The Solution to MAZE: Main Puzzle

The following is the solution to the main puzzle of Christopher Manson’s “MAZE: Solve the World’s Most Challenging Puzzle.”

This is not a solution to the book on a whole. Only 12% of MAZE is presently solved. This forum is for fans of the Manson’s MAZE to discuss solutions to the 88% that has gone unsolved and to talk about how much the book creeped us out when we were ten.

On to the main solution…

The main puzzle of MAZE has three parts:

Part I = The 16 Step Path >

Part II – The Riddle of Room 45 >

Part III – The Riddle of the Path >


17 thoughts on “The Solution to MAZE: Main Puzzle

    I totally got something different for the message of the maze from 45 to 1. I list the locations where we differ.
    45) M a ‘w’ when upside down, U 23) Blank 8) S 12) U, D, C at top of ladder 39) R, O 4) E 15) C at the moon, E the shadow on the wall above and between 30-37. 37)O-the shadow of the net, C the side of table and legs 20) S, S
    There is a question mark in 45 and if I have to make something of the shadows in 23, it would be an !
    Arranging the letters, it reads thus; “SUCCESS! DO U C MORE?”

    • Text speak was not a thing then and we know the real answer. It’s almost certainly not intentionally placed. However, it’s clever enough to keep a record of it. Imo

  2. Revising my page regarding the letters of “Shoulders”. I think he gives the letters one of two ways. He gives then super obvious once, or he gives them in hidden way twice. H in 37 and in 15. E in 37 and in 8. O in 39 and 23. L in 4 but maybe ? All other given once directly. He seems well aware that the more something is hidden the more times it needs to be given to show it is real.

  3. Proposal regarding the letters to spell “Shoulders”. I believe that the letters are given 1 of 2 ways: Theye are either simply given is a very unambigous obvious way, OR they are hidden but then given twice.

    The tire in 39 vs. the “nothing” in 23 has bee a dispute for some time. Suppose they are both intended.

    “H20″ in my opinion is the only way in room 37 to resolve the multiple conflicting indicators. But that means there is a VERY intentional “H” here. But then in 15, the H’s are puzzle parts as well. They are intentional too. The H is given twice so that one confirms the other.

    In 37 I am sure the ending E’s are intended, but then we also have that table in room 8 looking like an E. Again, I think this letter is given in a concealed way, but given twice.

    Manson seems quite aware that the more hidden something is the more times he has to give it to prove it is a real thing.

    • David Gentile,

      Finally someone made the Room 8 and the Riddle of the Path “E” connection! I have never been comfortable with “E” being in Room 37 when such an obvious “E” is available in Room 8.

      This means room 8 has two letters and Room 37 none. Perhaps one of the purposes of the “EXTRA S” in Room 20 is to indicate that some of the letters can be found in multiple ways?

      White Raven

  4. Thanks to both of you. I pretty much just put the book down and forgot about it back in 2012. And I only picked it up again this week while doing some other website work. And I’m a lot more satisfied with some parts of what is on my page than other parts too.

    One note about the “Manson”s. My thought was not that he placed them their to be found as part of a solution. But rather he just made sure the text always included two words that worked. The fact that 24 was the only place I could NOT find one at all made me even more suspicious. But as I said , other than the best 3 I think I removed them. I suspect room 3 is the authentic author “signature” however. And room 4 could be a Manson with no Christopher. Some of the Christopher’s still remaining could be wrong too. But the best are to point to St, Christopher I think. The best are the ones that almost fall out of anagrams of Christopher like Short Perch I.

    But that’s history. Now I’m looking forward to seeing what ravens book has to say and taking a fresh look at the puzzle.

  5. White Raven writes:
    “Like Atlas, you (the reader) bear the weight of the world on your shoulders.”

    I agree. As you may remember from past discussions, I thought there were many examples of “Christopher Manson” hidden in the maze, but he infomed me that was not the case.
    “…while I dislike to go into much detail about what is or isn’t there, I do want to say that I have really only put my name in once on purpose, and besides a couple of references (nun, pair-o’-dice) used for their word value, I did not intend to incorporate any particularly Christian ideas, messages or doctrines. My first name is entirely coincidental to the book, and was not my doing in the first place.
    I hesitate to say anything about the book usually…”
    And other that at most 3 “Manson”s, I feel I simply invented them. But most of the “Christopher”s I still feel are there. But they are not there to point to the author. Rather to St. Christopher. In the story where he bears Christ across the river, Jesus is impossibly heavy, and we learn that this is becasue he bears the weight of the world on his shoulders. So the “Christopher”s are there, I belive, to point to St. Christopher, and then to the overall Maze solution.

    • Wow, I had my doubts as to whether this was the real David Gentie, but then I noticed that his page now has a link to this site…
      …which wasn’t there in 2012.

      So I think this is the real deal. My goodness. Hi, Mr. Gentile! I’m sure White Raven or someone else would like to extend a formal welcome, but let me just try to sneak an apology in there. You’ve probably already seen us, to be blunt, make fun of some of your maze-solving habits in a few pages on this site. I shared in that, and would like to say I’m sorry. It’s easy to be snide when you don’t think the person taking the jab is actually going to see what you’re saying.

      Really, though, I don’t think there’s anyone here who doesn’t respect the sheer diligence it took for you to put together such a detailed analysis. And we’re pretty much all in love with your solution to room #26, as you’ve probably seen. (Also, I think your solution to room #45 is vastly more elegant and persuasive than White Raven’s Woodrow Wilson interpretation, but don’t… don’t tell anyone I said that)

    • Beelzebibble,

      Don’t worry I will store it in my subconscious for fodder in later therapy. :}

      I have been emailing Mr. Gentile but you are correct, a formal public welcome is called for – I will post one on the main page. Thanks!

      The “will” phrasing of the riddle was discovered by Scott Purdy in 1986 and has been assumed correct almost universally since then.

      While my best guess is that the Woodrow Wilson phrasing is correct but I am not certain and I personally like Scott’s “will” phrasing more from an aesthetics point of view. Though aesthetically my first choice would be ”All inhabit what evil house?” which we know to be wrong…damn it.

      The question is if the Woodrow Wilson quote ”Without God, the world would be a maze without a clue” is part of the puzzle (also discovered by Scott). If it is than “All Live In What Woodrow Wilson House?” is a better phrasing pointing us to the quote, if not then “All Live In What House?” is a better phrasing. I would not at all be surprised if Scott’s original phrasing proved correct and the quote from Woodrow Wilson is just a coincidence.

      White Raven

    • Opps, I left out the “will.” “Will all live in what house?” is actually what I meant. Thanks!

      It should be noted that this is my rephrasing of Scott’s original phrasing “What house will all live in?” I changed it to reflect the order of items in the room and somewhat better grammar.


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