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…a much smaller room.
A person with a white staff turned to face us. His associate shrugged, not an easy thing to do in his position, and went back to what he had been doing.
“Look, look,” said the person with the staff. “This is very important…”
I snatched the paper from his hand and tore it to pieces.
“How will he find his way without directions?” the group wanted to know.
“Don’t worry,” said the man, “here blindness is no disadvantage.”
I hurried my visitors out as quickly as I could to…
- Images and text copyright 1985 by Christopher Manson
used with permission. [Purchase MAZE from Amazon]
Room Type: PATH Doors: 2 4 8 17 35 40
Room 29 Mazecast is online at
It’s a full house tonight with a range of Maze fans from high and low, while Aria gives her drink pairing of the night, along with the sneaky story of meeting Manson… or did they?
Thanks guys…I feel more confident now as I was really confused about what exactly I was looking for along the path. I think I’ll start working on room 46…lol
I’m sooooo confused…you guys have been doing this much longer than I have so please straighten me out here. White Raven states that the question is 7 words long-which question exactly is that. “In what house will all live? is only 6 words and Like Atlas you bear it upon your shoulders is 8 words long? As far as Manson being elusive that’s fine if it’s to allow us to solve MAZE without getting any hints (and we will solve it) but being elusive to mislead is another story. I have read there were I believe 10 winners with any combination of Earth/World/Globe but that there is more to the answer than just one word-why didn’t the publisher release the actual “correct” answer if this is true and they were willing to pay out $10,000. If all of the winners have the full answer then anyone who is working MAZE should be entitled to know the “full” answer if the prize was won? As we are working MAZE for the challenge of it we should still be entitled to have exact answers or just no answers. What does that mean “one word in the Room 45 question is wrong? Why would he say that unless he is going to give the correct word-if not he should say nothing. If we will all be saying “I should have had a V-8” when the answers hit us, then why do we need any misleading statements like the one word was good enough to win the prize but that’s not really the full answer…huh?
The path is certain.
The final answer is certain: World/Earth
The clue to the final answer written along the path is certain. “Like Atlas you bear in upon your shoulders” All that is not certain there is exactly how you were supposed to arrive at that – for example the letters that spell out shoulders are scattered along the path between room 23 and the end in room 20, but there is not firm agreement on which rooms the letters should have been found in, or if some of the letters were given more than once, etc…
All that is a tiny bit uncertain is the riddle in room 45 – “In what house will all live?” was the answer the publishers put out. My understanding was that Manson only ever said that was “close enough” – that is they released the closest guess, not the exact intended phrase. White Raven has some early elaborate hypotheses that he backed away from for the most part I think – about what was a tiny bit wrong in the riddle. My understanding based on my making a guess and getting an extra hint from Manson is that the riddle in 45 was really supposed to be “In what house will some live?”
Forget about the publisher’s clue–we’re talking about the publisher’s answers. Your wording of the Riddle was almost right because it had one word wrong, not because “one” is close to “some.”
I think everyone can agree that there is no apparent, fair rationale for choosing one of those pictures over the other, absent the clues; with the clues, there’s still no clear reason to simply choose “all.” But we’re arguing about something that has already been answered. We know what the correct wording is.
This is why Room 45 is unsolvable. Even with the answer handed to us, we can’t figure out how we could have figured it out, and it seems easier to dispute the solution than to justify it.
There is zero reason to believe that and it makes zero sense that the publisher would distribute the wrong answer AT ALL, let alone without an explanation that the answer they were distributing was a wrong answer. The answers were labelled as contest solutions, not closest entries or best guesses.
Don’t mean to be room hopping here-but-I just noticed something very important in Room 29. Obviously we have a “blind man”…the numbers on all of the doors are “raised” as well as the “17” on the hidden door. The 17 is not attached to the candelabra and it is also “raised”. That is how he is going to find his way without the paper. Also, his name would be Louis “Braille”. His father made harnesses & leather goods. He was a Frenchman who as a boy was blinded by an awl (Room 45), Braille writing consists of raised dots-Room 45 awl picture shows holes/dots and he was a devout Catholic Room 45 nun. Could change the entire reading of Room 45?
I don’t think anything would change the reading of the riddle in room 45 for me at this point “In what house will all live?” was confirmed as essentially correct, and in part based on a brief conversation with Manson I think the only issue with it was that “all” should have been “some”. So the riddle is “In what house will some live?”
I don’t get why there’s any controversy left over what the correct phrasing is for the Riddle of the Maze.
Is the hypothesis that the publishers just accidentally wrote down the wrong words when they released the official solutions, and nobody cared enough to correct it? That Manson secretly intended the Riddle to be something other than what he told the publishers? That they came up with the solutions themselves and got really, really close?
It seems implausible, unless I’m missing something, that anything happened other than Manson giving them the solutions and them releasing the same solutions. $10,000 isn’t a ton of money, but it’s enough that it’s hard to imagine the publishers completely neglecting to administer the competition in any reasonable way.
V W: My understanding, and maybe W R can clearify is that Mason said the answer was right “World/Earth” and that the path was correct, and that the riddle of the Maze was something like “close enough” – he never acknowledged that the puzzle winners had the exact answer. Nor did he spell out exactly where the letters for shoulder were found, or how room 26 was supposed to be ATLAS, etc… I talked with Manson based on that and it was a shared understanding that the riddle was almost but not quite perfect. And I am nearly certain as a result of that that the correct word is “some” not “all”.
We could go look at WR’s page, which I will now do, as well as look though my stuff, etc…
The shortest path, the wordings of the Riddle of the Maze and the Riddle of the Path, and the acceptable answers, were all confirmed by the publishers in mailings to entrants during the original competition. Manson’s statement about something being “pretty much” correct can be found in the John Bailey archives–I’m heading out of the office now, but will try to look it up. It is not in regard to the wording of the answers.
Can’t post the url, so here’s the whole text:
Sat 10:12 PM
Subject: Postable MaterialTo: John Bailey
Sorry for the confusion. I also see that I have sent you conflicting
information (!) hardly an acceptable practice to such a stickler for detail
such as myself. I have condensed the important info into this single
e-mail. Please post it.
Hello everyone. I have had the following solution to MAZE pretty much
confirmed by Christopher Manson, via snail mail:
1.) The path in and out of the maze:
The sequence is 01-26-30-42-04-29-17-45-23-08-12-39-04-15-37-20-01
There is a hidden door to room 17 from room 29 on the table. The candle
stick holders form the number ’17.’
2.) The riddle of room 45:
“What house will all live in?”
WHAT = the W + HAT (the picture of the hat).
HOUSE = the SHOE and the horseshoe U around the table leg next to it (SHOEU
is an anagram of HOUSE).
WILL = “IAM,” “SHAKE SPEAR,” “WOOD ROW,” “SUN” — all of the objects on the
table. The missing syllable WILL makes “William Shakespeare” and “Woodrow
ALL = the picture of the AWL.
LIVE = the sign reading “ELVI” — an anagram of LIVE.
IN = EYE (I) + “N” spells “IN”
? = the picture of the ?
3.) The answer:
“Like Atlas, you bear it upon your shoulders”
Henry Holt would have accepted World, Earth, or Globe.
Room 01 = LIKE = The word LIKE is painted on a scrap of paper on the left.
Room 26 = ATLAS = SALT A is ATLAS spelled backwards.
Room 30 = YOU = There is an O and a U, but the text says “why ‘O’ and ‘U’?”
Y, O and U spells YOU.
Room 42 = BEAR = A BEAR (stuffed).
Room 04 = IT = The chair = “sit,” the hammer and nail = “hit,” the pieces
in the picture = “fit,” the candle = “lit,” the wood = “split.” That’s
five verbs ending in “IT.”
Room 29 = UPON = It’s written on the blind man’s sign.
Room 17 = YOUR = “Why, oh _ You are _” is printed on a sign. This is
The word SHOULDERS is spelled out of order on the way out.
Room 23 = O. Check out the note on the floor. “Everything Right” is
OKAY. “Nothing” is O. “The Time Is” O’CLOCK.
Room 08 = S.
Room 12 = U, D
Room 39 = R.
Room 04 = L. In the diagram of the maze posted to a wall, the word ELL is
Room 15 = H. The objects all start with H: HEARTH, HEART, HARE, HATS,
HOUSE, HEROES, HELMET.
Room 37 = E. All of the objects end with “E” — Eye, Table, Sphere,
Bottle, Vase, Cone, Dice.
Room 20 = S. You might think there are two S’s here, but no; one of the
S’s is “extra!”
Keep in mind, this is not an “official” explanation. I sent my explanation
to Mr. Manson, and he sent it back with a few corrections, and the sentence
“the rest seems right,” as well as the claim that I solved the Maze “more
Personally, I disagree with the “O,” and “E” placement. I think they
should be reversed. Room 23 should be E because the glove on the left is
making the sign language sign for ‘e.’ Room 37 should be O because of the
three bricks running across the room (they all have eye heiroglyphs on
them). This spells out three dashes which is morse code for the letter
‘O.’ Oh well.
I also though that the “IT” in Room 4 was the three pieces of wood that
seem to form the word “IT.” Again, wrong.
Just an observation: There’s a question mark in room 45, so there should
be a period in Room 1. That square with a dot in it looks suspicious.
> “You should feel free to post this on your Maze site.”
Note, this was after the solutions had already been released. The confirmation from Manson was only in regard to how those answers should be arrived at.
Again, can’t post the url, but google this text and you’ll find the page (Andrew Plotkin discussing Maze):
Andrew Plotkin says:
August 11, 2010 at 11:15 PM
I’m sure it’s out in the Webworld somewhere. But for the record, I’ll type in exactly the slip of paper I received when the contest ended:
MAZE CONTEST SOLUTIONS
What house will all live in?
Like Atlas, you bear it upon your shoulders.
(The World-Earth-The Globe)
OK background for everybody – this is all about the AWL and NUN pictures in 45. This is the clue the publisher gave relating to the pictures:
” You must choose between two pictures.”
The generally accepted answer has been “all” and this is one word in the riddle of room 45 “In what house will all live?”
My understanding and WR’s understanding is that Manson only said this was close to correct.
Here is the small hint I got from Manson:
On Jun 12, 2014, at 11:21 AM, David Gentile wrote:
Seems the 45 riddle may be : “In what house will ONE live?”
You’re almost completely right about the riddle, anyway.
Now note that the picture NUN/NONE is on the right – and my guess of “ONE” is almost all the way to the right between all and none. So my guess was “almost completely right”. So I believe the correct word is “some”.
That is the publishers clue was misunderstood as meaning we had to choose one or the other of the pictures, but in fact we were supposed to choose “BETWEEN” the pictures – some. In addition this is how I believe a number of other room puzzles work in MAZE – you put things together to get one word – and it is how all the other puzzles here in 45 work – each puzzle uses all the objects. The shoe and the U are both used for house, etc… Put aside the publishers clue for a moment and ask why would Manson design every other puzzle in this room to use all the pieces in the group, and then design this AWL/NUN puzzle so that we had to pick one? He wouldn’t. We are supposed to combine all and none to get some, and use all the pieces.
For the benefit of new people and just to have it all here on the thread, here is the full set of publisher clues:
Each of the additional clues below applies to one word of the riddle to be found in room #45 of MAZE:
1.) I’ll tip my hat if the two of you can solve this.
2.) You can get into these two shoes only if you don’t go anywhere.
3.) You will find two names on the table, and they go together like doughnut and hole.
4.) You must choose between two pictures.
5.) There are no two ways you can read this sign.
6.) You can see that another two pictures demonstrate their own kind of symmetry.
V W: I think the published answer is merely the closest anyone came to Manson’s intended answer. All 10 people who split the $10,000 were missing one winning word and none of them got it perfect.
If Edgar Allan Poe is the key to MAZE, then here is yet another Poe story:
In the story “The Purloined Letter”, Det. Dupin is searching for a stolen letter=I snatched the paper from his hand and tore it to pieces. Dupin describes how he searches a room, “uses large needles to poke into furniture/pillows to see if anything is concealed”=there are 3 large pointed objects in the room plus the pointed staff. Dupin removes the table top in the room to search=table top is hidden door. He states, “Not only opened every book, but we turned over every leaf in each volume, not contenting ourselves with a mere shake,” = leaf & shakers over the doors. Dupin states, “I put on a pair of green spectacles(dark glasses)=the blind man’s glasses. Dupin goes to the suspect’s house, finds the purLOINed letter, takes it, replaces it with another that he has prepared to look like the letter but writes an old quote inside from year 1707=Room #17. The LOINS consist of the lower hips & inner surface of the upper legs where they attach to the body(the crotch)=the associate standing on his head is displaying his crotch. “The PurLOINed Letter” and Door #17 (the table top hidden door) is the message in this Poe room.
This room analysis, at first glance seems to have more going for it than your comments on 44 and 35. I can’t go along with the loin idea or the 1707 idea. But the removal of a table top in a Poe story seems worth a close look. And the other connections to the story are interesting. But I can’t see it cluing door 17 really, or the guide. I guess, it could clue us to lift the table top, IF all the other clues were enough to settle on that particular Poe story, but unless we were already thinking Poe, which there is no certain reason to in this room, I can’t see the other clues even get us close to that. And there are too many things here that don’t connect to that story. And too many things in the story that don’t connect to here. So….interesting….IMO
I feel like maybe “a leaf blows around and around in the wind” is better replaced by “one /turns over/ a [new] leaf”.
I’m also surprised that the prominent “turned [to face us]” in the text isn’t called out as another indicator of what we should be doing with this room.
“Blindness is not a problem because an optical illusion is concealing the door. [Credit: White Raven]”
i think this is incomplete at best: Blindness is not a problem because the numbers of each door are in relief, so by using only one’s touch sense (i.e. closing one’s eyes), one could feel the 17 and its door knob, so the optical illusion becomes irrelevant.
Yes, you are right, my description was incomplete. I am writing a fuller description and giving you credit.
Another lame solution possibility: 17 letters on the blind man’s sign.
That IS a little lame, but it’s interesting, because there is some unnecessary verbiage on that sign.
The staves are near the unmarked door back to 4. This could be a clue that there are 4 identical staves. Thus it would help us find the doorknob. The 4 of staves tarot card is very appropriate for this room (see my page for that old info)
17 dark stripes between 3 visible chairs. The farthest back stripe on back chair may need slight magnification but is there. 6 dark stripes per chair. But because part of second chair is under table you only see 17.
My only pause is that “faith” normally involves relying on people not just data.
He tells us “here blindness is no disadvantage”. This is part of a trail of bread crumbs in the riddle of the guide. It points us on to room 24. “Look, look” is the link backwards in the trail to room 45. It also connects to the Medieval philosophy of “seeing” = direct experience and “hearing” = faith. Direct experience of the objects gives you very little may be the implication, since it is the implied relationships between objects where the meaning is found. This makes me wonder if Manson is conflating “inference” and “faith”. I can’t be certain. But in general, regardless of Maze, one could make the case that good inference is equivalent to justified faith.
The symbols over the doors, besides all being clues to flip the book, are not entirely unrelated to the rooms they lead to it seems. The leaf leads to the foundation of the Tree of Life from Kabbalah that was built into the MAZE map. The spatula leads to room 4 where “flip” in mentioned. Is room 2 a “key” room? Only to re-interpreting the 2nd large wall in 40, and to expressed values – but not to any central puzzle. It might help with the key on the wall in room 38 in a way, however. The key has 2 loops and 2 teeth. In room 35 “matching” is something we are suppose to come up with and these two shakers do match better than the “pair” in 42 where we could have a shaker and a grinder. Why is there a bottle over 8? Lightning in a bottle? Shaped like a bowling pin? Both?
Oh, I just noticed something here. The reason for the leaf image is described as involving a leaf blowing around in the wind, but the reason a leaf is included with the other clues to turning the page upside-down is the expression “turning over a new leaf.”
Yes, and the word “leaf” can mean a page in a book.
Also, a leaf such as this one will *turn* color in the autumn….
I agree that “blowing around in the wind” is a weak point in the Solution Summary.
Pointy shoes make shadow suggest jesters motley. Jesters turn things around.
Candelabra is solidly bolted to floor. becomes chandelier upside down. directions is on sign and in text. Up and down are directions. O in on is square so that can be DN. Man “turns” to face us.
Upside down returns to what he was doing – look,look
Shrug is not easy to do here. In 23 looking over shoulder is not easy to do. looking over shoulder here gets you 17.
7 unlit candles. 1 lit. In case you were not sure 17 was the door.
Never noticed that, good job!
OK – so he wears a Masonic hat and there is a secret here. That makes sense. What’s with the “Dutch boy” shoes or whatever.
Guessing maybe the Jester’s job is to “turn things around”.
the cord around the top of the hour glass cutting board is an 8, and an hourglass shape is sometimes called a “figure 8″.
There is an image of an hour glass on a sign meant to be hung from something. To use an hour glass you must turn it upside-down. That combined with the man standing on his head shows that the book must be turned upside-down, the number of the door will be more obvious.
The presence of the extra staves are merely there to show that the ball that appears to be on top of the blind man’s staff is actually not a part of it but rather a door knob. Only one candle is lit and the other two next to it have shadows because they are behind it and not actually part of the candelabra.
You are quite correct about the candles.
I never noticed that about the door knob. I don’t think anyone has mentioned that before. Way to go!
Do we get 5 out of 5 now White Raven?
So if it’s 5/5 shouldn’t the marker change?
Welcome, Mr. Gen!
My bad, I forgot to bump it up, thanks!
Only 4 out of 5? What are we missing?
Room 29 Solution: Complete.
Sixth room of the path – The hidden word is “upon,” from the sign “UP & ON.”
The correct door is the hidden door 17. The door in upside down in the middle of the room. The numbers look like candle holders. Up & On tells us to get up and on the table where the hidden door is. The staves around the room are upside right and upside down. Blindness is not a problem because an optical illusion is concealing the door. The upside right person can’t see, while the tumbler who is upside down can see, because looking upside down helps find the door.
The symbols over the door are red herrings (see room 1).
The Umbrella collected this correct solution from the now defunct John Bailey site.
The hidden door was discovered by several unknown people during the 1985 contest.
The solutions to the riddles mentioned above were posted by Slala.
The images over the doors are not red herrings: “A bottle is upended to pour its contents out, a leaf blows around and around in the wind, salt and pepper shakers are upended to use them, a windup key is turned over and over, a spatula flips things over, an hourglass is inverted, the tumbler is upside down. [...] the candle actually IN the candelabra is lit.” R. Serena Wakefield
The staves and optical illusion solution was conveyed by myself to The Umbrella in a moment of weakness.