Room 18

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… a much warmer room. Shadows danced across the floor to the fire’s music.

“Someone’s lost his hat.”

“Are you sure it’s the hat that is lost?” I asked reasonably enough. No one would answer me.

Ducking behind a curtain and hurrying down a passageway we came out in …

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


Room Type:  LOOP     Doors:  3  9  13  44


● The notes above door 13 in base clef (as indicated by the base clef symbol to the left) are A & C, using alphanumeric substitution these read 1 & 3 = 13. These notes are over door 13 the correct door. The notes over door 3 are E G C & E in treble clef which do not translate into the correct door number. [Credit: Rebecca Sweat]

● The dragon’s head and tail are arched so that the dragon looks as if it may bite it’s tail but it is not. The dot (head) of the base clef doesn’t curve back to touch the rest of the symbol while the treble clef spirals in so the dot (head) bites the center of the symbol. Reinforcing this, the eyes of the face under the dragon are in the same position as the two dots in relation to the base clef. The base clef is associated with door 13, the correct door. [Independent Credit: LoMoody | White Raven]

● The chair that is lit up (from our perspective) stands in front of the correct door the frame of which is also lit up. [Independent Credit: Kon-Tiki | White Raven]

● The lit up chair’s slats slant downward at similar angle to that of the musical staff above door 13. While the darkened chair’s upward angle matches that of the wrong door’s musical staff. [Independent Credit: Vewatkins| White Raven]

● The lit up chair spells out the number thirteen in roman numerals moving upward from the “X” in the leg supports to the “III” in the chair slats. [Shared Credit: Beelzebibble & White Raven / A confluence of serendipity]

● The chair slats resemble a 3 and the bowling pin resembles a 1 and both sit directly beneath the C A riddle mentioned above which also produces a 3 and a 1. [Independent Credit: Beelzebibble / Vewatkins | White Raven]

[Note: The chair related solutions are incomplete.]

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186 thoughts on “Room 18

    • You know, I actually like this idea more the more I think about it. The curtains are white, for one thing. And the bit at the bottom under the dark hem line seems to match the strangely flat bottom surfaces of the teeth on the fireplace face.

      I guess I need to rationalize why the gap indicates “take that door” rather than “don’t take that door.” If the curtains are teeth biting down, safest to escape through the gap, wouldn’t you say?

    • But that doesn’t really work because the chord over door 3 looks like the teeth with a gap too. You could justify that by saying going through that door would be analogous to going into fire, ie, danger.

      Out of the fire, into the frying pan I guess, considering where you’re headed…

  1. You know, actually there are a lot of things in pairs in this room. Two andirons, two nostrils, two eyes, two eyebrows, two teardrop-shaped “holes” made by the dragon’s body, two chairs, two stripes on the bowling pin (four lines delineating two red stripes per Google images), and two dots on the bass clef. The teeth are even divided into two sections by the gap.

    Seems like more than would be accounted for by chance. So lots of pairs, therefore take door 13 with its two distinct notes rather than door three with its single chord made up of four notes.

    Perhaps the stuff about the hat being lost is partly to point out that it is one of the few things in the room that does not come in pairs or possess paired attributes.

  2. Just trying a variation of something I tried before without success.

    “Shadows danced across the floor to the fire’s music.”

    OK, so if the fire is singing (something heavy metal, based on the expression of the fireplace), then the chairs are the notes it is singing. They look like notes with the backs representing the stems and the seat and legs representing the note heads.

    Sound moves outward from its source, so the first note sung must have been the bright chair nearer the top of the page (higher), which is farther away from the source than the dark chair near the bottom of the page (lower). This matches the two notes above the correct door, because the higher note comes first and the lower note comes second.

    There might also be something reinforcing there about “bright” and “dark” as terms in music. This is more about tonal quality than pitch, I think, but you’d maybe be more likely to describe the sound of a piccolo (an instrument with a high range) as bright and the sound of a bass (an instrument with a low range) as dark.

  3. Regarding “The notes over door 3 are E G C & E in treble clef ” and saying they don’t translate to number “3″, this a chord rather than separately played notes, and you would write this chord name as “C/E”, otherwise known as an example of an “inverted C chord”, or simply just another way to play the C major triad chord whose name is written as “C”. C is the 3rd letter of the alphabet, and room 3 is “inverted” in ots appearance. Looking though the old comments though I’m not the first to point this out. But to me it seems a valid enough “translation” for the number 3.

    (And it’s “bass clef” by the way, not “base clef”.)

    • Bill M.,

      I have approved your login, you may now post freely.

      Welcome to The Abyss!

      White Raven

  4. This is pretty out there, but it is kind of fun so I’m going to share it anyway.

    “Are you sure it’s the hat that it is lost?” in the text could mean the guide is suggesting the guests are lost, or it could be something else.

    The word “lost” coupled with the chord over door 3 made me think of “The Lost Chord,” which is a haunting and lovely song from 1877 about a man who plays a soul-stirring chord while fiddling with the keys of an organ and then can never find the way to play it again. In the song he concludes that perhaps he will hear it again when he dies.

    Soooooo… if the reference was intentional, don’t go to 3, because it has a chord over it, and “chord” is associated with “lost” (and also death) in the song.

  5. one more banger:

    on the curtains are 1 stripe
    on the columns between the curts are 3 strips
    you see where im going with this

  6. Another possible chair solution: There are 13 “limbs” (for lack of a better word) visible beneath the chairs – 7 legs and 6 cross slats (or whatever those things are called). I think this is clued by “shadows danced across the floor.” What are the big shadows here? The chairs. What part of them are dancing? Their legs, of course!

    I’ve also just now noticed for the first time that the decorative wall trim that divides the door numbers get progressively more slanted as they go from right to left. Could be just a perspective thing, but it’s starting to jump out to me. They also look like 8th notes…. Swung 8th notes?

    • 515,

      I checked the perspective and though it looks a bit odd the perspective in the drawing is in fact correct.

    • If those things WERE 8th notes, there would be 13 8th notes on the wall there: 7 below the numbers (counting the one to the right of Door 3), + 2 above Door 13, + 4 above Door 3.

      The notes above Door 3 are 4 separate notes, although their stems are joined.

  7. The dragon is bent so it could bite its tail I think the point is that is not biting its tail. The base clef on the left has a dot-head and a swoop-tail. The dragon and the base clef are both not biting their tails. This backs up 13 as the right choice.

  8. “Ducking behind a curtain”

    “Ducking behind a c”

    “Ducking behind A C”

    Yeah, it would be better if the notes were AC instead of CA.

  9. Bass clef in here, maybe bass clef in the wall of room 35, music and clef related stuff in other rooms… There are also other recurring symbols like keys(pictures, Trap shape) and crowns(pictures, actual crowns in rooms, Guide also talks about crowns and royalty a LOT). I feel like combining the recurring symbols would give a clue, perhaps pertaining to the Guide Path//Room. I also think that the narratives and storylines also have more clues than we give them credit for. Probably should post this in a Guide section, but whatever.

    Also, the shadows in this room seem a bit messed up to me, but I’m no expert on perspective.

    • Totally agree about the shadows. The directions of the shadows don’t seem right. I don’t have my book with me at the moment, but are the andirons casting any shadows? If not, that’s pretty weird.

    • Basically I’m just pleased to have an opportunity to use 515′s “andirons.”

      But shadows. Hmmm… Look at the bowling pin shadow… its direction does not line up with the light source at all. Looks like the light source should be coming from the bottom left corner of the picture, not the fireplace.

      Maybe this is a reason to think that the bowling pin’s shadow on the door frame of 13 is an indicator of the correct door. The shadow moved to show us the way…

  10. So it’s probably already been pointed out that from the back, the chairs have five lines (slats, seat back, and crosspiece), like the five lines of the musical staff. The chair seats themselves are rectangular in shape, and attached to a line of the “staff” making them “rests” in more ways than one!

    Just another musical observation — doesn’t do much solution wise.

  11. Has anyone ever mentioned the andirons in the fire? Apparently two of them can make what’s known as a fire-dog, also called a dog-iron, also called moon idols, or moon horns. Found this on the wiki for andirons.

    • I didn’t even know they were called andirons! That’s a great word. More horns… hm.

      They seem very deliberately shaped like half-circles and then you have the circular brim… dunno.

      It once occurred to me that the andirons looked like clown eyes with painted decoration, the hat looked like the nose, and the shadow looked the mouth, and now I can’t unsee it…

    • Lordy, Aria, I could never figure out what you meant by the clown face, but now I just saw it… And can’t unsee it!

  12. My younger daughter has a Maze contribution for the night. She notes there is a thing in the door to 13. We call it a second curtain. She thought it was a picture frame. Note there is a top line 1/8 inch about below the curtain rod. And the curve at the bottom is the frame moving away from us in perspective. I have no idea what this means – but I think she may be right. Maybe a paper hanging on the wall with a curled bottom. That may work too.

    (She also sees curly hair and curly horns in 41 and a fly and suggests “curly fries” – I don’t think she’s right.)

    • Imagining it as a blank paper creates an interesting connection to 35. It’s hard to tell from the darkness of the hallway whether the thing is a dark thing or a light thing cloaked in darkness. It’s certainly worth keeping an open mind about. Maybe try to bait WR into committing an opinion to see whether it’s part of the riddle of the guide.

    • Dave G,

      How old is your daughter, please tell her that she has good eyes! The image is of a paper nailed to the wall at the top but curled and loose at the bottom. It may be nailed up with two nails on the corner we can see but I believe the second “nail” is a splotch of ink. See related images for an enhanced view.

      I have always taken it to be a note, cluing us to AC riddle but it also works as part of another riddle yet unsolved. Neither is really a strong connection though.

    • She is 12 – and a very good “spotter”. She does not MAZE on any regular basis. She just picked up the book for a bit tonight.

    • Definately a paper or? hanging here. As this is a warm room perhaps the bottom is curling up or it is a poster or scroll that was hung without tacking down the bottom corners and they are still not uncurled/unrolled.
      As I think this is a game room, it could represent “Hide ‘n Seek”. In any event, I am adding it to my “Blank Canvas List”. Some sharp little eyes you have helping out!

    • Well, you have the pins there, can’t remember whether that was suggested in terms of the black curtain/white paper or just the open curtain.

  13. Ah HA !

    I think I have how “lights,camera,action” works in this room without connection to 25.

    By turning on the light you are reversing its “polarity”. In its off state it points exactly the wrong way, but if you *reverse* it (by turning it on), it points correctly. And then 25mm is a camera.


    LIGHTS (turn on light so it points correctly)
    CAMERA (you notice 25mm is a camera)
    ACTION (you walk out that door)

    • Dave, I just sent you a traced 5 that I found in the sun dial via hangouts, you might like it.

  14. Last year at some point I probably mentioned it once or more. Let me go mine my page….but yes I think the BIG point of the room is “strike”. And there are two strikes we hear. Each “strike” is a “tilt”. The result of the two tilt/strikes is a room tilted by about 24 degrees – so each tilt was 12 degrees = room number. For me that is the Big puzzle of the room. But a simpler one is just the 12 strikes = perfect game thing. Wr’s solution that the 2 strikes are the extra two balls after the 10th frame would actually do a better job of tying the two pins together – except there is still no indication of “frame” in 18. Anyway here is from last year:


    LIGHTNING: We have a “chamber” which can be a lightning chamber. We have the crashing sounds, which can be thunder. We have a very obvious electrical wire from the switch to the bulb. We have both the candle and the bulb for “light”. The vaulted ceiling connects to gothic cathedrals and brings us to the idea of angles bowling. Strike is found here in a number of ways and of course there are “lightning strikes”. We should “obviously” bring the umbrella because of impending rain. Punch carries an umbrella. The arches look like an umbrella. There is wind in neighboring rooms on the path. In the same time zone in 31 there are grey clouds.

    “TILT”: The room is clearly tilted. All the objects are as well. The smile is “crooked” which can mean tilted. Also “tilt” can mean (per OED) to strike with a weapon, so again we have a connection to all the various “strikes” in the room.

    STRIKE : As Abyssians have noted the figure on the paper is “punch”. A stethoscope gives you a “heartbeat”. Put those two together and you have “beat” which can also be “strike”. Bowling of course gives us “strikes” as well. “Lightning” gives us strikes. “Tilt” also can be “strike”.

    GROUND: We have a “vote” in the text which can be a “poll” (Abyssians noticed a vote is a poll) and we also have a “pole” which in this context could be a lightning rod or ground. A “lightning chamber” would also “ground” electrical discharge, and the “ground” here is tipped.

    GOTHIC VAULTS: We have the vaulted ceiling itself. We have the hunchback which can make us think of Notre Dame, and the goofy smile may help here. There in particular 12 was used as a perfect number in construction. (12 tribes, 12 apostles), etc… Sometimes in gothic architecture the 12 signs of the zodiac would be depicted. The bare bulb could represent the sun. (Or Polaris – nod at Marianne). And the “SiGN” could make us think zodiac as well. Punch wears a Masonic Fez and the perhaps makes us thing about the masonry.

    PERFECTION: 12 strikes is a perfect game of bowling. 12 is a perfect number in gothic construction. (WR adds that the last 2 strikes are extra balls and may be what the two crashes represent).

    • Oh yeah, I remember reading that now. It’s funny how a slight change in phrasing can make something seem more plausible– and also how desperation affects me over time.

      Crooked smile, that’s interesting. I don’t get anything from the rest of it.

      Where does the idea of perfection come from in the room?

    • 12 is a perfect number in gothic construction was just something I picked up somewhere while researching why WR may have put gothic stuff on his page.

      THe part about “ground” is not important really. So I should have left that out. Also really the gothic stuff and the perfection stuff and tangential. They are there mostly out a desire to list everything I think.

      Lightning I’m surprised you don’t see happening here.

      Maybe why one explanation sounded better than the other was I was explaining two different but related ideas. There is the big puzzle about the two tilts, but what I said first was not so much about that puzzle, I just said that the important word that sums up the room is “strike” and listed evidence for just that.

    • I’m not satisfied about how all the pieces add up either – and maybe WRs remaining points will help with that – but I suspect this room adds up about the way it looks – a big jumble. So yes – we can put the two things on the same paper together to get beat, but unlike some rooms which have tidy groups of objects, I think this is more of a free-for-all. From a puzzle making stand-point then you’d have to put in more related things in order to get to any concept that you wanted. I think we have it with lightning. I tried spelling it from bits – and it can be done and use all the pieces – but not is a way that offer much assurance that it was supposed to be done that way. I mean sometimes parts “add by subtraction” – that is – the part NOT in common is what we want. So you might do BOWLING + BOWL = ING. And then we do have LIGHT. So one is tempted to complete it. And there is another good reason to think we are supposed to proceed that way. “Two-bowl-cane” is here. The end of the umbrella looks like the Masonic cane symbol. And two-bowl-cane was supposed to be the Masonic secret word that Members spoke to each other one syllable at a time. I think this is a signal for the maze-riddle-clue that we are supposed to spell shoulders letter by letter from here-on. But also for this room we are supposed to work in word fragments.

      The way I imaging Manson thought it would work is that you would get to room 8 and spend an hour LOL solving it. And then once you knew that this room involved word parts you would have a suspicion that the last world of the clue was to be spelled out. Because think about it – starting from scratch – you have “Like Atlas you bare it upon your…” you might guess shoulders but finding it is 23 would be unsatisfying. And how would you think to look letter by letter for the last word? That’s a lesson I think we are supposed to learn in this room by building things like light-in-ing or bow and arrow, or two bowl cane.

      Finally the fact that the bowl is broken into fragments is another clue to work in word parts. Unfortunately I think the end result is that like in room 45 – it will be hard to know you’ve got things exactly right even if you do. So – to me at least – there is a lot of lightning related stuff – there is an easy fragment way to get close to it – and a harder too messy way to get it exact, and the end result works to get the right answer – so I’m pretty confident he meant us to get lightning here. There is just not one single perfect argument for it – rather it is the collective weight of all the arguments that makes it work.
      Summary of reasons to think word parts is the way to go as an exception in this room:
      Bowl in fragments
      The jumbled mess of the room visually
      The meta-reason that we need to be taught this method here is order to get the idea to look for shoulders in individual letters from this point on.
      But as I said – if he means you to spell lightning – he needs to give you lots of lightning related things so that you even have a clue you should try – and I think he does.

    • The rooms around as I said provided strong context – in 23 it is going to rain where they are going, they should have brought the umbrella etc… then they go to 8 and then in 12 they can see outside and see the leaves in the wind. And if you draw the outside rooms next to the rooms they connect to on the right side of the path – 8 is next to 31 and you can get to 31 from 8 – and there we have the sky filling with grey clouds and a gust of wind. In fact – I just noticed – in 6 it is even raining. So every room (except 29 – a big step back on the path) that connects to this room has storm related stuff going on.

  15. I knew Marianne said it – I was trying to pick out something that worked as a door indicator from her latest post. I missed the earlier one I guess.

    • “musical chairs” has 13 letters does not work for me because the average number of letters in a random 2 word English expression is going to come in right about 13 I think. It’s not improbable enough to label “coincidence” even.

  16. I think this room is akin to the Chutes & Ladders Game Room #41 in that it contains games:
    We have Musical Chairs already. I think the “dragon thing” is a “weasel” so we would have “Pop Goes the Weasel,” (fires crackle and pop-Narrative: dance to the fire’s music). And we have “Lincoln’s hat & Logs” = “Lincoln Logs” enhanced by the 2 “notched” grate pieces similar to the notches in the Lincoln Logs. And of course the duck pin is a given game.

    • Picking out a fragment – “duck” is in the text and there is a “pin”. The pin is in the position of a 10 pin if door 13 is the alley. And you get 3 rolls per frame in duckpin bowling. So you could have a 13 with 10+3 there. I doubt that one is in WR’s solution book, but who knows?

    • Haha, that is ridiculous, but it is funny that you get the right door through essentially the same reasoning in Room 8.

      Credit/blame where it is due: Marianne suggested this solution a few comments back. Well, she said ten frames, you said ten pin location…it’s pretty close.

    • The 3 slats on the chair combined with the 10-pin is something I did a few months back and seems more reasonable than going into the rules of a game. But what I was really trying to say is that at least “duck” and “pin” are there in the room and so if more connections turned up it is at least a candidate thing. I liked that better than the other suggestions. Basicly I was trying to say something nice about the post, OK?

      But – VW I agree with you – it is interesting that the pin in room 8 can give the right answer by the same reasoning – using frames instead of the 10-pin position. But it seems short of being legitimate with just that much and it does not seem like the sort of thing that would add up to something bigger.

    • Here is and issue with the pins in 18 and 8 working the same way – In 8 there are a lot of things that have to do with strike – there are lots of ways to the same answer there. Lighting strike. Bowling strike. Punch = strike. Tilt is an archaic synonym of strike. You might also take “punch” and the stethoscope next to each others as clues for “beat” which also can mean strike. In fact for wall 40 and other puzzles I think this is the one word summary of this room we are supposed to get – “strike”. Given that – the easiest way to connect the bowling pin to door 12 is just that a perfect game is 12 strikes. Going to 10 frames with 2 balls per frame seems much weaker. And you have to go there to make the connection to room 18. If there was some way of getting to “10-frames” first in room 8 before moving on from there it would work better – so its temping and worth examining – but I don’t see it adding up yet.

      Plus there is WR’s rule that all door indicators need to be in the room. I suspect he took Manson slightly too literally on that point – but still I don’t doubt it is essentially true. Given that – we shouldn’t be looking to room 8 for help in 18. It’s not something that could be assumed knowledge, like the door in 15 goes back to 4, for example.

    • OK – how about this – the “pin” is strong. There is both the bowling pin and the pinned curtain – so I have reasonable certainty we want the word pin there. Nothing suggests frames, really. But hurrying down the corridor suggests it is the lane. So I still like the 10-pin thing. There are 3 chair slats, and there are 3 visible legs on the chair, and if one happens to know of duckpin bowling and put the duck’ed curtain and the pin together that would suggest a 3. I’d still like more – but it’s really not THAT horrible. And the visual path from “duck”‘ed curtain to “pin”ed curtain to “bowling “pin” is making me change my mind – I think he might have meant “duck pin”. I think the pin in 8 works differently – but he is not required to use both pins in exactly the same way – and for confusion purposes – he probably would not want to use them in exactly the same way.

    • Have you mentioned that before, about beat and Punch? I find that plausible, and I’m wondering how much of the rest of the room can be tied in to “strike” synonyms, or something that would take us from “strike” to 12 beyond just noting “Hey, that’s the number of strikes in a perfect game.”


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