Room 37

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…a long, open room with no roof.

“What is going on here?” they wondered.

“Sometimes, important messages are couched in ambiguous terms,” I said. “That net may help you catch the answer to your question.”

They looked doubtful. “We must look at this from all sides before we make a decision.” At last, they were learning.

They really couldn’t decide which way to go; half of them wanted to go one way, half another. They were close to splitting up when there was a rattling sound and one of the doors was shaken from the other side.

They all stopped talking and moved closer together. They soon agreed on a direction and we departed for…

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


Room Type:  PATH     Doors:  10  15  20  42


● The correct door is 20. [Credit: Unknown - during the 1985 contest.]

● The part of the Riddle of the Path in this room has been surmised to be “E” either from the five on the dice (“E” is the fifth letter of the alphabet) or by seeing an “E” in the rope ladder. [Credit: Unknown - prior to 1990.]

● The correct door is 20. This is shown on the dice which has a 2 and a blank. The blank being a zero. [Credit: Raphael Vanier] In the text the Guide says, “That net may help you….” The shadow of the net provides us the missing zero from the blank side of the dice. [Credit: White Raven]

● The ladder, the lack of roof, and the line in the text about looking at things from all sides encourages us to look down on the room. From the top down the various objects of the room look like zeros which go with the blank on the dice to make 20 – the number of the correct door. [Independent Credit: SP / vewatkin | White Raven] The eyes looks like zeros. [Independent Credit: vewatkin | White Raven]

● The zero from the shadow of the net (see above) combined with the two table legs (it encircles one) gives us 20. [Independent Credit: vewatkin | White Raven] The zero from the shadow of the net is connected via a lighter shadow to the net itself, the rim of which looks like a zero. The shadow zero encircles a table leg suggesting a 1. The net has a long handle suggesting a 1. 10 + 10 = 20. [Credit: SP]

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106 thoughts on “Room 37

  1. Here’s what confused me: using dice logic, you can conclude that the blank side of the die is supposed to be a 4. Now the top sides of the two dice make 42, one of the other doors. And the front-facing sides clearly are 1 and 5, making 15, which is also a door option. The dice form too many of the door numbers to be a clear indication of the solution.

    • Yeah, it takes some motivated reasoning to reach the result we want here. I don’t think you can rely on standard dice construction to predict the numbers on the opposite sides, since at least one of these is not a standard die, but there are too many door numbers indicated by the numbers we do see to assert convincingly that “2 0″ is the pair if numbers we’re supposed to pay attention to.

    • Did you mean that the top sides of the dice give you 20? The various die side combinations can give you anything but 42, unless you start adding sides or reading them in creative ways. I wonder whether there really are clues (or rather, lack of clues) in rooms on the return path that lead you along the shortest path, or whether they just have clues to try to lead you away from discovering the path to the center.

    • You don’t think it has to do with any viable signposted information, between the 5 dots and a “Quincunx” do you?

    • Oh, I finally get what Ben was saying–sorry, misread/misunderstood that before. I thought you were mistating numbers, but you meant that the blank face should show a 4, which gives you 42.

  2. I’m new here so I don’t really know how to properly post a comment, but here’s an attempt:
    Is it just me or are room 10 and room 37 related?
    Text from Room 10:
    “…a room that smelled of paint. Faint voices, apparently in an argument, came from behind the locked door.

    “You know,” said one, “that sounds like us in there…”

    They tried the door but, naturally, it wouldn’t open. The voices stopped when the doorknob rattled.”

    Text from Room 37:
    “They really couldn’t decide which way to go; half of them wanted to go one way, half another. They were close to splitting up when there was a rattling sound and one of the doors was shaken from the other side.

    They all stopped talking and moved closer together. They soon agreed on a direction and we departed for…”

    I know that time travels weirdly in the Maze, because of this text from room 13:
    “They were worried it might be Friday. Well it’s true that it was closer to the end of the week than they realized. It takes a great deal of experience, certainly more than they possessed, to understand how time works in the Maze. The clock thought it was six in the evening.”

    So is it possible that they could be in both rooms at once?

    I realized that you can go to room 10 from room 37, but when you try to go to room 37 from room 10, it says that the voices come from a locked door, implying that the door to room 37 is locked.

  3. Is there a reason for the shadow of the net and the shadow of the table leg forming a ’10′? Or is it just another red herring? I know that there is kind of a theme with the ‘sun’ or ‘light’ being good and helpful, and the ‘shadow’ and ‘dark’ are generally indicators of the wrong path. Maybe it’s saying that Door 10 is not the right door.

    • You’ve discovered an important principle for interpreting MAZE correctly, which is that when something seems to implicate the wrong door, it’s a clue to not take that door, and when it seems to implicate the right door, it’s a clue to take that door. It’s easier to tell what kind of work the clues are doing once you determine what all the right and wrong doors are.

  4. TEN backwards is NET. FOUR TWO backwards is OWT RUOF, or “aught roof.” ONE FIVE backwards is EVIF ENO or “ev’ if an O.” Only TWO ZERO/TWENTY isn’t a coded message about the room.

  5. This seems more of a “room-vibey” deal than a door solve, but the eye columns look like periscopes to me (especially that one on the left), perhaps suggesting we go up? As in up the ladder?

  6. I am very new at this, but I’m noticing several things in this picture.

    The doorways- 2 are light and 2 are dark. I also see “m”s made by the archways around the doors. Turned sideways, the doorways are “e”s. Anyone think that e=mc2 could be part of this room? C2 being the 2 lit doorways? M with mass of shapes? E being the energy to climb the ladder?

    • “Sometimes, important messages are couched in ambiguous terms” could be referring to the mathematical / scientific terms???

  7. Apologies if this has already been mentioned, but could the part in the text about half the group wanting to go one way and half another be a clue for 20? Since 10 is another option which is half of 20, perhaps they were ‘close to splitting up’ ie choosing door 10 which is the correct door ‘split’ in half? Then when they move together again the halves are put together again;10 is doubled giving door 20. (together with the part about the door rattling which suggests we pick one of the open doorways) Sorry that wasn’t very well expressed but I thought the references to ‘half’ and the fact that 10 is half of 20 might be significant

    • Nine,

      I have approved your login, you may now post freely.

      Welcome to The Abyss!

      White Raven

  8. For what it is worth I think the room with the tablets gives us only the word SHOULDERS, the E comes from the tipping room, and the O comes from this room. And yeah Im going to vote wa ask Manson about it.

  9. Mentioned on the relevant MazeCast, but not here: SP points out that, while the net can be seen as a 10 on its own (for a couple different reasons), the net together with its shadow form two tens; joining them gives us 20. This is suggested both by the fact that the net droops down to connect to its shadow, and the text’s mention that the group chose their door by “mov[ing] closer together.”

    Interestingly, they also reached this solution after stopping talking. This could be suggestive of ignoring the verbal aspect of the puzzle (NET –> TEN) and focus on the physical representation of a 1 and a 0 inherent in the shape of the net. “They both give you 10…what’s the difference?” Well, in terms of shape, you can get a 10 out of the shadow (you can concoct your 1 a few different ways, I don’t want to interfere with you picking your favorite), in order to combine with the 10 of the net; but you’re not getting a TEN or NET or any other word-based clue from the shadow. So, by focusing on the appearance, rather than words, they etc etc.

    • That’s good. I’ve been thinking the net and “look from all sides” clues could be simplified by turning the book upside down… The netting itself makes a convincing 2 and then the shadow would be the zero.

    • I’m not sure it’s a convincing 2…it might be a Room 13-quality 2…

      Hey, when is the Cluemaster General going to make on appearance on the MazeCast? You already missed the entire first year.

    • Yeah, 515. We’ll pronounce your name correctly and everything! You even have a ready-made theme song…

    • Vewatkin & 515,

      So I flipped the book upside down and I see what you are seeing, it really does look kind of like a 2, but as Vewatkin pointed out, not a lot like a 2. If there as even a hint of a reason to connect the upper curve with the lower line I would add it to the summary but the grid of the net seems to clash with the idea that this is a two. (see related images). If a convincing diagonal line can be found I’ll add it to the summary because the net is a really odd shape.

    • SP & Vewatkin,

      The problem with finding 10s is that there are a lot to find. If the correct door was 60 we could do it easy. You have rightly recognized that the challenge is coming up with a rationale for picking two of the tens to add together (ie. table legs). I went back and forth about it but I see the shadow connection between the net and shadow zero and I am going with your opinion on this. I am putting it on the summary.

      So that the solution makes sense I am adding a method of finding the 1s.

      Nice find!

      White Raven

    • Yeah, by “convincing 2″ I actually meant “trying to convince myself it’s a 2.”

      VW and Aria, I am honored to be asked, truth is I have a pretty unconventional schedule (my downtime is usually late at night or later). I’m about to start some traveling July-Sept as well, so I may be a less frequent contributor here for a little while. One of these days, though, I hope to take you up on the offer!

  10. This is the only room ending in “departed for” – might suggest airports and departures? Thus we go up the ladder? Maybe?

  11. I’m not sold on the clues that lead to “E” as the letter. But I have found an alternative…

    Bottle, sphere, table, cone, vase, dice (or cube), eye. These objects all end in E. The text clues to “look at all sides.” The sentence “At LAST, they were learning” takes on new meaning in this context. Then a door is “shaken from the other side.” I think the text is telling us that this another letter puzzle like H, but that the common letter is the last letter of the word.

    The only objects that don’t fit are the net and ladder. Still working on those. However, the net is called out in the text, and the ladder is part of an exit, so maybe that exempts them. In any event, they are both made from rope, another E word.

    • I agree. I put most of that on my site in 2012, but I think I actually thought of that one in the 1980s. I did not have eye or snare or rope, however. I think WR does not count this solution primarily because he does not want to reuse “looking at things from all sides” or at least that is my guess. White Raven and I both found an “E” in the table legs in 8 as well and that may be the better place to find the “E”. Personally I think Manson gave the easy letters once, and the hard letters at least twice – and there is the “E” here you just found, as well as the one in 8. As far as the ladder goes – I think it is an “H” and it is part of my “room-level” solution here. One of my favorite once, actually.

    • Just want to record a note that Owen Hammer received confirmation from Manson that the “E” in this room does indeed come from the final letter in the words for the objects as 515 states here. (See March 29 2019 Mazecast.)

  12. narrative states:
    “The net will help you catch the answer”
    We catch butterflies in a net. A butterfly knot is used by climbers. The ladder has knots and is used for climbing = Door #20.


    Opposite sides of a die always total seven. The number on the blank side of the die is a “4″. The dice then line up to = Door #42.

    • I never really considered filling in the blank on that die. Maybe the dice in 42 (on the door to 37) do us a favor by establishing that dice in the Maze don’t follow regulation.

    • 42 and 20 based on the two ways to read the dice were what I considered the best clues early on. (It took me a long time to notice the 15 on the sides of the nearest die facing us. Now I think this room pretty much points at all 4 doors about equally, except for my “room solution” that ties together every item in the room, and gives us door 20.

  13. A new webcast about Room 37:

    Despite my attempts to get right down to business, this episode lasts about as long as every other episode, which means either that we had a lot to say about this room or my usual off topic blathering isn’t really THAT BIG OF A DEAL, FOLKS.

    Or maybe that I blathered as much as usual without realizing it.

    Some new stuff here, mainly from Alex, including a reading of the net and shadow that I think is pretty good. I’d summarize it here but it’s hard to know where to start; c’mon, just watch the video if you’re interested, it will be good for you.

  14. The point here is that every door is referenced in the picture:
    The dice, a 2 and a 0 = 20
    The objects 4 on the floor, 2 on the table = 42
    The leg is a 1 the net’s shadow a 0 = 10
    The sides of the one die, 1 and 5 = 15

    • Well, there are more than two objects on the table, and maybe more than four objects on the floor if you count either the table or the net (and maybe you don’t, since the table is your second surface and the net is actually supported by the table.)

    • And if that is “the point” then what does this supposedly mean? There are no correct doors? The correct door is 20 as indicated by the dice. And in case no one has mentioned it the shadow of the net gives us the zero to put on the dice.

  15. Oh, pair-o-dice, heavens, seen from above…yeah, ok, another indicator of the same thing. Remember that 37 is associated with paradise as far back as 42–paradise of the heavenly variety why not

  16. Let me work this one backwards. Door 20 has an H, which can be an extra letter for the riddle. H20. Everything in the room and one thing in the text can be associated with water and/or ice (which is also H20).

    Eyes water
    Vases hold water.
    Dice sound like ice and are cubes.
    Cone suggests ice cream cone.
    The text of them moving together and getting quiet suggests the molecules of water freezing to ice.
    Then the table as a whole gives one more “ice”:
    “Medicine” goes with bottle and ball.
    “Sports” is suggested by net and ball.
    “Leg” is circled.
    Together a leg and sports medicine suggest ice.

    Does anyone have serious issues with this one?

    • Yeah, although I kind of like the “H2O/H20″ idea, separated from all the water references you’re finding.

      It would actually solve a lot of problems in the riddle of the path of we could get our H here and our E from 15. (The argument for E there would be, I suppose, the conspicuously missing Es from SEVEN, or the downward cast shadows from the gridded ceiling.) It would solve ONE problem, anyway, which is that E doesn’t seem very well clued by 15. Additionally, taking H from 15 is a little troubling, because there are other letter-object rooms on the Path, and we don’t take letters from them.

    • I don’t understand what you mean here “Yeah, although I kind of like the “H2O/H20″ idea, separated from all the water references you’re finding. “

    • Not really getting your problem with the riddle either. At first we get words in order “Like Atlas you bare it upon your….” Then we get the riddle in 45. Then we get her word “shoulder” in 23. But because it is so hidden it is re-given by letters for the remainder of the path, and hidden letters are given twice.
      Room 8 = E(hidden), and S(clear)
      Room 12 = U, D (both clear)
      Room 39 = R(clear), O(clear?), L(hidden)
      Room 4 = L(hidden)
      Room 15 = H(hidden)
      Room 37 = H(hidden), E(hidden), O(hidden)?
      Room 20 = S(clear)

      In that set of rooms, only 20 has a clear first letter pattern that we don’t use, in my mind, “T”. Bit of a red herring? But one you can clear up if you find all the clues certainly.

    • I don’t think all the water tie-ins real things, but I like the idea of there being an H in the 20 door. I started out by saying “yeah” in response to your question of whether anyone had serious issues with your water theme.

    • Why don’t you think “water/ice” is a thing? In science for example you want the simplest hypothesis possible that accounts for all the data. In philosophy of science we would say the hypothesis “unifies the data”. There are ways we can account for the room, parts at a time, using multiple hypotheses, but the water/ice thing is just one hypothesis, and it leaves out no data. That many hits (including H20 in the door) with zero failures is way beyond random chance. It’s clear (to me) that that is the primary way the room is supposed to relate. There are other things going on of course, too, lots of other things. But the way the room all ties together under one “umbrella” is that everything relates to water/ice in some basic way.

    • It’s just the usual things, not seeing the things connected that you’re seeing connected. That sports-medicine-leg business is especially silly.

      The business about the group getting closer together like freezing water doesn’t even make sense to me as a stretch, because 1) you could name almost any thing you want, and its molecules are going to get closer together if you freeze it, and 2) one thing you SHOULDN’T name is water, because it actually gets less dense when it freezes. That’s why ice floats.

      But those things are actually exceptional objections; on a basic level, it’s the same problems I always have.

    • Let’s take “medicine” – why is that silly? A ball and a bottle. Is there a better way to unify them than medicine ball and medicine bottle? And a ball and a net? What else could it reasonably be but some sport or another?

    • In fact the only way your thinking makes any worldly sense to me – is that you don’t believe we should try to unify the objects and find common denominators between them – That you have some ideological of philosophical objection to that sort of inductive process here. Or at the very least don’t see that unification should be highly prized. Why? I could not guess.

    • And far as them moving closer together – I take that to just be ironic and humorous, not so much critical to the puzzle. Yes, water does expand, slightly, but then most freezing things don’t, and it is the idea of freezing that is there. Quiet, loss of energy, movement, whatever, It’s suppose to be a little joke.

    • Or how does a vase not reasonably connect to water? Yes it connects to many things – flowers for example, but the point is it DOES connect to water, and water is the ONE thing that EVERYTHING can be reasonably connected too. That’s unification.

    • “Finding water” is wrong terminology too. But sheds light on thought process perhaps. Vase does not represent water. Eyes do not represent water. Water is not pictured. It is the relationship between eyes and vase for example that yields water. It’s the unpictured connection.

  17. The case for 15: The door to 20 and 42 look leading, particularly 20. The first die shows us a 1 and a 5. The other die has a 1, and then 2+3=5. The test hints we should look at the room from above. From there we will see 5 round objects if we include the net, and the stick of the net which could be a 1.
    The case for 10: The door to 20 and 42 look leading, particularly 20. This rooms has us look at things from all sides and TEN backwards is NET. 1 table leg is circles by what looks like a zero. When viewed from above the net could look like a 1 and a zero. In 34 we took eyes and both 1s and zeroes. And here we have eyes. Also when viewed from above the bottle will look like an eye.
    The case for 42: If we figure out what number should be on the blank face it should be a 4. Then the dice read 42. Viewed from above and not counting the net, there are 4 solid round objects and two cubes, given a 42.
    The case for 20 without the room-level solutions for this room and 15: The dice read 2, blank or zero. The table has two visible legs and one is circles by what looks like a zero. The major objects could be viewed as sets of two, with the net given a zero.

    • F%$# – lol. “They all moved closer together” – sort of like water molecules freezing into “ice”?


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