Room 27

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…a darkened chamber dominated by a large figure.

We could see that someone had been working here recently; the entrance I had so carefully hidden had been uncovered. I made a note to return as soon as I could and fill in the hole again.

The visitors were so intrigued with the entrance at the bottom of the excavation that they ignored what the figure was trying to tell them.

“Where are the workmen?”

“They must be ahead of us,” I said. “If we hurry we can catch them…I mean catch up with them.”

I herded the group through the door to…

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

 

Room Type:  LOOP     Doors:  9  13  20

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

● In the wood in front of the statue is XIII, indicating 13, the correct door. [Independent Credit: vewatkin | White Raven]

● In this room is an obvious spade symbol over door 13 and heart symbol over a locked door, there is also a club next to door 13, and diamond shaped studs on door 13. In a standard deck of playing cards each suit has 13 cards, and the diamonds are embedded in Door 13. [Independent Credit: David Gentile | White Raven]

● The phrase at the bottom of the statue reads “FATA VIAM INVENIENT?” which is Latin for “Fate will find a way?” The statue represents a modification of the hermit card from a tarot deck. [Independent Credit: David Gentile | White Raven] This connection is reinforced by the card suit puzzle. [Credit: Vewatkin] The number of the hermit card is 9. “Fate” refers the fortune telling function of tarot reading. The answer to the question “Fate will find a way?” is obviously no, since the hermit is not holding his lantern, staff-less, and blindfolded. Thus 9 is the wrong choice. [Credit: One For Me (with a hint) | White Raven] Further reinforcing this, the number on tarot cards is in roman numerals, the correct door is spelled out in roman numerals as wooden braces holding up the hermit statue.

● The slope of the dirt floor (and piles of dirt in the room at the other end) suggests that the tunnel was dug from the other side. The Guide’s irritation and intention to cover the ‘entrance he had hidden’ suggests that moving from the room at the other end of the tunnel to this one is correct, and therefore taking the tunnel from this end is incorrect. [Credit: Vewatkin]

● The word “figure” in the phrase “…a darkened chamber dominated by a large figure.” if taken numericly refers to the larger of the two numbers in the room 13. Additionally the sign for 13 leans over as if looking down on the smaller figure, 9, reinforcing the metaphor. [Independent Credit: Vewatkin | White Raven]

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156 thoughts on “Room 27

    • It’s hard to say why, of all the inter-room connections, this is the one he wants blocked. It’s not a particularly helpful passage either way. On the other hand, the Guide is potentially behind all other blocked passages, so this passage may be noteworthy not because the Guide blocked it but because someone unblocked it.

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    • Thanks! I have been trying to figure this book out for two years. This site has been very helpful!

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    • Spark of Life,

      I’m glad you like it! Welcome to the Abyss!

      White Raven

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  1. “Blind as a bat?” I don’t know. I have been trying to do something with all the references to blindness throughout but it’s not coming together.

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  2. Here’s my notes on this room: “Dominated” clues “dominatrix/female/”The fates will find a way”/the fates were females. The statue would be Florence Nightingale known as “The Lady With The Lamp”. The ‘figure” would be telling them to “take the lamp”. The baseball bat clues 9 innings/the cat picture clues 9 lives.
    The correct door would be Door #9.

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  3. “…dominated by a large figure…”

    “Figure” apparently refers to the statue, though a common definition of “figure” means “number.” It seems incorrect to call 13 a large figure in the context of the entire Maze, but it is the larger of the two numbers in the room, and the way it faces down on the nearly subterranean 9, or just the majority of the room, could fairly be described as dominating. (Another meaning of “dominate” is to overlook.)

    In other words:

    “…overlooked by a large number…”

    The heart over the unmarked door rests atop a straight edge; note that this does form a sort of sideways 13, since the top of a heart is 3-shaped, and instead of coming to a point the heart concludes with the straight line.

    The spade over 13 does come to a point, though it’s an odd point that stretches out long and thin, maybe forming a 1. If it does, the 1 and 3 there are perpendicular to each other, but that’s something we’ve seen elsewhere, as in the net in 37 and the table leg in 14. (Your mileage may vary.)

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    • you got me thinking.. the statue is not particularly large compared to the rest of the things in the room (the doorways, the shovel), but the shadow is quite large, perhaps that’s what’s telling them something rather than the statue itself?

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    • vewatkin,

      Congratulations! Dominated by a large(r) figure indeed! Bumping it up one!

      White Raven

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  4. I discussed on the podcast, and then wrote up on the Maze wiki, a solution here:

    “The Guide indicates that the passageway to Room 9 has been dug up, and he intends to return later and re-bury it. The fact that there are no piles of dirt in this room, and not enough dirt to cover the entrance, means that the tunneling began on the other side, and this is where the tunnelers ended up. (Wherever they began digging, they would have had to amass dirt behind them as they cleared out the tunnel.) (Room 9, which features piles of dirt and the other end of this tunnel, confirms this to be the case, although it is not necessary to visit Room 9 to realize that Room 27 must be the end of the tunnel.) This means that the workmen, whom the Guide and visitors intend to follow, did not travel to Room 9, but rather through the only other available exit: that to Room 13. This helps to explain why the Guide is so upset about a passageway that would take the group the wrong way (which would ordinarily suit him fine): He is actually upset that someone tunneled out of Room 9 to Room 27.”

    It occurs to me that the spades in 9 and 27 might play into this same theme. Perhaps it is interpreting events too literally but: If your spade broke in the course of digging a tunnel, you would likely not carry the broken pieces through to the other side and then discard them there. The fact that the broken spade is in 9 suggests, again, that the tunnel began on that side, and the spade broke in the course of digging the hole. The unbroken spade on 27 was presumably the one used to complete the job.

    Less literally minded: The broken spade may mean nothing more than that the tunnel is incomplete, and this is why you cannot travel from 9 to 27. Given the way that time works in the Maze, it isn’t completely nonsensical that the tunnel has been completed when you’re in 27, but when you arrive in 9 it no longer is.

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    • Vewatkin,

      I’ve always wondered why the tunnel can only be entered from one side. An open hallway is no problem, just imagine that there is a door in there somewhere, but it would be a very odd tunnel that had a door in the middle. In my notes on this room I wrote:

      “Are we to suppose that after the group enters the tunnel the statue collapses behind them? The supporting beams spelling XIII as not only an indication of the correct door but also a warning?”

      I’ve never been satisfied with this conclusion, I like your time shifting hypothesis better. Great thinking!

      White Raven

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    • Vewatkin,

      I was so enamored with getting an explanation for the one way tunnel that I forgot to say, congratulations on a great solution!

      White Raven

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    • Just to add to that solution: The guide refers to the tunnel opening in this room as an “entrance” not an exit, further giving us evidence that one should consider 13 as the only “exit”. It seems the guide considers this room as a “1 exit” room (at least for the present). And also…there is a “light” at the “end” of the tunnel. meaning it’s an “exit” from the tunnel and therefore an entrance into this room and not the other way around (i hope that’s not too confusing).

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    • Regarding time in 9 and 27: I am confident the time in room 9 is “EC” on the Maze clock and 2am outside. Room 18 will be 3am, and room 13 4am, but I have no clue what the time should be in room 27. It is not on the path back to room one from anywhere but here. My best guess would be 4am to match room 13. In which case the unfinished tunnel idea could work.

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  5. “The word “red”? In “covered”? Perfect.”

    Some people just don’t get numeric code. That’s the third one I have uncovered. Someone else will eventually ‘get it’, but maybe not.

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    • so does that mean you’re just going to keep posting on here without actually giving your solutions? why bother posting at all?

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    • Hidden Mystery, you wound me. I really thought I was starting to come around to your way of seeing things.

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    • The word “red”? In “covered”? Perfect. I just found “herring” in “tHE visitoRs weRe so INtriGued”.

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    • HM: “Carefully hidden, until now, it has been uncovered.”

      What, are we doing poetry now? Okay…

      I (heart) cats.
      I (spade) dogs.
      I (club) baby seals.
      Diamonds in the rough…door.

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    • Laura, I take it you don’t want to participate in the upcoming podcast? We’d love to hear more about clubbing baby seals. It’s one of my favorite hobbies.

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  6. Ok, I think I’ve got something (sorry if it’s been mentioned before): The playing card symbols (heart, spades, and diamonds on the door) , and the pyramid symbols (on either side of the 13 sign, and the triangular shape made by the bat and it’s shadows) seem to suggest “Pyramid Solitaire”, whose object is to add cards up to the sum of 13. “Solitaire i.e. Solitary, alone etc” would also explain the hermit.

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    • And also perhaps there is just the fact that playing cards come in 13 denominations.

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    • David Gentile,

      Congratulations! A standard deck of playing cards has 13 spades, 13 hearts, 13 clubs, and 13 diamonds. Moving it up from one to two.

      White Raven

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  7. FATA VIAM INVENIENT? (The caption beneath the statue) means THE FATES WILL FIND A WAY? The statue also reminds me of Oedipus, the figure feom Greek mythology. When he was born, the Fates told Oedipus’ father that his son would eventually kill him. He then proceeded to have Oedipus sent into the wilderness to be eaten by animals and such. The servant commissioned to do so did not have the heart to do this and saved Oedipus. Oedipus grew up and one day stumbled upon his father on a trade road or something like that. They disagreed on something, and Oedipus proceeded to fight and kill his own father. So the Fate’s decree came true (It was also prophesied that Oedipus would marry his own mother, which also came to pass.). Once Oedipus found out that he had done these horrible things, he put out his own eyes, thus the blind statue over door 9.
    The fact that the Guide and the visitors came to that room at the time that that door had been unearthed, and that the Guide was disconcerted that is was visible, tells me that the Fates made it so. The story of Oedipus tells us as well to not question the decrees of the Fates. This might mean ‘follow door 9′. I am not absolutely sure of this.

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    • Irene,

      Welcome Irene!

      We know (from mapping the rooms) that the correct door is 13. Excellent research however, keep it up!

      White Raven

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    • There is also an Oedipus reference in room 3, and imho room 35 (4 legged bench or couch, 2 piece suit, three legged tripod totem). In 3 a picture saying “Sphinx, ?”, and in 35 giving a picture of the actual riddle of the Sphinx”

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  8. Turn the book sideways and the 2 beams in front are a “7″. (L does no good here). It look like it says “7 =” and the spade pointing right at the 7 could count as a 1. This looks a lot like the paper in room 1. Reinforces my idea that we are supposed to find Tarot 17 – the Star next door.

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  9. “XIII” is in the beams in front of the statue. If you can’t see it, then maybe it isn’t really there.

    If you want to see a picture of it, then shame on you for not being part of the official MAZE-related google hangout, because everyone in there has already seen it.

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    • vewatkin,

      Congratulations! Room 27 is out of the penalty box!

      See Related Images above.

      White Raven

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  10. The bat can look like a 1 (if we want it too). Cat = “C” = 3. 1,3 = 13. And this really seems to be where the statue looks.

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  11. The spade on the ground leans against the door we can not take and points to the capstone. The capstone seems to be part of the heart above it. So we could say it points to suits above doors at therefore 13.

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  12. “They ignored what the ‘figure’ was trying to tell them”. The 9 not the statue and “Nein” means no is German, so we should not go that way…

    OK that’s silly, but….

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    • In the only other room that 9 is an option, room three, “Nine” is spelled so you could not confuse it with German there. So not impossible…but impossible to prove intentionality without more I’d say. OK – foreign language in room.

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    • I don’t think it’s 9/nein, but you may well be right that the “figure” is not the statue. Could be a number…Is there perhaps a figure/ground solution we could be looking at here?

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    • There could be another figure too of course, but now that I’ve connected it to “foreign language” right next to it, I’d bet on it being a Manson thing. “Fates will decide” if it is a WR thing.

      At first the Latin from Virgil starts us thinking classical, but once we know this is Tarot then the Latin serves no purpose. So it is a thing to account for. The “NINE” in room 3 is only minor support. Mostly it is the intersection of these 3 things that makes it a real relationship
      1) The 9 (and good help from the text that it is important by itself)
      2) Foreign language
      3) The wrong door.

      That’s enough to make it probably not coincidence. I was throwing out random stuff when I said it. But it no longer looks random. The text was enough for me to think of it. The foreign language there made it a real relationship.

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    • And, as a topper, it answers it’s own question. “Let the Fates decide?” “No”

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  13. So what’s this guy’s deal, is he wearing sunglasses or does he just have no eyes or what?

    No eyes, eyes, “I”s, three Is on the sign, uh…and that looks like a one-eyed cat, so…

    The spade and heart symbols themselves contain a 3 shape…

    There are two beams lying in the dirt, positioned sort of like hands on a clock–no, wait, that doesn’t help, let’s just say they’re 1s…

    CAT…it starts with a C…meaning this all happened at sea…

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    • “C is for cookie, that’s good enough for me…”
      (Sesame street, cookie monster song)
      Sometimes I am reminded of the Sesame street’s game “Three of these things belong together, three of these things are kind of the same…”
      Now that I see that Manson cared enough about mysticism to include the Tree of life, I even more so think that he’s all about what we don’t see. That literature is stuffed full of “hidden relationships between things, and not the things themselves”

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    • Spade and heart really look like upside down versions of each other.

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  14. OK, now let’s make the case for 13. Above the door is a spade and it seems to have little hands holding a book labeled 13. Door 13 represents a “card reading”. The fact that the statue represents a tarot card is a clue to “get a card reading” and in the text we have “The fates will find a way?” as another clue that we need out fortune told. The fact that the statue points to the spade on the ground is another hint and at a card reading. The statue seems to be a Hermit in a trace also indicating a mystic fortune telling. His “entrancing look” looks at the entrance to 13. The visitors are so busy looking under the statue that they miss what it is trying to tell them, the text tells us, and door 13 is what it is saying. Door 13 is also surrounded by symbols indicating (bad) luck and thus fortune, an unlucky black cat, and unlucky 13. The bat could be a flying bat to fit the theme or just a “club” to fit the card suits. The statue also indicates the lantern – perhaps the fortune telling will illuminate our path.

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