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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141 thoughts on “Room 45

  1. Two names, someone said. William Shakespeare and Woodrow Wilson.
    I believe the sign “Shakes Spear” refers to Pallas which literally means ‘Shakes Spear’. (Shakspeare being a name made by Sir Bacon, of course)
    My question; why not take W.W. and make any WW (William Wordsworth) or any MM, (Mickey Mouse or I prefer Marilyn Monroe, with Monroe being a presidential name and Marilyn has a connection with Elvis as well.)
    Woodrow Wilson was president when the Peace Palace (Pallas) was dedicated. What other reasons would he have to use Woodrow?

  2. White Raven: I got page 45 today. Sorry no spoilers. You are only part way there. I got the Elvis part this morning at 4:30. Why is there no bird on this page? He should be there. 45 was hard. I first looked at 22. It only took me two minutes.

    • Personally I’m not surprised to find things no one found in Maze. But…we think of 45 as pretty much complete. Maybe you found the riddle of the guide? It is on my page but Raven has not confirmed it. Basically – “who am I?”

      If you found sea or a fish in 22 we have that.

      Right now you don’t have a track record of good solutions we can look at…so people will be skeptical of claims like this.

    • Hidden Mystery, I just super-solved 45, and it’s even more complicated than you thought, but you’re partway there. There is a bird for you, keep looking, there should be lots of birds flying everywhere you look. But first I looked at page 8 and solved it in thirteen seconds.

    • I just super dooper solved secret room 46 which y’all don’t even know about until you find the breed to every single bird in the maze including the wooden toys.

  3. Alternate solution route.

    45 , 29, 24, 23, 44, 1, 19, then follow sound to 36. I was affected by the spectacle one of the guests noticed. So take in information from 7 and 16. Follow big stones to 32 then 21. Then you know the name so find your own way to 35 then to 6. Final sentence picks up “maze guide” adding small helper words based on “we know the name” – “you know my true name is maze guide raven. In dark beginning time I stole the sun”

  4. Improvements: There is a link from here to 40 and the Raven poem, but that is not connected to Raven’s “Riddle of the guide”. I believe that path runs: 45,29,24,23,44,1,19,21,32,35,6
    Then we have word values.
    45 – Who am I? Am I evil?
    29 – hidden door
    24 – dark
    23 – true
    44 – time
    1 – beginning
    19 – sun
    21 – name is
    32 – stole
    35 – Raven
    6 – where we end up.
    With a minor (in) and (I) from 45:

    Who am I? True name is Raven. In dark beginning time I stole sun. Hidden door in 6.

    Or something much like that anyway.

    • If you just take 29 to be “in” and 6 to be “eye/I” and forget about the secret door some for the first run at least, you get without any help from room 45 words:

      True name is Raven. In dark beginning time I stole sun.

    • Guide says as far as “you are” conserned. This is another form of “I am” And hint that for the guide riddle the answer is across many rooms.

  5. SP,

    With the I+A+M = 9+1+13 = 23 added to the spear, now I buy it. Adding it to the summary. Great find!

    White Raven

  6. Besides reading “whoever lived here” we can smoosh that together and get “Who lived here?” or just take “who” in the text as a clue to finf “Who am I?” in the room.

    • * SP whips the football to the ground in a touchdown moment of glory, and then runs across the field in slow motion *

  7. Riddle of the path: I believe the only indicator here is the spear pointing to the correct door. I also think it should be re-evaluated whether this room needs a solve-o-meter, and whether 5 stars is appropriate for this room, being an exception. There is much debate over this in the Vincent M. Watkiss and Salt and Pepper Farms of Norther Canada.

    • Updated page: We need to find the correct exit door. The only objects here not involved in the riddle are the table and chair. Take the numeric value of each of the first letters and add them. 20+3 = 23, and that is the correct exit. The spear also points to the correct door (Thanks sp).

  8. In total I think the answers look like this:

    So the puzzle of the MAZE is “In what House will some live?”

    The answer is “the World”. So “Some will live in the world”.

    The guides riddle says “I measure man by a soul truth”, and that is the truth of the MAZE riddle. Some souls will live in the world.

    This helps with the escape from the MAZE trap. We can look into Ravens eye and be transported back to our world and out of the TRAP.

    But if we put the guide’s whole message together we have “I measure man by the truth that some souls will live in the world”. And I take this as a simple message that how we live our lives in this world is what is important. Perhaps as well that those who contribute to the world while here, live on in memory.

  9. In response to a note in which I included a number of points, one of which was “Seems the 45 riddle may be : “In what house will ONE live?””

    Mr. Manson kindly replied and said:

    “You’re almost completely right about the riddle, anyway.”

    Nothing more.

    Now I take that to mean “some” may be right instead of “one”. Other interpretations are possible, of course. But he’s not going to confirm anything, so that’ my best guess for now.

    • Of course I followed by asking if maybe “In what house will some live?” might be correct, and this did not get a reply.

    • “almost completely right” could also mean “one” is very close to the nun/none on the right.

  10. Oh, never mind, Andrew Plotkin seems to suggest that he got the classic solution directly from the publisher:

    “I’m sure it’s out in the Webworld somewhere. But for the record, I’ll type in exactly the slip of paper I received when the contest ended:



    What house will all live in?

    Like Atlas, you bear it upon your shoulders.
    (The World-Earth-The Globe)”

    So, for all my complaining, I’m just wrong. That’s the solution. That is the stupid, awful, terrible solution.




  11. Ah. “No two ways you can read this sign” = We are supposed to think this means “there is one way you can read this sign”, but then why not just say that since we so easily infer that? That is not what it means, really. It means there are no two single specific ways you can read this sign, i.e – “There are many ways you can read this sign”. That’s just a complex way of saying make a small anagram here, and pick the right one.

    Maybe not a great clue, but they had to be a little obscure about saying “scramble the letters on that sign to get a word”.

  12. New observation #1:
    Live is near the eye and that could be a bird eye and looking into Raven’s eye is how you “live” in the TRAP.

    New hypothesis #1:
    The “symmetry’ is between object and observer.

    These are the old answers I have for “LIVE”.
    LIVE = the sign reading “ELVI” — an anagram of LIVE. Note: In the links above someone points out that there are many anagrams for this sign but only one of them can be pronounced two ways – live. Also if you are not “live” you are dead, in which case you
    Can’t read the sign.

    I really think the point of the long Z is simple – to make it look as un-N-like as possible – otherwise “IN” would be too easy. The way it is you tend to think “eyezz” = “eyes”.

  13. Traditionally the riddle is either, “In what house will all live?” Or “What house will all live in?” I think that is probably not quite right. Manson has only ever confirmed that it was close. I think “All” and “None” give us something in between, and the publisher’s clue says “You must choose “between” two pictures. I think the correct question is “In what house will one live?” This fits in with room 11, where “Live!” instructs us to avoid the Trap, and room 19. Room 22 tells us we will find hope for escape from the trap in 19, and 19 tells us roughly we can avoid the tomb and “live” by exiting into the world and hints at how to do it, and this is what we can do in room 6 by looking into Raven’s eys, and crossing between worlds. The riddle of the guide tells us “I measure man by a sole truth”, and I think this truth may just be the answer to the riddle of the Maze – “One will live in the World”.

    • For once I’m with David Gentile–even with the suggestion of “all” in the text, there’s something not quite right about just taking “all” as the answer to that clue: “You must choose between two pictures.”

      All of the other clues are phrased as riddles in themselves, or at least opaquely or metaphorically phrased. This clue, if we are interpreting it correctly, is simply a literal direction to the riddle solver.

      Moreover, remember that Manson intended this riddle to be solvable WITHOUT the hints. It turns out that it probably isn’t; nobody has ever solved this things without the hints. But if the solution included arbitrarily ignoring the picture of the nun, that’s a level of unfairness and poor puzzle construction above anything else we see in the room. The mention of “all” in the text may seem like a plausible tie-breaker given the clue, but without the clue, there is zero (known) reason to think that you can simply ignore the nun and use the awl.

      I seem to recall Manson’s statement that the submitted solution, the one we all accept, was “pretty much” correct, but I can’t find any source on that anymore. Nevertheless, I think David is correct that there’s something more that we’re missing here, something that renders this riddle a little less ridiculous. Maybe not, maybe it’s just terrible.

      “There are no two ways you can read this sign,” and “You can see that another two pictures demonstrate their own kind of symmetry,” also seem to have adequate, but unimpressive, solutions.

      Manson constructs the elaborate Woodrow Wilson/Shakespeare riddle to clue “will,” creates the visual anagram of shoes for “house,” gets a little lazier for “what”…but for “live,” he just mixes up the letters and puts it on a sign? It’s a bit lazy, and breaks the pattern of object combination we see elsewhere. But ok, maybe it’s just supposed to be an easy one once you get all the other words?

      But then, the clue doesn’t seem to implicate “live” at all, since there ARE two ways to read that word. This isn’t the Guide giving misleading clues here: these clues are the actual indications of the words to come up with to solve the riddle for the real-money contest going on with this book. The only way that anyone really gets “live” for this one is by getting all other clues and realizing that “live” can fit and “evil”/”vile”/”veil” can’t. The clue doesn’t help at all.

      “You can see that another two pictures demonstrate their own kind of symmetry.” Oh, can we? We can see an eye across from a really long Z/N, but if that’s a kind of symmetry, it’s the same symmetry at play with the awl and nun, hardly their “own kind” of symmetry. Neither the solution nor the clue, interpreted as “in,” accounts for the N being elongated. Why IS the letter elongated? It doesn’t remotely disguise its status as either a Z or an N, and doesn’t seem to be a part of a pun (long z/long n, I don’t know, whatever), so we’re left with no good explanation for that part of it either.

      I really wish we had a better solution for 45, because I think this is the kind of thing that makes people say, “Wow, I could never solve this book,” flip through it for a bit, and then give up. It’s worse than not knowing any solution at all that everyone accepts a solution this ugly. I don’t have any fix for the situation, I’m just saying, it might be a fair direction for some effort to see whether something better is going on in 45.

  14. Oh, the all/none choice: the text mentions the solution “being written on the wall for all to see.”

    Sorry if I missed someone else saying that, but I’ve never before seen a non-arbitrary explanation for why to choose “all” over “none.”

    • “live” is also in the text, which helps clue that over some other anagram like “evil”.

    • vewatkin,

      Wow, great find!

      I have felt the same as you that the choice has seemed arbitrary. The clues from the publisher tell us to choose between two things, but without this added (not in the book) clue it is far more natural to conclude that the pictures mean “All in/habit.” This has made some people suspect that the publishers were messing with the original puzzle. I think this clears it up. Good job!

      White Raven

    • It was on my page, along with “live” and “in” in the text – some of the harder words to get. But I assume vswatkins did it independently.

    • I did notice it independently, but David’s discovery must predate mine by many years. Credit to David Gentile.

    • David Gentile,

      Wow, great find!

      The clues from the publisher tell us to choose between two things, but without this added (not in the book) clue it is far more natural to conclude that the pictures mean “All in/habit.” This has made some people suspect that the publishers were messing with the original puzzle. I think this clears it up. Good job! :)

      White Raven

  15. “In what House will all live?”
    “In what House will none live?”
    All will live in the World.
    None will live in the World.

    To me it sort of means. We are all in this together, if not we are all doomed.

  16. White Raven phrasing of the solution to room 45:

    Taking a clue from the order that the clues appear in the room (and also good grammar) I am leaving behind ”What house all live in?” and “In what house all live?” in favor of “All live in what house?”

    Then working the name into the phrase and taking the choice of pictures seriously we get either:

    ”All live in what Woodrow Wilson house?”
    - Or -
    ”None live in what Woodrow Wilson house?”

    The choice “all” or “none” is key to understanding the inclusion of the [Woodrow Wilson] quote. Whether we use “all” or “none” makes a profound difference in how we understand the quote.

    What does it mean if “All live in a world which without God is a maze without a clue”? It means that without God life cannot be understood.

    What does it man if “None live in a world which without God is a maze without a clue”? It means that life can be understood apart from knowledge of God.

    Manson leaves this as an open question, the big question of life, “Is there a God? Do we need to know of God? What is “the world?” ” Manson isn’t preaching, he is agnostic on this point, and he leaves it to the reader. The solution is “the world,” but what is the world? You decide.

    • Seems like an answer worthy of the book. Feels right. I got no questions to ask. We got this one. Bump it up.

  17. I’ve never been entirely happy with the phrasing of the solution. Especially the inclusion of the word “will” from the table. Apparently I am not alone as Mr Raven has only marked this as a 4 of 5.

    Raven, does this mean you have a more satisfactory conclusion?

    • Abyssians,

      When I started this site I decided to not offer any solutions of my own. But because the solution to the main puzzle of MAZE is all over the internet I decided to make an exception and put up a solution page in which I critique other solutions and offer a fuller one. Before I move the solution meter from 4 to 5 I would like to hear from some of you. Is this a more satisfactory of a solution?

      - White Raven

    • Yes, stars, boxes or whatever. Your “deeper” solution is far more satisfactory than anything else out there. Did you ask Manson about it?

  18. Room 45 Solution: Complete?
    Eighth room of the path – This is the center of the Maze. There is no hidden words or letters.

    The correct door is 23. There may not be any clues for the correct door.

    Riddle of the MAZE is “What house will all live in?” Combined with the name Woodrow Wilson. Leads to the quote, “Without God, the world would be a maze without a clue.”

    “Woodrow Wilson” is found on the table: A row of wood = woodrow. A shaking spear = shakespear = william shakespear = will + a sun = wilson. Wood Row Will Sun.

    “W” + “Hat” = WHat
    “SHOE” + the horseshoe “U” = HOUSE
    “Will” is found on the table in the puzzle above.
    the awl = All
    The ELVI sign = LIVE
    (eye = I) + (the sideways Z = N) = IN
    Then add the “?”

    • Though there are some points of debate most every seems to agree that this is generally correct.

      The Umbrella collected these solutions from the now defunct John Bailey site.


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