Room 22

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…a gaudy room that reminded me of a theatrical backdrop. Places like this are overdone, for my taste, but some people like the exotic…well, everyone is a critic.

It’s true, I am by nature extremely critical. Although my life is a lonely one I have not spared any of my guests the rigor of my judgment…. We all have our roles to play.

This is not a bad place, really; one could spend quite some time here. However, in their restive way, the group moved on to…

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


Room Type:  TRAP     Doors:   2  5  38  42  43


● Red Herring(s): The various items in this room suggest “red herring.” The third sign, WOMAN’S JEWELRY, is “her ring” or “herring.” The other three signs all make sense as fish aspects: scales, tail, and water. [Credit: Factitous] The octogon recalls a stop sign which is red. The pitchfork (compare to Room 26) recalls a devil which is red. [Credit: vewatkins] [Manson has confirmed that this solution is only partially correct] Alternately this solution could be plural “red herrings” and refer to the various clues in the room. [Credit: Aria]

● Stop: The various items in this room suggest that a visitor stay here. The octagon bench suggests a stop sign [Credit: vewatkins], which should be taken to mean that visitors stop [Credit: Aria]. The four center items spell out “STOP” the Sofa, the Trident, the Octogon, and the Pawn (the pawn is on top of the octagon seat). S-ofa/T-rident/O-ctagon/P-awn. [Credit: Owen Hammer] The “sofa” could also be a “seat.” [Credit: Aria] The theatrical nature of the room and the curtains hanging in the doors may suggest the idiom “it’s curtains” or “bringing down the curtains” (done, the end, show is over). The phrase, “This is not a bad place, really; one could spend quite some time here.” could be a clue that staying is better than leaving. The phrase “Places like this are overdone”… could suggest the words “over” and “done.” [Credit: Aria] The letters of the center row can spell LONELY if the L is used twice, this may pair with “lonely” in the text (but the doubled L is problematic – an L shape is suggested slightly by the creases of the wall under the sign which would complete the word) [Credit: White Raven], “lonely” in the sign and text could reinforce staying here, trapped. [Credit: Aria] [Possibly the four signs on the wall may spell "STOP" Scales/Tail/O(ring shape)/Precipitation(H20). Though the last one is pretty weak.]
● The solutions above could work together, although the red herring theme seems to suggest that we not take seriously the stop theme. The following solutions works with either or both of the above theories: The H+OO spells 38 alphanumerically if read from bottom up like the WOMANSJEWELRY sign. H=8 + O=15,O=15 indicating door 38. [Independent Credit: Kon Tiki | also Katherine & Nova] On the opposite side of the room the scales-sign could indicate door 43. The 4 (on the left) is more than the 3 (on the right), thus a scale weighing the two numbers would tip to the left. [Credit: White Raven] The tail could also be seen as pointing to door 43. [Credit: Aria] Thus both doors are indicated therefore the clues are red herrings AND/OR both doors are indicated reinforcing the conclusion that one should stop here.

252 thoughts on “Room 22

  1. This is a little out there, but red rain, also known as blood rain, is real phenomenon (caused by red dust or microorganisms), considered a portent of doom in antiquity.

    So maybe the “herring” clue is actually just there to make us think of red, together with the other red stuff previously mentioned (stop sign, devil’s pitchfork, etc). Others have described the H + OO sign as precipitation or rain.

    So those two signs mean red rain and are a warning against 38, which leads us closer to room 24.

  2. Katherine wrote on another page, “I’ve tried to find if someone else has posted about room 22 that one can add H plus OO using their respective number places in the alphabet to get 38. Is this already well known? Also the missing astrological earth sign could be derived from woman’s jewelry. Made of gold, silver, platinum, diamonds, other precious stones – everything is from the earth.”

  3. You’ll notice that the center of the floor has a [S]ofa, a [T]rident, an [O]ctogon and a [P]awn. This spells STOP, and also, the center octagon could be a stop sign. I don’t know what this means, but if Room 22 is the end of “Riddle of the Guide” path, this is a clue that, yes, you’ve reached the end.

    • Owen Hammer, I love this! I’m not sure that’s a Sofa but it’s definitely a Seat.

      WR has confirmed that the final room on the guide path is elsewhere, but it makes sense that the room is telling you to stop… it’s the most comfortable place to wait in the handle of the key, which is the safest part of the trap.

  4. This is a superstretch but if the H represented 3 somehow (because it’s made of 3 lines?) + OO (8 since its downward facing) = 38

    • sp,

      I don’t know if you are correct or not, but in favor of your reading of H+00 is that the lines of the H are clearly separate in the illustration, you can see the seams between the three lines. Also the + might be seen as a suggestion of counting / numbers.

    • If we really are adding those letters to get 38, it seems unthinkable that the alphanumeric solution NOTED BY KON-TIKI, CREDIT TO KON-TIKI, isn’t the right way to read it. “Three lines plus looks kind of like an eight” is a bit strained, and it’s a remarkable coincidence if the alphanumeric coding comes out accurate by accident.

      I think it’s more likely that neither is intended, but these alphanumeric solutions have becomes so plentiful that it’s hard to know what to do with them. If Manson intended many of them, it’s hard to imagine he wasn’t aware of the others. If he intended none of them, or one or two, it sure seems miraculous that so many arose by accident. (Though it’s hard to establish a baseline for how often something like that would be expected to happen by chance.) To the surprise of none, I’m given to doubting these things generally.

    • there should a be a separate section for alphanumeric solutions (at the back of the room)

    • Taking nothing away from these solution ideas, but why is 38 the better door? In most cases when there isn’t a “right” door, it seems like the door of less trouble is indicated. Wouldn’t that be 43?

    • Yeah, it’s an odd problem, not helped by the fact that we don’t know what’s going on in 43, and don’t see directional clues in 38. We really don’t know what’s going on in this loop of rooms here.

    • On this page the + and O look close together but in the actual illustration the space between the two is equal to the space between the + and the bottom of the vertical lines of the H.

  5. The shadow of the TRIdent (3) falls right next to the OCTAgon (8) in such a way that it could be read as 3 and 8 = 38. not to mention that the obvious that the trident is pointing to 38.

    Also alphanumerically H + O+ O = 38, the + sign is telling us to add…

    and does anybody else ever think that the scale = libra = air sign, lion tail = leo = fire sign, and HOO = water sign, all that is missing is an earth sign? That’s the way i’ve always tended to see it.

    I guess the real problem with this room is that nobody really knows the correct door. according to one’s choice an observation can be a red herring or a clue.

    • i like the zodiac stuff although i vaguely remember someone mentioning the 3/8 trident/octagon connection. too much mazecast/abyss overlap/unlogged.

    • There are 3 octagons as well, the base and then the two outlying ones on the floor.

      But wouldn’t 43 be a “better” door since it would not lead you closer to 24?

    • Scales could relate to “blind justice” and tail could signify “pin the tail on the donkey”… a game you play blindfolded.

      And that means…

      Yeah, I dunno.

    • Weirdly enough, Aquarius – which would be the obvious way to read H+OO as a Zodiac – is an air sign.

      So is GEMini (gem, jewelry, eh?)…which would leave Leo the lion’s tail as the only non-air sign.

      Grasping at straws here…

    • Or if her ring = herring = fish = Pisces, that’s the water sign. Still no earth sign though

    • There are two strange things about the Womans Jewelry sign. First, why is it written syllabically upside-down? Is the answer a wordplay thing? I feel like the answer should be some kind of double meaning phrase that would be written like the sign, i.e.
      but would make sense backwards or forwards. But that would be crazy difficult!

      Second, why is it Woman’s and not Women’s? The only reason I can think (besides making it “her ring”) is that by making it singular, it eliminates an S in the answer.

    • I got an email asking if I would confirm the right answer for this room, I just need to reiterate that I have no clue what the answer is.

    • 515,

      I thought along the same lines as you. The arrangement of the letters is very odd. Her+ring is a great solution but it fails to account for the bizarre arrangement of the letters unless you take the arrangement to be nothing but a way of obscuring the phrase.

      Obviously the word JEW is produced by this arrangement as well as ONE. You can also get LONELY if you reduplicate the L (I only mention this because “lonely” is a significant word in the text. Other words available are SO (diagonal), JAW, and SEE (diagonal).

      Here’s a solution I dismissed, Samson was the ONE JEW among the Philistines, also known as the “Sea People,” whose God, Dagon, was half man, half fish. Samson slew some of them with the JAW of an donkey…SO SEE? :)

      I’ve also tried rearranging the letters of each line to spell something new, but, like in your idea of an upward winding solution, the difficulty of constructing the puzzle itself is prohibitive.

      Anyway, my instincts could be off base here but they tell me that the arrangement is significant and not just to disguise the phrase WOMENS JEWELRY.

    • What if the arrangement of letters was done that way to make it look like a vision test chart with its random letters, usually with one on its own on top. The scales and tail around 43 represent blindness (as I explained above). And the vision test and the I (eye) + OO (glasses) represent sight.

      So go with sight, not blindness, right? Superficially, the SEE poster in 38 seems to confirm your choice.

      But this is a read (past tense) her-ring because in the Maze, blindness is no disadvantage (per Borges in 29). So if you depend on how things look — sight — you’ll go to 38, which is the wrong door.


    • Forgive me if it has already been mentioned, but has it been pointed out that water is not HOO? It is two hydrogen and one oxygen.

    • That’s a fair point, but I think in the rules of a rebus, H+OO = H+2O = H2O = water is reasonable enough.

    • 515′s reading had always been my reading. It makes perfect rebus sense to me, but this has actually become the source of some dispute in the Maze hangout.

      Given that we don’t know the purpose of the signs, I wouldn’t say with any confidence that the sign DOES mean “water” (though I think that’s the best guess thus far), but I also don’t think that reading should be excluded just because “HOO” is not the chemical composition of water. The reading of that sign that got us “water” was never based on chemical composition, but simply a rebus of the phrase “H 2 O.”

    • If you were to pose this rebus to anyone as a stand alone puzzle you might get a lot more people saying that HH+O makes more sense than H+OO on a strictly logical basis on what is true, not what is interpreted (there are no two ways to interpret water, it is only made up of one combination of molecules).

      Not only that, but the WOMANS JEWLERY is read upward while H+OO is downward pointing, making me think there is more to this riddle than solving rebuses.

      Either Manson screwed up on a rebus, or it doesn’t mean water at all. I can’t see any other option. Manson is, I hope, a man of the world, and knows that changing the location of the 2 changes the properties of the element.

      If you accept that H+OO has to be water, then you are implicitly accepting a broader range of meanings in order to get what YOU want, not what the author intended, which is a slippery slope that ends up in a Gentilian result.

    • Nobody is saying it HAS to be water, just that in a rebus puzzle the actual chemical composition of water is less relevant than the order of the symbols. HH+O would be 2HO in a rebus, or aiches-oh. Rebuses (rebii?) often use homophones that are not exact as well (for instance a picture of an orange + the letter u means “aren’t you”, not “orange you”)…. you have to suspend disbelief sometimes to get the message.

    • This isn’t even that kind of a stretch here, though. The only stretch involved, I guess, is making “OO” into “2 O” instead of “2 Os,” which I guess it would more literally be, but that’s completely standard rebus mechanics.

      That is, “[xx]” translating to ” 2 [x].” You can google rebuses for “see eye to eye,” “down to earth,” “up to a point,” I don’t know, probably a hundred other similar expressions, and see the same mechanic used over and over.

    • Obviously the H + OO issue isn’t solvable without an accompanying solid solution, but my two cents is that given Manson’s tendency toward linguistic and spacial solutions that H + OO is supposed to be read as “H two O,” or phonetically as “who,” or used as shapes as in sp’s 38 solution above.

    • I don’t think there is anything to this but HO2 is a chemical called Hydroperoxyl.

  6. I am guessing that what we have here that is correct is scales, tail and water. And what we got wrong is red and maybe herring since I cant think of what else we could do with herring. I can’t imagine we got the red part right and if the only bit we got right was HOO being water then Manson probably wouldn’t have bothered letting us know anything was correct since it is a pretty obvious riddle. This sound right to the rest of you?

    • “Womans jewelry” to “her ring”/”herring” is actually the part I would express the most confidence in. Everything else was kind of piled on top of there. Really, since the solution all revolved around that, if anything is correct, it seems like at least that is.

      The “red” was a bit inelegant, and the exact meaning of “red herring” in the room wasn’t clear; that whole step was just sort of forcing into place the elements that seemed like they had to be there given the presence of “herring.”

  7. The HOO could be “who” and the sign says JEW and ONLY.
    “Who only Jew”?

    The Celtic knot here, on the bed and in the cage room shows it is something even though isn’t about the guide.

  8. So, here is Dave’s new theory of 22. W R: You might actually like this one a bit – because I found a plausible use for what exactly is a red herring here.

    I think this is all about a 2nd tier false guide. I think the Greeks (at least Minotaur and Daedalus) are the first tier. And I think Manson went for a pretty serious 2nd tier false guide of the sun. As I noted the trail of “looks” could be cut short when you get to 19. She “looked him” in the eye, right after they squint into the sun. The center of the room 22 could be an eye looking at the “sun”. I really think Sabbath is indicated here (see previous posts for that) but my problem was “why in the world would it be?” If this is about false cluing the sun as the guide, that makes sense (SUNday). The “one”s here also make sense (by the way this observation goes back to my first modern run at solving maze in 2012 and the “Chistopher’s – I noted the o’s and the e’s at the time) – pointing us to door one, and the sun at the door and a sun symbol on the floor. The connections to room 19 here make sense, Stop and rest are part of Sabbath as are JEW, pharisee and the tree of life’s node of HOD here. In other places in the maze you have the general theme of light=good (although imperfect) and there is that sun in 4. There is Helios in 15 and sun stuff in general.

    And then – there is a red herring to be found here. THAT is what I think the red herring does. The one at the door in 1 is about the minnow/door and bull-man being red herrings. This one is about the SUN being a red herring.

    And then the connections to 36? That is to get us back on track and seeing how the sun “looks” through the door in 36.

    And the fact that “Can we start again please?” is “+1″ to Herod’s song in the *theatrical* Jesus Christ Superstar, and that Herod was portrayed as flamboyantly gay in that musical and that the letters on the maze clock could spell a derogatory term for that, And that we can get Herod here at all based on JEW and Pharisee and judgement (scales) and a room one style anagram (H + ROPE with p/d flipped as room one’s F/L flips). Well, that is all a coincidence, one Manson was fairly explicit about. Herod and the “superstar” are NOT here (and probably that means we should not be finding Jesus anywhere else in the maze as well – for all future reference) and certainly not the derogatory term. So we left it at “Herod” = wrong. Pharisee = maybe. But I will remember this one as probably the maze’s most interesting confirmed coincidence to date. And at some level probably always think of it as the “start over” room. And I also like the fact that Manson seems to have intended one to follow a false trail in this room – not the one I followed – but still.

    One last thought about exit indicators: WR and I agree that 11,6,and 40 all lead away from the abyss and to room 38. After that I’m on my own in that 38 points to 22 and 43 points to 22. But then I have to concede that 22 points to 43 and that trying to make it point at 38 is a stretch. Now for 22 and 43 to both point to each other makes sense since both would be pointing away from the shortest path to 22. But now I wonder about 38. My pointer there to room 22 is the over abundance of double letter words both in text and picture. I wonder if it also has a pointer to 38. My desire for symmetry demands it (whether it is there or not).

    • Well – no he actually said he was not a fan of broadway really. And since then I have a better idea what is in a lot of rooms. I don’t think we’ve seen any contemporary references of any kind that we have any serious certainty of anyway (that I can think of off hand), so now-a-days any contemporary reference is even more suspect than it was then. But regarding the homophobic thing, that was the big reason I wrote, him about that one, and why he answered more extensively than usual – he wanted to be clear that that was not meant. And from the small inklings I have – his politics runs quite opposite of that. So – no – not all all – even subconciously.

      In my original thought patten about that I had to make allowances for it being 30 years ago, and for a person of completely unknown views. I think about songs like “I want my MTV” which played a lot, but now can’t be played in (was it Canada or England?) because of that word, and movies from the 70s like blazzing saddles which was hilarious at the time but almost unwatchable today because of the extreme over use of the N-word. In any case – It was a concern – so I asked, and he was clear that it was not intended at all.

    • Your politics can’t change your subconscious. What are the odds that such a compelling connection would arise by chance?

    • SP : So basically, Manson is a homophobic fan of Andrew Lloyd Webber?

      DG: Oh – the point was to say those two are incompatable – oops – I saw VW’s first. OK amusing. But are they? Dunno. Somebody decided Herod who is sort of a bad guy in that story should be portrayed as gay.

      Anyway – I’d rather focus on the sun theory – I just brought it up go give newer people the background history.

      I suppose the only other point there is this – Manson put some complex things in MAZE. V W disagrees but I think we’ve seen a lot of it. So while V W sees the whole scenario as maze scrabble I’m sure – I see it as one error in a chain of mostly correct analysis. And to me at least what examples like this one say is that without Manson giving us complete answers – any final complete summary of MAZE would contain errors – no matter how many years we spent on it. Even if we had a perfect detector for random vs. intended (which no one has created) any setting we put it at would let some false things in, or exclude some true things, or both. And I maintain that while we are still in the finding phase, any such detector should error on the side of finding too many things, at least slightly, pruning away unproductive and unlikely things can come later is subsequent passes. Having marginal things sitting in the inventory for a time, gives them time to click with something else – or not to click with anything and fade away.

    • Well V W – I sort of just covered that in my last post – but in all of maze there will be SOME coincidences that are good enough that even with a properly set detector they would make it through. I mean in ordinary statistics you might reject something beyond a certain thresh-hold as say a data entry error with say 99% confidence – but if you did everything perfectly you will be wrong 1% of the time. Unavoidable. The biggest problem with that (22) case, really, was that we did not know what we were looking for. In most rooms we want an exit indicator. For muliti-room puzzles – we normally want the guide. What exactly were we supposed to find in 22? And how would we know if we found it? That made it much more difficult to sort out what was coincidence and what was not.

    • I don’t know, if I remember his response correctly, it was weirdly worded, something like he didn’t invite Herod but he may have come on his own. It sounds like he’s saying it crept in from his sub-conscience.

    • There was weird wording about not inviting Herod but he might have shown up un-invited. Yes. Manson was extending the riddle a bit, I think. (Like that two people in one chair clue – about as helpful as that). But what I think he meant is that “Pharisee”s were intended and “Herod” was not so thus Herod might have shown up without a specific invitation.

  9. Turn H + OO on its side. It now say “I + OO”. One eye meets two again. In this case a pointer to room 6 I’d say. That also satisfies me regarding the exit indicators in the trap. 11 points to 40. (6 maybe points to 40). 40 points to 38. 38 and 43 both point here to 22. Here we might have rest stop and/or red herring. But the exit indicator seems to be to 38, why? Probably, it seems to take us back to 6 to that eye and the guide Riddle.

    That the Trident seems to mark times on the Maze clock makes sense again as well. It gives either/both the time at the front door and the time in 19/23 – FA and/or GA. But then we have all this gaudiness and theater connections to 36. And the Trident ALSO names the exits there since it sits on A/1 and F/G/6/7. The digits given match up with 16 and 7 in room 36. Another very hidden hint to connect between 19 and 36.

    Long ago I noted an excess of “one”s and close variants thereof here. This could be related to “one eye” but not obviously so. But then again – if you looked straight down at that pearl… Also of note both “pupil”s of the two eyes on the map come here, rooms 5, and 2.

  10. Not sure if it’s been mentioned, but the pitchfork is also a trident, which clues to Poseidon in the whole underwater theme. Also, woman’s jewelry could be a pearl.

  11. -Scales / Fair, Tail / Tale = Fairytale.
    -Woman’s jewelry sign written upside down= Tiara (as men also wear earrings,necklaces,bracelets,rings, they don’t wear jewelry tiaras).
    -H+OO = tears running down.
    -We have 5 doorways cluing penta/pent/penthouse. A penthouse is “not a bad place/spend quite some time here(her)”. Pent up=keep shut in.
    -We have one side of the scale hanging down, the tail hanging down, the sign reading upside down, tears coming down, tassels hanging down, curtains hanging down, light fixture hanging down.

    -We are looking at RAPUNSAL in the top of the tower. “Rapunsal, Rapunsal, let down your hair.” As the “fairytale” goes; witch cuts off Rapunsal’s long hair and releases her. Prince is thrown from the tower by the witch and he becomes blind. He wanders the woods and finally finds Rapunsal who upon their embrace, her tears fall down into his eyes and he can see again. Rapunsal has given birth during this time in the woods alone and is living with their “twin” children.

    The twins again reinforce my dual persons theory and Room #38 as proof contains a large picture of a “hairy ape”.

    I agree with what has already been mentioned here: the trine=3 and the octagon settee=8 to obtain Door #38.

    • “Women’s jewelry” = “Her ring” = “herring” = “HAIR ring”?

    • Maybe not “hair ring” but “HEARing.” A “hearing” is another name for a “court date,” and “court/date” is what the prince wanted to do with Rapunzel. At a court date justice is blind, just like the prince ends up being after he is thrown from the tower. The curtains in this room might also be called blinds.

      A person who is blind can’t SEE. “C” is for “cat,” indicating Catwoman, but as this room is about blindness (not seeing) we know that Catwoman has nothing to do with the solution to this room. Since Catwoman is not featured in the story of Rapunzel, this further confirms our understanding of the room.

      Rapunzel, the character, was named after rapunzel, the plant, and in the Grimm’s story rapunzel is noted for being enticingly green. This is in contrast to the red theme previously noted in the room. Although the room seems to be telling us to stop and rest, the deeper meaning of the room is that we should go. (In many major American cities, green lights are used as a traffic signal meant to indicate that drivers should proceed through an intersection.)

      So which door should we go through? It’s hard to say, but Christopher Manson has already taken us an a wild ride with this noodle-scratcher of a room!

  12. I think there is a way out of the TRAP, but it is not really a door. It is a portal between worlds – the world of the MAZE and our would. Essentially a fancy way of saying “close the book and start over”.

  13. Forgive me if this is known already, but it seems to me that the reason for all the “one” references in the text accompanying Room 22 is that there is a third door in this room, a door to Room 1, right in the center, whose number is perfectly and all-too-conveniently concealed behind the top of the lamp.

    There are three columns of letters in the “woman’s jewelry” word puzzle, and in the *center* column of letters, reading bottom to top, is the word “one.” If the three columns of letters correspond to the three doors in full view, then “one” would be the center door. Also, the formula for water, turned on its side, gives us the Roman numeral 1 (and 1 plus zero is still one).

    Taking more clues from the text, “gaudy…backdrop” *could* be “go…back” (i.e. to the start) and “exotic” contains “exit” (from the trap). This room is “extremely critical” (i.e. important) because it is the only exit from the trap. The “red herring” the room presents is therefore the seeming appearance that there are only two exits here, to Rooms 43 and 38. (Note that the original red herring, on the cover of MAZE, is shown over the top of a door, concealing something behind it.)

    The difficulty of this solution (which allows us to proceed to Room 1) is that it requires us to feel as though we are “breaking the rules” by going through a door that isn’t explicitly and clearly shown to us (even as 17 is, when one sees it). All the circumstantial evidence seems to point to a “1″ being behind that hanging lamp, but as in that famous painting by Magritte, we will never see what is really “behind” it. We have to be so confident in our interpretation that we “know” it is there. The curtain for the door to Room 1 (if it is that) is ever so slightly open as well, suggesting the slim hope that we can indeed get of the trap, and back on track….

    • Fidelio,

      Welcome to The Abyss!

      By mapping the rooms we know that the unmarked doors are from rooms 2, 5, and 42. Perhaps there is another reason for the multiplicity of ones? We are not completely satisfied with the solution for this room.

      White Raven

    • I do like the idea of a hidden door behind the lamp; you can read my theory about Room 6 having a secret door to 1 in a similarly take-it-or-leave-it manner.

    • If there’s a 1 hiding back there, it’s notably smaller than the other numbers on the other signs.

      Trying to be definitive about stuff like this is presumptuous and off-putting. People want to find a way out of the trap; I don’t think there is one, but I won’t pretend to know there isn’t. But if finding some things that could be ones means that a room has a secret exit to one, then there aren’t a lot of limitations on movement in the Maze.

      Perhaps a more concrete objection is that if 22 did lead to 1, then the shortest path through the Maze would be fewer than 16 steps: from 45 go to 28, then 43, then 22, then 1. In fact, adding a secret door to 1 from any of the rooms in the trap would create this problem.

    • On further reflection, I have to agree with the criticisms of my idea that there is a door to Room 1 behind the lamp, especially because that would throw off the shortest path solution. But we do have to account for the way the room *teases* us with that possibility. Perhaps this room is just telling someone stuck in the trap to “stop” (the octagonal stop sign), give up, and go back to Room 1. I never wanted to suggest that this Room offers a clear and definitive way out of the Trap, but now I’m not even sure it is there circumstantially. The “one” is behind that lamp in a “wouldn’t it be nice” sense, but not in any other way, as that would disrupt the architectural logic of the maze.

  14. Me: “The trident lines up to point straight at door 38. The trident has three points, like Irene said. The trident is on an octagon. Trident and octagon is 38.”

    SP: “Maybe there’s an undocumented reason why we would want to go to 38 over 43? It’s possible!”

    DG: “But also the Trident could be interpreted as pointing away from 38, and we could take the 3 points and the four signs to mean 43. So roughly a tie in my mind. So I think we are just supposed to sit our butts down here and wait until we figure out an escape plan.”

    You could be right but my guess is that 38 is being pointed out, the pictures aren’t grouped with the trident. Seems like Manson groups stuff.

    V: That’s the red herring, that is. The clue to 38. The things pointing to 38 are the very things that give us “red.”

    Yes, that could be it but I took the red herring clues to say that the the clues themselves are a red herring. The one room in which we should ignore the main riddle. True the red part is the 38 part, but still I wonder…

    • 4 signs – also 4 total ends to Trident. Yes – weak.

      Red Herring – I still think that is about the one over the door in the beginning.

  15. What is “red”? I don’t see any indication of red. I do ‘see’ a painting here, one of two, right?
    If red were to appear, it would be room 27. R=18 + E=5 + D=4 =27.
    So, the word “RED” should be found in room 27, not here.

  16. There are three doors in full view, or in the center if you prefer, and the trident has three points. The top halves of the doors look like eights. Therefore, 38.

    • Welcome, AND you are invited to join the various Maze-related shenanigans that tie Maze readers into a bizarre little community. Notably:

      -The weekly Maze podcast (new participants always sought and welcomed)

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      -The Maze wiki ( wikis always need contributors!

      If you’re interested, send me an email at vewatkin AT gmail DOT com.

    • Hope this hasn’t been mentioned, didn’t see it anyway. The trident lines up to point straight at door 38. The trident has three points, like Irene said. The trident is on an octagon. Trident and octagon is 38.
      Why 38?
      Beats me.

    • Hi Laura,

      I don’t believe anyone has mentioned the 3-8 connection yet. Good job! Only snag is since we’re in the trap neither door will help us much . Rooms 22 and 43 are the furthest most points from Room 24. Any move from those two takes us closer to darkness.

      Maybe there’s an undocumented reason why we would want to go to 38 over 43? It’s possible!

    • But also the Trident could be interpreted as pointing away from 38, and we could take the 3 points and the four signs to mean 43. So roughly a tie in my mind. So I think we are just supposed to sit our butts down here and wait until we figure out an escape plan.

    • That’s the red herring, that is. The clue to 38. The things pointing to 38 are the very things that give us “red.”

    • Ned Land, played by Kirk Douglas. That movie was released in 1954. Kirk Douglas, born in 1916, turned 38 that same year.



      Case closed.

      5 Man of la Mancha points awarded

  17. I got it now. It’s a song from 20,000 leagues under the sea. Scale + the giant W (the shadow of the trident) = whale. The song is: “A Whale of a Tale”.

  18. The riddle revolves around the ‘scale’ which is used to ‘weigh’ along with ‘water’ and we find the shadow of the trident is indeed a ‘W’. W and tale/tail makes ‘Whale’.

    Pearl Earring or Diamond Ring also come to mind. (Diamond as in playing cards.)

  19. I do like the herring/her ring.

    My take on this was trident of Poseidon + women’s jewelry is a Pearl.
    A pearl of wisdom. Also, “a chandelier hanging from a chain in the center of the room.”

  20. I get that you thing “Herring” is there too. So do I. And I think stop is here, in the sign and in “rest”. But I really think you are fitting noise reading those 4 signs as “stop” the way you laid it out. I thought “donkey tail” was a joke. I mean really the only one I’m comfortable with is the scale.

    • But it is good that we are on opposite sides than usual here- that may mean movement towards consensus.

  21. Things not accounted for: multiple pushes towards “fair” 3x here and 1x in ajoining rooms.

    a large excess of words with “one”: “overdone”, ”som(n)e, “everyone”, ”lonely”, ”one”, “one”, “som(n)e” “on(e). 6 pure “ones” (and 3 near-misses). This kind of repetition is generally meaningful in MAZE.

    We also have lots of things that seem theater related “gaudy”, “everyone is a critic”, maybe “exotic”.

    And big one:

    Finally the trident in this 8 sided room marks a MAZE time F/G A. It is exactly between so let’s take it to mean both. This would be the entrance way, room 1 (and 41), room 23, and room 19. A number of things tie these rooms together. They are the ends of the figure 8, they both feature the Sun a lot. There is an easel in both.

  22. I THINK Y’ALL ARE MISSING THE BIG ONE HERE. Which is the glaring stop sign, and all that which is associated with it! Let’s take a look at the signs:

    S Scale
    T Tail
    O the shape of a woman’s ring (or any ring… I think the word WOMAN is the REAL herring here)
    P Precipitation, aka water, aka H2O “going down” (there are lines that look like rain going down at the bottom of this picture)

    • If the third sign were only meant to signify O, there’s no reason why it would be specified as a woman’s jewelry, making “her ring/herring” a much stronger reading; but the S-T-O-P here is pretty compelling, and what’s amazing here is that it seems like Manson meant to clue both S-T-O-P and “red herring.”

      With the herring thing, there were the three signs that suggested fishy elements, but it wasn’t really clear why you’d need all those to clue “herring” when “herring” is right there in the one picture. This way, the entire puzzle sort of comes together, each reading supporting the other: STOP signs, herring–> red herring.

      I think this is a pretty solid one.

      Well, “precipitation,” that’s a little tough for the swallowing…

    • Not a tail. And I’d only go for “precipitation” if it was clear that we were suppose to to get a last piece. Not buying for once in a blue moon.

    • Dave: That is clearly a tail! You are going to have trouble convincing people otherwise. Also, the H2O is coming down, like rain. This too is going to be hard to refute with the reinforcement from the octagon. The weakest part of this is the O/Ring, but again, it’s strengthened by the stop theme.

    • No the “precipitation” is just shading like all places in MAZE. And the object is frayed on both ends. It is a Rope. If it was a Tail it would be indicated on the back end of an animal some how. And yes, the O from the Ring is weak too.

      Also you are not using a consistant method across those objects. You are picking and choosing methods. If you take the first letter of each you get STRW even given your “tail”.

      Nope – not buying.

    • I wouldn’t read the signs as meaning stop INSTEAD of meaning “herring,” but I think the readings compliment each other. Ring–>O isn’t the weak link here. If Manson was trying to do both things, that sort of explains why some of the clues are awkward (precipitation) and some of the clues are unnecessary (all the fish-related readings besides “herring”).


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