# Room 8

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…a vaulted chamber lit by a single bulb.

Someone knocked a bowl off the table. The crash echoed from the ceiling and whispered away down the corridors. I broke another on purpose.

“Make sure to take that with you,” I said. “You can never tell when you might need it.”

“Take what?” they wanted to know.

“Isn’t it obvious?”

Taking a vote among themselves they went on to…

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

Room Type:  PATH     Doors:  6  12  23  29  31

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

● The correct door is 12. [Credit: Unknown - during the 1985 contest.]

● One part of the Riddle of the Path in this room is the obvious “S.” [Credit: Unknown - prior to 1990.] The other part is the “E” formed by the table legs. [Independent Credit: David G | White Raven]

● The sign labeled “SiGN” is up against the bowling pin. The lower case ” i ” looks like the white part of the bowling pin (the black stripes separate the dot from the stem) making another ” i “. [Credit: Aria | Credit: White Raven] In outlines ” ii ” is the number 2. [Credit: Test / Saints This Way | Credit: White Raven] The remaining letter “SGN” is a reference to the sign function which is abbreviated “sgn” or on calculators as “SN” or “SGN”. So “SiGN” contains both the names “sign” and “sgn”. The sgn function in simple form is written as “sgn(x)” in a function, and the archetypical representation of the function is x=sgn(x).|x| As a person who betters understands math put it, “sgn is a mathematical representation of absolute value “x”.” The upper case “SGN” suggests that this part of the puzzle stays on the arrow sign while the lesser ” i ” is paired with the bowling pin so the solution reads ” xii ” instead of the alternate possible order ” ixi “. In lower case Roman numerals ” xii ” is the number 12, indicating door 12.

● The bowling pin indicates 12 – there is one stripe at the bottom (unusual) and two stripes at the top (normal). Also, the pin is more vertical than the other items in the room perhaps suggesting that the pin is read left to right after falling to the right. [Credit: Aria]

● The stethoscope indicates 12 – the sound starts in one tube and splits into two tubes. Further reinforced the emphasis on sound in this room. [Independent Credit: David G | White Raven]

● The bulb is referred to as a “single bulb” and is circled by two rings in the illustration. 1&2=12. [Independent Credit: David G | White Raven] The “single bulb” and is connected to a light switch. The light switch is in the off position but the light is on regardless – suggesting that the switch is on in both directions. 1 switch and 2 poles of the switch = 12. [Credit: vewatkin]

● The text mentions two bowls falling (one breaking, the other presumably so) and uses the word “echo” – the illustration has a unbroken bowl and no bowl pieces. 1 unbroken/illustration bowl + 2 broken/text bowls. 1&2=12. [Credit: David G]

● A bowling theme points to the correct door, 12. The bowling pin, the word “bowl,” the “crash,” and the knocked over room recall the act of bowling, while the “corridors” recall the lanes and the single bulb the bowling ball. A perfect game in bowling requires twelve strikes. The last two strikes are tacked on after the 10th frame – this is illustrated by the two “bowl” crashes in the text. [Independent Credit: SP / David G | White Raven]

● There is a up/down metaphor which points to door 12. Because the room is tilted door 12 is above the others. The candlestick and umbrella are on the floor but are meant to be picked up, this is reinforced by clown in the poster holding up an umbrella, and in the text the Guide encourages the visitors to take something with them but what this object is isn’t stated, suggesting the general idea of picking something up. Likewise, in the illustration, the table, bowl, sign, and poster are all down when normally such things should but up or upright. In the text, bowls fall and crash, likewise bowling pins are knocked down. Thus up is encouraged (up = door 12) while down is discouraged. (down = other doors) [Credit: SP]

● This solution has several related parts: The barber pole represents the Earth’s pole, the tilt of the room represents the tilt of the earth, the bowls in the text are the two hemispheres of the earth. [Independent Credit: SP | White Raven] The single light bulb represents the sun, the single bowl in the illustration represents one of the two hemispheres of the earth (it is propped up in the appropriate fashion). The light from the bulb/sun causes one side of the bowl/hemisphere to be lit up and the other dark. The light side faces the direction of door 12. It takes 24 hours for the earth to rotate on it’s axis, half of this is 12, the number of the correct door. [Independent Credit: Aria | White Raven] Reinforcing this solution, the barber pole is tilted in relation to the pillar next to it about 23 or 24 degrees. The tilt of the Earth is 23.5 degrees. [Credit: Aria]

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## 183 thoughts on “Room 8”

1. As I think MAZE is meant for all ages, “punch bowl” is a great find for the little kids to spot and us big kids can come along and bump it up.
You’re measuring the tilt-that’s dedication…I was just willing to accept the concept.

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• Man, ain’t no kid on Earth getting punch bowl out of that. You’d be hard pressed to find a kid who’d even refer to that as Mr. Punch without spending fifteen minutes on Google.

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• Only thing I can think of regarding my previous theory is that the barber poll revolves, the bulb could be the sun, and god knows what could be orbiting it.

The other theory I had was that 6 and 12, on a clock, are up and down. WHY would we pick up/12? No idea. In 41, going up is bad. In a few rooms it’s “good” to go up, but up and down vs good and bad is definitely not a constant, as light and darkness seem to be.

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• Barber pole revolves, that’s an excellent point. You have a revolving, tilted pole….I don’t think it means anything really, but it’s interesting that 23 has that stuff about finding what they’d been seeking for so long, and Room 8 may be a visual metaphor for the world itself, the answer the to riddle of the Maze.

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2. —-The light bulb is Polaris (North Star) Narr: vaulted=POLE vaulting and Pic: barber POLE. Pic: punch + bowl = punchbowl. A punchbowl needs a ladle: the little dipper whose last star in its asterism dipper handle is Polaris. The tilted room: the Earth’s axis/tilt is pointed at Polaris/the North Star.
—-The handles of the big and little dippers point “opposite each other” leading credence to Dave’s alignment of the candlestick to the arrow sign channel being reversed to lead to Door #12, and we know the light switch is opposite.
—-And then there is that pesky clown in the upper right of the picture…clowns and balloons are one thought. This clown represents the balloon Echo Satellite. Narr: “echoed from the ceiling and whispered away down the corridors.” Sound was bounced off the Echo Satellite, a very large silver easy to spot in the sky balloon. Transmissions from Earth could be sent to Echo and bounced back to another location on Earth. Two radio astronomers working on the very large horn shaped antenna for Echo discovered the microwave sounds of what is thought to be the “Big Bang” (bowl crashing). They were awarded the Nobel Prize. Here’s the hook: One of the radio astronomer’s name was “Robert Woodrow Wilson”! The table legs in the picture are suspiciously like the “wood row” in Room #45.
—–For my dual theory, we have 2 very bright objects in the sky depicted in the same room.

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• With the pole and the tilt I’ve tried to make something of axial tilt and all, but to no avail. I even tried taking S as an indication of South as opposed to North (the Southern pole star is Sigma Octantis–OCTantis, get, it, man, get it?) but I didn’t get anywhere there either, obviously. I hadn’t thought of the bulb as Polaris, which is an interesting addition to the mix, though it still doesn’t lead us anywhere yet.

Connecting “punch” with “bowl” is interesting too, and I’ve been considering what that might mean since you posted. And coming up with nothing. (I don’t think it’s meant to suggest “dipper,” since even getting to “punch bowl” is a leap on par with Room 45.)

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• well you could connect the bowl to the concept of axis/earth tilt, in that the two bowls are two halves of the world on its tilted axis. not sure what to do with that either, unless you can find a connection to 12..

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• What V W said.

Also, on the tilt – the room seems to measure a bit too much for the 23.5 degree tilt of the Earth. But I did measure a 24 somewhere and that is close enough (maybe) (and twice 12, which I think may be the point).

And looking at punch bowl I came up with pole=PULL and bowling PIN = pull pin = granade = big crash/boom. But I don’t think that is intended either.

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• 24 degrees seems darn close to me. I measure about 26-27 degrees, and that still seems plausible to me. I’m also not sure that you get a consistent reading throughout the room; I used the floor in the doorway of 29 as my basis for measurement, since it’s already a clear, straight line; but measuring from the bases of opposite support columns seems to give a smaller angle.

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• I am excited to see you all going down this route. I spent some time with this when I was working through the book and found a solution that really fits together nicely, but the evidence was light so it’s in my solutions with a “???” after it. Perhaps one of you can put some meat on those bones or disprove it. For those interested, SP is almost there.

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• So WR thinks SP is maybe close to something. Hmm. Well here is another “fragment” of bowl related stuff. A hemisphere like a bowl cuts a sphere in half along a great circle. If we are dealing with the tip of the earth then two important great circles are the ecliptic and the celestial equator. They intersect at 23.5 degrees. The celestial equator is above the earth equator and the ecliptic marks the path or the sun through the sky and is where we find the signs of the zodiac which have been mentioned in this room. Of course there are 12 TWELVE zodiac signs. Vaulted ceiling in this context reminds me of the vault of the heavens we find in some translations of Genesis. Sagittarius is in this room I have said. The sun’s winter solstice point is here if that is of any use.

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• Er well – then the Winter solstice is in December and that in the 12th month of the year.

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3. This is really a combination of some of the solutions above. Mr Gentile reminds us that in Room 18 the bowling pin is from 10-pin bowling, as opposed to candle pin bowling or duck pin bowling (the three shapes of pins). In this regard it might be possible that in both instances a pin occurs it denotes 10. The 10-pin bowling pin + 2 bowls = 12 (the words share the same root).

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• Or the 10-pin combines with the sign it overlaps, which points TO something…

Ten to…ten two…ten….

Ugh….

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4. i think i mentioned this before (maybe not on here but the podcast) but i’ll reiterate it – when the room is tilted to be straight, the only two items leaning toward the right are the bowl and bowling pin (part of the bowling analogy), perhaps this emphasizes these are the only items in the room you should ‘watch’. the room could be tilted in order to hide this fact.

also, the mention of ‘taking that with you’ without mentioning what could be to emphasize the ‘spare’ rather than an object, adding to the bowling analogy yet again.

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• Well, we usually try to get our solutions by looking for clues in the text and pictures, but I suppose that elaborating the prime factorization of the correct door number can be a kind of solution too.

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• Hidden Mystery,

You can mention your blog as much as you want but using it as a reference is unhelpful. In order for your proposed solutions to be discussed you need to post the full solution or other participants will not know what you are talking about. In future your comments on this site please post full solutions or I will have to delete the comment.

White Raven

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5. ● The bulb is referred to as a “single bulb” and is circled…. blah blah blah.

This is worse than Room 34 (accreditation is incorrect, solution was done in jest)

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6. SP noted that the base of the candle looks like the telephone receiver in room 20. In Medieval philosophy “hearing” and “seeing” were contrasted. They had deductive logic from the Greeks, of course, but the modern scientific method which is part observation and inference had not yet been developed. “Seeing” was considered to be things you knew yourself directly, whereas “hearing” was what you knew by faith. The dark end of the candle indicates the wrong path and that we can not see, but we can follow the “hearing” end of the candle to the correct door, and relying on “faith” under these arches makes sense. It also fits with the fact that we can hear the thunder but not see the lightning, we take the storm on faith in Medieval thinking. “Whispered” seems a related word. And finally – is that why that bulb is lit without the switch being on? Is it the light of faith?

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7. In nearby rooms it is windy. In 31 in the same time zone as this room there are grey clouds. Punch holds umbrella. We are adviced to take umbrella. Ceiling looks like umbrella. We hear to thunderous crashes. We can spell lighting from a puzzle. Thunder is angels bowling. Lighting chamber. Electrical wire. Ok so we have lighting strikes. Strikes comes from bowling, from punch, from beat. Or we could just say we have bowling strikes too.

Ok now a tilt is also a strike as in tilting at windmills. So we have two tilts. The room is tilted about 24 degrees. Each tilt accounts for half of that or twelve degrees.

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8. Two bowls in text, one in picture. (1,2) = 12.
Or two tables depending on interpretation.

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9. Single bulb, connected to binary switch on right

TWELVE

Hunchback–one visible foot pointing left, hunch and hat pointing right

TWELVE

the S and the SMILE are on the right side, the SiGN on the left side

TWELVE

there’s a 1 on the left side of the sign above the door to 12, and a 2 on the right side

TWELVE

something with the umbrellas, I don’t know

TWELVE

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10. All the portmanteau words and compound nouns people were mentioning (barber pole, candlestick, hunchback, bumbershoot) could be clues in and of themselves, because they’re two words in one, 1 2.

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• That’s a new take. I like it. If we can find the same sort of things in other rooms it will be better too.

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• No other rooms should direct us to 12, though, so if these compound words are meant to inherently suggest 1-2, then we shouldn’t really expect to find them elsewhere.

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• Yeah – I was thinking other twos only. So, the only other potential would be indicators to 21. But I don’t think you are ever “supposed” to go there.

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• Although I like the brevity of this solution, there should be a precedent of why we are using the i as a slash or divider.

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11. Hangouts had two signs right one left.

My thought : 2 rings around one bulb

Also : one of punches buttons looks different. 1,2

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• David Gentile,

You got it! Single bulb + two rings!

More of these out there.

White Raven

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12. SP,

Congratulations on the various bowling connection items!

David Gentile,

Congratulations on the perfect bowling score!

Someone on the podcast,

Congratulations on the 1 into 2 stethoscope connection! (There are more like this.)

Bumping it up one!

White Raven

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• Actually other 1,2s were said on podcast and I guess they should post them. I said the stethoscope.

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• David Gentile,

So sorry, wires crossed. No wonder I couldn’t find who said it! I have corrected the credits.

White Raven

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13. The light switch is off. Even though it could be installed upside down I find this disquieting. The switch could point to the candle which is unlit. Lit is in text. The candle the umbrella and the arrow form a pointing channel to 31 which is the unlit door. Punch’s little parasol helps us think of umbrellas as shade. And note how close the two are. If we follow the pointing chain backwards we have the correct door.

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• Does this mean that Sun umbrellas point the wrong way and rain umbrellas point the right way ? And what does Sun umbrella anagram to? Does the punch hunch bunch rhyme have anything to do with unlit?

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• I was joking about the anagram. But you can get “man bull ruse”

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• It could be that the bowl obscures the point of the umbrella, negating whatever that would be pointing at; the handle of the umbrella points to the parasol, which points pretty much in the right direction.

How far can we extend this chain of pointing? The barber pole leads into the table, the bowl and table overlap and are connected by the text, umbrella, parasol…

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• The candle and umbrella form lines to either side of hte SiGN – sort of a channel.

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14. What I do not understand about this room, other than missing Raven points:

1) Why does punch/hunchback in fez carry the object in his hand? Are we supposed to take it with “U” to be an umbrella?
2) punch and hunch rhyme. Doubtful by accident.
3) The smile is “crooked” and it might help with “quasimoto”(sp?) but it may be underused. The candle seems under used as well.

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• Quasimodo is the hunchback of Notre Dame. Quasimoto is one half of the Stones Throw hip hop duo Madlib, who are not bad at all if I may say so myself.

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15. Anyone got a protractor? Measure if that pole is tipped relative to the room by about 23.5 degrees. Thanks,

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• Yep, I measured it before Podcast 4 to see if it would unveil anything – it didn’t. The angle is closer to 29 than 12.

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16. The sign is also an arrow. Arrow + bowl = bow + arrow + L. L is alphanumeric 12. bow + arrow + arches = archer or arches. And Sagittarius is 12th sign of the zodiac in a calendar year.

We are probably supposed to use the bowling pin for that not the bowl. And then there will be fragments to use elsewhere like S ing pin ign. Probably working towards bowling and lighting. But some leftovers then still. Using bowl and light and bits leaves S Pi . S I’m not worried about. Pi should not be left lying about I think.

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• Ok. Text says we might need “it” now we have split and a lower case I that we can discard because it was marked as unimportant.

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17. If we could walk around the room it would be obvious the two main pillars have 6 lines extending from their tops forming the vaults. 6+6=12

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• Just for grins add 29 and 31 and get 60 so that everything is multiples of 6

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18. Knocked a bowl off the table. Broke another one (table) And took it with. That would be 12 legs.

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19. What to take with could be the broken bowl, because it is described in the text and NOT pictured.

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20. I measured the barber pole. 1 inch. 1/8 inch per stripe. based on twisting 12 total stripes, at least in part, counting both colors, would be visible if we could see the whole pole.

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