Room 36

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…an old and ruinous part of the House. Turning a corner the music we had been hearing became louder and at last we saw the musicians themselves.

They were so involved they failed to hear us. The music was suited to the scene – a moody, romantic melody. We stopped to listen and I admit that I, too, was affected by the sound as well as by the spectacle of the masked players.

One of the visitors noticed me listening. “Beautiful music, don’t you think?”

“It’s not bad,” I said stiffly. “The viol brings the right sense of warmth to the piece, but the guitarist is overplaying his part. Still, he adds a certain plangent brio to an otherwise introspective composition…”

Unwilling to interrupt the concert we slipped past the musicians into the door to…

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

 

Room Type: LOOP     Doors:  7  16  26  45

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

● The player’s masks represent tragedy and comedy. Comedy is next to the correct door. Tragedy next to the incorrect door. [Independent Credit: David Gentile | White Raven]

● The stone directly above door 16 is loose. The tragic figure looks up toward the sign for door 16 and the loose stone. [Credit: SP / White Raven] The loose stone above door 16 could fall on someone entering the door indicating that this is the wrong door. [Credit: David Gentile / White Raven]

● “Viol” is pronounced “vile” warning us away from door 16. [Credit: Aria]

Related Images >

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82 thoughts on “Room 36

  1. I did an inventory of the word “part” in Maze, but missed that it is here twice. It appears in sentences where we can find birds, for the most part, including an anagram of raven in 32. But here we also have “happy” overplaying his “part”. That I think helps explain two very non-random words. .”..in plangent brio”. It is not exact but it gives a clear idea. “In plant embryo”. And in the story of Raven he turns himself in to a hemlock needle so that the old man’s daughter drinks him in a cup of water. Then she becomes pregnant and gives birth the Raven in human form.

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  2. I think the way to resolve the conflict over which guy represents 7 and which represents 16 might mean involving the medieval tradition that “seeing” = direct experience, and “hearing” = faith. We have both going on here, clearly, in the text, and since this is probably the least critical choice in Maze, if the author wanted to add a philosophy lesson, this would be the place to do it. Based on many other rooms, Yang should be the shortest path, but then why do we have the stripes seeming to tell us the opposite? Note that we can not see Yang’s shirt or Yin’s pants. Their outfits match other than that. I think we are supposed to take it on faith or make the inference that they both wear 7-shirts and both wear 16-pants. Also note that the tops of both instruments point towards the missing number above the third arch, even though we can’t “see” it, I think we are to infer it is the door back to room 45.

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  3. You can see the guide signing by parsing the text here. Put a comma before “listing”. For some reason my full explination will not post.

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  4. Nineteen helps us learn that the guide is singing here. Here we can see it better if we parse the text. “I…was affected by the sound.” (and “affected” can mean “influenced”) One of the visitors noticed me, listening (to him). “Beautiful music, don’t you think?” (subtle hint that his singing is not). He responds stiffly.

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  5. The word “part” seems key to looking at parts of words. In 43 it is part of particular and there are we do is move a plural making “s”. In 16 we can find “egret” buried in the sentence. And in 32 we can find an anagram of Raven, “n a ver”. There are only two other instances of “part” in the text – 19 and 36. All these places are very guide related (36 slightly less so). Here the best bird I find is in homophone form. “Turning a corner” right after the “part” give us “turn/tern”.

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  6. “With few regrets on my part”
    1) we should be on alert for any “part” now.
    2) that sentence serves no obvious function.
    3) no, there is no scrambled Raven here.
    4) there is However an egret which of course is also a bird.

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  7. The long stone forms a seven with the stone Comedy’s leg is on. Seven’s wall is the only wall that is completely intact.

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  8. They each wear a bowler hat. Bowling is room 8. 8+8 is 16 and they point us to room we can learn about top hat.

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  9. So “Happy” is Yang” and “Sad” is Yin. Yang is sunny, positive, aggressive and open. Yin is shaded, hidden, passive, slow, negative.

    Besides indicating the doors they indicate mutual dependence. That is – the next two rooms depend on each other is my take.

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  10. Happy’s music stand has one arm that points at 7. And stipulating stripes don’t matter etc. Then he represents door 7. He plays louder. He is in the sun. There are 7 lit stones. He’s happy faced and playing lively music.

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    • David Gentile,

      Yep! Happy guy = correct.

      The other bit is more complicated.

      White Raven

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  11. the stone above 16 has a little extra cross-hatching to the light, giving it the appearance that it’s loose and might fall on the sad guy, which is what he might be looking at, instead of the 16.

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    • for the record this is one of the clues i am convinced of. the other stones don’t have the same angle or crosshatching. couldn’t have been done randomly/by accident.

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    • When I confirm solutions I often add minor supporting details or make minor corrections. You are almost there but in this case the necessary correction is a bit too large.

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    • yup i understand. i posted that because you told me to remind you if i had missed any i was satisfied with that i thought you should look at.

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  12. Top of guitar is in entrance to16. But follow its line up and down. It hits the top of both guys stripes.

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  13. If sad guy looks at 16 only and stripes are meaningless then the text about the guitar overpaying his part would be taken to mean he is playing louder than sad guy and thus because sad guy looks at 16 happy guy represents 7 and correct exit.

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  14. Visitors to Room 36,

    Numbers of visible stripes on tragedy’s shirt: 8

    Numbers of stripes on comedy’s pants…
    left leg horizontal: 14 or 15
    right leg horizontal: 11
    left leg vertical: 3 or 4
    right leg vertical: 3 or 4

    Tragedy is looking at 16, see Related Images.

    White Raven

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    • And with magnification 16 white on right leg of happy guy. Bottom and top are small but there.

      Sad guy ‘s face angle looks at 7. Maybe puples look at 16. Hard to tell. I’d be happy with him looking at both too.

      But for your puzzle he looks at 16. Got it.

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    • I’m going to go with sad guy most obviously looks at 7. With very close study looks at both. That works fine. 16 white on happy. 7 white intended on sad. With your coloration there is an 8th bit of something. I don’t think is is intended to count. Your mileage may vary.

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    • So….if sad guy looks at 16 in your view my first thought is that it would be tragic to take 16 which is the wrong exit.

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  15. There are many references in the text to music. We have noted that sad guy looks to the 7 and a door indicator, but shouldn’t he be looking at music? What if he is and just like in 13 those are musical notes. That would be a “G” and the other guys would be an “AF”. This is unremarkable until we note that these are the same 3 letters marked by the Trident in room 22. Now all the theatrical references there make a tie in here with the comedy/tragedy masks (mentioned in text) and words like sound, spectacle and concert. In 22 the Trident guides us to look in a couple of places for clues for escape from the trap. Entrance/1/19/23. The “G” specifically would tie in with 23/19 and 19 is where the vital clue to “look in the eye” is located. Now we note the viol brings “warmth” and the “right” sense. “Right” is a big deal in room 23 and warmth of the sun is associated with those rooms. And now we can read the guitarist overplaying his part and a clue to worry less about room 1, and more about “23/19”. Thus we have a refinement and a reinforcement of the clues in room 22.

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  16. So, the violist is playing his part correctly, the guitarist is doing ok but not quite right. Everyone has already noted that from 36, it doesn’t really do any harm to go to 16 instead of 7 and that the guide’s relative indifference to the guitarist playing incorrectly reflects the practical irrelevance of whether one goes directly to 33 through 7 or meanders through 16.

    But why should we connect the guitarist to 16 and the violist to 7? That’s the main question, I think, because their position in the room would suggest the opposite pairing. It may be the strips on Tragedy’s shirt; it may be that Tragedy is looking to the number 7.

    As for Comedy, his guitar simply points the way to 16, which I think is enough to make the association: guitarist is playing his part wrong, guitarist is pointing to 16, 16 is wrong. If you ignore my earlier hypothesis about stripes, it may well be the case that this is what his “overplaying” is about: using his guitar to indicate 16 instead of 7.

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    • Sad guy looks at 7 and has 7 stripes. Happy guy has 16 stripes and guitar handle points at 16.

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  17. Both musicians seem to be looking at the door numbers. The violist, I can’t tell where he’s looking very well; when I look at both his pupils it looks like he’s looking at the 7, but the eyehole in his mask makes it look like his left eye is directed toward the 16.

    The guitarist plainly looks back toward the 7; like with most such “looks,” he couldn’t actually see the 7 from his position, but his pupils point in the right direction.

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  18. Well, I don’t like counting those guys stripes anymore than anyone else, but it IS true that there are seven white stripes on the violist’s shirt. Maybe just a coincidence, BUT

    Then we have that comment about the guitarist overplaying his part, which it occurs to me may refer to the overabundance of stripes all over his clothing.

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    • One guy has 16 stripes and the other 7. One indicates true door. The one overplaying part indicates false door – but then there is something to be said for what he’s doing – he indicates a room with the guide’s identiy.

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    • He has a lot more than 16 stripes. Which 16 stripes are you identifying?

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  19. “They were so involved they failed to hear us. The music was suited to the scene…” This whole paragraph (which includes the Guide’s endorsement of the “sound and spectacle) seems to me to be drawing attention to the necessity of combining the text with the images here, or, perhaps the Guide’s spoken statements in particular. (That is, we listen to the Guide’s words, we look at the image.) (This advice would be pretty superfluous unless it’s meant to draw attention to the Guide’s spoken words in particular, which I’ve just decided mid-paragraph is probably what I’m really getting at.)

    The Guide refers to the viol bringing “the right sense of warmth” to the piece; as we remember that the music “suits the scene,” this points to the door to 7, which is bathed in sunlight (and at the end of a trail of light) while the door to 16 is darkened.

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  20. I think the key is the Guide’s music criticism.
    The simplest solution is that each musician has a door- guitar has 7, viol has 16. The Guide verbosely equivocates between both of them.
    You can do the same thing with regard to the two doors, but, in the end, despite their difference in qualities, you’re not going to be able to pick a favorite.

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    • guitarist’s (16 stripes) instrument points at 16, and other guy (7 stripes) looks at 7. Guitarist is overplaying his part. This seems to mean that right now both doors are equally indicated but the 16 guy should tone it down a bit – still he adds
      “Plangent brio”, a reverberating liveliness. That to me says 16 is a harmless maybe interesting detour.

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    • Beyond equivocating, do you think the criticism is meant to be about the contents of the rooms themselves? 7, 16, 36 is a pretty firm loop, after all.

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    • I think one indicates the shortest path back and the other the place where there is most to learn.

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  21. The text reads “Unwilling to interrupt the concert we slipped past the musicians into the door to…. ”

    The only door that one could access without interrupting the musicians would be 7.

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    • I’m not sure that’s true; I would have argued that 16 is the only door that requires slipping past the musicians.

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    • I wonder whether a choice between the doors involves a choice between the musicians, but I can’t make a convincing case that it does.

      The whole loop here is interesting (7-16-36). There are no exits to the Trap, and you eventually have to exit into 36, so it can’t do you much harm or get you more lost. And, all three rooms carry suggestions regarding the Guide’s identity. (Room 36 perhaps only slightly so, but I have always thought that his erudition/pretension regarding music to be suggestive.)

      Room 7, by comedy player, is in fact the best choice for getting back on the path as quickly as possible.

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  22. On a lark, I counted the fallen stone blocks and found sixteen. There are five in a cluster around and beneath the players (I’m taking that long one as a piece of the molding, no? So we won’t count it). Then there are three toward the front right corner, one in the light from the unmarked archway, a cluster of four farther back, and three more farther still, beneath the broken archway.

    But then, I’m not sure there’s really even much to choose between #7 and #16, as they both keep us firmly within the LOOP, with neither taking us close enough to the PATH that it’s really worth pointing us to one or the other. In fact, both #7 and #16 link to each other as well as to #36, making any attempt to dig at this picture probably pointless — it’s probably safe to write it off as enjoyable filler. So I’m not married to the counting-blocks idea, especially since it requires one to disregard the chunk of molding. Still, it’s something, anyway.

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    • I count 17 blocks, assuming the thing the guitarist is sitting on is one.

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    • Never mind; I overlooked that you were disregarding the long block.

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