Room 26

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…a dramatic room with four entrances and exits. “Not enough light in here,” they remarked. “Not very tidy either.”

“Which way now, children?” I asked in my most patronizing voice.

They objected to my tone, but it distracted them from the real clues. The game usually goes as I plan it, despite the intentions of my visitors, or perhaps because of their intentions.

“What the devil is this supposed to be?” one asked. They gathered around and I realized they were close to something. I quickly picked up the bell, ringing it loudly.

“Was this what you heard outside?”

Holding their ears they ran out the door to…

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


Room Type:  PATH     Doors: 1  30  36  38


● The correct door is 30. [Credit: Unknown - during the 1985 contest]

● The part of the Riddle of the Path is “Atlas.” “SALT” (the salt shaker) + the letter “A” held by a devil rearranged = “ATLAS.” [Credit: Unknown - prior to 1990]

● Three real devils = 3. One fake devil = 0.  3 & 0 is 30 – the correct door is 30. [Credit: Beq S.]

● Door 1 is known to be the entrance. A devil’s tail points to door 36. A devil’s pitchfork points to door 38. The non-indicated door is 30 which is correct. [Independent Credit: Beq S. | White Raven]

● The moon and Saturn = One of the moons of Saturn is named Atlas. The devils emerge in three stages like a rocket and a fourth one is in flight. The loud ringing of the bell is illustrative of the roar of takeoff. The Guide asks, “Which way now?” to answer that, one might consult an atlas. [Credit: Dave G]

● The fake/metal devil represents the Voyager 1 probe which discovered the moon Atlas. The real devils represent fire/take off, the probe was launched with a three-stage Titan-Centaur rocket. The devil’s mouths are open to represent singing – one of the songs played by Voyager 1 is “Devil Bird” which was also a nickname for Voyager 1. The shushing is illustrative of the silence of space. The theater chairs are representative of the bleachers for viewing a launch. [Credit: White Raven]

● The bell is the same shape as the zero for room 30. The Guide rings this bell loudly. The only door with a zero is 30, which is the correct door. [Credit: vewatkin]

● The position of the doors in relation to the door frame in this room strongly suggest that the doors open inward. The doors to 36, 38 and 1 are all blocked to some degree from opening by the open trapdoors. The only door which could open freely is door 30, the correct door. [Credit: Eric]


59 thoughts on “Room 26

  1. One thing we’ve been working on is finding solutions on the Path that involve all wrong doors being indicated, in part because of a comment by Manson that implied this is the dominant mechanism. So how about this in Room 26:
    Door 38 = three + 8 = the + 8 + er = theater (the room itself)
    Door 36 = three sixes = 666 = number of the beast (devils)
    Door 1 = fingers of shushers
    (Credit: VW)

    • “I don’t give a damn about puzzle points. Let’s find some solutions.”
      -vewatkin, 3 August, 2016, at 12:02 pm

    • Less facetiously: when you notice a connection (for lack of a better term) in MAZE, it is enough to share that observation without trying to hogtie it into a “solution” that tells you which door is the correct one. The questions I was trying to answer were why Room 26 is in a theater and why it has devils. We haven’t seen any reasonable explanations for it. That “three 8″ can be arranged into “the8ter,” and “three 6″ suggests “666,” seem like solid explanations. When you go a step further and say, ‘Well, we have to find something that suggests “one” then, to make this a real solution,’ you’re going down the same road that led us to seek out and accept so much nonsense over the last few years. And that’s so even if you’re correct! It’s the method I object to, not this specific suggestion; maybe the single fingers held up do in fact suggest “1.” Nevertheless, that’s not necessary to interject at this point, and it shouldn’t weigh on evaluation of “the8er” and “666.”

  2. You know, for some reason I’d always automatically assumed that the group of people traveling through the Maze were children, possibly because I was a child myself when reading this.
    Now, though, I realize that the indignant response our Guide receives when he calls the group ‘children’ may be because the group is a group of adults. Or perhaps the group is of all different ages, or they are whatever age the reader is, or perhaps it doesn’t matter at all. It’s just interesting to speculate about the group of people going through the Maze, because so little is known about them.

    • Well, maybe they actually were children, and were simply reacting to his tone…

    • I thought they were children as well! Then again, I guess anyone is a child to a potentially immortal minotaur. According to most mythology concerning the minotaur, he eats children, so that might have something to do with why he continually refers to them as such.

  3. E. points out that the last page (1) contains text that “the silences are as eloquent as the sounds” in these rooms. Could this hint at the silence of space mentioned by a previous comment?

    I must note that the “not very tidy” reference has, surprisingly, not been fully vetted in these notes.

  4. I attempted to connect all of the theories here with door 30. The atlas idea seems solid and I think we can connect it this way:

    Atlas orbits closest to Saturn ring A. There is also an obvious “A” held by one of the demons. The bell on the floor is metaphorically the “ring”. Ring A was the 3rd ring to be discovered, and is the 3rd (outermost) ring on the planet when counting the bright rings. So there are plenty of clues leading the reader to the “3rd ring”. Pictorially, a ring is just a hoop or a “0″. Putting that together we get “3rd 0″ or simply “30″.


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