# 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

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

● 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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## 207 thoughts on “Room 45”

1. And last but not least, the shoes seen here are always in the last place you look, which is the best place to hide.

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• Ooh, I got this one: clobber is an anagram of cobbler, which is a fruit dessert: a clear reference to the apple in Room 9.

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• Congratulations Aria. That’s correct. And I can honestly say that I’ve never told the truth before today.

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• Alright, that’s enough. No more using brute logic to respond to your stuff. The shoes are a hiding spot because…

GNOMES ARE HIDING IN THEM!! IT’S BEEN STARING US IN THE FACE THIS WHOLE TIME!!!

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• A LAST is a mechanical form shaped like a human foot. It is used by shoemakers and cordwainers (COBBLERS) in the manufacture and repair of shoes. LASTS typically COME IN PAIRS and have been made from various materials, including hardwoods, cast iron, and leather hides.

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2. No and no to “arbol” and “*bolar” (*room 45). On the cover of this building, I visually included the dextrosinistral along with the sinistrodextral sides and came up with the MAZE. Are you still trying to figure this all out vewatkin?

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• you looked at the cover of the book, saw the lines, and came up with MAZE? sorry if i’m misunderstanding but doesn’t that mean you just read the cover of the book

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• MAZER – A large drinking bowl or goblet made of metal or hard wood.
[Middle English, from Old French masere (U), kind of wood, maple burl, of Germanic origin.] mazard (a ˈmæzəd) or mazzard 1. (Anatomy) an obsolete word for the head, skull 2. another word for MAZER.

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• unsure how that answers the previous thing but thats pretty cool. a mazers a drinking vessel, huh

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3. There are a group of bowls in this room, similar to the ones mentioned in room 8.

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• Reading the hat, which resembles a bowler hat, as a “bowl” seems like an acceptable Mansonian move, but I don’t see any other “bowl” candidates in here.

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• Wow, what amazing argument, WBM. I’m so glad that you could clearly spell out for us everything that you were talking about. It makes me so happy when I see intelligent, well-reasoned, and well-backed discussion on this site. I am truly blessed to share such wonderful discourse with great minds as these. Truly, the intellectuality of our dialogues will rival those of the Platonic Academy.

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• I was expecting my request for elaboration to be met with a cryptic, unhelpful back-atcha question, initiating a back-and-forth in which the concept of there being “a group of bowls in this room” would never, ever be explicated and substantiated.

I wasn’t expecting “Um”, though!

Looks like I haven’t earned the intellectual merit badge to receive the back-atcha questions yet. Time to start posting under the name “vewatkin”, I guess. OR HAVE I ALREADY BEEN DOING THAT??

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• The bowls that I was referring to, should have been interpreted with a homophonic acknowledgement of the word ‘bowls’, being spelled ‘boles’.

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• You didn’t say anything that would have made that apparent, though. In fact, you said the “bowls” were similar, which runs directly counter to using “bowls” literally in one room and elsewhere as a coded reference to completely dissimilar boles.

“The word ‘bole’ is a homophone of ‘bowl,’ and means the trunk of a tree. Could the references to bowls in Room 8 have any relevance to the other rooms that feature tree trunks–like Room 45, in which the boles are, in a sense, broken?”

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• @Beelzebibble
I shouldn’t be telling you this, but vewatkin doesn’t exist. The name is a complete sock puppet maintained by a council of ancient Maze scholars (established, as legend has it, by Manson himself) who find that presenting their most reasonable arguments under the strength of a shared face lends them more relatability and thus sways more people to their cause. Each of our comments is carefully vetted and examined for maximum efficiency, and then put to the vote.

…If I, or this comment, go missing soon, you’ll know why.

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• I wouldn’t say so much that the trunks seen here are broken, but they could have been shortened by or as if by having a part cut off. Which in regards to the word ‘trunk’, can be explained away, by its ‘truncated’ cylindrical form.

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• I wouldn’t describe them as broken either, or endorse other aspects of the suggestion I made within quotes. I was just proposing that as an example of a clear statement of information for others to consider.

When I chide you about expressing yourself cryptically, it isn’t because I’m trying to marginalize your ideas; it’s because I’m trying to understand them. I’m hoping to have conversations about your ideas instead of about the way you express them.

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• If the purpose is just to create the word “will” then why is this unnecessary word included all? — v v i L L (W I L L) … 7 7 … arms akimbo with legs spread out apart … Cloistress (nun) same letters used “in scissor” (to cut: incisor); body resembles pair of scissors; each half of the pair resembles Two P’s; each P is the 16 letter of the alphabet, multiplied by 2 = 32; outline of body has 13 sides; 32 + 13 = 45

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• It’s part of the Riddle of the Maze: “What house will all live in?”

It’s grammatically necessary, at least to avoid the unnatural/archaic phrasing “In what house live all?” The odd thing it’s “will…live” instead of “do…live.” It’s not clear why this riddle is phrased in the future tense.

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• Are you saying maze has a lot of bowl and container imagery? And it’s a container/funnel in itself? (hence the “in?” world = maze = container?)
Hm…
I think I can follow your process here, I don’t understand what the conclusion is but I can follow it

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• No, it’s because “arbol” (“are bowls”) is Spanish for “tree” and the book is made of wood-derived paper.

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4. @vewatkin – You don’t suppose that the buckle seen between the entrance ways of rooms seventeen and thirty six, have anything to do with a red herring, do you?

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• Are you talking about the awl picture? I don’t follow offhand how a buckle relates to a red herring, so I don’t know. The awl is one if the few things in the book that I don’t think is a red herring, though, since it’s part of the Riddle of the Maze.

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• I was referring to the belt/buckle, not the inverted catenary arched awl.

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• After discovering a new word, I inquired about its spoonerism and its spoonerism suggested a buckle(d) herring.

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• Step 1: Consider the word “huckleberry,” which has no relation to Maze.

Step 2: Spoonerize it as if it were two words, producing “buckle herry.”

Step 3: Change that to “buckled herring” arbitrarily.

Step 4: Choose a room in Maze that doesn’t include a buckle or a herring.

Step 5: Propose that a buckle in the room suggests a herring.

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• Well, I’m pretty sure that the term “huckleberrying” is taken from the famous novel, “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn“ by Mark Twain. The term is very closely related to “winging it” or basically, improvising. In “The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail“, Henry and John take their students outside of the classroom to study the world as it really is. If an obstacle gets in their way, they’ll find a way around it. Borrowed from Huckleberry Fin, it can mean to just go out and explore like Huckleberry did in his novel. “Huckleberrying” is a term to just go out of the average classroom experience and view life in a TAKE IT HOW IT IS type of way. Huckleberrying – Buckle herring (spoonerism)

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• Sometimes I have my moments and sometimes my moments have me.

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5. I thought Woodrow Wilson was the solution to which door to take, since he was the 28th president. Therefore, door 28. You can still take door 23 from room 28 (although not the quickest path).

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• I guess this has already been pointed out but I’m just noticing it in the context of “ring” things throughout.

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• My ringing solution made a few jumps (and had some weird time travel shenanigans), but huh, that is interesting… an issue would be the puzzles crossing over, as in the puzzle of Room 45 would have to have been made primarily, though using a horseshoe as a U is one of the many ways Manson could have done it.
He could have thought, for my U I’ll use a RINGer to maintain my ringing theme!
An issue is that it isn’t to hard to find “bell” and “ring” in objects, I probably could find those phrases in every room if I am being honest…

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• Well, I’m actually referring to my own ideas/list of ring-related stuff that I talked about at some point, but I’ll go look at yours again too, Ritz! Mainly my idea is just that there are “rings” and “ringing” placed intentionally throughout the Maze.

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• I do agree that it’s a tough sell since rings would be easy to include unintentionally.

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• No reason the think the term “ringer” is relevant as a pun of some kind, but this was probably done to evoke the game of horseshoes, as a U sitting on the floor would probably not otherwise be regarded as a horseshoe (without visible nail holes or whatever).

Manson’s clue to this part of the riddle suggests that making the U a horseshoe was meant to help us to pair it with the shoe, though, who knows, maybe that’s just something he came up with afterwards for the clue. Or maybe this was actually supposed to obscure its role as a letter.

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• Things can serve more than one purpose. In fact WR had a conversation with Manson in which he confirmed that this was the case.

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• Sorry, that didn’t come off as I intended. I meant that my assessment of “ringer’s” significance is not based on a resistance to dual meaning. I’m saying this “ringer” thing seems meaningless on its own merits.

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• I think the bell/ring references could have relevance. They seem to be placed at focal points of the book.

The beginning of the Maze (1)
The beginning of the correct path (26)
The ending of the correct path (20)

The ringing is heard, starts (in order to distract guests), and stops at the end through this circuit.

The beginning of the Maze (1)
The ending of the incorrect path (11)

A bell for ASSISTANCE shows up at the end of the incorrect path, which the guide warns against. And at the end his laughter is bell-owing.

So having a bell/ring reference in the center of the Maze on the correct path could be relevant, I guess. It could imply distraction in the most critical area. Eh-

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• They could, it’s a relevant observation regarding a reasonable line of inquiry. I was just noting that the ringer positioning serves one function even if we don’t have reason to think it serves another. I have no objection to people noting patterns and themes without knowing why or whether they were intended–it is infinitely preferable to attaching an arbitrary metaphorical interpretation that confirms something we already know or assume. In fact, it might be the only hope we have.

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6. Woodrow Willson is also quoted as saying “The world has a habit of going on” and there is a picture of a nun’s habit on the wall, therefore I think this is another clue that the answer to the riddle is “the world”.

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7. I don’t know if anybody’s noticed it before, but the branches on the logs point more or less at the four incorrect doors, with none pointing anywhere near in the direction of door 23.

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8. I don’t know if I’m repeating someone else’s words, but I may have found a possible indicator of the guide’s intentions. You can see written on the paper on the table, the words, “I AM.” Also, on the upside-down sign reading ELVI: the anagram can be the word “EVIL.” Finally, you can put this information together to say, “I am evil.” I guess this could be an Easter egg, but maybe was unintentional after all.

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9. I came up with Door 23 because of ELVI. E=5 L=12 and VI could be roman numerals for 6. 5+12+6 = 23.

Also I thought there were lots of pairs of objects and many 3 letter objects. 2 eye/I’s, 2 shoes (horseshoe), 2 “hats”, 3 letter objects: eye, sun, IAM, nun, hat, W+eye+?= Why. Though I’m sure that’s all a coincidence, that I just waned to find 2′s and 3′s.

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• If you pronounce the word, it sounds like “L V.” Alphanumerically translated, that’s 17, another door in the room. Because the sign is upside-down, the V actually comes before the L. If you read it as VL, that’s a roman numeral 45–an indication of the room we’re in.

ELVI_ suggests the letter S as the next letter on the sign. S is the 19th letter. 19 is a door in the room.

For homework, try to work out the remaining numbers in like fashion.

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10. Everything in the room has been used besides the chair–why is it in this room? (a pretty tiny chair too; it looks like the same size as the shoe.)

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• Is it tiny? Or is that just a Really Big Shoe? Anyway, the chair is there for Willy and Woody to sit in, according to Mr Manson.

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11. Isn’t the spear pointing at the bottom right edge of the door to room 19? From a distance it looks like it’s pointing at 23 but if you use a ruler you might see what im seeing.

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12. Should it be well noted, that the 2nd paragraph from the top, ix comprised of 23 words?

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• Well, I’m sure the folks here would be happy to provide lots of alternate explanations, it’s just that they would be grossly implausible.

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• Actually, this may have some merit. Now that you have found room 45, you’re on to step 2. Or, alternatively, now that you’re here the next question is “Where 2?”.

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• What do you mean by that? The expulsion of Shakespeare, or the number 31415?

-B

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• I consider myself a psychopomp. Worship our black-clad avian orifices- I mean oracles. Could that be a reference to Pythagoras?

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• Pythagoras–or “pie then gore us”–a prescient warning about the 2000 US presidential election?

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• Possibly, considering that the blackbirds present throughout the book elevate the mind to a higher airplane of councisniss. Unfortunately they can’t teach me how to spell long words.

-B

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13. While the answer to the Riddle is most likely the Earth, when I first discovered it I thought it may be the human brain. Since we carry our heads upon our shoulders, I figured it could be referring to the mind. This could be a little congratulatory statement, since you’d have to be pretty smart to figure out the Maze, or a reference to how the human thought process and psyche may as well be a maze with its confusion. I don’t know, just a thought.

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• “Earth, Globe, World” is in fact the answer confirmed by the publisher. Manson has said he had another answer in mind as well. The idea that the answer to the riddle could also be the human brain is clever and appealing for sure. In fact it’s been suggested before, by Vewatkin and maybe others. Manson when asked about it said he thought it was interesting but that it was not what he had in mind. (I’m paraphrasing; can never find the place where it was discussed on this site and Manson’s exact quote given.)

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• It still hits me every once in a while that you don’t bear the world upon your shoulders, which means that even if you solved the puzzles it’s impossible to solve and had the correctly worded riddle and the correctly worded clue, you’d still have to guess a nonsensical answer in order to win the contest. Atlas also didn’t, but that’s a smaller issue.

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• I think the main clue that made me think of the human brain is that the Directions mention that if you “use your head, you should be able to make the journey in only sixteen steps.” Probably a coincidence, but an interesting theory nonetheless.

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14. April 23 is also the date of both Shakespeare’s birthday and the day he died. (Strictly, noone knows his exact birthday but it is usually taken to be April 23).

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15. @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.

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16. “Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I AM!”

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• 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!

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17. “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

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18. 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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