Room 30

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…room number 30. “What a beautiful door…the others are so plain,” said one.

“It’s meant to influence our decision,” said another.

“Perhaps this has been done so we will not choose this door,” said the thoughtful one.

They wanted to know what the letters meant. Obviously they meant something, and I said so.

“Yes, but…why ‘O’ and ‘U’? What special significance can they have for us?”

The more confused they became, the more I enjoyed it. No matter how many times I’ve been through this I’m always fascinated.

Leaving the room and all that it contained behind us, we entered…

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


Room Type:  PATH     Doors:   5  15  26  34  42


● The correct door is 42. [Credit: Unknown - during the 1985 contest.]

● The part of the Riddle of the Path in this room is “you” derived from the text “Why “O” “U”?  Why/O/U = Y/O/U  [Credit: Unknown - prior to 1990.]

● Anagrams point to all three incorrect doors. The sign IF NO EVE can be rearranged to say ONE FIVE (one&five=15) but it is pointing at room 5. [Credit: Beth Kinder] “ONE FIVE” can also mean “there is one five” meaning “5″ and thus points to both 15 and 5. [Credit: David G | White Raven] The watch with a hour hand pointing to the “F” which is leaning against a fake tree can be read as “tree” and “F-hour.” (We know it is the hour hand because the longer minute hand is on the floor next to the watch.) Moving the “H” from “hour” to the word “tree” the words read as “three” and “four” – door 34 is another of the incorrect doors. [Credit: Owen Hammer] Perhaps, reinforcing this, the last letter of the ABCDEFGH sequence (the H) is the letter which must be moved to make the anagram work.

● The text (and the decoration in the illustration) draws attention to door 34, and there are arrows pointing to 5 and 15. The non-indicated door is 42, which is correct. [Independent Credit: Kyle Stedman | Beq S.]

● The “IF NO EVE” and apple tree recall the story of Adam and Eve from the book of Genesis. The hand on the clock laying on the ground looks like a male symbol, combined with the “IF NO EVE” suggests “Adam”. Thus in front of each wrong door is a reference to Genesis: 34=apple tree, 5=eve, 15=male/Adam. [Credit: Maze Podcast 06]

● The F on the watch indicates the number 6, the watch and the “times” in the text indicates multiplication, the watch points to the letter “F”, in the text are 7 occurrences of the letter “F”. 6 x 7 = 42 the number of the correct door. [Credit: vewatkin]

● The items in the middle of the room form a simple equation. The watch has letters instead of numbers suggesting alphanumeric substitution. The hand of the watch points to the F which equals 6 in alphanumeric substitution. [Independent Credit: Beelzebibble | White Raven] The other hand of the watch is on the floor pointing at door 15. If we put the two hands together this equals 21. [Independent Credit: Mantis | White Raven] The large watch leaning against the flat tree suggests “times” which is reinforced by the word “times” appearing in the text. [Independent Credit: Beelzebibble | White Raven] The tree is not a real tree but a two-sided (or two dimensional) cut out of a tree. [Independent Credit: Bertrand | White Raven] If you times (multiply) the watch (21) by the two-sided tree (2) this equals 42, the number of the correct door. Watch hand 6 + watch hand 15 * flat tree 2 = 42. [Credit: White Raven][Credit with a hint: Mantis] Additional support is lent by the IF NO EVE sign. If there is no Eve then it is just Adam which sounds identical to Add’em. Suggesting addition. [Independent Credit: Janice | MAZECAST Visitors in Podcast 06] Also IF NO EVE then the apple would not have been taken at all. Suggesting we ignore the apples. [Credit: White Raven] Further, in the Genesis story the taking of the apple is a sin – this also suggests we ignore the apples. [Independent Credit: Aria | White Raven]


119 thoughts on “Room 30

  1. The gals of podcast zero came up with a new one here as well – “Eve”,”Apples”,”Add’em” = 5 + 22 + 5 + 10 = 42.

  2. Alright, ready to play “let’s go crazy trying to get the last puzzle point”?

    As has been amply noted elsewhere, this room brings to mind the creation myth of Genesis. Well, we have this watch RESSSSSSSSSSSSSTing on the tree. And AS WE ALL KNOW, the day of rest was the SEVENTH day, and SO, thereFORE, we have 6 x 7, because those are two numbers that sort of appear in the room kind of and why not multiply them?

    BOOM, 42.


    • Sabbath day is in 22 with those Pharisees and the (ghost) Herod. So – Raven point or not – I think it is intended. F=6 is here and indicators to use multiplication already discussed.

    • Time F = time 6 = time 6
      6 time blank points at 42
      rest in eden is 7 – it fits the blank you were looking for and almost feels like it fits the space – like the equation runs up the face of the clock and points at 42. 6 time 7 ====> 42

  3. The knob at the top of the clock aims right at the “42″ sign, indicating that the clock’s time should guide you to that door.

    • Whoa, good point! That watch is pointing right at 42. Manson doesn’t do that kind of stuff on accident.

  4. If I add a close “)” does that help?

    “The sign on the floor unscrambles to “One five” (or “No five” if you leave out the “E”). This is a misleading and ambiguous clue. Does it mean 15, which is 1,5 or does it mean “5” which is just “one” 5? Or does in mean “No five”? ”

    But seriously, what was unclear there that I made clear now? The only thing I did there was stretch the idea a bit more to say “No five”. Is it that I had the “stretch” part there too that was the problem?

  5. If you take the “F” on the clock and the “O” and the “U” and add the numeric values for these letters you get 6+15+21=42. But there is a better way to go about this too, or a more complete way. “Adam” is pretty clearly indicated in this room. We have “Eve”, and we have the “Apple”. For more help the “A” of the clock rests on the “Artificial” “Apple” tree, and the hand that fell of looks like a “male” symbol. “Adam” for one thing = “Add’em” which is something you need to do to find the correct door.
    Now let’s note the starting letters of “Adam” and “Eve”. “A” and “E”. Note they are top and bottom on that clock as well. Also note their numeric values are “1” and “5”, just like the “one” and “five” on the sign. Now add A+E+O+U=42. This is clearly more complete than just F+O+U=42. There is nice symmetry in that the sign by itself in a simple way gave you 2 false doors, but using the sign in a complex correct way gives you the true one. Also with the arrows, simply following them is false, but correct use of the one on “F” gets you the correct door.
    Finally a simple room level puzzle: We have all the vowels in use, almost, A,E,O,U,Y, and we have used all the room and text except for the ornate door. What is the “donut hole” vowel? I. So we have “I door” using the last remaining thing here. And what room is 34? Yep, lol, the one with the needles, and eyes, and “I”s all over the place. It is indeed the “I door”. It is also another clue to get us to “look Raven in the eye” since the eye is a door for the soul in this myth.

  6. “Multiplication solutions”: Abyssians note that there are 7 Fs here in the text and the numeric value of “F” is 6. And 6*7 = 42. The text seems to go out of its way to get this total, and it also contains “times” which might be a clue to multiplication. We might also assume the hand fell off the “G” and get “F”*”G”=6*7=42. Also if we add exits 42 and 34 together we get 76, and if we multiply the digits we get 42. I take these as intentional room exit clues, but they are time keeping red herrings, since they might lead you to put the hand in the wrong place on the clock It belongs on “C” and the time here is “FC”, which is 42 units after “AA”. But you need a number of other rooms to confirm this. (See into).

  7. Process of elimination has been said I imagine. But rule out 1,5 and “one 5″ and the places the arrows point, and then knock out the nice door and you have the correct door.

  8. Dave Gentile,

    Congratulations on identifying the purpose of IF NO EVE!

    As you said, ONE FIVE can mean either “there is one 5″ or “15″ and thus indicates both doors as part of the odd-one-in nature of this riddle.

    White Raven

    • I pass the credit back in time to my 2012 self. But I accept in his name. :)

    • From 2012:

      “The sign on the floor unscrambles to “One five” (or “No five” if you leave out the “E”. This is a misleading and ambiguous clue. Does it mean 15, which is 1,5 or does it mean “5” which is just “one” 5? Or does in mean “No five”? ”

      Okay, 2 out of 3, sort of. I would pass the credit back to the present if I were you.

  9. 34 + 42 = 76 and 7 * 6 = 42. Now other than the fact that all multiplicAtion is allowed in this room why should we trust that ? Dunno.

    • What it does do, by reference to 5 instead of 15, is put the concept of multiplication into play. SORT OF. One five is 5, not 15 or 1+5.

    • Yes it can be one “5″. It can also be “1,5″. Room 37 “20″ sounds reasonable.

  10. There are, in fact, seven Fs in the narrative. If F=6, seven times…

    I know this isn’t the solution White Raven has in mind, but it seems deliberate, with the paragraph providing the last two Fs seeming to exist solely to work in a reference to “times” and two more F words.

    • Oooh! Very good! There are just too many arithmetically accurate solutions for them all to be coincidental:
      1. 7 instances of F in narrative * F’s number 6 = 42.
      2. F’s approximate location on a real clock, 7 * F’s number 6 = 42
      3. F’s number 6 + O’s number 15 + U’s number 21 = 42

    • Amazingly no. The solution I have uses some of the same elements, uses multiplication, solidly points to 42 but is a different riddle. I agree, your solution has the hallmarks of being intentional. If both are intentional (which appears to be so) then Manson used the same riddle parts in two ways which is unusual for him but not verboten.

      For the reader out there the “F” words are:
      Line 1: beautiFul
      Line 2: inFluence
      Line 3: thoughtFul
      Line 4:
      Line 5: signiFicance & For
      Line 6: conFused & Fascinated
      Line 7:

      Congratulations vewatkins – that is quite a find!

    • Hello Gregor,

      I previously missed your post: “F O U = 42.”

      Unlike the F, nothing indicates that we should do alphanumeric substitution for the O and U. Also the only letter of the Riddle of the Path that plays a part in another riddle is two of the “H” words in Room 15.

      But the odds of the three letters equaling 42 are so remote that I am tempted to believe it may have been intentional.

  11. One of the comments here picks up on this a bit already, but no one has really focused on the fact that on a standard clock, the “1″ is not at the top center, but is in the immediate next position clockwise. Here, the “A” is in the center top position (where the ‘H’ should be, if this were set up as an 8 letter analog of an actual clockface).

  12. Try this one on for size: the apples on the bottom half of the tree form an arrow. Five apples above the arrow: an indicator of Room 5 to match the If No Eve sign for 15?

  13. OK so the math here involving multiplication would be (6-1)*8+2=42.
    Two, because we are two steps into the maze so the big hand has moved from A to C. 8 because there are 8 units on the clock. “6-1″ because that is the difference between F=6 and A=1.

  14. Ok here is what I have for the room, since my 2012 page. I don’t have problems with it at this point.

    think of this as the Adam and Eve room. The sign on the floor unscrambles to “One five” (or “No five” if you leave out the “E”. This is a misleading and ambiguous clue. Does it mean 15, which is 1,5 or does it mean “5” which is just “one” 5? Or does in mean “No five”? The door we just came from is back to room 26 and there is a door to 34 here, and those numbers add up to 60, which is divisible by 5.

    In any case, we can safely conclude all these “5” possibilities are a false clue since the correct way out is through door 42. What is the correct clue? Well, if you take the “F” on the clock and the “O” and the “U” and add the numeric values for these letters you get 6+15+21=42. Also, consider how the clock might work. Let’s assume the big hand sweeps completely around once for every time the small hand moves forward one letter. This would be just like a standard numbered clock. Let’s start the hands in the “midnight” position at “AA” and then say that 1 unit of time passes each time the big hand reaches a new letter. There are 8 letters on the clock. The small hand, which has not fallen off indicates that the big hand has completed 5 complete circles. So, if the big hand were back on the clock we could be anywhere from the 40th unit of time to the 47th. The only door that falls in this range is 42. Thus the big hand was probably on the “C” before it fell off. Or – if we count “AA” as “1” rather than “0” then the big hand was on “B”. The “time” was “FC” or possibly “FB”. “How many times” in the text could be a clue to this idea.

    This ornate door to 34 could be a small red herring.

    A previous commentator argues that the hand is in the “7” position on the clock and that the value of “F” is “6” and 7*6 = 42. My problem with this is that the hand is really not where the 7 would be because there are 8 letters on this clock, not 12. But, this is a possible indicator as well.

    Why a tree with apples? In combination with “Eve” in the sign we might think of “Adam” or “Add ‘em” which is what you need to do in order to find the correct door.

    There is also a word to the riddle clue here. The text says “But why ‘o’ and ‘u’?” and Y O U spells “you”, the word for the riddle clue.

  15. Following Shmizza’s line of reasoning, since F is the sixth letter of the alphabet, we might obtain 42 by multiplying by the seventh letter of the alphabet, G. I wasn’t able to find a clue for G in this room, but I did happen to notice the two clefs above the doors in room 18. The clefs are ornate ways of writing F and G respectively. Once again, I’m filled with doubt, but hey, the connection is undeniable (even if it’s a coincidence).

  16. hello. i think the reason for “42″ being right is:

    the clock inicates the SIXTH letter. 5 is not six. 34 is 3+4 is 7 is not six. 15 and 42 are 1+5 and 4+2, respectively, so both are possible. but, as experience tells us, it’s about the door not indicated. 15 is indicated by the fallen-off finger of the clock. so it’s 42. qed.

    all the best!

    • Shimizza,

      There are two riddles which point to the correct door in this room. Kyle solved one two days ago. You are close to solving the other more difficult riddle. The correct solution is more definite, and not based on the odd-one-in principle, but you are on the right track. It has to do with numbers and the watch – note how the items in the room are grouped.

      Good luck!

      White Raven

    • Tunnel vision has set in because I keep thinking that the clock (signifying time) pointing to the sixth letter is supposed to give us “times six”.

      Hey, the apple tree represents the Tree of Paradise, and paradise = heaven, and “seven” rhymes with “heaven”, and 7 x 6 = 42!!!


      Hey, if you start from the six, then go right-to-left and take the tree as a “three”, and then take the O as a 0, you get 630 and then if you double back and take the broken-off minute clock as a fraction line pointing at 15 then you get 630 / 15 which equals 42 ! ! ! ! ! !


      Okay I’m out of ideas. But is there anything to that “times six” idea or am I way off?

    • Demonic Muppet,

      I determined early on that I was not going to be giving specific hints, but never decided whether or not to confirm partial solutions, and I am still undecided on that point in general. But to hell with it, I loved your “ideas,” so here’s your confirmation:

      Yes, the watch means “times” as in multiplication. It is the only multiplication in the whole book, in fact this is the only room with math beyond simple addition and subtraction.

      No, the hand is not a fraction symbol.

      Lastly, are your ideas on the right track? Good heavens, no.

      White Raven

    • Oh okay, so there’s something to that “times” after all? Good to know, thanks a lot.

      Hey, if you take the ten apples in the tree, and then take the broken-off minute hand as a minus sign, and take the tree as a “three” (SAY WHAT YOU WANT I LOVE THIS), you get 10 – 3 = 7, and 7 x 6 = 42!!!!


      Sorry for sounding flippant. I’m just babbling as many of the permutations as I can in the hope that someone smarter will come along and have the aha! that I keep missing.

      I guess 10 x 6 = 60 seems obvious, and then you really could take the minute hand as a minus sign to indicate 60 – 15, but that’s 45 and I’m not sure if there’s any defensible reason to knock off an extra 3 to get 42. Again, just spitballing for the hopeful benefit of someone else who’s better with them number-type things.

    • I’m glad the “times 6″ turned out to be right, because I was about to dive in and say that that as the most sensible part of all that. :)

      So a simpler answer: the narrator, we assume, doesn’t want us to find the right path. So at one point, the clock was pointing to the right solution–which I would assume is that it was pointing to the 6th and 7th numbers (6 times 7). But the narrator didn’t like that, so he knocked one of the hands off.

      We can only see what’s left: SOMETHING time 6. And since only 42 is divisible by 6, we can assume that it’s the way we’re supposed to go. Like, it would have been smarter to knock off BOTH hands.

    • The F position on the clock is also the position of 7 o’clock. So, F (6) TIMES 7= 42.

  17. I think that, at this point in the maze, there are no longer any clues as to which door to take. However, the correct path can be determined mathematically (assuming that you know about the hidden door to room 17).

    • Owen, I’m not sure if this is what you were getting at, but it’s interesting how at this point, all the right doors have been the ones *without* clues pointing to them. In room 1, we take the door that hasn’t been mentioned; in room 26, we take the door that the devils aren’t pointing to.

      Here, then, we have someone in the dialogue drawing our attention to 34, and arrows pointing to 5 and 15. Could we be meant to pick 42 simply because nothing indicates we should?

    • Welcome Kyle!

      Congratulation are in order! You are the first one to mention this interpretive principle. In my book I refer to this as the the odd-one-in principle. The odd-one-in principle appears in at least 15 rooms, including in this room.

      White Raven

  18. The clock hand on the ground also looks like a MALE SIGN which would mesh well with the “EVE ROOM” theories above.

    • Not just a male sign, but the sign for MARS, or ARES (Which, i believe, is now ascendant, it being April)

    • The male symbol makes sense. If there is no Eve (which means woman), what is left? Adam (which means “man”).

  19. If A = Midnight, or the Zero Hour on the clock, then
    B=1, C=2, D=3, E=4, F=5, etc;
    this might refer to the placement of the missing minute hand,
    ONE=B (Minute hand, missing);
    FIVE=F (Hour Hand, Present);
    Perhaps the small arrow pointing to Door 5 reinforces this, as the small clock hand is pointing to F=5?

    • I dIdn’t quite follow this… but tend to be rather dense sometimes. Are you suggesting that we add these numbers? Or are you suggesting we make use of the letters?

  20. I call this the “Eve” room from Adam and Eve. If you’ll notice, the tree in the center of the room is an apple tree. Also, the sign says “If no Eve” referring to the “Eve” who ate the apple from the apple tree and became a sinner. In room 42, The sign that says “saints that way, sinners this way” The “sinners this way” part is leading to room 30, back the way you came, from the “Eve” room. There must be a connection there.

    The unscrambled “One Five” must refer to room 15, because the number 15 contains a 1 and a 5. However, it is a misleading clue because room fifteen is not on the correct path to the center of the maze. Also, I think the clock in the center of the maze is a misleading clue because the clock hand also points to room 15.

    • You may be on to something here Rowan. It got me thinking.

      In room 42 if we follow the sinners this way sign, we come to this room. In this room if we follow the “if no eve” sign we go to room 5, which has trees with the branches cut off.

      If there is no eve that would mean no taking of the apple, illustrated by the cut off branches and what are perhaps apple blossoms on the ground.


  21. Room 30 Solution: Partial.
    Third room of the path – The hidden word is “you,” spelled out in the text, “Why “O” “U” ?”

    The correct door is 42. We don’t know why – despite many clues lying around.

    Unsolved: The sign IF NO EVE can be rearranged to say ONE FIVE but it is pointing at room 5. Huh? Also, what is with the tree, the watch, and the watch hand. So basically almost everything is unsolved.

    • The Umbrella collected this correct solution regarding the Riddle of the Path, the name of the original solver is unknown.

      The unsolved partial solution was collected from the now defunct John Bailey site (posted by Beth Kinder).


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