – it uses “door bell” otherwise it could be any kind of bell or not even a bell. We don’t use up the room without that part.

    • I see no reason for the doorbell – bell = door solution, but I can’t rule it out either. Leaving it as a mystery.

  13. The item pinning the note to the floor is a golf tee.

    The top of the note reads “for” (also when playing golf players yell “fore” before their swing).

    Combining those, we get “Forty” which is obviously the better exit to the room than 24, since 24 is the abyss.

    • Anchorperson Smith,

      Congratulations! You have found half of one of the two riddles that point to door 40. Bumping the solve meter up two!

      White Raven

  14. The room with the most doors is not here it is room 4. The guest mentions being close to the center of the Maze. Room 4 is not the “center” we need to find, but it is the center of vswatkin’s figure 8.

  15. Is there more than this to find here? (Just rounding out the trap rooms)

    This is an obvious trap room, since the room itself looks like a small animal trap.

    The sign “please ring bell for assistance” may be a clue that room 26 is important. The hand on the sign is like the hands in the border of the directions and might be a link back to the beginning of the book, telling us to consider this advice when we start over.

    Another clue here is that the room with the most doors may be important. That is room number 4, and it is the only room on both the path to and from the center of the maze.

    Isn’t it nice that the door to 24 is open inviting us in?

    The word “important” is in the text twice, and as in room 6 we can find the word “Trap” there.

  16. This is a trap so there’s really no right way to go. So, the room, in my view, must speak to the maze itself.
    It is a mouse cage with a button that may well deliver an electric shock. It speaks to the group as test subjects and does a lot to explain the Guide’s attitude. He is not malicious, rather, he is entertained by the group and wants to see what they do.
    Then, why does he tell them not to ring the bell? To see if they’ll do it anyway? Did someone else put the bell there?
    The text seems to imply that The Thoughtful One is correct in believing the room is close to the center. Does that mean that 24 is actually the MAZE’s center?

  17. Just a trivial note, but if you compare doors #40 and #24 to the unmarked doors, at least two of them appear not to have doorknobs. They may be purely decorative, lending the room an air of greater importance than it actually merits, and underlining the inescapability of this track as the visitors inevitably disappear into room #24!


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