# Room 28

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…a spacious room with a hole in the floor. A ladder led down into the shadows. Outside, leaves shook in the wind. They didn’t like the look of that hole in the floor.

“Too dark down there!” they cried. “Who knows what’s at the bottom.” They looked at me again.

“Probably a room of some kind,” I volunteered quickly. “But you know what I say about appearances.” It would have been a relief to get outside for a while.

They wanted to know if they had been here before…. How could I answer that?

“I have the strangest feeling of déjà vu,” said one who, bolder than the rest, led us into…

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

Room Type:  PATH     Doors:  23  32  43  45

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

● The correct door is 23. The right-hand picture shows two fingers on the upper hand and one finger on the lower hand, 2&1=21 (same as in its twin, room 12). The left-hand pictures show one bone and one finger. Put the three pictures together 1+1+21=23. [Independent Credit: vewatkin | White Raven]

## 74 thoughts on “Room 28”

1. The U and the D could be a reference to up and down and the saying “as above so below” the image also shows a man after he “ate” something 8 in the 8 could be a reference to the 8 Planets because of the debatable Pluto at the time this room is also part of “The path” and in room 26 there was Atlas which was one of Saturn’s moons which means up so it wouldn’t be the ladder if Saturn is the 6th planet and if you took away the man’s hand pointing away from it you get 2+3 = 5 23 the is the right door

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2. As people have said the doorway with the balcony could be just a picture of a balcony.

In our group Porter pointed out that if you look at where the light is coming from, straight down from overhead, the shadow on the balcony picture would only work if the picture of the balcony were IN the door frame, so the picture of the balcony is painted on a door. We decided it was undecided.

Later Aelle noticed something which may clear up the question of balcony in this room. If you look closely at the bottom corners of the door frame you can see that there is a single line which surrounds the balcony image that doesn’t touch the door frame. It really looks as if the balcony image is painted on a closed door.

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3. Reference Rooms 12 & 28 & 15:

The picture of the young clean shaven bibbed eating person is an undergraduate student taking “courses”.
The picture of the bearded older man with scroll: this is the Dean holding the diploma.
The picture of the white bearded even older man is the wise professor.
The perfectly square hole in the floor represents a “mortar board cap” for graduation with tag/tassel.
The degree would be an MAS. The DU + MAS = DUMAS. We have been experiencing bells and telephones throughout MAZE that obviously clued Alexander Graham Bell. Here we have Alexander DUMAS.
NOTE: See Room 15 for another important Alexander and ref to Alexander Dumas’ work.

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4. The phrase “hole in the floor” appears 2 times in the narrative. The word “volunteered” in the narrative contains 3 eee’s = Door #23.

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• Why single out the phrase as something to count or the number of letters in that word? Just as easily could be 32 too. That system at the moment seems like it could make any room number you want. 3-tine is better. We know the bones and the fingers are important in a few ways, and the fork looks a bit like a 3. Knife + tine = 9? Could be, maybe.

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5. Last night on the mazecast, Vince, Barry, and I covered this and room 12. Vince and I put together a new solution on the fly which I feel okay about and Vince seems to like quite a bit. I’ll describe it here while we await the link once the official video goes up onto the channel (though you can already find it sitting in transit on Vince’s personal channel).

We know there’s a solution that hinges on counting the outstretched fingers in this room, but I noticed last night that you can also get the number 45 from the man second from the left by counting the fingers he’s *withholding*: since he’s only extending one finger and clenching the other hand as a fist completely, he’s withholding four fingers on one hand and five fingers on the other. 4 and 5 = 45. The man on the right, meanwhile, is extending one finger on his left hand and two fingers on his right, so he’s withholding four fingers on his left hand and three fingers on his right. 4 and 3 = 43!

All we’d need to complete the odd-one-in solution would be a way to get 32 out of the man at the dinner table. Vince ventured this: It’s been suggested before on either of these rooms that the fork might give a 3 since it looks very stylized and forks don’t ordinarily have just three tines. Per Vince, you can add together the knife and the single bone as two 1s to get 2, and then combine that with the 3 to get 32. (Yes, it’s a very different kind of clue than the other two men, but that’s true of the “ate” solution in 12 as well.)

The major problem here, which didn’t occur to either of us last night but occurs to me now, is that that method could just as easily get you 23 instead of 32 and there’s no way to definitively justify picking one over the other. (I don’t think we even realized last night that the correct door 23 shares the same digits as 32.) So we might need a better way to get 32 out of the man at the dinner table. Still, it’s a fun alternative solution for a room that would seem already wrapped up.

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• I read the knife and fork as a 31, and the bone as an additional 1; 31 + 1 = 32. This doesn’t have the ambiguity of 3 and (1+1), and it also makes more sense to read the knife and fork together (they already are together) than the knife and the bone.

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• Oh, that’s a good workaround. Since the alternative, 14 (13+1), wouldn’t get you anything.

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• I wrote a post of praise for this solution and then realized I had it backwards. The fork and knife suggest the number 13. If you add one you get 14 or 23 so the problem still persists, why reverse the numbers to get 32?

In the solution above the “2″ is above the “1″ in the picture on the right. The lower hand has the “1″ in the upper left picture and in the lower left picture the lower plate has the bone. Essentially it reads (from above to below) 21 01 01. Top down is the natural assumed way of reading something barring an indicator to do the opposite and this jives with the way “21″ is read in the mirror DejaVu room. All of this is why I felt confident that it read 23 and not 32.

The possible presence of the 45 and 43 (read from below to above instead of the above to below) suggests perhaps that the posted solution is also reversible (from 23 to 32) and that there are no solutions in this room after all…just intentional confusion.

Thoughts?

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• Interestingly, reading the knife and fork as 31 can be achieved by orienting the same way as the U and D: turn the picture so the 3 is upright, and the knife forms a 1 on its side underneath.

I can see the problem of the knife and fork being either 13 or 31; I don’t see adding 1 to the 13 to get 23. (I see what you mean, I think, adding 1 to the tens column, I guess, but that’s essentially adding the fork and bone and then WELL IT’S BEEN DISCUSSED.)

If Thail means the episode could have used more forethought, he’s right. And wrong. Well, I was prepared for this topic several weeks ago, but the podcast repeatedly fell through. I kind of rested on the preparation I had done weeks ago without refreshing my mind as to the topics to hit, and it ended up kind of messy. Also, things like messing up the Room 6 quote betray the fact that I’ve barely touched or thought about Maze in weeks, due to the medical problems I already mentioned that didn’t seem to move any of you heartless monsters.

I’ll do better, honest!

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• Not to be heartless, really, my heart goes out to you, but the U is upright and the D on it’s side. If we turn the page so the D reads correctly then the fork becomes an E. If we turn the book so the 3 in the fork reads correctly then the D is backwards. But I believe you are on to something here, it’s just not entirely clear what yet.

By the way, happy holidays everyone! :)

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• It took me a minute to see what you meant, and then I realized that it wasn’t clear what I meant. Put simply, the U is perpendicular to the D, and the 3 is perpendicular to the 1, in each case one above the other…and that’s all.

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• Ah, that makes sense! Sorry I misunderstood you. I hope you are re-cooperating well!

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6. vewatkins mentioned: the door to 43 is just an image of outside. facticious mentioned: it is just a ‘relief’ as mentioned in the text.

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• Even given that the outdoor image is fake, it doesn’t really seem to be a relief.

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• The dark top on this room may be an overcast sky, or an overhanging patio, or a painted backdrop – hard to tell, but it is not a relief.

My vote is for overcast sky for the symbolism. Correct deja vu room – clear sky. Incorrect deja vu room – overcast.

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• was kidding about the relief (although it’s a 2D picture, you can’t tell me you definitely know it’s not a relief! after all it’s a little more convincing than a crescent moon being a 0!). vewatkins points out that when you zoom into the top of the fake doorway you can see what look to be pins holding it up. the bottom right has a convincing “frayed” looking corner. the line defining the “overcast” look is a little too clean cut to look like a sky, and manson has no problem drawing gradients, which is why this looks suspicious. the mention to the outside is aloof and without reference to seeing outside, just outside in general. this is the most convincing theory to me.

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• Does not look like a relief. Still cute.

In connection with storm picture in 23 and truth in art theme the painting in 28 seems a warning. 23 says you will find a picture of a storm in this room. And you do.

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• well I think it’s safe to say we debunked the theory that room 28 has a cloudy sky in the background – we all seemed to agree that as an overcast sky the style does not fit.

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• I hadn’t read this comment before and just noticed the weirdness of the scenery on my own today — nearly fell out of my chair. To me it is 100% clear that this backdrop is fake… I see the pinholes (or whatever) at the upper edge of the light part of the sky, but to me what is more compelling is the sharp line of darkness at the threshold of the door, which is completely absent in 12. (The shading of the scene is more convincing in 12 as well.)

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• Yeah, I’ve come around on this. Previously I voted for overcast sky because as a shadow it looked wrong. Actually the light from above is very far above as illustrated the shadows on decoration over the doors and so even though it looks odd to me the shadow is correct for it being a backdrop.

Since we can pass through the door I assume this is a door painted with an image like in its sister room. This could be a case of real=good, false=bad.

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7. We may have never done this one clearly. You can use fingers and bones to get 23 or get 32. 43 ahead has fake door, these all warn you off and odd one in is 45.

One finger guy does point right, which would be door 45.

The letter D is alphanumeric 4 and “Up” from that is implied by “U” so that gives 5 = 45.

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8. The figure on the right has the same hand gestures as the other Deja Vu room. I think this is meant to signify what he’s trying to say remains true in both rooms: “second time you’re in here (top hand) go there (pointing to ladder)”

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• Perhaps. It would be better if we could be sure 12 was the 2nd time you saw the room, although if you are roughly on the right path then that is the order they would come up.

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• Anyway you could get 23 you could also get 32.That’s a good sign of a false clue is it points two ways equally well. If you count silverware you can get 43 too, but not 45. You need both rooms for that, making it the hardest nut to crack and the correct solution.

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• vewatkin,

Finally someone got what may be the only riddle in this room. Zero to five!

White Raven

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• Hmm…Not even sure 23 is correct door here. Go back seems most appropriate, where ever back is. 10+1+21=32. 1bone for ten. With empty plate if you like. Still slightly better 23 than 32. But 45 seems to be best indicated. Two fingers pointing at two digits. 4 fingers one room 5 the other. I even think the D=4 U=up=5 thing works. Otherwise letters do nothing in second room.

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9. Depending on what you count as a solution – three of the room numbers contain a 3. One don’t. it happens to be the right way out.

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10. I have only one problem with these rooms. The d is laying Down. The U is Up. Up/Down. The points to the ladder. Now that would be a true clue in 12. False in 28. Maybe there is a second layer that makes use of that. We know why we have the letters in 12. Part of shoulder. But what do they do here?

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11. 12 and 28 vary in the numbers of the exits. The fake/dark door forward and the number of fingers and the number of bones. Those should be what we use in solutions I think. At least first round. Here in 28 if you realize there is fake door forward it can serve as a warning. Counting groups of fingers and bones here can give you 23 or 32 both as easy false clues. 45 is slightly harder. 4 fingers here. 5 in the other room. That gives you 45.

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• It’s reasonable to think the differences should figure into the solutions. How certain are we that the outside view is fake? Is everyone good with that?

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• In does not lead outside. It looks Flemish with magnification. His sentence about appearances it right before his sentence about outside. I’m good.

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12. Ok in a very very simple way picture on left indicates 45 because he points at it.

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• See, that door in 28, it doesn’t look like those are clouds or rain to me. It looks like the outside is just a poster pasted on a black door. It looks like there are nails in the top, and it isn’t quite smooth around the edges. Compare to the door in 12.

I think it’s a fake.

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• Wow, I think you are on to something there! Now that I look very closely, it does look as though it is a fake. Good eye!

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• Very astute! Another possibility is that it reflects a different time.

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• In addition, while the one that you say looks like it really is the outside actually leads to an out-doors room (room 21), the one that you are suggesting is fake does not (43 is indoors).

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• Do you think that might be the extent of the reason for the difference, then? Veracity?

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13. 28 – I mentioned the darkness ahead, more than in 12. There are some “odd one in” options. Or maybe you mean “45 is simply the obvious choice to get to the center”.

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14. My 11 year old helped with this one -
Odd one odd –
“4 silverware points and 3 whitebeard fingers” = 43
“2 utensils, plus 3 fingers” = 23 or 32.
Odd out = 45.

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15. This could be a case of which door isn’t indicated. Whitebeard points at 45 and 32. Brown beard points at 43. Diner points at himself. 23 is the odd door out.

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• The difference in the bones must be accounted for in the solution, though it’s hard to make it fit, since the other pictures already indicate the three wrong exits, and the number of bones doesn’t seem to figure into the solution to Room 12. (So regardless of what it means here, why couldn’t it be the same way in12?)

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• Also, let’s keep in mind that it’s impossible to reach this room without first hitting 12, so differences/references to 12 may fairly be part of the solution here.

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• Oh, shoot, you’re right, scratch that. I spoke without thinking; I misremembered 12 as being on the route in.

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• Room 12 has different numbered exits. The reasoning I made in 28 does not work in 12.

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• Yeah, I know, but I don’t buy the approach of just counting things in the room and then putting them together. I could, for instance, say that I can see four of the fat man’s fingers and his left fist, and five on his right fist (his thumb is poking out), and that this indicates 45, and so we can’t take 45.

Also, from 28, 45 is not the best door for returning to Room 1.

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• Hard to say if 45 or 23 is better. 36 is bad. 32 pretty bad too. In room 2 one answer gives both 29 and 12 as acceptable, but the more complex answer gives only 29. In room 5 both 20 and 30 are indicated as acceptable, but I thin 20 maybe be indicated as better of two.

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• For 28 all I know for sure is the clouds are darker out front than in 12, and going to 43 is the only really bad way out. So avoid the dark clouds. Not much of a clue.

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• That is the solution to room 12. “3 total bones, plus 9 total fingers” between both rooms.

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• The solution to Room 12 was posted by jal hordon:

“Painting on the right is showing 2 + 1 fingers (21)

Middle painting is showing a 2 (2)

Far left painting shows no fingers, but he just ATE his meal, as evidenced by the clean bones on his plate. (8)

The only room NOT being hinted at in the image is 39.”

No counted is required. Whenever math is required to solve a riddle Manson indicates it in some clever manner.

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• That is a solution too, I certainly agree. But I don’t think Manson limited himself quite as strictly to set rules as you would like. I think following those rules will get you through Maze, but not find everything he placed in it. I doubt the 3 bones, 9 fingers solution is accidental.

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16. This room is just like room 12. The only differences that I can find are the # of bones in the bottom left picture and the hands of the man in the painting on the left wall… Perhaps he is pointing back at 45 since room 28 isn’t part of the fastest track out.

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