# Room 17

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…a room with a floor of sand.

“Amphorae,” I pronounced; empty, of course.

“This is an easier choice to make,” they said.

“You may think so,” I muttered to myself, “but your choices are more limited than you know.”

One should never accept the obvious here. If you think of the Maze as a machine, confusion is its product, and the machine was hard at work.

Ignoring my good advice they hurried into…

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

Room Type:  PATH     Doors:  6  29  33  45

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

● The obvious correct door is 45.

● The part of the Riddle of the Path in this room is “your” – derived from the sign elements “Why, oh ___ You are ___” = “y – o – u – r.”  [Credit: Unknown - prior to 1990.] The Guide’s comment, “”Amphorae,” I pronounced; empty, of course” may be a clue that we are to pronounce why-oh-you-are as “your” while ignoring the blanks… “empty of course.” [Credit: White Raven] In response to the visitor’s confidence the Guide retorts, “…your choices are more limited than you know,” in reference to the ”Why, oh ___ You are ___” puzzle this suggests that we are not supposed to choose words to fill in the gaps. Likewise, the Guide’s internal dialogue, “One should never accept the obvious here,” and “Ignoring my good advice…” suggests that the obvious approach of filling in the gaps is incorrect. [Credit: Vewatkin]

● There are four pieces of pottery on the left and five on the right 4&5=45.  [Independent Credit: The Electric Labyrinth Love Luau | White Raven] The connection between the pottery and Door 45 is indicated by the sign for 45 being in the shape of a vase. [Independent Credit: SP | White Raven]

● On the top border of the room there are visible arrows pointing up on the wall with door 45 in it, indicating that we take that door.  [Credit: Hello Gregor]

● The arrows on the piece of pottery next to Door 6 point away from this door.  [Independent Credit: The Electric Labyrinth Love Luau | White Raven] There are arrows on pottery pointing away from the locked door and Door 33 as well. [Independent Credit: Vewatkin | White Raven] [See Related Images] There also appears to be a visual cascade caused by images on the pottery and other visual cues that lead like trails to Door 45. [Credit: White Raven] [See Related Images]

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## 133 thoughts on “Room 17”

1. Of course I still think empty Am-four-ee is supposed to be “filled” with the sounds from sand sprinkled in. M PH uh EE from the jars and S and N from the sand = S M PH uh n ee.

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2. Vince mentioned something in the area first. Hidden Mystery said it was a thing. Vince sort of said maybe it was. SP commented more. So sort of a group-think.

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3. You know, not just 6, but all the wrong doors, including the unmarked door from 29, seem to have arrows pointing away from them on nearby amphorae.

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• vewatkin,

Congratulations! You completed the last incomplete answer I have for this room (I’ll add images to show this solution, let me know if you have something I am missing).

Bumping it up to five with the hope that there may be more to come!

White Raven

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4. After that debacle, is it fair to say am-FOUR-EYE is solid? In referral to 33 with the use of of/OFF-course?

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• SP,

No, but there is a solution involving the pronunciation which you are very close to. I am less sure of it than others since it only works with one of the two ways of pronouncing the word which makes me suspicious.

You did get on the board today, but for being the first to notice the jar shape of the 45 sign which finishes off the incomplete four left / five right solution.

Anyone who gets as many solutions you have is a puzzle master in my book.

White Raven

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• Yeah, I didn’t want to say this in the podcast, but I feel weird about am-four-eye. Dictionaries seem to recommend am-four-ee.

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• I suppose “Am four EE” could work as a clue, since “E” is the 5th letter. “Am 4 5″.

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• Abyssians,

David Gentile got it! There are two ways of pronouncing “amphorae” AM FOR “E” and AM FER “E”. The first (and I think more common) pronunciation can be taken as “am four E”.

“E” being the fifth letter makes it “am 4 5″.

Keeping in mind that the statement by the Guide about pronunciation could just be to clue that we are to pronounce “why oh you are” as “your”…is this legitimate or a coincidence? Thoughts everyone?

If approved masters SP and DG would share credit on this one.

White Raven

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• I suspect there’s something more going on; I at least think it’s true that the “pronounced” is a clue of how to read the sign in the room.

No big surprise, I’m not sold on the “four-E” reading, partly just because I think it’s a bad clue, but also because it puts that bad clue front and center as sort of the main focus of the room; it’s like the whole room revolves around the amphorae, and the amphorae are put there for the purpose of fulfilling this [pun?] that has a leftover “am” and requires alphanumeric coding without any provocation.

Or, to put it another way, the clue isn’t different from a lot of alphanumeric clues that have been identified throughout the Maze, and generally speaking I can take or leave those. (Though I do think that if this one falls on the side of acceptance, there are probably some others that need re-examined as well–if this is legit, how can “FOURtunato” not be correct in 39?) But this clue falls in such a central position in the text, and seems so central to that room, that it’s hard for me to believe; I would be obliged to imagine that Manson erected this edifice around the fact that “amphorae” can be pronounced as containing a “four” and an “E.” (He didn’t, I assume, draw a room full of vases and then subsequently realize they could be called by a name that includes a 4 and an E; he must have constructed the room after making that connection.) It’s not the kind of wordplay I can see anyone getting excited enough about to base a room on.

That said, I definitely think there’s something going on with the pronunciation of that word, “phor” seems like it has to be “four,” and I don’t have anything better to read it as.

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• vewatkin,

Excellent critique and one I am inclined to agree with. To me the Four/4 E/5 seems both unlikely to be a coincidence AND a bad clue. I am unresolved about it but I see no other potential use of the word “amphorae” except as an excuse to work in the word “pronounced.” Perhaps that is all it is?

Good critiquing!

White Raven

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5. Vewatkins and myself will be tackling 17 in all its glory on the Mazecast – I have some new exciting developments which I will unveil Monday October 13th (at LEAST 4 new solutions). I will post them here and on the wiki after the podcast is complete.

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• I don’t care about number of solutions–can you guarantee this room will be five-starred when you’re done?

If you take this room to five stars, we’ll address you as Cluemaster Alex until someone else gets a five star and inherits the title.

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• Well, thing is, I wouldn’t have five starred this room, I think what’s discovered so far is inadequate. LET’S DO THIS.

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• This room is not five starred, it is four starred. That is why vewatkin said somewhat tongue in cheek that you would get a title for taking it to five stars. Looking forward to the podcast.

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• There are six double letters in the text. That makes this an easy one – the correct door is 6! Wait, what’s that? 6 is in the trap? Well, ah, it means 33, because 3 + 3 = 6! A clever one there, maybe that’s why it says we shouldn’t accept the obvious…huh? 33 isn’t the right door either? Ok, well, 6 is the next number in the sequence 4-5-6 – a clear clue to Room 45! That works, right? Well, the room practically solves itself!

Also, the word “amphorae” contains “phor,” pronounced like “four.” Since 45 is the only number with a 4 in it, we know that’s right, but just to confirm it the arch in the doorway to 33 is an upside-down V, which of course is the Roman numeral for 5.

With text code this easy this room should have been back in the beginning.

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• Yes, Hidden Mystery, I will be discussing the text code. Unfortunately you are not allowed to watch the podcast since you know the answer already.

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• It sounds like Vince had better sit this one out too, the friggin’ showoff.

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• I’ll post the answer if nobody figures it out. VW, you especially should have gotten this one as (am-four-i) is part of the solution.

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• I already DID figure it out. 45 is the correct door so it all checks out.

I found another code too. In the directions it says that Room 45 is at the center of the maze; and if you go through the door marked “45,” you wind up in the center! I remember some similar tricks from my studies of Alan Turing’s Nazi code-cracking.

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• NO. am-FOUR-i contains a 4 and there are five doubles. FOUR and FIVE is 45. 45 is the door to choose. One of the easiest paths here.

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• Also, the opening to 45 is a four-sided entrance and the opening to 33 is a five-sided entrance. 45

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• Room
Floor
Muttered
Accept
Good
Hurried

My solutions are looking more attractive now, aren’t they?

In all seriousness, the “four” in “amphorae” may be something, especially since the guide takes the trouble to emphasize the word was “pronounced.” I shouldn’t have included that element in my sarcastic solution.

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• I guess every site has its Troll … and its Heckler . Seems like The abyss is no exception.

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• Vince, there are five doubles. You have to ignore “my good advice” because that’s what the text says: “Ignoring my good advice…” So “good” doesn’t count toward the doubles. Come on.

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• Ah, good point! The code is resilient. I’m sorry if I seemed to doubt for a moment that it could produce any right answer we wanted it to.

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• Welp, that’s the last time I tell this website what room we’re doing in advance. Hidden Mystery seems to be going out of his way to ruin my thanksgiving special.

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• I revealed this a while ago. It should be a fun way for readers to try to find the path correctly from one room to all of the rooms on the path. When is the live broadcast (EST)?

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• I think we’re aiming for 10PM EST tonight. It’ll be at least me and Alex/SP, possibly Vince, perhaps anyone else who’s around. Interested in joining?

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• WR, “dry toast and popcorn”? Charlie Brown Thanksgiving flashback!

SP, why Thanksgiving? has Halloween already happened where you live?

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• Ah, you caught my devious plan. Yes, there are indeed six doubles. I wanted to see who would catch that. But, once you have 46 then notice clearly it says, “One should never accept the obvious here.” Never is a negative connected with one. Therefore, 46 minus one is 45. While there are simply six doubles and a door 6, we must dismiss the obvious. I do also note that there are 4 pots on the left and a space between the 5 on the right side of the room.
“Solved Mystery” indeed.

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• HM, I was referring to “Canadian Thanksgiving” not your particular brand of, well, whatever you are doing.

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• So, there wasn’t even one new solution of the four that were promised for the podcast? “Confusion” is right.

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• Evidence of SP’s puzzling prowess can be found in:
Room 4
Room 8
Room 15 (x3)
Room 34
Room 44
Room 45

Don’t let a hiccup fool you, SP is a puzzle master.

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• Thank you WR. I wouldn’t go so far as to say master, my general technique is simply stating the obvious and extrapolating clue meanings, which SOMEtimes comes in useful, but other than that I just stumble around the Maze with one eye and a crutch. I did study your guide to general puzzle solving and the multiple but generally consistant methods Manson uses in the pages. It’s helped a lot in terms of what to look for. Needless to say it was embarassing but a lesson learned to consult with a fresh pair of eyes before going in head first after a sleep deprived missed fact checking mission. WOULDNT THAT HAVE BEEN SWEET THO? 45 / 33!

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6. The door to 33 has a sun on each side. Three letters in each word equals 33. The sun is related light which is usually correct. But this is the wrong door. An exception maybe because the correct choice is obvious.

“If you think of the Maze as a machine, confusion is its product, and the machine was hard at work.”

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• Light seems to be good, yes, but suns are bad in 4 and 19 and while good in 3, that room is reversed. Sun is good in 23, but there there is room puzzle telling us pictures do not lie, I think. So I’m not sure sun images are supposed to be positive guides.

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7. I’ve pointed out that the amphorea can be filled with the sounds from sand sprinkled in to get “symphony” – this is part of a multi-room. However, we can play with the sounds themselves without the sand here too. “Am ‘Four “e” and if “e” is read as alphanumeric 5 then we have “Am 4,5″.

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8. There are 9 visible handles. We can group them into 4 on 3 containers that touch and 5 other ones. 4,5.

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9. If you are willing to be a bit selective in counting. You could say 4 upright. 5 tipped.

They are all dark and empty. The doorways are dark too. Empty choices?

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10. Empty of “course” is more indication to fill them with coarse sand.

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11. The text says this is an easy choice. 45

There is something like a crown over the door to 45.

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12. Sum-man in 19 gives wrong door as does Sun-man in 4. There are little sun-men by the door to 33, so let’s not go that way.

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13. Not getting much out of that unfortunately. The “your” it that sentence is there to reinforce the one on the wall. “choice” is in the test twice. Maybe we should focus on that more than the word “limited”.

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• “Choice
like “choice cuts” of meat? That would just mean not all rooms will be this easy.

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14. Gregarious Heller notes that all three door numbers are a form of 9: 4+5; 3 x 3, 6 inverted. The tiny door to six may be what is meant by the text describing their options as being limited (in stature and in number, the door being reduced). “3×3,” and multiplication, is excluded by the Guide’s note that confusion is the “product” of the Maze.

Interestingly, the water vessels are in three groups of three: three with no visible handles, three with one, three with two. That might have supported the 3 x 3 solution, over the 4 + 5 solution, but for the Guide’s comment. (Which was not stated out loud to the group, but internally, meaning that we don’t need to perform a confidence check on the Guide’s honesty.)

I can’t find anything else relating to 6′s status as an inverted or “limited” 9. None of the vessels are inverted, for what that’s worth.

Do the two columns there by 45 represent the fact that 4 goes in the tens column and five in the ones column? If they do, that’s a bit over the top, don’t you think?

Oh, the arrows on that vessel, by 6, are those supposed to be about flipping it over, not just pointing away from it? Ok, but what does that do for us, exactly? Now we have references within the vessels for each of the three doors, and a reason to discount 33, some reason to like 45, but 6 seems to be hanging on by a thread, unless that “limited” remark really does kick it off a cliff.

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15. Hello Gregor,

Congratulations! The 4 and 5 amphorae/pots are correct! Note: There’s a bit more to this riddle.

Congratulations! I never noticed the arrows, but it is certainly correct!

White Raven

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• I can’t take credit for the 4/5 pots. When I quote V-Watt’s Electric Labyrinth Love, or some combination of that, it means it’s part of some group conversation.

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• During that same conversation, someone pointed out arrows on the pot next to 6 pointing away from that horrible little door.

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16. V-Watt went to the beach and, for once feeling fully relaxed, leaned over the arm of his lawn chair to whisper to his wife:
“There are four ceramic objects on the left side of the room and five on the right.”

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17. The amphora nearest the entrance to 6 has a series of arrows directing us away from it.

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18. White Raven has elsewhere stated that 23 does not contain clue indicators for 45, that we should be going to 45 just because we know it’s right. He has also said that 45 contains only the riddle; no room indicators.

This suggests to me, as I sort of suspected already, that 23 tells us where we’re supposed to go in 45. But wait, we’re already “mostly solved” here? I don’t think we would be if what I were saying were true. Nevertheless…

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19. According to Wikipedia “amphora”: “The Latin word derived from the Greek amphoreus, an shortend form of amphiphoreus, a compound word combining amphi- (“on both sides”, “twain”) plus phoreus (“carrier”), from pherein (“to carry”), referring to the vessel’s two carrying handles on opposite sides.”

Only 5 of the vessels are actually amphorae, the other four lack handles on both sides. 45?

Also, in room 1 sunlight is coming from the entrance to the maze, here sunlight is seen in the door leading to the center of the maze.

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20. Pretty straightforward room, it seems. The visitors are completely correct (for once — although it wasn’t much of a stumper) that taking #17 to #45 is part of the winning path. It seems as if the host may be making a rather feeble attempt to misdirect them, as there’s no good reason not to take #45 — it even links back to #17, just in case you want to hit this room again on your way out.

Of course, “your choices” are indeed “more limited than you know”, since #6 will send you howling straight into the TRAP rooms. I wonder whether it’s intentional that the “Why, oh ___ You are ___” sign is situated above the short entrance to #6. Setting aside the importance of “YOUR” in solving the riddle, the fact that the sign is aligned with door #6 makes #6, by association, the “YOUR” choice. The host’s warning about “your choices” could then be read as a discreet warning against #6.

But that’s grasping at straws — any effort to draw the reader to or away from any door at all in this room is going to be useless. The reader wants #45, and #45 the reader shall have!

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• Except, as you note, one can come back through this room on the way out of the Maze, and so, it wouldn’t be nonsense for the room to clue you about the other doors, you might well try to take them on your way out of the Maze.

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21. Probably nothing, but the blanks in the sign bother me.
YO_UR_
Could be Yon (designating something at a distance, OED) Urn – not that you need an extra push to go to room 45, but the vessel on which 45 is printed is more like an urn than an amphora, which must have two handles (according to the O.E.D., again).
The only other word I can figure for YO_UR_ is: yoGurT

Also, amphorae were used as units of of measure. There are 9 amphorae. 9 * 4 = 45. Something to do with the amount of sand in the room?

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• The YO_ UR_ spells YOUR and is part of the puzzle that is hidden in the path but those blanks have always made me wonder it there is something else going on. I tired to make tons of words and never came up with “yoGurT.” Regardless of the whether or not is part of something, that is damn impressive.

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22. Room 17 Solution: Partial.
Seventh room of the path – The not very hidden word is “your,” found in picture on the left wall spelled out as “why” “oh” “you” “are.”

The correct door is 45… duh.

Unsolved: The sand and amphorie.

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23. I love this room! It looks so cool!

The word we get from this room is in code on the banner. I read that online from a site that isn’t up anymore.

If you pronounce aphorie like the guide suggests is sounds like Am 4 A, which doesn’t mean anything to me, I just thought I would say it.

If you find the pronounciation spelling it is “am fere” which if you move the letters around says “Fear me.” Coincidence?

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