Room 42

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…the next room.

In one corner a savage animal appeared ready to leap out, roaring, rending with tusk and claw…but it was only a bit of taxidermy after all.

I suggested they might wish to hang up their coats before going on.

“How will we find them?” one asked. “We might not pass through here again.”

I assured them I would help them to return. “You can count on me,” I said sincerely. Still, they wouldn’t leave anything behind.

Opening one of the doors we made our way to…

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

 

Room Type: PATH     Doors: 4  22  25  30  37

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

● The correct door is 4. [Credit: Unknown - during the 1985 contest.]

● The part of the Riddle of the Path in this room is “bear” (referring to “the animal”). [Credit: Unknown - prior to 1990.]

● On three of the doors are pairs, a pair of scissors, a pair of dice, and a pear. The non-pair (the salt and pepper shaker set) is the correct door – 4. [Credit: Slala]

● There are three somewhat hidden “four”s in this room. 4 boots in a group, 4 bear feet, and the mislabeled bottom dice that adds up to 4. [Credit: Beq S.]

● “Sinners this way” refers to door 30 (the animal is pointing behind itself), which is the incorrect door. [Credit: Hello Gregor] [Note: This is half of the solution.]

● In the text it says, ““You can count on me,” I said sincerely.” “On me” is four letters, indicating Door 4. Thus when the guide is sincerely helping when he says, “You can count ON ME.” [Independent Credit: Dnutz | White Raven] This is hinted at by the phrases bracketing the clue, “I assured them I would help them return.” and “Still they wouldn’t leave anything behind.” To anyone who has played MAZE for long it is obvious that the Guide is not going to help them return and the visitors are correct to keep their coats with them. The addition of the thought-word “sincerely” in the midst of the Guide’s deception puts the clue in high relief. [Credit: White Raven]

● The bear paws in the picture above the doors are angled oddly, the back two are acute angles while the front two feet are right angles. The shape of the feet may be suggestive of the shape of the “4″ on door 4. The shape of the left feet make the left side of the 4, while the right feet make the right side of the 4. [Credit: Aria] [See related images]

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126 thoughts on “Room 42

  1. So there’s this thing called a Doom painting, which is a painting of the Last Judgment on the wall of a chuch. Michelangelo’s version in the Sistine Chapel is the most famous example (see Wikipedia for details). Anyway, an important common feature of these is that Christ sits in the middle pointing up with his right hand, toward the left side of the painting, indicating the Saved. He points down with his left hand, to the right side of the painting, indicating the Damned.

    What this does is gives us a way to unambiguously interpret the sign. The SAINTS side is on the left of the image; the SINNERS side is on the right.

    BUT Manson is being sneaky here. Look at all the truncated things in this room. Boots, bear feet, a hat, an elephant’s foot. And also look at the SCISSORS, which bear an interesting similarity to the words SAINTS and SINNERS, in that they all start and end with the letter S. (Already noted of course.) Lood at the text about hanging up coats (removing outer parts), and leaving things behind. Look at the similar-looking ends of the coatrack. If you remove the ends of the words as suggested by these things, you get “AIN’T that way” (meaning Room 2, which he’s pointing to) and “INNER that way” (meaning the bear’s right, Room 4, which he’s indicating with his elbow, which does indeed lead toward the centre, our goal).

    This all matches nicely with the St. Peter at the PEARly gates of PARADISE theme of doors on the right.

    VINCENT YES YES I KNOW YOU DON’T HAVE TO TELL ME JUST LET ME BE HAPPY FOR FIVE MINUTES

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    • Manson had a devious knack for designing puzzles loosely based on things you would later find interesting on wikipedia.

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    • We know for a fact that Room 39 references an outside work. Why are you so resistant to the idea that other outside works could be referenced in MAZE? Yes, we can find potential references more easily now with the Internet. That doesn’t make all things we’ve found using Wikipedia wrong.

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    • I don’t think it is ALL references, just that using the internet it isn’t hard to cherry-pick obscure tales or versions of a tale that Manson really wouldn’t have had any reason to use. Trying to use an interpretative thought process through the translation of outside works into Maze really just drags you deeper- like the jian bird thing I mentioned, there really is no chance Manson could have been thinking of that. Even if it seemed cool (marriage, rings! one wing??) it is SO easy to do. We have no reason to trust one specific painting that conviently matches up with a preferred interpretation than a different painting that points in different directions.

      You chose the saints = left, sinners = right because of a painting that lined up with that interpretation. But you chose the painting because of a predisposed bias for this idea. Your evidence for the idea is based off of the idea itself.

      If something like that occurs, then it probably means there wasn’t much evidence in the first place.

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    • The thing is, it’s not one specific painting. It’s an entire well-known class of religious paintings. With a characteristic feature that seems to me to be very clearly referenced in this room. In a room that contains imagery/puzzles relating to the Bible and is connected to at least one other room like that (Adam/Eve/original sinners in 30). It’s paintings about judgment in a room connected to a room explicitly about judgment and containing a picture of scales. It doesn’t really matter to me if I convince anyone else about this idea but I don’t think it’s fair to say that my evidence is based on my idea. My evidence is that in this room there’s a figure indicating one way for sinners and one way for saints (according to his huge sign) by pointing up and down/left and right and there’s a whole class of paintings in which that also happens.

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    • The bear… isn’t really making the same pose. That’s what’s throwing me off for the non-confirmation-bias evidence.
      The bear is so ambiguous (right? left? inner? ain’t? elbow?) that it’s wayyyy too easy to just assign it to the correct door, and the fact that it’s not making the same pose kind of clouds it up for me. Like, we could make the same exact argument if the doors were inverted through arm/elbow/left/right shenanigans, and the “inner” being positive while “sinners” is not. I don’t know. I kinda like this one though, it is just hard for me to imagine this is what Manson intended.

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    • It’s willfully and transparently dishonest to suggest that anyone here thinks that no works besides The Cask of Amontillado are referenced in Maze. But it’s still more believable than this doom painting nonsense.

      To paraphrase Stephen Roberts or whoever:
      “When you understand why you dismiss the nonsense of Gentile, Marianne, Thail Krider, and WBM, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”

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  2. The bear is a signpost at a fork in the road. As you face that signpost there is but one way to go: you bear right because “right” is the “correct” way to go. As you bear right at the signpost you go through Door #4.

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