Room 12

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…a spacious room with a hole in the floor. A ladder led down into the shadows. Outside, leaves shook in the wind. They didn’t like the look of that hole in the floor.

“Too dark down there!” they cried. “Who knows what’s at the bottom.” They looked at me again.

“Probably a room of some kind,” I volunteered quickly. “But you know what I say about appearances.” It would have been a relief to get outside for a while.

They wanted to know if they had been here before…. How could I answer that?

“I have the strangest feeling of déjà vu,” said one who, bolder than the rest, led us into…

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


Room Type:  PATH     Doors:  2  8  21 39


● Correct door is 39. [Credit: Unknown - during the 1985 contest.]

● The part of the Riddle of the Path is the letters D U. [Credit: Unknown - prior to 1990.]

● 2 fingers in one of the paintings, 2 & 1 fingers in another painting, in the last painting the person “ate” = eight. This points to the doors 2, 21, & 8. The way not mentioned is 39, which is correct. [Independent Credit: jalhordan | White Raven]


19 thoughts on “Room 12

  1. Could relief refer to a work of art? The three wrong doors have artwork. Relief comes from Latin word to raise and the correct door is the one going down. The guide talks about going outside, but the one guaranteed way to not do that is to go down deeper.

  2. Man, I wish this site had been around when I was in high school. My best friend and I were obsessed with this book; we wore out two copies of it across years of lunch table discussions.

    Anyway, with regards to the letters “U” and “D”, we thought that perhaps they also meant “decide under you” — with the “D” situated on its side and located beneath the “U” — to indicate the door through the floor.

    • It looks about the same here but I don’t have my book in front of me right now. The three looks a bit bolder? The nine looks the same I think.

  3. Reference Rooms 12 & 28 & 15:

    The picture of the young clean shaven bibbed eating person is an undergraduate student taking “courses”.
    The picture of the bearded older man with scroll: this is the Dean holding the diploma.
    The picture of the white bearded even older man is the wise professor.
    The perfectly square hole in the floor represents a “mortar board cap” for graduation with tag/tassel.
    The degree would be an MAS. The DU + MAS = DUMAS. We have been experiencing bells and telephones throughout MAZE that obviously clued Alexander Graham Bell. Here we have Alexander DUMAS.
    NOTE: See Room 15 for another important Alexander and ref to Alexander Dumas’ work.

  4. Yes, Thanks. “IT WOULD” or i-T WO-uld. Also “TOO dark” and “to”
    That’s three times. It takes us directly to room 39. (13 X 3 or 13 +13+13)

    • Well…other than knife and fork guy I’m not noticing 13. And although it seems we should try addition everywhere multiplicAtion seems rare and specially clued. Also the word “to” appears 144 times in Maze by my count so it’s frequency on this page is actually abnormally low. Slightly. “Too” is slightly more reasonable as it only happens 6 times in Maze. So while I’m usually on the other side of these debates I don’t thing that is intended. But I’ve tried to provided reasons that I think that

    • Oh – and actually ‘to’ is in the text twice in room 12, so it does not even work on a technical level. And why would the three forms of “to/too/two” indicate 3 times anyway? Wondering now if someone is pulling my leg here…

      If so…A 5 letter string for “Raven” is a lot more significant than a 3 letter string. It occurs where the guide is talking about being animal. And the word “part” it turns out is always associated with one of these places where we can make or find a bird or raven-clue in the immediately surrounding text. So that is demonstrably non-random.

  5. The ladder “led” down…the bold one “led” them – to the right door, down the dark hole, taking the ladder. This is interesting to contrast with the slide and the ladder in 41 where they also complain they don’t know where it will take them. The only difference here is the guide says there is a room of some sort and give us the line about “appearances” which are totally accurate when he uses the word. Also in 14 being led is a bad thing. But here they follow a person.

  6. I don’t want to add my solutions to all rooms. But I DO think 39 is indicated. See below.

    This room is almost identical to room 28, and to find the correct exit the rooms need to be considered together. The picture on the right is holding up 2 fingers in both rooms. The picture on the left has 1 finger in this room but 2 in the other room. We might take these as false, too simple, clues to room 2 or 21. Also notice the bones on the plate in the third picture. There are two bones here, and one in the other room. (Thanks to my daughter Emily for noticing this one – age 9 at the time). Together all the bones and fingers give the number to the correct exit. 3 bones + 9 fingers = 39.

    We might have a bit of confirmation in the fact that the fork looks like a 3, and the knife sounds like a 9. Also the U pointing *up* and the D lying *down* might be a clue as well – that we should take the ladder. The U and The D are also the letters we should gather from this room to help us spell “SHOULDERS”.

    There is one more difference between the rooms. The sky is darker in room 28 than here. I think this is the only directional clue in room 28 itself. It is saying that direction is a bad choice in room 28 since it leads to a trap.

  7. Painting on the right is showing 2 + 1 fingers (21)

    Middle painting is showing a 2 (2)

    Far left painting shows no fingers, but he just ATE his meal, as evidenced by the clean bones on his plate. (8)

    The only room NOT being hinted at in the image is 39.

    • Nice. So once again, we’re supposed to go to the one not hinted at. That seems to be the big theme in so many of these rooms. I’m starting to wonder how universal it is!

    • jalhordan (or should I say Hal Jordan),

      Congratulations you cracked a room! Not only is this obviously the correct answer but this solution was confirmed by Manson when I ran it by him last year. Consider yourself to have received a virtual high five from me and a standing ovation from prisoners of the Abyss.

      This room has been upgraded from 2/5 to 5/5. This is the third room to be completely solved. 42 rooms to go!

      White Raven

  8. Just for the record, it’s worth noting that this is the mirror room of 28, a room that you’ll never visit if you stay on the correct path. On that page’s notes, Emily wrote, “The only differences that I can find are the # of bones in the bottom left picture and the hands of the man in the painting on the left wall…”

    Do I know what those differences mean? Of course not! :)

  9. Room 8 Solution: Partial
    Eleventh room of the path – The letters to take from this room are “U” and “D.”

    The correct door is 39. We don’t know why.

    Unsolved: Everything but the “U” and “D.”


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