Room 45

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…the room at the center of the Maze.

My guests thought that whoever lived here was a careless person, to leave so many things around. They were wrong.

There was really only one thing for them to find: the Riddle of the Maze. They demanded that I show it to them.

“Do you think it is written on the wall for all to see? It is hidden here, somewhere, perhaps throughout the room. As far as you are concerned, what the Maze teaches can be learned in every room.”

They looked and looked…every group is the same.

“Now,” I said, after a last look around, “we must find our way back out.”

Leaving the center of the Maze we found ourselves in…

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


Level: PATH     Doors: 17 19  23  28  36


● The correct door is 23. [Credit: Unknown - during the 1985 contest]

● The spear next to I AM points to door 23. [Credit: SP]

● The various components of room 45, put together properly produce the following question: “What house will all live in?” [This phrasing has been confirmed by the publisher.]

“W” + hat = What
shoe + U (horseshoe shaped like a U) (letters rearranged) = House
Will (“I AM” + shake spear)
awl = All
elvi (letters rearranged) = Live
eye = “I” + N (sideways Z) = In

Correct answer is the Earth, world or globe. Also, Shakespeare’s theater was the Globe. [Credit: Sco4tt "Fool" Purdy with some assistance from Andrew C. Plotkin, Carl Muckenhoupt and Narciso Jaramillo - See the Riddle of the Path on the Main Solution page for the rest of Sco4tt's solution - At this point the wood row was unsolved.]

● The row of wood on the table is a “wood row.” Combined with the “will” from the I AM Shakespeare riddle and the sun = “Woodrow Wilson.” Which leads to the Woodrow Wilson quote ”Without God the world would be a maze without a clue,” reinforcing the answer “The World” [Credit: John Bailey]

● The “all in/habit what evil house” phrasing alternative is put to rest by the observation that the Guide says in the text, “Do you think it is written on the wall for ALL to see.” On the wall is an “all” and “none” from which we choose. This question by the Guide frames this choice.  [Independent Credit: David G | vewatkin]

● Ongoing debate: Is the purpose of the “Woodrow WILLson” and “WILLiam Shakespeare” meant to only produce the word “Will.” Or is the purpose of the I AM Shakespeare riddle to complete the name “Woodrow Wilson” (“Woodrow (“Will” produced by Shakespeare riddle) son.”) and point only to the Wilson quote.  Or is the purpose of the riddle on the table to produce both “William Shakespeare” and “Woodrow Wilson” and point to both the Wilson quote and the globe theater. If the purpose is just to create the word “will” then why is this unnecessary word included at all?


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116 thoughts on “Room 45

  1. @vewatkin I would like to thank you for clearing that up. If the following doesn’t behoove me ahead of my mooted standings, I do apologize. I have translated “Do you think it is written on the wall for all to see?” as – I on “Z” wall (ZION) for owl too see? This has led me to the Mexican spotted owl that lives within the compounds of the Zion National Park. I remember you pointing out that it has no religious bearings in mind, so I guess I can scratch off the idea of ZION being synonymous with Jerusalem. Thank you again for your constructive criticism. W. Brandon M.

    • The “IAM” here actually doesn’t have any religious significance. It’s part of the name “William Shakespeare,” which is itself part of a larger riddle meant to suggest the word “will,” which is part of the Riddle of the Maze. Like a lot of imagery and phrases in Maze, the cryptic context drives one to look for more arcanely symbolic inferences, but it’s just a word puzzle after all!

  2. “Consciousness isn’t a journey upward, but a journey inward. Not a pyramid, but a maze. Every choice could bring you closer to the center or send you spiraling to the edges, to madness.” – Westworld

  3. A thing that jumps out at me is that if you look at the question mark, then look up, you see the awl. Question up awl. Questionable.

    Don’t know if there’s anything to it. Maybe just that the adjacent doors are questionable.


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